Panasonic P2 HD camcorder available today

Sports broadcasters and teams interested in tapeless acquisition systems today have a new option: the Panasonic AG-HVX-200, the first HD-capable P2 camcorder.

The camcorder, which is shipping today, costs only $5,995, giving those looking for the speed of tapeless acquisition a new low-cost option. Adding two 8GB P2 cards jumps the price to $9,995 (a package with two 4GB cards is available for $6,995).

While the HD imaging capabilities of the camcorder are the major selling point it has a number of other features that will be of interest for the sports industry. Teams, for example, can switch between HD and non-HD shooting and also record to Mini-DV tape for training purposes. And FireWire and USB 2.0 connectors mean the team s videographer can connect the camcorder directly to a laptop and record HD content to a hard drive that has more storage capability than the two 8 GB cards (it takes 1 GB of memory to record one minute of HD material).

Coupled with a laptop editing program like Apple s Final Cut Pro marking the in and out points of different plays a team could quickly turn around an HD copy of game or training films.

Panasonic is also working with third-party vendors to solve long-term archiving challenges as the cards are designed to be reused in the field over and over again. Phil Livingston, Panasonic Broadcast technical liaison, says Panasonic thinks the archive process should be transferred to the end of the post-production process so that the user is only saving the material that is worth saving. For long-term archiving data tape systems from companies like Quantum are a no brainer, he says.

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