Back in the days, when 4K recording was not all that popular, Panasonic decided to change things up a little. It was one of the very first companies to launch their 4K action camera in the market. Well, there are a lot of things to look for here in this camera as it is nothing like your traditional action cameras. The main operation unit of the camera is separated from the body. Why? The short answer, it allows it to have a lighter component on your head or at last that’s what i could figure out. It is not an ideal solution since the recording unit is kind of thrown further away, but it gets the job done regardless. When you take a look at the camera itself, it is of the same size as that of its predecessor i.e. the HX-A100 that came a year ago before this. However, the only noticeable difference which can be seen here is that it now has a screen which is the separate component altogether as mentioned. The previous model also completely depended on a smartphone to change any settings, so this should be a step in the right direction. This new variant has a lot of different recording modes starting from the 4K at 30 FPS to all the down to a couple of others.
First of all, when you wear one of these, you can’t help but feel like a cyborg sent from the future to hunt someone. Be it the way you wear or maybe the color by itself, it just gets you every time. As mentioned earlier, the camera is separated into two parts which are connected through a 70cm cable. You don’t have to leave it hanging there obviously, and hence they have included an armband in which you can rest it. When you wear it, it captures the world as you move, in your point of view. There are other optional mounts as well that increase the versatility of the HX-A500 like the handlebar mount or the multi-mount. The camera is light in weight but the operating unit, on the other hand, is comparatively heavy. The included cable could have been even longer as it may come in the way while performing some activities. The camera lets you shoot 4K at 25 FPS and if you can also get it down to 1080p and record at 50 FPS. If not, you can get it down to 720p and get a 100 FPS footage out of it. Or if you want some great slow-motion videos and don’t mind the low resolution, then maybe go with the 480p and get 200 FPS footage. There are two FOV here with this one i.e. the normal one and the wide angle view. The Wide setting provides 160o of coverage but results in some barrel distortion.
Overall, the image quality of the camera is sharp and will give you a nice and smooth footage. Shots have a great exposure in both shadows and highlights, and the camera captures a lot of details. The camera uses electronic stabilization to reduce the shakes and jitters in the footage. Now talking about the battery life, it will last you easily for about 2 hours with 4K recording and even more with the standard FHD recording. The HX-A500 has a built-in Wi-Fi adaptor that lets you connect a smartphone or tablet to the HX-A500 and use the free Android or iOS Panasonic Imaging app to control the HX-A500 remotely or play pre-recorded footage. Alternatively, you can also connect the camera to an access point, and broadcast live through the internet service Ustream. And now if you ask for a verdict, in short, the user experience is very good and the footage is also very smooth and good looking. However, if you compare this guy to other action cameras in the market, then you might change your opinion since this once doesn’t offer many options when it comes to mounts, etc. So this is more like a wearable camera other than being an action cam. However, the choice is completely yours.