Featured image of a man holding a camcorder in an article reviewing the Panasonic HC-VX981K 4k Ultra-HD Camcorder

Panasonic HC-VX981K 4k Ultra-HD Camcorder Review

The Panasonic HC-VX981K 4k Ultra-HD Camcorder is one of the camcorders that I recommended in my list of the best 4k camcorders for a church, but the Panasonic brand is a good choice no matter what type of video production you are doing.

Whether you are going to use the ​Panasonic HC-VX981K for an event center, wedding chapel, funeral home, or high school theater club or community theater production, you can't go wrong using Panasonic and here is why.

Do you want a great camcorder that is going to let you record in amazingly-sharp 4K Ultra HD? Do you want a camcorder that lets you do all kinds of in-camera editing for 1080p displays? Do you want to be able to share your photos and videos wirelessly?

If you answered, “yes” to these questions, then it is time that you take a look at everything the Panasonic HC-VX981K ultra HD camcorder with Wi-Fi, twin camera, and 4K photo features has to offer.

This camcorder even has a Twin Camera feature that lets you record multi-camera scenes in a single take.

Panasonic HC-VX981K 4k Ultra-HD Camcorder

Price: $597.99

Features

Some camcorders can be iffy in low light conditions. That definitely isn’t going to be an issue when you are using the Panasonic HC-VX981K. For instance, if you are recording at night, you can use the Night Vision feature.

Something else that is really cool is the Second Twin Camera, which lets you have pictures within pictures. This is a camcorder that is absolutely loaded with features, including:

  • Photos from Video – You can easily capture awesome photos right from the 4K video frames with this camera. So, if you have a frame that would make a great photo, you can easily pick it out and turn it into a still shot. This is a handy feature to have if you are going to be creating announcements for your films. You can use stills from the videos for the promotions.
  • LEICA Lens – This camcorder features a LEICA Decoma Lens with optical 20X zoom, and five-axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization. This helps to reduce camera shake, so you have clean, crisp videos and photos. It is also a good idea to invest in a good tripod to ensure the least amount of camera shake. Using a remote is a big help, because you don’t have to touch the camera at all.
  • In-Camera Editing – One of the handiest features this camera has to offer is the in-camera editing. After you are done shooting, you can crop, pan, zoom in and out, and track your subjects without having to use any editing software.
  • Better Resolution – This camera gives you four times the resolution than you would get with a full HD camcorder. In fact, the resolution is pretty much the same as what you would get from a 4K projector at a theatre. Shoot 4K video at 8 megapixels per frame, whereas full HD gives you just 2 megapixels.
  • Memory Cards – You can record all of your videos straight to SDXC U3 memory cards, and the 4K recording will be at a 72mbps bit rate. This lets you store your videos for later editing, showing, etc. You can also live stream your videos if you want to show them off while you are recording them, or transfer videos from your camcorder to your computer and other devices.

Pros and Cons

We have talked about a lot of the great features that you will find with the Panasonic HC-WXF981K, but we have yet to discuss any drawbacks that users have made note of. It is important to learn as much as possible about any product that you buy, and since you are going to be dropping a fair amount of cash, you need to learn about the pros and cons before making your final decision.

Pros

  • Accessory Shoe – If you want to add an external microphone, external flash, etc., you can do it easily using the accessory hot shoe attachment. There is also a built-in video light, as well as a built-in flash.
  • Wind Shield – The microphone doesn’t pick up too much wind noise, thanks to the fact that it is shielded with a Wind Noise Canceller. This means that you can easily shoot outdoors and still have great Dolby Digital 2 or Dolby Digital 5.1 audio in playback.
  • Easy Adjustments – When you need to change the focus, set a white balance, adjust the iris, etc., you can easily do it with the Multi Manual Dial. Don’t forget about the viewfinder that has 1,555,200 dots of resolution, and can even be used in bright sunlight.

Cons

  • Noise – Some users have reported a slight noise coming from the motor. This isn’t a problem if you are using sound from a mixer, but it can be a problem if you are taking sound directly from your recording.
  • Error Messages – Some users report that after using the camera for a couple of months, they suddenly received “error” messages that would not go away even after powering down and removing the battery.
  • Lighting – Some users report that this camera is not the best in moderate or low-light situations, but if they have good lighting, they can get good photos and videos. Additional lighting sources can help.

Bottom Line

When you need a camcorder that will give you great video quality at a reasonable price you can count on the Panasonic HC-VX981K 4k. Whether you are using it for a church live stream or to record video announcements, or in your own family or small business, the Panasonic HC-VX981K 4k will give you years of faithful use.

I highly recommend the ​Panasonic HC-VX981K 4k. 

However if you are interested in some other camcorders, you might want to read these camcorder reviews.

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Pastor Duke Taber is the Senior Pastor at The Vineyard Church in San Carlos CA. He is an alumnus from Life Pacific College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.