Panasonic introduces AG-HPX301E P2 HD camcorder

Panasonic has unveiled an affordable professional camcorder with 10-bit, 4:2:2, individual frame recording and native 2.2-megapixel imagers. Incorporating a low-profile shoulder-mounted design, the AG-HPX301E P2 HD camcorder offers the flexibility of an interchangeable lens but comes standard with a 17x HD Fujinon lens.

The AG-HPX301E imager incorporates advanced 1/3in 2.2-megapixel 3MOS technology to acquire full native-resolution HD images. With a redesigned optical block and a high-precision prism bonding technology, these advanced 3MOS imagers provide exceptional image quality while minimizing any flare and chromatic aberration. A new 20-bit digital signal processor (DSP) also enhances the HPX301E's image performance.

The AG-HPX301E captures full native 1920 x 1080 HD resolution. Superseding the compromise of 8-bit, long GOP, 4:2:0 recording, the HPX301E provides master-quality, 10-bit, 4:2:2 individual frame capture using Panasonic’s AVC-Intra codec.

Delivering the quality of AVC-Intra 100 and AVC-Intra 50, the HPX301E also records individual frame images in 100Mb/s DVCPRO HD and in SD in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV, which provides faster workflow and less degradation in multigenerational rendering.

The AVC-Intra 100 and 50 codecs let users record in a choice of HD video formats. Moreover, it records in SD frequencies in interlaced and progressive modes. The camera also supports 1080/23.98PsF output (via HD-SDI) for use in high-end movie production. The output of the camera can be set for downconversion or crossconversion with letterbox, 4:3 crop or squeeze.

The HPX301E's interchangeable lens design gives video pros the flexibility to use a wide range of broadcast and production HD lenses. The camera is equipped with numerous popular features including Chromatic Aberration Compensation to maximize lens performance, built-in scan reverse for use with film lenses, a Dynamic Range Stretch function to help compensate for wide variations in lighting, a waveform and vector scope display, and two focus assist functions — a picture expanding function and a focus bar.

For added creative flexibility, the HPX301E also has variable frame rate functions for creating fast and slow-motion effects. In 720p mode, a user can choose between 20 variable frame steps between 12p and 60p. Because the HPX301E records images at the frame rate set in the camera, users can preview the speed effect right on the spot, without using a frame rate converter. When working with the camera's advanced 1080/480 24pA mode, users have the option of using 2:3:3:2 pull down, which allows most nonlinear editing systems to easily extract 24 frames on ingest.

Equipped with two P2 card slots and new 64GB P2 cards, the HPX301E offers recording capacity that exceeds that of tape-based camcorders. The HPX301E offers all the benefits of a faster, file-based P2 HD workflow including recording features like instant recording startup, clip thumbnail view for immediate access to video content on all cards, and a host of time-saving recording modes including continuous recording, card slot selection, hot swapping, loop, prerecord (three seconds in HD and seven seconds in SD), one-shot and interval recording. The camera also features an SD memory card slot for saving or loading scene files and user settings, or proxy data.