Panasonic AW-UE100 Review by Troy Witt, Take One Productions

Key Code Media Troy Witt from Take One Production is our guest blogger today- providing an in-depth review of the Panasonic AW-UE100 PTZ camera. Here’s what he had to say about the camera after using it for a month of productions. Live production companies use a lot of PTZ cameras in normal times. During the pandemic, however, PTZ cameras have become essential tools for running productions without a manned onsite camera crew. High-quality broadcast PTZ cameras are a completely different animal from low-cost no-name cousins. What I like about the AW-UE100 is that it fits perfectly within the ecosystem of my other Panasonic PTZ cameras. If you already have an install base of HE130 or HE40s- you can replace one or more of those cameras with the UE100, without any issues and still have matched images, control, and everything you are used to doing. If you are looking to 4K or full-NDI- this is the way to go.

Here are Some Reasons We Really Like the AW-UE100

Includes a wide-angle lens with a 74.1° field of view and 24x optical zoom- This is not some 12x camera that has to be up close. Plus, if you embrace the 1080p image crop- you’ll essentially make the UE100 a super long lens camera without losing quality.
  • Support Full NDI – Production companies who use NDI | HX are well-aware of its shortcomings. 90% of those issues are resolved with full NDI. The UE100 comes with full NDI built–in.
  • PoE+ – Unlike this camera’s ‘big brother’ which runs on PoE++, the UE100 runs on the power-efficient PoE which you likely already have deployed. If you’re running NDI, one cable is all that you need for power, control, and signal. That’s a game-changer!
  • 4K-Ready – If you’re needing the benefit of 4k- this is a great option.

Some Other Suggestions

  • Get A Road Case – The camera is silky smooth. So smooth- that if you’re traveling or renting out this unit- you’ll want to purchase the Panasonic road case for the UE100. That will lock-in the head for transit- preventing any future damage to the smoothness of the internal motors.
  • This isn’t just for live event production – The UE100 camera’s small footprint means you can place it easily, unobtrusively, in just about any situation from sports, to medical, to religious use.
  • Where does this camera not fit – If price is your number one issue, maybe skip the Panasonic line for a cheaper, non-broadcast quality PTZ brand. If you only need 720p or 1080p output, if the limitations of NDI | HX are known to you (and you can operate within them) or if you only use baseband video- the older models of Panasonic PTZ cameras will likely save you money, and work just fine.
  • If lighting is a big concern – If lighting is your main issue because you work in dim environments- any 4K camera with the same sensor, packed with more pixels and less light-per-pixel this model may not be your best bet. The UE100 is not the best option in dim-lit environments.
Overall, Troy Witt used the UE100 on a few jobs and it fits well within our PTZ cameras within the studio and onsite work.

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