Panasonic shakes up low-cost ENG camera market

Looking to gain a larger share of the ENG market in these tough economic times, Panasonic introduced an 8lb, high-definition shoulder mount camera that records to P2 solid-state cards.

With proprietary 1/3in 3-MOS sensors, the new AJ-HPX300 includes a number of professional features, such as 10 stops of dynamic range, interchangeable lenses, the choice of AVC-Intra 100 and AVC-Intra 50 compression, and XLR audio connectors for microphones. It also offers a 1/2in LCOS color viewfinder, low power consumption (18W with battery and light), and it can capture individual frame images in 100Mb/s DVCPRO HD quality.

The camera supports most HD formats, including 1080/59.94i, 1080/29.97P and 1080/23.98P (native 24p/30p), and 720P with variable frames.

Other useful features include chromatic aberration compensation to maximize lens performance, built-in scan reverse for use with film lenses, a dynamic range stretch function that helps 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.

The camera can be configured for studio application with a package that includes a base station, extension control unit and a remote control camera adapter. It also supports 1080/23.98PsF output (via HD-SDI) for use in high-end movie production. For SD-only stations, the output of the camera can be set for downconversion or crossconversion with letterbox, 4:3 crop or squeeze.

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