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Christmas Gift Guide

A 4K push

WX970, the one with everything

Power connector

Shoe adapter

Connectors and controls

Twin Camera

Twin Camera close-up

Manual controls

5.1 sound still lives

Most mainstream model

Panasonic announced not one but two prosumer 4K models at CES -- four models if you count the variations with internal memory that will be available in selected regions.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

The WX970 includes all the latest technologies, including UHD 4K video, Panasonic's HDR Movie capability and the Twin Camera for picture-in-picture recording that debuted last year in the W850.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

The WX970 ships with a bundled accessory adapter.

The big missing feature in the higher-end models is an electronic viewfinder.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

In addition to the usual HDMI, headphone and mic ports plus power, Wi-Fi and record-mode buttons, Panasonic has an automatic video leveling option.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

Panasonic has rolled the rotating picture-in-picture camera further down the product line. On the 4K models, the second camera records HD.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

Panasonic offers several models with manual controls, starting at the $600 price point with the V750 and V770, and all the models except the cheap V160 now incorporate five-axis Hybrid OIS.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

Like Sony, Panasonic continues to incorporate 5.1-channel microphones in its camcorders. Panasonic also puts the NFC receiver on the top of the recorder where most manufacturers typically put the accessory shoe.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

AT $450(directly converted, £294 or AU$557) with a 50x optical zoom and the wireless Twin Camera, I think the W570 is probably the model that should have the most mainstream appeal.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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