The Pansonic HC-V800 doesn't jump on the 4K bandwagon -- but is designed for high-quality, versatile HD video.
The HC-V800 sports a 1/2.5" sensor, which is larger than in most camcorders and records 1080p HD video. The slightly larger size and backlit design helps the camera to perform better in low light when compared to camcorders with smaller sensors. Modes for HDR and a new Active Contrast option also help boost the video quality.
That sensor is paired with a pretty versatile 24x zoom lens that's capable of a wide angle 25 to a super telephoto 600mm and everything in between. The lens is also designed with low light in mind with a wide f/1.8-4 aperture. The built-in microphone can also zoom on those farther off sounds.
Panasonic is putting not one but three different optical image stabilization systems inside to help keep handheld shots steadier. The traiditional hybrid optical system is five-axis, while Adaptive OIS helps automatically choose the best stabilization settings and Ball OIS is designed for those smaller hand movements.
The camera is wrapped in a familiar compact consumer body style with a flip out screen. While there's no twin camera built-in, Wi-Fi allows for picture-in-picture by using the smartphone camera for the second view.
The Panasonic HC-V800 is set to retail for around $600. While the stabilization, larger sensor and wide zoom range all look promising, if $600 is too much, there are a few older options without quite so many features for less cash, like the Panasonic HC-V770 or V550. If the HD resolution isn't enough, look at the Pansonic VX1 with an identical lens and stabilization system, for $200 more. The camcorder will launch in April 2018.