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Panasonic P2 Shoots 'Secrets of the Dead'

PBS crime documentary "Gangland Graveyard" was shot with the tapeless Panasonic DVCPRO P2 camcorder.

Described as "Six Feet Under" meets "The Sopranos," the true crime investigation features interviews with Joe Pistone (aka Donnie Brasco) and FBI special agents who solve murder mysteries. "Gangland Graveyard" premieres its fifth season Nov. 16 at 8:00 p.m.

On the camcorder, a PC card slot is provided to accept an MPEG-4 proxy video encoder and other options. Proxy video--available in three choices--may be recorded to P2 cards and SD memory cards; this proxy data recording and wireless LAN functions facilitate the transfer of low-resolution proxy AV streams with wireless ease for subsequent viewing on a producer/editor's PC or PDA.

Filmmaker Larry Engel shot in the DVCPRO50 24p with Fujinon (superwide) and Canon (normal) lenses and edited with Final Cut Pro 5.

"What really sold me on the SPX800," the filmmaker said, "besides the fact that its tapeless, is the media proxy feature. This meant I could immediately have a low-res image with burnt-in time code that the executive producer could screen."