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While 4K was the talk of the town, Panasonic had many monitors but only one 4K camcorder on display, and it is a POV, wearable action camera at the CES Trade Show. The rest of the lineup is more traditional camcorders but with several new twists. Wi-Fi is now a standard feature. The two top-line cameras, the HC-W850 and V750, feature a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor and claim the best 1080p image quality overall. The W850 has a lower-resolution second "twin" camera, with a lens built into the flip-out LCD monitor housing so you can simultaneously capture the main scene and your reaction to it. Both cameras offer live video streaming via Wi-Fi and Ustream, and users can place the camera in one room and operate it from another room via an app on your smart phone or tablet—a great feature for monitoring a baby's room, for instance.
The rest of the cameras in the lineup feature a smaller sesor and therefore Panasonic was able to build longer-range zoom lenses. The Panasonic V550 sports a 50x optical zoom lens, as does the more compact V250. The Panasonic HC-V130 is a basic camcorder with 38x optical zoom lens. All models offer creative controls such as Miniature Effect, 8mm Movie, Silent Movie, and Time Lapse Recording, and there's an optional Remote Pan Tilt Cradle (available in a package with the V550) which detects subject movement and follows along.
What about 4K? Panasonic demoed the Panasonic HX-A100, a wearable POV action camera at their booth that you can wear on your head. The camcorder itself is simply a lens, which is cabled to a separate controller unit. It has built-in Wi-Fi and can record and store 4k images; it will also record lower resolution 1080p at 60fps (who knew we'd be callng that "lower resolution"?) as well as 720p and VGA at higher frame rates. These resolutions are also good for live streaming via Ustream.