CES 2018: Everything Announced By Panasonic's Press Conference

Following on from last year’s shift to OLED, 2018 is shaping up to be a big year for Panasonic. It all starts at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. Usually a playground for sin and vice, the week-long consumer technology mecca sees Vegas become a playground for gadgets, gizmos and everything in between.

Here’s what Panasonic brought to this year’s CES:

Panasonic FZ950 and FZ800 OLED TVs

What is it?

The company’s 2018 OLED flagships. Though the new range does command many of the same dot-points (brighter colors, more-striking blacks) as their predecessors, the new range will come with a few key improvements.

What’s exciting about it?

The new range will support HDR Plus: a new open standard for high-dynamic range content, and feature a Hollywood-tuned HCX video processor. The FZ950 also touts a Technics-tuned speaker stand with 20W tweeter, a 20W midrange driver and a 40W woofer.

When will it be available?

2018.

How much will it cost?

No Australian pricing has been announced.

Has Australian availability been confirmed yet?

No.

GH5S

What is it?

Simply put, it's a refined version of the company’s videography-focused GH5 camera.

What’s exciting about it?

Panasonic say that the GH5S will offer the best low-light sensitivity in the history of Lumix cameras, courtesy of Dual-ISO tech that better suppresses noise in images. It’s got a  10.2-megapixel Four Thirds sensor and supports shooting video in up to 4K quality at either 30FPS or 60FPS.

According to Scott Mellish, Product Marketing Manager for Imaging at Panasonic, “Dual Native ISO was originally developed for Panasonic’s Varicam broadcast cameras. This capability has received critical acclaim from professional cinematographers who need to work creatively in challenging lighting conditions without compromise.”

“We are very excited to see this technology become accessible to LUMIX G Series customers, who will enjoy the vibrancy and greater artistic latitude provided when shooting with the GH5S in low light situations.”

When will it be available?

The DC-GH5S will be available in Australia in February 2018 from photographic specialists and
consumer electronics retailers.

How much will it cost?

The body only version of the DC-GH5SGN-K will arrive at an Australian RRP of  $3499.

Has Australian availability been confirmed yet?

Yes.

UP-UB420 and DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-Ray Players

What is it?

The company’s 2018 roster of Ultra HD Blu-Ray players. Versus last year’s offering, these products come with the promise of better integration with more streaming services and support for the latest advances in HDR10+.

What’s exciting about it?

Panasonic say that the UP-UB420 and DP-UB820 will offer an optimized HDR experience. To this end, the UB820 actually supports Dolby Vision.

Another interesting tidbit that wasn’t really delved into by Panasonic during their press conference was that they’re scoping out the possibility of bringing support for both Google Home and Amazon Alexa voice control to both Blu-ray players later down the line.

When will it be available?

No specifics were given but its expected to roll out later this year. Possibly spring.

How much will it cost?

No pricing has been announced.

Has Australian availability been confirmed yet?

Not yet.

WXF1, VX1 Camcorders

What is it?

Panasonic’s 2018 camcorder range is pitched as a diverse slate of videographic options to suit everyday users. According to Scott Mellish, Product Marketing Manager for Imaging at  Panasonic Australia, “there’s a model to suit your shooting style, from those who simply want to capture fantastic moments with family and friends; to advanced users stepping up to manual controls. Now everyone can easily capture vibrant videos in impressive quality.”

What’s exciting about it?

Panasonic say the camcorder’s back-illuminated MOS sensor offers better low-light performance, up to 24x optical zoom and a crisp F1.8 aperture. In addition, and with the exception of the HC-V800, the entire range supports recording video in 4K at up to 30FPS.

These specs come buffered by a newly-designed ultra-smooth optical image stabilisation system incorporating ‘Ball O.I.S’ and ‘Adaptive O.I.S’.

When will it be available?

The HC-WXF1M, HC-VXF1, HCVX1 and HC-V800 will arrive in April 2018.

How much will it cost?

The WXF1M is priced at $1399, the HCVXF1 is priced at $1299, the HC-VX1 is priced at $999 and the HC-V800 is priced at $799.

Has Australian availability been confirmed yet?

Yep. At this stage, it looks like all four camcorders will make their way down under.

Tidbits

The majority of the Panasonic press conference wasn’t actually too concerned with consumer-ready products. In contrast, a lot of time was spent touching on the work Panasonic are doing when it comes to intelligent roads and highways. The company also teased some sort of deep-learning smart home initiative, called HomeX.

Following the announcement that the company would be working with Amazon to bring Alexa voice control to cars, the company also brought up their existing partnership with Google and provided a peek at new integrations that will see Panasonic-made car displays gain access to Android apps like Google Maps and tools like the Google Assistant.

For the full run-down on everything that happened at this year's CES in Las Vegas, click here.

Disclosure - Our coverage of CES 2018 was sponsored by Intel, Belkin and Alcatel - who collectively covered the cost of our flights and accommodation.


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