Let’s start with the most appealing choice, 4K or UHD 4K. As of this writing, the Sony AX33 is the only camera on the market that can shoot 4K like the WXF991K. The Panasonic is closer to $900 than the Sony, which costs about $800.
In actuality, these two models only differ in two key ways. First, the Panasonic features a second camera on the flip-out display that can be oriented towards the camera operator, to the side, or forward for capturing pictures in pictures. In contrast, Sony only has a 10x optical zoom. The Panasonic also has a 20x optical zoom. The Sony only has one conventional lens.
Who is that second camera for, was the main query we received regarding the WXF991K? It needed some time and innovative thinking to develop situations where the dual camera might be helpful. Although we’re not entirely sure Panasonic had a specific user in mind when they created the functionality, we ultimately came up with several workable use cases.
The first is the amateur videographer who attempts to record the entire scene, including the camera operator. Next, the following person created prank videos or other comparable stuff to give viewers a peek behind the scenes. Finally, we may consider this an excellent choice for a vlogger who wants to include a picture of themselves and whatever they discuss.
The dual camera was quite tough to use when we were controlling the camera. It is printed in the video and may be seen onscreen as a picture-in-picture element. However, one-fifth of your Photo is taken up by a close-up of you when the picture-in-picture feature is activated since it cannot be deleted in post-production. Additionally, it’s not a particularly attractive angle.
We would think that many people who enjoy shooting video, at least to some extent, enjoy being in the background and not in front of the lens. However, despite all the discomfort, you do have some alternatives for that second perspective since the camera can swivel to film in front of, behind, or toward the camera operator. In addition, the twin camera will automatically switch on when you rotate the camera out of selfie mode.
Another important choice is the ability to track, stabilize, zoom, and trim a 4K shot into HD within the camera. It takes your 4K video and allows you to zoom into a particular area, choose the zoom speed, and create a new movie within the camera.
Stabilization, tracking, or a pseudo-dolly shot can all be done similarly. Additionally, you can take 60 frames per second HD clip and then, on the camera, slow it down to 24 frames per second for a slow-motion shot; this is approximately three times slow motion. So if you don’t want to utilize a computer to make those adjustments, they are reasonably practical solutions.
Since we are working video professionals, it might be a pain to utilize a camera solely designed for consumers. We only wish we had more manual control over the camera, which isn’t to say that it isn’t an excellent camera.
With the WXF991K, exposure and focus cannot be manually adjusted. Instead, it can only change the gain, its only exposure tool. Income may add undesirable noise to your image, so we wanted to evaluate its sensitivity in low-light conditions.
We tested it in low light conditions using all its gain levels: 0, +6, +8, +10, +12, and +18 dB. We discovered that any gain levels over +6db were too noisy. There must be enough light for the dB level not to rise over +6 for the image to appear its best.
This is some guidance if you want professional outcomes. Pushing it up to +10db may be OK if the camera is to record memories, and some noise is acceptable. The other gain levels will also work if you only need to record the incident and capture the moment. +18db enables photography in quite dim conditions, although the image will appear too noisy.
We, too, had a problem with some lousy moire. The moire was noticeable and rather distracting in most scenarios we photographed. When tested on some coarse cloth, the moire was also powerful enough to strain your eyes.
The entire screen danced with the delicate lines in a broad view of a structure. This can be a huge problem, depending on the device it would be seen on. Even with sufficient lighting, the shot will be poor.
The moving shutter was the last thing we wanted to try. Straight lines appear like rubber or Jell-O when using a rolling shutter, which creates rapid pan or tilt movements. The WXF-991K didn’t experience the rolling shutter effect all that much. It is anticipated to experience some problems due to its rolling shutter, but things might be far worse.
THE 20X OPTICAL ZOOM IS A REALLY NICE FEATURE THAT WE FOUND VALUABLE.
The 20X optical zoom is a pretty excellent function that we thought was helpful. The lens’s throw is exceptionally great, extending from an effective focal length of 30 mm to 626 mm. That implies that, aside from the increased difficulty in maintaining a steady shot, it is not a significant deal if you are far away.
This is a significant competitive advantage over the Sony AX33, which has a 10x optical zoom but only half the performance. As a result, you can only reach halfway distant objects. In addition, a 10x optical zoom might not be sufficient to allow the subject to fill the frame while photographing sports from the stands.
The Experience of Shooting
The first day we took the camera outside, there was a lot of wind. The wind was so strong that it almost knocked our tripod over when we first put the camera on it. The camera is composed of plastic and is essential; it is neither sturdy nor hefty.
Its lack of heft makes it simple to bump while selecting the focus point because it uses a touchscreen to operate the focus. The clouds were out for the first half of our shoot day, giving us lovely diffused light, and the camera worked well. The image shone in soft, steady lighting if you could look past the moire.
It was the ideal opportunity to test the wind reduction feature with the built-in microphone because it was windy. Without it, the wind made the audio worthless, but with it on, the issue was considerably diminished, even though you could still hear the wind pass past the microphone’s diaphragm. Of course, it wasn’t a panacea for windy conditions, but it sufficed.
When we were filming at another time, there were many sunny days with no wind or clouds. This was when we realized the camera’s dynamic range or lack thereof. The shadows were thick and distinct since the sun was high.
With some detail still in the highlights, the camera didn’t capture much detail in the shadows. Due to the camera’s auto exposure feature, a slight adjustment in framing might produce a significant change in exposure, depending on the size and amount of dark areas in the image.
