Panasonic Announces Price for 24P Camcorder; Upgrades VariCam HD

Panasonic recently announced that it will make its AG-DVX100 mini-DV 3-CCD camcorder available to professional users on Oct. 10 for a suggested retail price of $3,795. The company also has enhanced its AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema camera with additional frame rates and new CineGamma capabilities.

Introduced at NAB2002, AG-DVX100 can capture in 60i for standard video projects and in 24p to add the look and feel of film to a production. It uses exclusive CineSwitch technology that supports 480i/60 (NTSC), cinema-style 480p/24fps and 480p/30fps capture. The camcorder is equipped with newly-developed 1/3-inch progressive-scan 410,000-pixel 3-CCD imagers to deliver more than 500 lines of horizontal resolution, low smear and flare, a low light performance of 3 lux (at +18 dB) and a sensitivity of f 11 at 2000 lux. The native progressive CCDs eliminate interlace artifacts, including horizontal jaggies and motion-edge tearing.

According to Panasonic, the CineGamma enhancement provides a significant increase in functionality of the VariCam while providing advanced creative opportunities for users working in hi-def. CineGamma extends the camera's usable dynamic range to 600:1, especially in areas such as highlight handling. Users will have a closer approximation of film's ability to maintain smooth image tonality even when gently compressing extreme highlights. Cinematographers will also be able to control the gamma transfer function to optimize control over tonality, from highlights to shadow areas. Precision adjustments can be made to the dynamic level for high light zones; to the black level, black stretch and press in dark zones; and in master gamma for adjusting total balance. Two selectable gamma modes work on film for theater presentation and images for CRTs. Frame rates can also be changed during recording. Constant exposure can be maintained with the camera's time-base shutter mode.