Announced as part of a trio of pro camcorders, Panasonic recently debuted the CX10 at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. We were lucky to get our hands on it for review and enjoyed this feature full and easy to use camcorder that produces some fantastic images.
Panasonic’s CX10 has a number of interesting features, including:
- Super Slow Motion at 120fps at 1080
- Two manual focus rings,
- Built-in autofocus with great image stabilization
- ND Filter with three different filters
- Built-in LED Video Light
- 3.5-inch monitor with 2,760K-dots of resolution
- HDMI Out – 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output, enabling high image quality capture with the Atomos Shogun 7 or another recorder
- SDI Out – You can also use the ATOMOS Shogun 7 but we were only able to get 1080 out
- Optional shock mount for a shotgun microphone
- Built-in Wi-Fi module
- Supports P2 MXF File Format with AVC-Intra/AVC-LongG codecs
- NDI|HX capable for easy IP connection
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the CX10 is its autofocus. So many cameras’ auto-focus can be cumbersome, with it taking precious seconds trying to actually focus, giving you that breathing effect. The CX10’s auto-focus is remarkably quick and seamless, even maintaining focus while zooming, another area where most cameras drop the ball. As you can see in the video above, there were numerous instances where we were zooming out and maintain focus the entire time with no breathing. This is certainly aided by the impeccable image stabilization, allowing you to easily forgo a tripod and keeping your setup small while still being able to shoot, focus and zoom without any issue.
On that note, the CX10’s zoom is also incredible. The most indicative shots we got were from a balcony of the Griffith Observatory high in the hills above Los Angeles, shooting the street very far below. You almost can’t tell we aren’t on a balcony in a nearby city building, until we zoom out to reveal just how far away we are. Yet you can still see so much detail in cars, streets, buildings and more. This, especially when combined with the stellar auto-focus and image stabilization, make the CX10 a fantastic tool for ENG, documentary work and the like.
Another key feature is the CX10’s Super Slow Motion mode, able to shoot 120fps at 1080p. Mostly seen in our footage at a local skate park, the slow-motion shots are incredibly smooth. All of the shots you see are straight from the camera as well, not color graded and with no post-processing. The images are absolutely beautiful and we could easily see this being a go-to camera for those needing such effects for their projects.
All of these features are great, but it’s no help if they’re hidden behind obtuse menus or ill-conceived body design. The CX10 shines in this area as well, with an easily navigable menu using a control knob or simply using the 3.5-inch flip-out monitor’s built-in touch screen. It’s easy to see in even bright daylight and can even flip around for viewing from the front of the camera, perfect for selfie videos or Facebook/YouTube live streaming. This is made all the easier by the CX10’s built-in wi-fi module, allowing easy streaming to the web, as well as connection to a mobile app that allows you to control the lens and other camera settings remotely.
The CX10 comes standard with a handle that gives you additional support, as well as two XLR audio inputs with robust controls for both channels. The handle also fixes a problem you wouldn’t expect: low light image quality. As is typical for such a camera, shooting in low light doesn’t provide the best image. The powerful, variable intensity LED light sits at the front of the handle, providing an impressive amount of illumination for such a small light. In our test above we go from pitch black to perfectly viable shooting situation just from the on-board light, making it a fantastic addition to have for just about any shoot.
There’s so much more about the CX10 that makes it a dream to shoot with, but one of the more subtle (and useful) features is how it saves your clips should you lose power. We tested the feature ourselves and it actually gives you the option to repair or restore the clip you’d have lost otherwise to an all too common mistake.
The Panasonic CX10 is a dream to shoot with, with a number of great quality of life features that mesh perfectly with its great technical capabilities. We could easily see it being used in broadcast, news, documentary and film work, with solid features that would benefit a wide variety of projects.
For more information on the Panasonic CX10, be sure to check out our video above as well as visit https://bit.ly/309iDWT