The Panasonic (C3712, C3327) press conference was wall-to-wall people as the staff presented (for this year) a long list of new products. In fact, while it’s still early in the show, Panasonic revealed more new products than has any other company with weekend press conferences.
Large among the announcements were the new P2 “E” cards. This series, subtitled “E”, means economy. A 64GB card will cost less than $1000, the 32GB card $665 and the 16GB card will cost only $420.
John Baisley, president announced that more than 110,000 units of P2 have been sold worldwide with almost half, 50,000 in the US. He said that 320 stations are currently using P2 technology.
As mentioned in an earlier post (February), Panasonic is highlighting what they call the world’s first affordable 10-bit, 4:2:2 professional HD camcorder, the AG-HPX-300. Suggested list price is $10,700.
The camera features independent frame AVC-Intra recording, and variable frame rates. With a low profile shoulder mounted design, the AG-HPX300 P2 HD camcorder offers the flexibility of interchangeable lens but comes standard with a Fujinon 17x HD lens.
The HPX300 incorporates advanced 1/3” 2.2-megapixel 3-MOS imagers to acquire full native resolution HD images. A new 20-bit DSP enhances the HPX300’s image performance.
The HPX300 is in a field of its own, because it establishes a new benchmark for camera performance within this price range”, said Robert Harris, vice president, Panasonic Broadcast. “It captures native 1920 x 1080 HD resolution and allows professionals to record at a quality level that no other camcorder in this price range can equal. Without the compromises of 8-bit, long GOP, 4:2:0 recording, the HPX300 provides master-quality, 10-bit, 4:2:2 independent frame capture using the AVC-Intra codec.”
The camera is bulging with other features. It operates with AVC-Intra 100 and AVC-Intra 50. It also records independent frame images in 100Mbps DVCPRO HD and in standard definition in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV.
The AVC-Intra 100 and 50 codecs allow recording in a choice of HD video formats: 1080/59.94i, 1080/29.97p and 1080/23.98p (native 24p/30p), and 720p with variable frames in 23.98pN, 29.97pN and 59.94p.
In DVCPRO HD, the camcorder records 1080/59.94i, 1080/29.97p, 1080/23.98p, 1080/23.98pA, 720/59.94p, 720/29.97P, 720/29.97pN and 720/23.98pN. In DVCPRO50/25 and DV, it records 480/59.94i, 480/29.97p, 480/23.98p and 480/23.98pA. The 1080p and 480p signals are recorded with 2:3 pull down (23.98p) or 2:3:3:2 advanced mode (23.98pA). The camera also supports 1080/23.98PsF output (via HD-SDI) for use in indie movie production. The output of the camera can be set for down-conversion or cross-conversion with letterbox, 4:3 crop or squeeze.
Enough already, you must see this camera.