AJ-SPC700 DVCPRO P2 Camcorder
Panasonic Broadcast introduces the cost-effective, shoulder-mounted AJ-SPC700 camcorder. This further re-enforces Panasonic’s commitment to P2 by adding to the line up of Camcorders covering all levels of cost and usability. The AJ-SPC700 becomes the entry level, standard definition P2 camera ideal for ENG as well as a host of other applications where cost is an issue.

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.

Since becoming available last spring, Panasonic's DVCPRO P2 products have offered the extensive benefits of solid-state memory recording and IT integration, and have elevated digital video acquisition to a new level of speed and cost efficiency

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 61dB, a high sensitivity of F11 at 2000 lux, and minimum illumination of 0.5 lux (at +36dB). With its newly-developed DSP, the AJ-SPC700 has a very low power consumption of about 20 watts, which minimizes the number of batteries needed for field work. It is equipped with an advanced 12-axis matrix colour 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 features five P2 card slots, providing up to 160 minutes record capacity at DVCPRO and 80 minutes in DVCPRO50 with 8GB P2 cards. 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, and subsequently viewed on a journalist's PC or PDA.

Its superb audio performance supports two audio input channels which will be recorded onto four 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 starts recording from the moment it's switched on, so users can feel confident that they won't miss an important shot. Its 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 move.

Regarding its flexibility in the IT domain, the AJ-SPC700 offers many 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 with specified time code link.
  • Shot marker indication on clips of video.
  • Thumbnail clip display and selection - the built-in colour 3.5" LCD monitor provides easy review of video clip thumbnails and the creation of an in-camera storyboard.

The camcorder is highly customisable 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: Auto Tracking White Balance, electronic shutter speeds (1/100 to 1/2000 sec.) with Synchro-Scan capability (1/50.4 to 1/249.7 sec.), 4-position (ND + CC) optical filter, zebra pattern display, and built-in SMPTE time code generator/reader.

Input/outputs include composite (in/out), Genlock (in), monitor (out), two XLR audio (in), one 3-pin XLR audio (out), two Microphone line (in), DC (in/out), ECU (in) two stereo headphone mini-jacks (out), plus UniSlot wireless Microphone (in).

Panasonic feel this camcorder offers productions major savings in acquisition costs when you combine the cost of the unit, low running costs and reduced need for maintenance.

Price will be 13,995 Euros and delivery autumn 2005.