Panasonic Helps Capture Cold Case

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS—As operations manager for KRGV-TV, the ABC affiliate serving the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, I’m no longer out in the field with a camera. Earlier this year, however, our news director asked me to travel to Arizona to follow-up with a “cold case” we covered in 2003.

In 1960, Irene Garza, a local McAllen, Texas elementary school teacher, was killed. In February of this year, 83-year-old former priest John Feit, long a person of interest, was taken into custody near his home in Arizona.

Panasonic’s AG-DV200PJ is highly portable for ENG operations.ON THE SCENE
KRGV was the only station on the scene to break the story when Feit was taken to jail. Because I was working with Panasonic’s AG-DV200PJ large-sensor, 4K/HD camcorder—high-quality, portable and unobtrusive— we were able to get exclusive footage of Feit being led into the Maricopa Sheriff’s department and had the story cut, loaded into our live transmission system and on our 6 p.m. newscast within minutes.

When our news director Jenny Martinez asked me to be the photographer on this story, I took a look at our camera inventory, which includes several P2 HD handhelds and eight AJ-HPX2700 Varicams, all equipment that dependably supports our ENG operations.

But I wanted to take a newer, lighter camera with me, so we chose the DVX200. The station purchased the camcorder in January and after some test runs, I packed it up with the essential accessories for the pending assignment, and had it ready and waiting. The camcorder was exactly what I needed for a crucial run-and-gun assignment with its compact size and performance. The DVX200 is small enough that I was able to hold it down by my legs; when I saw Feit inside the police vehicle I pulled up the camera, walked towards him and got within 20-feet as he sat inside the car.

Within seconds, I deployed two of the camcorder’s signature features, an enhanced optical image stabilizer that produced smooth video even though I was moving rapidly; and an intelligent auto focus system for improved focus speed, tracking and capture performance.

The next day we again reported from outside Feit’s apartment, as well as from the Maricopa County jail, and we were able to set up to go live within minutes, continuing to break news in what by this time was a national story.

The DVX200 can capture 4K/UHD, HD and SD, including cinematic DCI 4K 4096x2160. The camcorder is optimized for 4K/HD production, with bokeh effects and a V-Log L curve (measured at 12 stops) emulating the natural grey-scale rendition of the Varicam 35. The camcorder incorporates a 4/3-inch large-format MOS sensor with high sensitivity of f11, and offers variable frame rate recording from 2fps to 120fps in 1080p mode.

The DVX200 is a great piece of equipment for news photographers and it will be the camera I take to cover the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in July.

Israel Alfaro is the operations manager for KRGV-TV. He can be reached

For additional information, please call 877-803-8492.