AG-HVX200 P2 HD Palmcorder
Representing a quantum leap in camera-recorder technology,
Panasonic Broadcast introduce today at IBC 2005, the first working model of the AG-HVX200, the world’s first 1080i/720p/576i, P2 multi-format camcorder.

This much awaited camera has caused more internet forum discussion threads than any other launch of a similar product. Watching this activity with interest, Marc Irwin, Marketing Manager at Panasonic Broadcast said “I have never seen so much attention in a new product. Requests from productions hoping to be the first to be able to use this revolutionary camera have been unprecedented. I see this as the beginning of a very busy and creative period in the production world where true 100Mbps HD is achievable at a cost never before thought possible”.

Offering flexibility and versatility to video professionals and productions alike, the AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD P2miniCam camcorder provides 1080i and 720p recording with the production-proven image quality of 100 Mbps DVCPRO HD. The AG-HVX200 shoots on a P2 card in 1080/ 50i, 25p, in 720/ 50p, 25p; and in DVCPRO50 or DVCPRO or DV. By eliminating all moving parts from the camera recording path when shooting on a P2 card, Panasonic has ensured the AG-HVX200 is extremely reliable and resistant to environmental hazards, such as the shock, vibration, and humidity that threaten camera-recorders based on mechanical recording transports.

Michael Erkelenz, Head of Product Management at Panasonic Broadcast Europe commented,” The AG-HVX200’s versatility makes it ideal for many business models within the production industry. For the professional owner-operator a high quality, future proof camcorder allowing him to output images at all compression rates, for ENG production, a flexible, robust and cost-effective unit at home in all conditions and a ideal model for Rental Companies where most genres of production will find its quality and adaptability verses cost unbeatable”.

The AG-HVX200 inherits many of the functions of the popular, shoulder-mounted AJ-HDC27 Varicam, including exceptional DVCPRO HD quality images, variable frame rates to capture fast-speed and slow-speed action, and a cine-like gamma curve and cine-like colour matrix to emulate the look of film. In addition, AG-HVX200 has Mini DV tape recording capability which allows customers to shoot 16:9 images on DV tape and edit with existing workflow.

Panasonic’s DVCPRO HD format offers users cost-effective, proven intra-frame compression, where each frame stands on it own for editing and its full 4:2:2 colour sampling allows the image to hold up under colour correction. Additionally, the DVCPRO HD format includes robust uncompressed audio, which is perfect for audio sweetening in post production.

Partnerships with NLE manufactures are increasing all the time as they see the amazing value of the IT migration path in place with P2. Avid, Apple, Canopus and all of the companies committed to the format are looking to the future where seamless acquisition, edit and on to delivery become a simple and cost effective reality.

With the AG-HVX200, HD and SD video is recorded on the P2 card as IT, MXF files that can be downloaded to a nonlinear editing system or server, or edited virtually instantly from the P2 card by connecting IEEE 1394 or USB2.0 interface. P2 cards mount like a regular hard drive from a NLE system’s point of view, which eliminates the time-taking task of digitising footage. This speeds up workflow and ensures a smooth, fast acquisition-through-editing system that integrates the benefits of IT throughout the production process. The AG-HVX200’s pictures are enhanced with its built-in news gamma curve that assists the cameraman by suppressing over-saturation in highlight areas during sudden contrast changes. With its pre-record function, the AG-HVX200 starts recording from the moment it’s switched on, so users can feel confident that they won’t miss an important shot. With easy selection of SD or HD recording, production companies that commit to the AG-HVX200 today are assured a future-proof migration to HD output in their own time.

For unprecedented mobility and ease of use, the AG-HVX200 combines a native progressive 16:9, 3-CCD high definition imaging system and a HD-quality Leica Dicomar wide-angle zoom lens with a super-smooth, cam-driven manual zoom, focus ring, and aperture dial in a rugged package.

On the newly-announced 8G P2 card, the AG-HVX200 records for 32 minutes in DVCPRO or DV, 16 minutes in DVCPRO50, and eight minutes in DVCPRO HD. The Standard for 1080 signals support 50i and 25P and for 720 standard P2miniCam supports 25 and 50 in progressive mode. In variable frame rate mode the capacity of the card will depend on the frame rate chosen. Unlike tape the frames stored on the card are only the ones flagged by the speed selected saving space and increasing the amount time recorded. The camera-recorder includes two P2 card slots to permit continuous recording, and the cards are hot swappable to assure non-stop recording.

The AG-HVX200’s viewfinder displays a 16:9 image and allows the user to view vital camera operating information in areas above and below the image. In addition, its 3.5” LCD monitor is available to assist shooting as well as to view and select thumbnail clips to speed editing. The LCD monitor allows random access to the thumbnail-displayed scenes (on the P2 card) for instant playback and the creation of an in-camera storyboard.

For operator convenience, the camera-recorder is highly customisable with features including six user scene files, three user setup buttons, and Camera Setup Memory (camera setups can be saved to a SD Memory card). Other key features include Shot Mark and Time Code Stamp functions, and interval recording. The AG-HVX200’s overall weight is less than three kilos.

Panasonic see this Camcorders versatility as one of the key selling points allowing production companies and owner operators an amazing opportunity to produce high quality HD images as well as SD in a camera that is not only affordable but future proofed.

The AG-HVX200 will be available in the first quarter of 2006 at suggested list price below 10,000 Euros including 2 8GB P2 cards.