Panasonic’s New DVCPRO P2 Camcorder Designed for ENG

Panasonic Broadcast has announced the availability of the cost-effective, shoulder-mount AJ-SPC700 DVCPRO P2 camcorder, tailor-made for a gamut of electronic newsgathering assignments. With the AJ-SPC700, broadcast and production customers now have access to a DVCPRO50/DVCPRO camera that exploits the benefits of P2 in a highly economical package.

The AJ-SPC700 combines a high-performance 2/3” 520,000-pixel, IT 3-CCD camera with 60 fields interlace recording in 25Mbps DVCPRO/DV and 50Mbps 4:2:2 DVCPRO50 format on a P2 card. Switchable between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, the camcorder delivers broadcast-level performance, with low smear, 750-line resolution, an S/N ratio of 63dB, a high sensitivity of F11 at 2000 lux, and minimum illumination of 0.5 lux (at +36dB). Digital Super Gain provides up to an additional 20dB at 6 fps. With its newly-developed DSP, the AJ-SPC700 has a very low power consumption of only 20 watts, which minimizes the number of batteries needed for field work. It is equipped with an advanced 12-axis matrix color correction system, and a news gamma curve specially optimized for the demands of field news acquisition. The news gamma curve helps to preserve image quality by suppressing over-saturation in highlight areas during sudden changes in contrast.

The AJ-SPC700 offers unique functions only possible with the P2 memory card. It has five P2 card slots and allows seamless, continuous recording over all five (providing up to 160 minutes record capacity at DVCPRO and 80 minutes in DVCPRO50 with 8GB P2 cards). The camera’s hot swap function assures non-stop recording, because it allows a user to replace any P2 card (except the one being recorded on) on the fly.

A sixth PC card slot is provided to accept a range of options, such as a MPEG-4 Proxy Video Encoder. Proxy video – in three quality 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 journalist’s PC or personal digital assistant (PDA). The AJ-SPC700 has Instant Rec Start that permits recording from the moment the camera is switched on, so users can feel confident that they won’t miss an important shot.

By eliminating all moving parts from the camera recording path, Panasonic has ensured the AJ-SPC700 is extremely reliable and resistant to environmental hazards, such as the shock, vibration, cold, heat and humidity that threaten camcorders based on mechanical recording transports. AJ-SPC700 images are stored on a P2 card using MXF file format to ensure IT compatibility for file transfer.

The camera’s superb audio performance supports two audio input channels, which will be recorded onto two audio channels of 48kHz/16-bit PCM audio in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV. The AJ-SPC700 comes equipped with a USB 2.0 interface for file transfers, and users can add an IEEE-1394 interface (optional AJ-YAD800G board) for a real-time stream and for connection to laptop computers running a range of popular NLE applications, thereby providing a self-contained field editing solution.

The AJ-SPC700 is highly customizable with features like four user scene files, three user setup buttons, and camera setup memory (up to eight camera setups can be saved to a SD Memory card).

Other valuable features of the AJ-SPC700 include: 2X Digital Zoom for enlargement of the image in the EVF, Auto Tracking White Balance, electronic shutter speeds (1/100 to 1/2000 sec.) with Synchro-Scan capability (1/60.3 to 1/249.7 sec.), 4-position (ND + CC) optical filter wheel, zebra pattern display, and built-in SMPTE time code generator/reader.

The AJ-SPC700 is available at a suggested list price of $12,995.