Panasonic HC-WXF991 Camcorder Review: Sharp 4K Video

By Yvonne

Panasonic HC–WXF991 Camcorder Reviews: The Sharp 4K VideoPanasonic HC–WXF991 camcorder is capable of taking crisp, clear 4K video with excellent optical zoom and extensive Wi-Fi connectivity. It was a great camcorder, despite its high price.

Panasonic HC-WXF991 4K Camcorder

Panasonic HC-WXF991 Camcorder

We like this

  • 4K video footage that is crisp and clear

  • Viewfinders cleverly designed

  • Comprehensive Wi-Fi functionality

  • 20x optical zoom

The Things We Hate
  • Overall, noisy footage

  • The colors could be a little better

  • High-end

Panasonic HCWXF991 features the best consumer camcorder feature-set, with sharp 4K footage that will be of great benefit to buyers.

The Panasonic HCWXF991 Camcorder was purchased to allow our expert reviewer to thoroughly evaluate and test it. Continue reading to see our complete product review.

Consumer camcorder sales aren't as booming and competitive today. Smartphones, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have taken a large share of market share once held by camcorders. The Panasonic HC–WXF991 is the market leader for 4K camcorders. The Panasonic HC-WXF991 4K camcorder is capable of taking sharp 4K video. It also features a smartly designed viewfinder and Wi-Fi connectivity. It is a versatile choice that can be used by many people, even though it comes at a high cost.

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Features and Design: A small but useful

The Panasonic HC–WXF991's body is almost identical to the rest of Panasonic's camcorders, including the HC–VX981K and HC–VX870K. It even has a 1080p counterpart, the HC–V770. Although they all appear similar, the HC-WXF991's body is distinguished by a few notable features.

The Panasonic HCWXF991 is the market leader for 4K camcorders.

The Panasonic HCWXF991's front features a Leica Dicomar 20x optical zoom lens. This is in contrast to some other less-expensive models. Panasonic also includes a lens cover that can protect the lens from bumps.

A foldout cover covers the top of the HC–WXF991. It houses an accessory shoe mount. If you want to use an external mic, a shoe mount will be a must-have. This feature is standard on professional cameras/camcorders, however it's often lacking in consumer camcorders. The microphone is located in front of the shoe mount. Behind it are the zoom lever, still image button, and the zoom lever. The recording mode selector button is located just to the left.

Panasonic HC-WXF991 Camcorder

The microphone input is located on the left side of the camcorder towards the lens. It sits behind an opaque cover. The headphone jack and the DC power input are found towards the rear-right. The record button, battery and viewfinder are located on the back. This upgrade is only offered in the HC–WXF991.

It is a very useful addition. To make it more easy to see through, the viewfinder can be pulled out and angled towards you. The camcorder will turn on automatically when the cover is pulled out. This can be very useful for recording performance recordings, such as those where the LCD might not attract the attention of other members of the audience.

Panasonic HC-WXF991 Camcorder Review

The left-hand side houses the Multi-Manual Dial, Touchscreen LCD and 5.27 Megapixel Secondary Camera. Panasonic is a rare company that has failed to deliver in the touchscreen area. These models' touchscreens aren’t responsive and their UI navigation system makes it more difficult.

With the addition of an accessory shoe mount, users have access to a wide range of accessories and gear for their camcorders and cameras. If you want to protect your equipment, there are many Panasonic accessories available. These include the VW-LED1PP Video Light, VWVMS10PP Stereo Microphone, and the VW-CTR1PP Remote Pan Tilt Crane, which allows remote control of the camera.

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Installation Process: It's as easy as pie

It is very easy to setup the Panasonic HC-WXF991. The adapter and battery must be charged. You will also need an SD card (which you should have purchased beforehand). You shouldn't find it difficult to use the Panasonic HC-WXF991 even if the instruction manual has never been read before. If you are looking for more advanced features, like remote control of your smartphone via the Panasonic Image App.

Panasonic HC-WXF991 Camcorder

You need more assistance finding the right product? Check out our top video cameras below $100.

