Panasonic 360 4K Video Camera – A Prototype No Longer

April 29th, 2017
Panasonic 360 4K Video Camera - A Prototype No Longer

360 video is still very much the talk of NAB, and Panasonic is not one to be left behind. First announced late last year, the AW-360C10 – AKA the Panasonic 360 camera –  features four cameras shooting at 3840×1920 resolution and uses real-time active stitching. It’s aimed at the live event 360 world and we have all the details below: 

Panasonic 360

Image Credit: Graham Sheldon

We first announced the Panasonic 360 prototype camera head (AW-360C10) and its base unit (AW-360B10) back in November of 2016 at Inter Bee. The four cameras mounted along the head of the unit shoot 4K video at up to 29.97fps in a 2:1 image format ratio, a.k.a equi-rectangular video.

Panasonic is hoping that their low latency system will find a home with sports, concerts, and other live, stadium-based events.

Panasonic 360 Camera Base Unit

The camera will automatically control exposure and white balance as shooting progresses, though we haven’t had any confirmation from Panasonic regarding if the exposure and white balance controls can be overridden by an operator mid-shot during a live event. The ability to do that would obviously be a major plus.

According to Panasonic, as stitching is done in-camera and in real time, the stitching position will automatically change to create the most accurate and “natural” feeling image. The entire system can be controlled from iPad devices over WiFi.

Technical Highlights: 

360-degree Live Camera Unit 

  • Weight: 620g
  • Sensor: 1/2.3″ type MOS x4
  • Lens: Fixed focal length F2.4, f=1.83mm
  • Interfaces: HDMI Out Type D x4
  • 4 channel internal microphone
  • micro SD card slot (for firmware upgrade)

Live Camera Base Unit  

  • Weight: 1110g
  • Power: DC12 V (11V to 17V)
  • Compression: Motion JPEG
  • x1 HDMI Output: 3840×1920 @ 29.97p, 25p
  • SD card slot (for firmware upgrade)

Much of the success of this camera may hinge on how Panasonic’s auto exposure tools actually work in practice in a live environment. There is no word yet on pricing, but Panasonic says the camera will begin shipping in August of 2017.

What do you think of the camera? Is this the perfect tool for 360 video in a live setting? Comment below!

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