The Panasonic AG-AC160A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder is an upgraded version of the AG-AC160. The upgrade consists of the addition of 1080/60p and 50p recording (max. 28Mbps in PS mode), expanded focus assist functionality, and a "turbo speed" one-push auto focus function.
60p/50p capture capacity gives you excellent control over slow-motion. Shooting in 60p, you can play back 24p for a 2.5x slow-motion effect. With expanded focus assist you can zoom in on an image to check focus. And one-push auto focus affords the option of very quickly attaining focus in circumstances requiring on-the-go focusing.
As for other features, the AG-AC160A is a high-definition workhorse of a professional handheld camcorder that integrates seamlessly with a wide range of current broadcast video systems in place around the world. With an integrated 22x zoom lens and a 1/3-type 3MOS three-element imager, the camera captures AVCHD video to two SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots as 1080p60, 1080p30, 1080i60, filmic 1080p24, and 720p60.
But that's not it for frame rates: for creative slow-/fast-motion effects, overcranking and undercranking are possible at a variety of rates between 2 and 60 frames per second. For worldwide compatibility, the AC160A also captures a variety of 50 Hz video signals for easy integration with PAL projects and video systems.
The AC160A features Panasonic's professional-level PS implementation of AVCHD. It's a top-quality choice at a max rate of 28 Mb/s; several other data rates will conserve card space as you capture hours of HD video. For projects that require standard-def capture, the AC160A has you covered with DV recording, which can then be output via its 6-pin IEEE 1394 (FireWire) port. For high-def output, the HD-SDI terminal puts out HD signals including 1920 x 1080 at 24PsF.
The AC160A offers a bevy of other professional-level features, including dual XLRs with phantom power, SMPTE time-code generation, gamma settings for seven different scenarios, and manual control rings for iris, zoom, and focus. To monitor the status of all settings, and to perform critical focusing functions, the AVCCAM camcorder features both a high-quality 3.45" LCD screen and a full-color LCoS 0.45" viewfinder with 1,226,000 dots (852 x 480 x 3 [RGB]) of resolution.
(Current owners of the AC160 can simply have the upgrades added to their cameras. The 60p/50p capacity upgrade is free and you can perform it yourself, but the other two additions would include a hardware modification and are offered for a total of $300 at a Panasonic Authorized Service Center.)