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Quality Video: Nearly all the good news

We give the Panasonic HCWXF991 high marks for its video quality due to its 4K resolution. At 72 MBps, the 2160p/30p recording profile captured lots of details in each scene and did an acceptable job of capturing colors. We felt that white balance needed some work as indoor scenes took the camcorder a bit longer to adapt and evaluate.

Panasonic needs to improve noise, which we found both indoors as well as outdoors. While noise in darker environments is normal, images with a wide range of luminances were too loud for us to enjoy. It is likely that viewers will only notice the problem if they are watching footage on large screens or TVs, but it won't be apparent on smartphones or laptops.

Panasonic HC–WXF991 was better than its competitors in video quality and has a more comprehensive feature set.

Panasonic HC–WXF991 features a 20x optical Zoom. It is adequate for most purposes and provides a lot of reach, although it is not the best. Most manufacturers also include some digital zoom to fudge their zoom numbers a bit, but don't be fooled—nearly all of these simply crop and zoom into the existing image, leading to a pixelated video.

Panasonic calls it the Sub Camera in its user manual. It can simultaneously capture video with the main camera in the form a picture in-picture view. The Sub Camera cannot record exclusively. Although this is an unusual feature, it can be useful to capture the reaction of someone else or your subject.

Panasonic HC-WXF991 Camcorder

Hybrid OIS supports optical image stabilization, which allows us to get steady footage at all zoom levels. You must ensure that you are still in the frame while filming. You'll still feel a little shakey if you walk around.

Wi-Fi can be used to do many functions, just like other models from the Panasonic HC–WXF991 family. Panasonic offers a variety of functions, including live streaming, copying files, and using the camcorder to serve as a security camera at home. To remotely control your camcorder, you can link it to your smartphone. Multi-Camera is the most unique feature. It allows users to link multiple phones to the camcorder to display image-in-picture windows from the live feed on both devices simultaneously.

Quality of the Photos: Acceptable stills from a camcorder

The Panasonic HCWF991 isn't a camera that excels in still photography. Although the camcorder is capable of taking 16:9 photos at 25,.9 megapixels and 14 megapixels respectively, you won't be able to tell from the images. We didn't see any more detail when we used still-photo mode. This is despite the increased resolution. The photos were also plagued by image noise, particularly indoors.

Panasonic HC-WXF991 Camcorder

We don't mean to say that the photos taken by the HCWXF991 were bad. They don't provide anything that still frames from video clips aren't providing. This mode is not recommended, except for storage space reasons.

You can also read other reviews to find the top 4K camera deals online.

Software: Aimless but imperfect

Panasonic Image is the only software that you will need for your Panasonic digital camcorders and cameras. We found the app to be mixed in our experience. However, your specific model of smartphone and camera firmware will determine how it performs. You will be able access the Wi-Fi features you have requested if everything works as expected.

With the addition of an accessory shoe mount, users have access to a wide range of accessories and gear for their camcorder and camera cameras.

Prices: High quality features, Premium Price

Although the Panasonic HCWXF991 consumer camcorder is currently priced at around $800 depending on the source, it is not unjustifiable. The Camcorder offers more features than many other products, including a superior microphone and a dedicated viewfinder. The main draw is the 4K video which instantly places the HC-WXF991 above all its 1080p counterparts.

Panasonic HC-WXF991 Camcorder

Panasonic HC-WXF991 vs. Panasonic HC-V770

The Panasonic HC–V770 is a cheaper option for buyers who aren't concerned about 4K video quality. It performs the same functions as the HC–WXF991 and costs half of what the HC–WXF991. You won't have 4K video and you don't get the sub camera, viewfinder or the accessory shoe. The HC-V770 is a 1080p camcorder that you can afford if you are able to live without them.

Final Verdict

The best 4K camcorder on the market.

Panasonic HC–WXF991 was better than its competitors in 4K video quality, and has a more comprehensive feature set. Although the price tag is high, you will not regret it.


  • Product name HC-WXF991 4K Camcorder
  • Panasonic Product Brand
  • Prices from $816.00
  • Dimensions of the product: 6.4x2.7x3 in.
  • Limited Warranty of 1 Year
  • Compatibility Windows and macOS
  • Maximum Photo Resolution 25,9 MP
  • Max Video Resolution 3840x2160 (30 fps)
  • Optional connectivity options USB and WiFi

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