Panasonic Tries To Take a Bite Out of The GoPro Market With a New 4K Action Cam


Looking to take a bite out of the GoPro market, Panasonic has just announced the HX-A500: a light-weight, wearable, wide-angle camera capable of shooting impressive 4K footage at 30fps.

The first thing you’ll notice about the A500 is that its form-factor is a bit strange, resembling an old Walkman more than a video camera. While the lens portion of the camera looks fairly standard and comes in at an incredibly light one ounce, it’s tethered via a braided cable to a separate body unit that houses a 1.5″ LCD display and all of the controls.

Additional features of the HX-A500 include WiFi and NFC capabilities — allowing you to easily connect it to your mobile device for reviewing the footage and controlling the camera — as well as the standard dustproof and waterproof certifications that will let you take it 10 feet underwater for up to 30 minutes.


If you’re not concerned with shooting in 4K, the camera will let you shoot higher frame rates than 30fps. 1080p, 720p and 480p max out at 60fps, 120fps and 240fps, respectively.

Obviously we’ll have to wait to see how it performs before making a call, but the new camera seems like an interesting piece of gear. If you’d like to find out more, check out the video below or head on over to DPReview to read the press release in all its glory.

The camera will be available in the U.K. starting in May for £380 (about $630 USD), and is expected to make its way across the pond sometime in July.

(via DPReview)

  • Davor

    You can buy 2 gopros for price of this one.

  • Mike

    What the hell is this? “My First Colonoscopy” kit?!

  • dudung10

    this is 4k 4K!!

  • IamStarGoat

    This seems awfully clumsy to be used as an action cam. The GoPro has a dense and simple form factor making it able to be mounted to anything, anywhere, and this simple fact alone have been a major contributor to the popularity of the GoPro.
    Just the cord alone in Panasonic’s design is a disaster waiting to happen. Get that thing caught up in a tree or something as you’re going down a ski slope, and before you know it, you may find yourself looking for a replacement camera.

  • Justin Kroger

    Everything in me wants this to be better than the gopro but the price won’t be able to compete at all and the awkward cable makes for much more difficult mounting situations… You are forced to hold it with two hands and it’s bigger and bulkier. From that footage we couldn’t see any kind of noticeable upgrade in quality as compared to the gopro. Pixel count does not equate to better quality. At this point they are just trying to be ahead of the curve and include “4k” as a buzzword feature to market to people that don’t know any better. How about actually improving the optics?! You can have an 8k camera with a horrible lense and it’s still going to look horrible… This seems like a kick starter project that wasn’t thought all the way through. As much as I want this to be great, I honestly think It will be gone before anyone hears about it.

  • Renato Murakami

    I find it a bit weird that people don’t recognize the design… sports cams previous to Go Pro era were kinda like that. Well, at least some models.
    A lipstick cam that went into a separate device.

    I still have an Archos media player which you could get the lipstick cam attachment for:

    aaaand it sucked. This thing is ancient, so yeah… VHS 420p. Other than that, the device would overheat pretty fast, it would take quite a while for the video file to record, and it’s overall a bad design.

    Problems being (not applicable to all cases, but things you have to consider before getting one): wires, separate device to press record and setup functions, it’s not as adaptable to wear or setup everywhere (like say, a chest mount, car mount, etc), you can easily screw up orientation (as the camera is basically a cylinder)…

    I’m shure there are some applications to it, but I can imagine several situations where a GoPro is more adequate for the job. Or other similar sports cams that is.


    If someone would just make an action cam that can beat the GoPro’s lowlight capability they would have the world at their fingertips.

  • James

    We are will be assimilated…resistance is futile.

  • Dover

    The latest Gopro shoots 4K as well. BOOM! Now go out and count how many of your acquaintances own a [$10,000] 4K monitor that can actually use this feature.

  • Jamie Brightmore

    …and then enjoy the jerky 15fps 4k footage.

  • Jamie Brightmore

    Interesting device, but I doubt this will make many people defect from a GoPro – it’s just more easily ‘attachable’ than this. Personally, I just need a GoPro that can do 2k at 60fps so I can capture some crop worthy footage with my quad. 4K can wait another couple years till the screen prices get easier on the wallet.

  • musia

    what is this video about? hat maker wears a cam? seriously

  • francisco arenas

    they need a new advertisement agency… this video is SOOOOOOO boring… they at least need to copy the mood of gopro videos to get some business..

  • Mike

    Better than a gerbil.

  • dudung10

    you’re missing the point. this could mean homemade HD porn for the masses

  • Xavi Baragona

    In my opinion, you don’t need this camera to make a boring and poor light video like that. I know all the info about the camera, but for me this sí not the way to promote an action cam.

  • Bryan

    Did they seriously advertise segway riders and hat-makers in their video? Maybe they should work on advertising before they try to compete with GoPro.

  • SKY

    If Google Glass makes you a ‘glass-hole’ this must make you a ‘stupid idiot’

  • jah

    “wtf is this?” you will loose money with this wired dildo

  • tttulio

    Form Factor fail.

  • Matt

    Ya, I can’t even remember what brand mine was, it sucked though.