Panasonic showed the production version at IBC of the DVCPRO P2 cam, AJ-SPX800. P2 cam offers solid-state memory recording and IT domain integration, elevating digital video acquisition to a new level of speed, workflow efficiency and cost savings.
The AJ-SPX800 combines a high-performance 2/3" 3-CCD camera with 24fps and 30fps progressive and 60 fields interlace recording in 25Mbps DVCPRO and 50Mbps DVCPRO50 format on a P2 card.

By eliminating all moving parts from the camera recording path, Panasonic has ensured the AJ-SPX800 is extremely reliable and resistant to environmental hazards, such as the shock, vibration, cold, dust, moisture and humidity that threaten camcorders based on mechanical recording transports. AJ-SPX800 images are stored on a P2 card using MXF file format to ensure IT compatibility for file transfer.

Switchable between 16:9 wide and 4:3 aspect ratios, the AJ-SDX800 has three 2/3" 520,000-pixel, IT CCDs that delivers 750 lines of resolution, 65dB S/N ratio, a high sensitivity of F13 at 2000 lux, and minimum illumination of 0.09 lux (at +48dB), or 0.01 lux (at +48dB plus with +20dB Digital Super Gain). The camcorder is equipped with an advanced 12-axis matrix colour correction system, and gamma curves specially optimized for the demands of field news acquisition. Its top-level audio performance supports four channels of 48kHz/16-bit PCM audio in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV.

The AJ-SPX800 features five PC card-sized P2 card slots, providing up to 80 minutes record capacity at DVCPRO and 40 minutes in DVCPRO50 with 4Gb P2 cards*. A unique advantage of the DVCPRO P2 series is that recording time increases as the capacity of available P2 cards increases.

A sixth PC card slot is provided to accept a range of IT communications options, such as wireless LAN card or MPEG-4 Proxy Video Encoder. Proxy video and audio may be recorded to P2 card and SD Memory card, and subsequently viewed on a journalist’s personal digital assistant (PDA), while IEEE 802.11 wireless protocols provide a path for GSM cellular phone or other wireless internet media delivery.

In addition to USB 2.0, the AJ-SPX800 offers an optional IEEE-1394 interface for connection to laptop computers running a range of popular NLE applications, thereby providing a self-contained field editing solution. The IEEE-1394 data interface also provides a path for extended duration recording to backup videotape or hard disk recorders to complement P2 card recording.

The AJ-SPX800 starts recording from the moment it is switched on, so users can feel confident that they will not miss an important shot. Its hot swap function assures non-stop recording, because it allows a user to replace any card (expect the one being recorded on) on the move. By inserting pre-recorded P2 cards directly into a PC card slot of a laptop, the AJ-SPX800 can be freed for additional image acquisition, while the P2 card mounts into a desktop laptop or additional drive. Because of its seamless integration with the IT domain, no digitization steps are required prior to editing, duplication or other image processing operations.

Reflecting on its IT domain flexibility, the AJ-SPX800 offers many new innovative functions:

· Three recording modes – Continuous, pre-record or loop-record assure a news crew has less chance of missing an important event, and eliminate waiting for tape scanners or optical media to spin-up prior to recording.

· Voice Memo - A built-in memo microphone permits the addition of metadata audio description to clip metadata.

· A large 3.5" high-resolution color LCD display built into the AJ-SPX800 makes operation significantly easier when shooting from low- or high-angles.

· Shot marker indication on clips of video.

· Thumbnail clip display and selection – the built-in colour LCD monitor provides easy review of video clip thumbnails and the creation of an in-camera storyboard.

The camcorder 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 invaluable features of the AJ-SPX800 include: Auto Tracking White Balance, 2X Digital Zoom, electronic shutter speeds (1/100 to 1/2000 sec.) with Synchro-Scan capability (1/60.3 to 1/250 sec.), 4-position optical filter, zebra pattern display, and built-in SMPTE time code generator/reader. Video input/outputs include video and/or Genlock in, plus camera and recorded video out. Audio input/outputs include 2Ch XLR audio and Microphone in (all with available +48V phantom power) plus UniSlot wireless Microphone in, and 2Ch XLR audio plus two stereo headphone mini-jacks out.

The DVCPRO P2 product family also includes the AJ-SPD850 studio recorder, AJ-PCD10 drive, and AJ-P2C004S 4GB and AJ-P2C002S 2GB capacity P2 cards*.

* P2 card capacity shown above reflects capacity of unformatted card. Usable capacity will be less.