Panasonic Broadcast announced that its AG-HPX170 solid-state P2 HD handheld camcorder will be available in late September at a suggested list price of $5,695, which includes a 16GB P2 card in the box along with The HVX and HPX Book by Barry Green. The HPX170 features high-definition and standard-definition recording, 3.9mm-51mm zoom lens and an HD-SDI interface for connection to baseband production and distribution infrastructure.
The two-slot HPX170 HD/SD camcorder offers the solid-state advantages of P2 technology (no moving parts, instant random access to recorded HD or SD content, a faster IT compatible file-based workflow and the ability to operate in harsh environments).
Providing independent-frame compression in 20 HD and SD formats, the HPX170 records in a variety of 1080i/1080p and 720p formats in DVCPRO HD, 480i in DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO, and 480i in DV. It is switchable between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios.
The HPX170's 1/3-inch progressive 16:9 3-CCD imager offers an excellent signal-to-noise ratio, lower noise and smear and better low-light performance than its predecessor. Its digital signal processor offers 14-bit A/D conversion and 19-bit processing. The HPX170 scans the initial image at a native 1080p/60, thereby maintaining high quality across conversions.
For shooting versatility, the compact P2 HD handheld comes with a wide 3.9mm-51mm (equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm lens) 13x Leica Dicomar zoom lens. Precise zoom and focus operation is assured with features like a cam-driven manual zoom ring, 10x digital zoom, manual focus ring and aperture control, as well as valuable HD focus assist functions including histogram, 2x center blow-up and a Focus Bar. It also has built-in waveform and vectorscope display features. The camera's Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS), as a 60p/60i feature, automatically suppresses blown highlights and dark shadows. In addition, an Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) function automatically corrects blurring so images remain crisp and sharp.
The HPX170 offers an expanded 20-step frame rate selection in 720p mode for variable-speed shooting in the 12fps to 60fps range to acquire fast- or slow-motion in-camera effects. Professionals can select from six advanced gamma modes including CineGamma, which produces the warm tones characteristic of film recordings.
The HPX170 has two P2 card slots, so users can record up to 64 continuous minutes of the highest quality DVCPRO HD recording using currently available 32GB P2 cards. Record times will double with the release of Panasonic's 64GB P2 card in the fall.
Other user-friendly recording modes offered are hot swapping for nonstop recording, loop record, pre-record, interval and one-shot recording. New functions have been added to the user buttons, including last-clip delete and pre-record, and the variable frame rates can be toggled through. A time/date stamp function makes the camcorder ideal for use in law enforcement and legal environments. An enhanced metadata input features a software keyboard to add key data about the shooting environment.
The HPX170 records four channels of uncompressed, 16-bit digital audio.
It is equipped with an HD/SD-SDI output standard for live feed productions as well as for editing and monitoring. It also has a 6-pin locking IEEE 1394 interface and an USB 2.0 interface for fast P2 content transfer into NLE systems. It offers a composite output and component output (mini D-terminal). The camera also features a built-in stereo microphone and two-channel XLR audio input terminals supporting 48V phantom power supply and is switchable between mic and line. Manual audio level volume is offered on two of the channels.
Other operational features include SMPTE timecode generator/reader, clip preview on the camera's 3.5-inch color LCD monitor, instant recording startup, shot marker, text memo, six preset scene files, the ability to load new settings into the camera via an SD card slot, three assignable user buttons, and remote control of zoom, rec, focus and iris.
The AG-HPX170 is backed by Panasonic's five-year limited P2 HD warranty.
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