Verdict: Panasonic HX-A500

By awall, 26 Mar '15 at 09:43

Here's Natives verdict on the Panasonic HX-A500 that we were sent a few months back, we think you're going to like it.

So, you may remember back in November we did a write up of the Panasonic HX-A500 as the guys over at Panasonic were kind enough to send over the camera for us to use over the course of the season.

Here’s the verdict: WE LIKE IT!

We’ve used GoPro’s in the past but are almost always disappointed by the lacklustre battery life.

The Panasonic on paper destroyed the GoPro Hero 3+ that it was up against at the time, mainly because the HX-A500 offered it’s users 4K ultra HD footage whilst the GoPro was still only offering a measly 1080p. (The latest Hero 4 Black Edition has since been released and now offers 4K, but, Panasonic are often keen to point out that they were first to offer a true ‘wearable’ 4K action camcorder.)

First impressions when using it around the office were that it was a solid camera and that the majority of us preferred the two-piece design as it meant we were easily able to figure out what the camera was pointing at via the built in lcd screen on the main unit.

Using the camera on the slopes was easy enough, I had it mounted to my goggles using the multi mount whilst having the main unit strapped to my arm using the armband, it felt similar to having an iPod touch strapped to your arm as the unit is so light. I also made full use of it’s WiFi capabilities and utilised the iOS app so I could get the camera rolling straight from my phone without having to touch the camera.

If you’re looking for tech specs etc, then please check out the previous review we did a while back: here. This write up is simply here to explain how well it performed out in resort.

I much preferred the way the camera sat on the goggle strap, it felt much more stable and easy to adjust, plus, I often forgot it was there. Something that never happened when I have had GoPro’s stuck onto the top of my helmets in the past.

The camera doesn’t look waterproof at first glance, however, I did various tests and concluded that it most definitely is. The reason that I didn’t think it looked waterproof was because of its lack of some sort of casing.

The footage the camera produces really is on another level, 4K at 25FPS looked absolutely superb when I watched it back on a 4K TV, I did try and upload the 4K video to YouTube but had no success (will try again soon and update the video below). Unless you’re a professional film maker, I doubt you’ll be after anything more powerful than this HX-A500.

It really is a phenomenal little camera and exceeded all my expectations. Would I buy one over a GoPro HD Hero3+? Yes. Would I buy one of a GoPro HD Hero4? Probably.

Overall, if you’re in the market for an action cam then look no further, you can pick them up under RRP which was set at £379 as they’ve been out a little while but I can assure you you’ll not be disappointed with your purchase.

I’ve embedded some raw footage that I shot out in Chamonix in January, nothing fancy but it gives you an idea of the quality this camera can produce (please note that the video below is 1080p and not 4K).

Les Tour, Chamonix 2015 - Panasonic HX-A500 from Alex Wall on Vimeo.

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