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Christmas Gift Guide

WXF991 vs. VX981

Viewfinder

Headphones and power

Manual controls

HDR movie

Twin camera

New wind shield

Accessory shoe

Top

Replacing the WX970 and VX870, respectively, the two camcorders differ physically in two primary ways: the WXF991 has a viewfinder and a second camera on the LCD door.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

When Panasonic introduced its first 4K consumer models last year, it was odd that the $1,000 WX970 lacked a viewfinder; its replacement has one.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

You can run the camcorders off an AC adapter and plug-in headphones.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

Panasonic continues to use a jog dial (press to select mode and turn to make adjustments) for its manual exposure controls.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

Like last year's models, these support HDR movie (HD-resolution only). It works by recording 30p video at 60 frames per second and alternating slower shutter-speed frames (for better shadow detail) with higher shutter-speed frames (for better highlight detail).

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

Panasonic's Twin Camera feature works by capturing a second stream of video from this rotating camera on the LCD door; only the WXF991 offers this in the 4K models.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

Panasonic has updated the design of the wind shield on the microphone by adding a noise-reducing material between the microphone and the metal net, and it's changed the shape of the net for better wind travel.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

Like most camcorders in its class, these have a cold (i.e., unpowered) accessory shoe.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET

The view from above.

Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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