Panasonic Intros AG-AC7PJ Entry-Level, Shoulder-Mount AVCHD Cam

Panasonic Solutions Company announced the introduction of the AG-AC7PJ, a versatile, low-cost professional AVCHD shoulder-mount camcorder. Featuring  Full HD (1920×1080)  and SD Memory Card recording (480i) to SDHC/SDXC media,  the AC7PJ weighs under four pounds, offers stable, shoulder-mount shooting and comes with a large grip and zoom lever, as well as a wide-diameter, manual focus ring for smooth, precise operation.

With a high-resolution 3.32-megapixel ¼.1-in. MOS imager, multiple recording formats and intuitive professional functionality, the AC7PJ is ideal for entry-level professionals and will carry a suggested list price of only $1,300. The camcorder can also take 2.1 megapixel still images (1920 x 1080 in 16:9) and store them as standard JPEGs on an SD card. AVCHD recordings and stills can be directly played back from an SD card on a wide range of low-cost players including Panasonic Blu-ray Disc players, laptop PCs and advanced game consoles.

The camcorder’s wide-angle 38.5.8mm lens (35mm equivalent) facilitates panoramic capture and shooting in confined spaces. The AC7PJ’s Intelligent Zoom function enables telephoto shots at up to 23x magnification, with images maintaining clear, beautiful HD image quality. The Intelligent Zoom mode utilizes hybrid Image stabilization that combines both optical and electronic stabilization of the image.

Because the AVCHD format-based AC7PJ uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 high profile encoding – which provides a doubling of bandwidth efficiency and improved video performance over the older MPEG-2 compression based formats– recordings look clean and crisp, without image degradation or dropouts.

The AC7PJ supports six recording modes, including, in 1080i HD, the high-quality HA mode (approx.17 Mbps), the HG mode (approx.13 Mbps), the HX mode (approx. 9 Mbps), the HE mode (approx. 5 Mbps), and, for 480i SD shooting, the SA mode (approx.9 Mbps) and SX mode (approx. 4.5 Mbps). The camcorder can record for up to 8 ½ hours on a single 64GB SDXC card in the HA mode. AVCHD is supported by a wide range of editing options, including Apple Final Cut Pro 7.0.3 or later, Adobe Premier Pro CS5 or later and Grass Valley Edius Neo 2 booster or later.

The camcorder boasts several automatic features tailored to the beginning videographer. The powerful Intelligent Auto (iA) function senses the shooting conditions and automatically identifies the settings and activates functionality that will deliver optimal results. iA controls the hybrid Image Stabilization, as well as Intelligent Contrast to retain a natural contrast and Intelligent Scene Selector to assess a setting and switch the scene mode accordingly. The AC7PJ also incorporates a Wind Noise Canceller that automatically detects and suppresses wind noise only, achieving natural sounds with lifelike ambience.

A variety of manual functions, affording shooters enhanced creativity, includes Manual Focus, Manual Iris, Manual Shutter Speed, Manual White Balance and On-Screen Assist Functions (Zebra Pattern/Luminance Level/Histogram).

The AC7PJ is touch-screen driven, with controls set simply by touching the 2.7-inch LCD screen, making operation intuitive and easy. The camcorder comes standard with HDMI output, USB 2.0, analog component (BNC x 3) output, A/V output, two channels of Dolby digital audio, and a built-in stereo microphone as well as a 3.5 mm external mic-in jack.

For editing or playback, professionals can transfer content by inserting the SD Card into Mac or PC computers or by connecting the camcorder directly via its USB 2.0 interface.

The supplied battery provides more than four and a half hours of continuous recording. Using the optional VW-VBG6 battery extends shooting time to more than 11 hours.

The AG-AC7PJ is available now.

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