Craig Johnston /
04.04.2014 01:03 PM
Panasonic Puts AVC-Ultra Front and Center
Company launches first handheld for format
Panasonic’s AJ-PX270 AVC Ultra camcamcorder
comes to the 2014 NAB Show with some major advancements and groundbreaking new
“Every year we
announce new products,” said Steve Cooperman, Panasonic senior product manager.
“Some years there’s really exciting new technology.” He said this is one of
those big years for the company.
“The last couple of
years, we’ve been talking about AVC-Ultra,” said Cooperman. “We’re very excited
about it, it’s a super high-quality
codec, both in high and low bitrate. We began shipping product with native
AVC-Ultra recording last year.”
NEW ENG CAMERA AND
Front and center
with the AVC-Ultra codec is Panasonic’s new AJ-PX270, its first AVC-Ultra
handheld camcorder and designed for ENG, sports, reality and production work.
Though it weighs around five pounds, “it has the type of features and qualities
that you generally expect in a much larger camera,” Cooperman said.
It has a wide range
of features, formats and frame rates, including 1080/24p, 30p, 60p, 720p
multi-HD format and SD recording. Also,
50i, 50p, and 25p are supported by 59.94 Hz/50 Hz switching.
A pair of new
models to Panasonic’s VariCam line will be introduced. “They’ve been created to
fill two needs that people have been asking for,” said Cooperman.
The first is the
Varicam 35, which Panasonic showed a wooden mockup of—under glass—two years
ago. As a result of conversations between users and the company’s design engineers
Cooperman said the feedback was clear: Customers wanted the “outstanding” color
Panasonic’s Varicams are known for, with a 4K 35mm sensor that would support
multiple codecs including AVC-Ultra.
Though the Varicam
35 supports Panasonic’s P2 Ultra workflow, “we also do offer a RAW workflow for
those customers who truly want a full cinema workflow,” said Cooperman,
“customers who want to shoot content to be filmed out and go through full color
processing.” He added that the camera is designed not only for cinema and
commercial production work, but can easily be incorporated into multicamera 4K
The Varicam 35
features a modular design, with a 4K camera head attached by umbilical cord to
the recorder. And it provides more than 14 stops of dynamic range, up to 120
frames per second, and can record in 4K, 2K and proxy resolution simultaneously
when shooting in P2 4K Ultra.
The second new Varicam,
driven by interest from the sports and nature production community, is the Varicam
HS (high speed), designed to shoot full HD at up to 240 frames per second. Panasonic
designed an all new, very sensitive and low noise MOS 2/3-inch imager for the
HS. “This allows those customers who want long zoom lenses to have a high-quality,
high-speed camera that lets you put on a long zoom lens,” said Cooperman. “And
internally, it can record 12 bit 4:4:4 video on our new P2 cards.”
Like the Varicam
35, the Varicam HS has a modular design with camera head and recorder connected
via umbilical cord. In fact, the exact same recorder is used for both the super
35mm and HS Varicams.
Panasonic has long
been well known in the United States for the small AV-HS410 switcher, but not
so for larger switchers. “However, in Japan and the Far East, Panasonic
actually has the best-selling multiple M/E switcher,” said Panasonic Product Manager
“What we’ve done is
combine the innovative intelligence built into our HS410 switcher, with the
initial capabilities and reliability of our larger 5200 and 5300 sold overseas,
to design our new AV-HS6000 two M/E switcher,” he said. The HS6000 sports 32
HD-SDI inputs and two DVI-D video inputs, along with 16 outputs. Inputs and
outputs both have up-conversion and color correction, “so it basically comes
fully equipped with all of these features which are optional on a number of
other switchers,” said Rhodes.
To simplify the
learning and use of the HS6000, “we put in OLED source labeling so you can
actually program the labeling on your crosspoint,” he said. “And for each M/E
we have a touchscreen area, which dynamically changes depending on what
operation you do.”
will showcase the new BT-4LH310, a native cine 4K monitor with 4096 x 2160,
17:9 aspect ratio, and also displays other formats such as Quad HD, and 2K in
HD. It touts wide horizontal and vertical viewing angles and a wide color
gamut, rated at almost 97 percent of the DCI P3.
Panasonic will be
in Booth C3607 in the Central Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center.