Panasonic launched a new switchable progressive and interlaced DVCPROHD EX camcorder, the AJ-HDX400E, at IBC. The AJ-HDX400E highlights a host of powerful acquisition features including 12 bit signal processing, CineGamma and switchable progressive and interlaced standards (1080/25p and 1080/50i).

“The AJ-HDX400E is one of the outstanding new products at IBC. It is an exceptionally powerful camcorder which is going to lower the cost of high quality HD production” said Michael Erkelenz, Product Manager, Panasonic Broadcast Europe. “It is attracting a lot of interest from European broadcasters starting to plan for cost effective HD production. Its switchable production means that broadcasters can use the camcorder for a wide range of programme requirements from sport to drama. With 12 bit signal processing and Panasonic’s CineGamma, the AJ-HDX400E produces outstanding pictures in its price range. ”

The AJ-HDX400E employs three 2/3” 1 million-pixel (1280 x 720) IT CCDs. These have a super high sensitivity giving F10@2000lux.

Users have the choice of 1080/25p progressive scan imagery or 1080/50 fields/sec. interlace by recording on the DVCPROHD EX cassette.

The camcorder includes Panasonic’s proprietary CineGamma, made popular with the Varicam camera and AJ-SDX900, and now being utilised in a number of Panasonic HD cameras. This controls the camera's gamma transfer function to best optimise control over tonality, from extreme highlights to the lowest of shadow areas. Combined with 12 bit digital signal processing and the camcorder produces outstanding pictures for its price range.

Ouputs from the camera head include HD-SDI and a standard SD down converted output. Using the AJ-HD1200A DVCPROHD EX Player/Recorder, unmatched cost-affordable HD editing system can be constructed.

With a M cassette, the camcorder is capable of recording 33 minutes of DVCPROHD EX at 100Mbps. GPS recording will be available as an option. The AJ-HDX400E will be available early 2005 at a suggested list price of 45,000 Euros.