|PANASONIC ANNOUNCES DELIVERY OF AG-HPX300 P2 HD CAMCORDER,
WORLD’S FIRST AFFORDABLE 10-BIT, 4:2:2 CAMCORDER
Innovative Interchangeable Lens, Shoulder-Mount Design Teams with Native
2.2-Megapixel Imagers, AVC-Intra Recording, and 17X lens
|LAS VEGAS, NV (April 19, 2009) Here at NAB, Panasonic showcased and announced the delivery of the world’s first affordable 10-bit, 4:2:2 professional HD camcorder, featuring independent frame AVC-Intra recording, and variable frame rates. Incorporating a low profile shoulder mounted design, the AG-HPX300 P2 HD camcorder offers the flexibility of interchangeable lens but comes standard with a Fujinon 17x HD lens.
The HPX300 incorporates advanced 1/3” 2.2-megapixel 3-MOS imagers to acquire full native resolution HD images. These advanced 3-MOS imagers provide exceptional image quality while minimizing any noise or sacrificing dynamic range. A new 20-bit digital signal processor (DSP) enhances the HPX300’s image performance.
“The HPX300 is in a field of its own, because it establishes a new benchmark for camera performance within this price range,” said Robert Harris, Vice President, Panasonic Broadcast. “It captures native 1920 x 1080 HD resolution and allows professionals to record at a quality level that no other camcorder in this price range can equal. Without the compromises of 8-bit, long GOP, 4:2:0 recording, the HPX300 provides master-quality, 10-bit, 4:2:2 independent frame capture using the AVC-Intra codec.”
Delivering the quality of AVC-Intra 100 and AVC-Intra 50, the HPX300 also records independent frame images in 100Mbps DVCPRO HD and in standard definition in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV. The AVC-Intra 100 and 50 codecs allow recording in a choice of HD video formats: 1080/59.94i, 1080/29.97p and 1080/23.98p (native 24p/30p), and 720p with variable frames in 23.98pN, 29.97pN and 59.94p. In DVCPRO HD, the camcorder records 1080/59.94i, 1080/29.97p, 1080/23.98p, 1080/23.98pA, 720/59.94p, 720/29.97P, 720/29.97pN and 720/23.98pN. In DVCPRO50/25 and DV, it records 480/59.94i, 480/29.97p, 480/23.98p and 480/23.98pA. The 1080p and 480p signals are recorded with 2:3 pull down (23.98p) or 2:3:3:2 advanced mode (23.98pA). The camera also supports 1080/23.98PsF output (via HD-SDI) for use in indie movie production. The output of the camera can be set for down-conversion or cross-conversion with letterbox, 4:3 crop or squeeze.
The HPX300’s interchangeable lens design gives video pros the flexibility to utilize a wide range of broadcast and production HD lenses. The camera is equipped with Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC) to maximize lens performance, built-in scan reverse for use with film lenses, a Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) function to help compensate for wide variations in lighting, a waveform monitor and vector scope display, and two focus assist functions a picture expanding function and a focus bar.
For added creative flexibility, the HPX300 also has variable frame rate functions for creating fast and slow motion effects. In 720p mode, a user can choose between 20 variable frame steps between 12 and 60. Equipped with two P2 card slots, the HPX300 offers recording capacity that exceeds that of tape based camcorders. The HPX300 offers all the benefits of a faster, file-based P2 HD workflow including such recording features as instant recording startup, clip thumbnail view for immediate access to video content on all cards, and a host of time-saving recording modes including continuous recording, card slot selection, hot swapping, loop, pre-record (three seconds in HD and seven seconds in SD), one-shot and interval recording. The camera also features an SD memory card slot for saving or loading scene files and user settings, or proxy data (optional AJ-YAX800G Proxy board required).
The HPX300 has advanced gamma functions offering six shooting scenarios, including the popular Cine-Like Gamma modes found on Panasonic’s popular VariCam, which gives recordings the characteristic warm tone of film recordings. A scene file dial on the side of the camera provides quick access to six pre-loaded settings; the dial can also be programmed with user-defined settings.
The camera’s interfaces include two SDI outputs (switchable between HD/SD-SDI output), video output (down-converted SD video only), IEEE 1394, USB 2.0 interface compatible with host mode, time code input/output (with built-in SMPTE time code generator/reader). Additional features include Genlock input, 4-position ND optical filter controls, DC power input, color bar switch, three XLR audio jacks (one in the front, two on the rear), wireless microphone slot (2-channel UniSlot wireless receiver compatible) and programmable user buttons.
The HPX300 can also be used as a studio camera. It is equipped with a remote control terminal (RCU) for use with the optional AJ-RC10G Remote Control Unit and compatible studio remote control systems. Later this year, Panasonic will release a customized studio configuration system for the HPX300, which will include the AG-BS300 base station, AG-EC4 extension control unit (ECU) and AG-CA300 remote control camera adapter.
At eight pounds, the HPX300’s lightweight, well-balanced design and ergonomic handle make it comfortable to use. All operation switches, volume controls and card slots are on the left side for easier operation. For easy HD viewing, the HPX300 is equipped with a widescreen 1,226,000-dot LCOS color viewfinder and a widescreen 921,000-dot 3.2-inch LCD color monitor. Its power consumption is low at only 18 watts.
The HPX300 offers the security of a five-year warranty program (1 year + 4 additional years with registration), ultimate quality and flexibility in an affordable, full-size HD camcorder.
The HPX300 is available at a suggested list price of $10,700. The studio configuration add-on package for the HPX300 will be available later this year for less than $10,000. A firmware upgrade designed to enhance the performance of 3-MOS image sensor technology for the HPX300 will also be available free on www.panasonic.com/broadcast this summer.
About P2 HD
P2 HD all solid-state products offer high definition recording without the mechanical wear and environmental limitations of tape, hard disk, and optical disc based systems. P2 HD ensures the highest reliability, especially in challenging conditions of extreme temperature range, shock, and vibration. P2 HD products provide a significant reduction in maintenance costs, longer useful product life, and immediate access to recorded video (no need to digitize, ingest or create proxy video files) and metadata. P2 HD provides the reliability of solid-state production; the immediate connectivity to existing IT infrastructures; the speed, ease of use and portability of P2 cards; and the interoperability with leading NLE systems.
For more information, visit www.panasonic.com/P2HD.
About Panasonic Broadcast
Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE Symbol: PC) and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.