Adventurous types who want to make the leap to 4K with their action camera will find plenty to like in the Panasonic HX-A500, including great image quality and solid battery life -- if they can get used to the two-part form factor.
The HX-A500 has an advantage over competing action cams like the Hero3+ or Camileo X-Sports in that it offers 4K video while its rivals are still stuck with 1080p. And it makes the most of that advantage, with TrustedReviews calling the 4K shooting ability "much more than a gimmick" that "produces great levels of detail as well as rich, accurate colour." Pocket-Lint agrees, noting the "realistic" colors as well as the "loads of detail on display." Sound-wise the HX-A500 isn't too shabby either, offering "good quality audio" despite that not being a strong point in most action cams.
On the go, Pocket-Lint finds the A500 "comfortable to wear," and Expert Reviews says it's "not heavy." But Pocket-Lint says that finding a place to mount both pieces on a bike or dashboard can be "difficult," and you have to "make sure the cable isn't poking out as to be caught." However, the connecting cable isn't so long as to catch on every tree and fence you pass by, and Expert Reviews thought it could stand to be "a little longer, as it could potentially impede your movement during certain activities."
The Panasonic HX-A500 is a solid action cam in its own right, with the 4K ability just the icing on the cake. But athletes and explorers who are rough on their equipment might want to wait to see what more ruggedized brands like GoPro have coming down the pipeline.