Panasonic to Ship First P2 HD Handheld With AVC-Ultra

NEWARK, N.J.—Panasonic announced delivery and pricing of the new AJ-PX270, the company’s first P2 HD handheld camcorder with AVC-Ultra recording. Combining low bitrate recording with 3G/4G/LTE wireless mobility, Panasonic said the 5-pound PX270 provides the key functionality of the AJ-PX5000 with AVC-Ultra. It also features newly developed high-sensitivity, low-noise 1/3-inch 3-MOS imagers. The PX270, which will be shown at the 2014 NAB Show next month, will be available in March at a suggested list price of $6,495.

With its AVC-Ultra codec, the PX270 features a wide range of recording modes. The camera records in 100 Mbps AVC-Intra100, as well as 200 Mbps AVC-Intra200 (optional: available in the near future). For applications where file size is critical, e.g., for wireless feeds, the camcorder incorporates a choice of AVC-LongG quality levels, including AVC-LongG50, AVC-LongG25 and AVC-LongG12. These 10-bit, 4:2:2 sampled codecs record in much smaller file sizes, saving storage cost and transfer time while maintaining equal or better video quality to existing legacy codecs.

Addressing the need for high-speed file exchange, the PX270’s high-resolution AVC-Proxy encodes in parallel with higher bandwidth production formats, enabling fast, efficient offline editing, at bit rates from 6 Mbps down to 800 kbps. The camcorder also offers legacy recording in DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV.

A newly designed, compact, 22X zoom lens offers a wide 28 mm to tele 616 mm (35mm equivalent) zoom range. The PX270’s three manual operation lens rings—zoom, focus and iris—provide a comfortable manual control similar to interchangeable lenses, but without the need for actual lens changes. The zoom control on the handle enables variable speed zoom, allowing fine zoom control even for low angle shots.

Networking functions are included as standard, and options are available to allow for proxy video to be automatically uploaded to the cloud and for compatibility with a planned cloud workflow (scheduled for near future). The PX270 features a Wireless LAN function via an optional Wireless LAN dongle and supports existing Panasonic live uplink solutions. Dongle support for wireless workflow over a mobile 3G/4G/LTE network is also scheduled for the near future. Accessing these wireless features, PX270 operators can uplink low bit-rate proxy data and full-quality broadcast content. The handheld camera’s network function makes the production workflow more efficient and accelerates the broadcasting workflow from shooting to on-air.

The camera has two microP2 card slots. In addition to 1080/60i, the PX270 supports 1080/24p, 30p, 60p (AVC-Intra100, LongG25, LongG12 only), 720p multi HD format and SD recording. Also, 50i, 50p, and 25p are supported by 59.94 Hz/50 Hz switching. Variable frame rates in 1080-59.94p in 25 steps from 1fps to 60fps, including 24fps, 25fps and 30 fps, are standard.

Professional interfaces include HDMI out, HD/SD-SDI out, 3G-SDI out to support 1080 60p video output, genlock in/video out for multi-camera operation, timecode in/out, USB 3.0 (host), and USB 2.0 (device). The PX270’s three 2.2M pixel MOS sensors deliver a horizontal resolution of 1,000 TV lines; the camcorder achieves high F11 (59.94 Hz)/F12 (50 Hz) sensitivity and produces excellent images. Minimum illumination is impressive at 0.02lx. Gain control is measured as -3dB to 18dB, 1 step=3dB (-3dB is only on High-Sensitivity mode). Super Gain (24, 30, 36 dB) can be assigned to a user button.

The PX270 is equipped with Panasonic’s Chromatic Aberration Compensation technology to maximize lens performance; a Dynamic Range Stretch function to optimize scene image contrast at the pixel level, reducing overexposure and crushed shadow content and improving human skin rendition; and a flash-band detection and compensation algorithm that minimizes partial image exposure due to strobe lighting. The camcorder delivers seven-mode (HD/SD/FILMLIKE 1/FILMLIKE 2/FILMLIKE 3/FILM-REC/VIDEO-REC) gamma selection and extensive digital image settings, including 12 + 3 Axis Matrix Control to fine tune skin tone.

Other key features include the industry’s first OLED viewfinder and a 1.56-megapixel high-resolution LCD monitor.

Audio capabilities include two, separated XLR audio inputs, and recording up to four channels of 48 kHz, 24-bit audio in AVC-Intra formats (16-bit in AVC-LongG, DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO and DV). An XLR connector is located at the rear, off to the side for easier cable connection during handheld shooting. The audio recording level control is located towards the front for easy adjustment during shooting. Standard features include a wide range of shutter speed in 60i/60p mode (1/60 to 1/2000), 50i/50p mode (1/50 to 1/2000), 30p mode (1/30 to 1/2000), 25p mode (1/25 to 1/2000) and 24p mode (1/24 to 1/2000); Digital Zoom function for 2x, 5x and 10x boosts; and a four‐position optical ND filter (Off, 1/4 ND, 1/16 ND, 1/64 ND.)