As a consumer camera, we don’t believe that anyone wanting to buy this camera would be worried about the amount of dynamic range. So this camera is not a good option if the dynamic range is essential to you.
Pricing in the Market
Currently, there aren’t many 4K dedicated camcorders on the market. Now, only the WXF991K and the AX33 occupy this area. Their MSRPs are comparable, with the Sony being a little less expensive ($800) than the Panasonic ($900). Except for the optical zoom and second camera, their features are identical.
The Panasonic is more adaptable thanks to the optical zoom. However, we wouldn’t say the dual camera is worth the additional expense. Does that one choice merit $100? Depending on who you are, I will respond to that. Consider your needs and if a wide zoom range is necessary.
If so, $150 is not unreasonable to demand a doubled focus length. However, the dual camera is, at best, a curiosity and caters to a tiny subset of user types. Unless you have a particular purpose, it is not worth paying more for.
It’s for whom?
This camera might be helpful for a wide range of people. Beginner filmmakers who wish to create short tales at home with little to no team in 4K may suit the bill, as would a home video camera. Due to its compact factor and available features, it is ideal for family and holiday photography.
The camera’s simplicity and resolution match nicely for the YouTuber who wants to create but doesn’t want to be forced into using manual settings and the social media enthusiast who needs something to make time for daily material.
The WXF991 would also work for a vacation videographer who needs something high-quality and portable but doesn’t need a professional camera’s hefty price tag. Last but not least, this camera would work effectively in the classroom for teachers as both a teaching and a learning tool.
Parents looking to purchase a camera for their small children are one group to whom we heartily suggest this model. Children would love the opportunity to take videos and record themselves while doing so, and it would also produce priceless mementos for future enjoyment.
Is this the most excellent camera for approximately $800 that you can find? Unfortunately, no. However, it could have the easiest-to-use, highest-resolution cameras in its category.
Many detachable lens cameras, which are sold separately from the camcorder market, also fit in this category but call for a lens purchase. This camera is not for you if you enjoy a lot of manual control.
Consider it if you’re searching for something straightforward that produces a pleasing image and works well for various purposes. For example, although we wouldn’t suggest this camera for a compelling narrative, it might work well for documenting the moment.
|1/2.3″-Type CMOS Sensor
|Actual: 18.91 Megapixel
Effective: 8.3 Megapixel
|4.08 to 81.6mm
|35mm-Equivalent Focal Length
|30.8 to 626mm at 16:9 4K
37 to 752mm at 16:9 Full HD (Level Shot Function Off or Normal)
30.8 to 626mm at 16:9
34.5 to 690.3mm at 3:2 Photo
37.6 to 752.8mm at 4:3 Photo
|f/1.8 to 3.6
Intelligent: 25x 4K
Intelligent: 40x (in HD)
|Media/Memory Card Slot
|Single Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC
|3840 x 2160p at 24/30 fps (72 Mb/s MP4)
1920 x 1080p at 24/60 fps (50 Mb/s MP4)
1920 x 1080p at 60 fps (28 Mb/s MP4)
1280 x 720p at 30 fps (9 Mb/s MP4)
1920 x 1080p at 60 fps (28 Mb/s AVCHD)
1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (24 Mb/s AVCHD)
1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (17 Mb/s AVCHD)
1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (13 Mb/s AVCHD)
1920 x 1080i at 60 fps (5 Mb/s AVCHD)
960 x 540p at 30 fps (28 Mb/s iFrame)
|Still Image Support
25.9 MP (6784 x 3816)
14 MP (4992 x 2808)
2.1 MP (1920 x 1080)
20 MP (5472 x 3684)
10.6 MP (3984 x 2656)
2.0 MP (1728 x 1152)
20.4 MP (5216 x 3912)
10.9 MP (3808 x 2856)
.3 MP (640 x 480)
Dolby Digital 2ch
Dolby Digital 5.1
|1/8000 to 1/24 Second in Video Mode
|Optical & Digital
|White Balance Modes
|Light – Yes
Flash – No
|1 x Cold
|Tripod Mounting Thread
|1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRRS A/V Output
1 x Micro-HDMI Output
|1 x Micro-USB (USB 2.0) Output
|Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n)
|Rechargeable Battery Pack, 3.6 VDC, 1940 mAh
Max Runtime: 1 Hours per Charge
|Recording: 7.8 W
Charging: 7.7 W
|Dimensions (W x H x D)
|2.7 x 3.1 x 6.4″ / 6.8 x 7.8 x 16.3 cm
|14.21 oz / 403 g
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)
|8.9 x 5.9 x 4.1″
With the 4K Panasonic WXF991K, you may record videos of yourself while recording. Slow-motion footage, zooming after the shot has been captured, and even generating in-camera dolly-like movements are all possible with in-camera tools. The WXF991 has significant moire issues, costs more than its rivals, and has unique benefits for its class.
Panasonic created a camera that anybody with little to no experience using camera controls and settings can use to capture beautiful, high-resolution video. But, just maybe, it’s not for everyone.
Panasonic WXF991 FAQs
What is the price of Panasonic WXF991?
It is recommended to verify with individual retailers to get accurate pricing information because prices can differ depending on the location and the store. To my understanding, the closing date for pricing information was September 2021. At that time, the cost of a brand new Panasonic WXF991 in the United States was approximately $697.99 USD.
Which Lumix WXF991 camera is Netflix approved?
It’s not confirmed that the Lumix WXF991 camera is officially “Netflix-approved.” But on the other hand, the WXF991 can record in 4K and create a high-quality video appropriate for broadcasting on various platforms, including Netflix.