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Panasonic Rolls Out AVC-Ultra AJ-PG50 Field Recorder

NEWARK, .N.J—Panasonic has announced the availability of the new AJ-PG50 field recorder, the first to support the AVC-Ultra codec. The recorder features microP2 card compatibility, a variety of professional interfaces and diverse networking abilities. It also provides a legacy platform so that owners of older Panasonic P2 HD cameras can leverage newer AVC-Ultra codecs through outboard recording to the PG50.

With the AVC-Ultra codec family as standard, PG50 users can select the image quality and bit rate to match their application. For instance, Panasonic said, AVC-Intra 100/50 may optimal for top-level image production, while AVC-LongG achieves high-quality HD recording at a low bit rate. Three AVC-LongG bit rates are available, AVC-LongG50/25/12, with AVC-LongG25 providing 10 bit 4:2:2 quality at bit rates of approximately 25 Mbps.

The PG50’s AVC-Proxy encodes in parallel with higher bandwidth production formats, enabling offline editing at bit rates from 6 Mbps down to 800 kbps. In addition to 1080/59.94i, the PG50 supports 59.94p and 720p multi HD format and SD recording and is 59.94 Hz/50 Hz switchable for use in international productions. The recorder also offers legacy recording in DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV.

The recorder is equipped with two microP2 card slots, one standard P2 card slot and one SD card slot.

The PG50 incorporates a variety of interfaces, including HDMI input/output and 3G SDI input/output, facilitating connection to a wide range of video and audio devices for recording and playback. It also has a high-speed USB 3.0 interface for transferring backup data to an external storage device and previewing externally stored files.

The recorder’s standard LAN (Ethernet) port allows network connection via a wired LAN. When installed with the optional AJ-WM30 Wireless Module, the PG50 gains wireless LAN connectivity, enabling access to a variety of functions (proxy preview, camera remote, file transfer, playlist editing) from a network-connected PC/Mac, tablet device or smartphone.

The PG50 can send data directly to a network server via FTP allowing broadcast stations to edit recorded data immediately. The PG50 is also capable of proxy image streaming via a wired LAN, wireless LAN, or 4G/LTE network. Two streaming modes (SHQ, and full HD AVC-G6) are available.

Audio capabilities include two XLR audio inputs, and recording up to four channels of 48kHz, 24-bit audio in AVC-Intra and AVC-LongG. The PG50 comes with a high-resolution QHD LCD 3.5-inch monitor. Thumbnail images can be displayed, allowing instant playback, deletion or copying of selected clips. Full-screen display of images enables use of the PG50 as a recording or preview monitor. Additionally, waveform and vectorscope can be displayed on the LCD monitor, as well as a 4:3 marker.

Often-used functions can be allocated to six user buttons, and a user file containing the settings can be saved to an SD card. Playback functions include auto playback, playback position selection, repeat playback and down-conversion from HD to SD. Versatile recording functions encompass simultaneous recording on two microP2 cards, dual codec recording, hot-swap recording for uninterrupted recording between two microP2 cards, and more.

The PG50’s main unit weighs just 2.4 pounds, and is small enough to use with one hand. A powerful 5800-mAh battery pack, providing approximately 170 minutes of continuous playback time, mounts to the main unit's back. The PG50 can also plug into an ordinary AC outlet using a provided adaptor.

The AJ-PG50 is available now at a suggested list price of $5,400.