Panasonic Camcorders Help Float Ship Shape’s Boat

STUART, FLA.—Now in its twentieth season, Ship Shape TV is the nation’s leading show about pleasure boating. It’s carried more than 25 times each week on regional networks including Sun Sports, FSN-Florida, FSN-South, MASN, CSNNew England, CSN-Chicago, Root Sports Northwest and Root Sports Southwest and other outlets. Episodes are also available worldwide via subscription and may be viewed on any smart device or computer.


Ship Shape TV’s Panasonic cameras stay busy. Here a PX800 is used to document a repair job. The show is my baby, capitalizing on my twin passions for boats and broadcasting. I serve as Ship Shape’s producer, director and on-air host. During the past year, after having made the decision to upgrade to high-definition production, I spent a lot of time evaluating HD camera/lens packages. My objective is to sell pleasure boating to the world, so I need beautiful pictures. I decided that Panasonic P2 HD camcorders made the boats—and me—look our best.

Our current season is being produced with two AJ-PX800 P2 HD shoulder-mounts and two AJ-PX270 handhelds. The 2/3- inch imager PX800 and 1/3-inch PX270 share much of their basic technology, including AVC-ULTRA capability, recording formats, codecs and file structure. They really only differ in lens/imager format and pricing. The PX270 is designed for lightweight handheld use and the PX800 is positioned as a more traditional, but cost-effective 2/3-inch camera.

We produce approximately 26 half-hour shows per year, and my ad agency, G Force Advertising, creates commercials for the marine industry, with many of them running in Ship Shape episodes. All of this work is produced with the Panasonic camcorders.

A typical Ship Shape TV episode might focus on a specific marine accessory—how it’s made, how it’s installed and how it’s used on the water. We don’t really have a studio, as we shoot a lot of the program in our own repair shop, conduct interviews and tours in manufacturers’ facilities and, of course, we spend a lot of time out on the water.

When you consider that salt water represents some of the harshest possible environmental conditions, I feel confident with Panasonic’s venerable P2 solid-state format, as it holds up well in bad weather, salt and high seas.

We usually work a two or three camera shoot, with one or two PX800s as our primary cameras, and the PX270 either locked on a jib or used handheld to allow us to get into the tight areas of the boats. Our second PX270 is assigned to a Seattlebased correspondent for reports from the West Coast and we’ve found that all of the shots match up perfectly.

We shoot the show in AVC-Intra 100, 1080/60p, making generous use of slow motion and time warps, with many of the commercials being shot in 24p. We edit the show in Adobe Premiere and also use two Avid Media Composer Adrenaline edit stations. All our deliverables to the various networks are file-based.

These Panasonic cameras are more than fulfilling my expectation of gorgeous image production, and all this was achieved cost-effectively.

John Greviskis is director, producer and on-air host at Ship Shape TV He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Panasonic at 877-803-8492 or (opens in new tab).