Panasonic To Give New Price Point, Capabilities to P2

Panasonic has previewed some 3D production solutions that will be on display at the NAB Show in April, but plans for the show also include a wealth of enhancements for its P2 camera, including a 30% cut in the price of 64-GB P2 cards, to $695.

“We’re removing the barriers to entry and making it easier to use our products,” says Joe Facchini, VP of sales and product management for Panasonic Solutions Co.

Although the price of P2 cards may be dropping, the speed with which data can be transferred from cards to editing systems and other devices is rising. The AJ-PCD30 P2 drive is a three-slot device that can transfer content on P2 cards at 4.8 Gbps, courtesy of USB 3.0 interfaces. AVCintra material recorded at 100 Mbps, for example, can be offloaded at 15 times faster than real time.

“There is also simultaneous transfer off of all three cards,” says Facchini.

The AG-HPD24 P2 deck records full-resolution content from a wide range of cameras

Also on exhibit will be the solid-state AG-HPD24 P2 deck, which records full-resolution, 10-bit-quality content from a wide range of Panasonic and non-Panasonic cameras via HD-SDI input. Other features include 3D synchronized record/playback, native 24p recording with variable frame rates, and 24-bit, four-channel audio recording in AVC-Intra 100/50. The deck allows users to play back and review P2 cards on a 3.5-in., 16:9 LCD screen. Format support includes 1080 60i/50i/25p/24p, 720 60p/50p/24p, and 480/60i, 576/50i in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO, and DV. The unit plays back HD/SD content automatically (no need to change settings) and is internationally operable in 50 Hz or 60 Hz.

In addition, an HDMI output enables the transmission of uncompressed digital data to an array of consumer playback devices (video projectors, digital televisions). The AG-HPD24 P2 Portable will be available this summer at a targeted price below $6,000.

Another big step for Panasonic is AVCCAM Importer, free software that allows AVCHD content to be directly edited on Apple’s Final Cut Pro nonlinear editing software without conversion. The professional AVCCAM line includes the AG-AF100 large-sensor HD cinema camera, the AG-3DA1 Full HD 3D camcorder, the AG-HMC80 shoulder-mount, the AG-HMC40 and AG-HMC150 handhelds, and the AG-HMR10 AVCCAM recorder and its optional AG-HCK10 camera head.

Also look for the AJ-WM30 wireless module, which, coupled with AJ-SFU3100 software, establishes a wireless local area network via 802.11 b/g standard for the HPX3100 P2 HD camcorder. The camera can then be seen as an IP address for laptops, iPads, and other devices, enabling anyone on the connected device to see a proxy version of what the camera is shooting and even add metadata.

“It is only in the 3100,” says Facchini, “but we will roll that feature out to other cameras in the future.”

And Panasonic is getting into the archive space with the AJ-SF110 Video Ingest software and AJ-SF100 Linear Open-Tape (LTO) Archive software, to facilitate the secure storage and easy retrieval of P2 content.

“With the AJ-SF100 software, users can preview the LTO tape directly, view proxies, and even do partial retrieval,” says Facchini.

In addition, the transfer speed of the LTO is up to six times faster than AVC-Intra 100 normal speed when using LTO-5 technology.

The AJ-SF110 software is for ingesting video via IEEE 1394 or SDI. It converts the footage of a connected video recorder to such P2 files as AVC-Intra 100/50, DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO, and DV during ingest.

The AJ-SF100 LTO Archive software and AJ-SF110 Video Ingest software will be available in May priced at $5,000 and $2,500, respectively.

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