Panasonic HX-A500 pictures and hands-on

Panasonic today announced a new action camcorder, the Panasonic HX-A500. It follows the same design as the HX-A100 launched in 2013, offering a camera connected to a box that does all the technical stuff, but this time there's the jump to offering 4K video capture.

The idea of this dual piece setup is to give you something that's versatile with its mounting options, as you can have the camera on your shoulder and put the brains of the outfit out of the way, or, as most commonly seen, have the camera on the side of a helmet with the main box elsewhere to help spread the weight out.

We saw the new 4K action camcorder at the Panasonic Convention 2014 in Amsterdam where it was announced. It joins part of the 4K story from Panasonic, with the likes of the Lumix GH4 offering great quality ultra high definition video capture and the new Viera AX900 television being the perfect place to watch back your actioncam footage.

The camera part weighs 31g, so won't weigh you down, and the operating unit it's attached to is 119g. The camera is waterproof and dustproof, designed to give you the freedom to capture your video wherever you might be.

New to this model - aside from the 4K capture headline - is a 1.5-inch display on the operating unit. You can still use NFC to quickly connect to your phone to use the remote app, and there's the option to live stream on Ustream too.

The 4K video mode captures at 25fps, but there are also slow motion options, offering 50fps at 1920 x 1080, 100fps at 1280 x 720 or 200fps at 848 x 480.

Our time with the HX-A500 was brief, so we can't pass any judgement on the quality or how it operates in action, although the preview content being shown by Panasonic looked good. We liked the predecessor and we can't wait to have a proper play with this new 4K version.

READ: Panasonic HX-A100 review

The Panasonic HX-A500 will be available for £379.99 from May 2014, so you'll be able to 4K content anywhere.