Panasonic HC-VX981K vs HC-VX870K

Video recorder may not popular as high end smartphones or action camera anymore but their capabilities to offer various convenience features for your video recording activities is undoubtable. Panasonic HC-VX981K Vs HC-VX870K are two amazing and reliable cameras from the companies that you may want to take a look if beautiful footage is what you are looking for. They are not cheap but the quality are among the best and before shopping, check our article below to see which model will be the best choice.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:
– Why Choosing a Video Recorder
– What to Look on a Video Recorder
– What are Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K
– What Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K Look like
– How are the Camera in Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K
– How Many Zooms in Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K
– Does Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K have Image Stabilization
– What else Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K can offer
– Panasonic HC-VX981K Vs HC-VX870K

Video Recorder
Camera is one of the most versatile tools that almost everyone carry today, moreover, with the era of social media, sharing content is getting easier with a simple touch on your screen phone. The integrated camera on our advanced devices is usually enough for casual, everyday activities whether you want to update location or post those delicious latte at a nearby café. Everything becomes simpler and accessible for almost anyone as long as they have the suitable device and of course, internet connection.

While our smartphone’s camera are getting better by each release, it doesn’t mean that they are the most capable we can have today because compared to dedicated camera, many are still lacking especially on the recording feature. In the past, video recorder is everywhere for they are fairly new but today it seems that almost all of us prefer to use action camera. However, comparing the two, video recorder actually wins in some aspects first being capable of offering larger zoom range like the Panasonic HC-V380K Vs Sony HDR-CX405.

Many people also prefer this traditional video recording device because its handling feature since unlike other type of camera, video recorder or camcorder usually have hand strap and slim tubular body which makes is easier to carry and handle comfortably without needing any mounting system. Additionally, many of them have better features for more advanced users like manual settings so those with more experience can adjust the device to record better or following the condition in which they are currently recording.

Choosing Video Recorder
Despite all the benefits of choosing a video recorder over other types of cameras like smartphone camera or action cams, not all of them will have the same capabilities so it is best to get the one that will fit your kind of activity the most. In the last several years, camcorder is upgraded to follow the market by offering 4K footage but they can be quite expensive and to check whether the result will be good or not, sensor size, pixel, and if available processor will matter as well.

In addition to features like those aforementioned above, you may want to see additional capabilities or features like touch-sensitive display for it can be much more convenient and easier to operate compared to when using dedicated buttons. Another feature you have to check in a camcorder is the Image Stabilization because it is very useful when users are not mounting the device on a tripod so we can still take fairly stable footage even while moving around like walking.

About Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K
After you list down what important features or specification to have on a video recorder, now is a good time to see what the market has to offer because the fact is there are so many of them out there and it may take quite some time to finally find the perfect option. However, if you have less time to shop, in our opinion it is wise to see what the other similar users are using because those satisfying more people will have a high chance to fits yours as well.

Additionally, brand or companies matter for huge brands commonly also designed reliable devices as well which mean we get a guarantee on quality and one of the best manufacturers for camera including video camera is Panasonic. We are sure most people are familiar with this electronic company because they are offering almost everything and sold everywhere but, with a video recorder they are also one of the best by often delivering nice footage and in competitive price range both those in entry level or higher end.

If you are specifically looking for a camcorder or video camera that are already capable of taking Ultra High Definition 4K footage then Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K will be a very ideal choice to go since these two close brothers are coming with almost the exact same features and we do like the video results in both cameras yet, it doesn’t mean these models will have an identical set of features for the former might be slightly more capable yet it is also surprisingly more affordable.

As a mid end video recorder, we do hope to see much from Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K but first, for those who wonder whether the non “K” version will be different to these two. The answer will be yes since Panasonic is offering the same model in two version which seems to be available in different regions. The K version like these two are commonly recording the top resolution at 30/60fps while the non “K” version usually topping at 25/50fps yet, this much difference are often indistinguishable in real life experience.

Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K Video
As with any other video camera or recorder out there, both of these two models are very similar with the same form or tubular main body and a slim main display on the left that you can rotate to several positions which is great for recording at different angle or the user. In a glance they may look different but when you put them side by side, the whole form factors are actually very identical by being measured at 2.5-inch wide, 2.8-inch tall, and 5.4-inch deep with the same hard plastic casing.

The display size is also the same at 3-inch and they are already touch sensitive so users can operate the camera conveniently. They have manual dial ring and microphone as well as a USB port for transferring data but also have USB charging port as well. They have the same 3.6V battery and if you are recording at the top resolution, these recorders are claimed to last approximately up to 60 minutes.

Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K Camera
When looking for any camera, what we need to know is whether the video or image quality will be good or not since there is no use of getting something we are not going to like latter due to their poor quality. In this part, Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K will be identical because both of them are made with 1/2.3-inch BSI MOS Sensor and with the same pixel as well at 18.91 of total pixel. However, the section used for video is only 8.29MP at 16:9, the same with still image at this setting.

For the recording format, we can get AVCHD or MP4 as you need and similarly, they are capable of recording 4K at 30fps as opposed to those non “K” model which is topping at 25fps. The lower resolution like 1080p however, is already optimizing at 60fps which should be smoother in comparison.

Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K Zoom
Moving further, what we often look on video recorder is a wide range of zoom since not all of our portable camera can do this especially action cams. Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K are identically offering up to 20x Optical Zooms which should be enough to get you closer into whatever presented in front of the lens but in 4K mode, we can use the Intelligent Zoom add up to 25x and in Full HD mode, we can even elevate the zoom up to 40x and digitally zoom the footage up to 60x.

Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K Image Stabilization
For those who plan to record while moving around or walking while handling the video recorder, another feature we should have is Image Stabilization and like many other Panasonic camcorders out there, especially in the higher end range, HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K are also packed with Hybrid O.I.S.+ with Active Mode, O.I.S. Lock, and Level Shot Function. This technology is using 5-axis and introduced around 2013 and has been working very well to compensate movement while the camera is moving resulting to a more stabilized footage.

Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K Feature
On the additional feature, we also want to mention that these two video recorders are also offering what people often called as Twin video because it appears to have two video angle at the same time. For example the camera is mounted on a tripod and recording from the front angle of your friends who are playing a guitar and then we can make a small window in the corner of either of these camcorder to show the footage from your smartphone connected through Wi-Fi.

Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K Video Quality
On the performance level, Panasonic HC-VX981K and HC-VX870K are as expected the same because they are similarly delivering the identical level of good footage and mesmerizing still images which is taken up to 4K as well. The colors pop so well but if you are using them on iA mode, in our opinion, the video will look more saturated and if you take a look on shadowy area, the dark places are not delivered so well while the bright parts are blown out.

Surprisingly, these video cameras are too identical to be called a different models but we understand the reason why Panasonic put so little improvement over the VX981K because the VX870K is actually already a good package of useful features. The only difference between them except for the slight improvement in weight is because the former is now capable of connecting two smartphones through Wi-Fi and we can even connect 3rd phone that we can cycle with one of them which is actually not very common being used.

Panasonic HC-VX981K vs HC-VX870K

- Get in Close and Detail: 18.91 Megapixel MOS sensor plus 20x Zoom LEICA Decomar Lens (4.08-81.6mm), plus 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)
- 1/2.3-Inch BSI Sensor: The Back Side Illumination Sensor has a large effective area with 8.29M effective pixels, suppressing noise even when shooting in dimly lit conditions
- 4K Recording and In-Camera Editing: Ultra-sharp 4K Ultra HD recording, plus in-camera editing for 1080p displays; Total Pixels 18.91 megapixels, still image 7.00 megapixels , 8.29 megapixels , 6.22 megapixels
- Future-proofed 4K Ultra HD video recording with exclusive 4K photo pause-and-capture of any frame
- Connect second smartphone video camera wirelessly for a picture-in-picture video effect
- Exclusive high-dynamic range feature reduces bright and dark spots for a professional look

We are not sure if you can already pick one of these models to bring home but the fact that HC-981K is more affordable today compared to the older and more expensive VX870K, making us favor this camcorder better despite the very little new upgrades.

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