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Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Panasonic unveils new HD camcorder


Panasonic Broadcast introduced today at NAB 2005 the AG-HVX200, the world's first 1080i/720p/480i multi-format camcorder.

The AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD P2 hand-held camcorder provides 1080i and 720p recording with the production-proven image quality of 100 Mbps DVCPRO HD. The AG-HVX200 shoots on a P2 card in 1080/60i, 30p and 24p; in 720/60p, 30p and 24p; and in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO or DV. By eliminating all moving parts from the camera recording path when shooting on a P2 card, Panasonic has ensured the AG-HVX200 is extremely reliable and resistant to environmental hazards, such as the shock, vibration, and humidity that threaten camcorders based on mechanical recording transports.

Tailor made for production and postproduction, the DVCPRO HD format offers users cost-effective, proven intra-frame compression, where each frame stands on it own for editing, and its full 4:2:2 color sampling allows the image to hold up under color correction. Additionally, the DVCPRO HD format includes robust uncompressed audio, which is perfect for audio sweetening in post production. In addition, established third-party nonlinear editing systems such as Apple, Avid and Canopus are available to work with the AG-HVX200 and DVCPRO HD via the IEEE 1394 interface.

With the AG-HVX200, HD and SD video is recorded on the P2 card as IT-friendly MXF files that can be downloaded to a nonlinear editing system or server, or edited virtually instantly from the P2 card by connecting an IEEE 1394 or USB2.0 interface. P2 cards mount like a regular hard drive from a NLE system's point of view, which eliminates the time-taking task of digitizing footage. This speeds up workflow and ensures a smooth, fast acquisition-through-editing system that integrates the benefits of IT throughout the production and newsgathering process. For newsgathering, the AG-HVX200's pictures are enhanced with its built-in news gamma curve that assists the ENG photographer by suppressing over-saturation in highlight areas during sudden contrast changes. With its pre-record function, the AG-HVX200 starts recording from the moment it's switched on, so users can feel confident that they won't miss an important shot. With easy selection of SD or HD recording, news organizations that commit to the AG-HVX200 today are assured a future-proof migration to HD news on their own timetable.

For unprecedented mobility and ease of use, the AG-HVX200 uniquely combines a native progressive 16:9 3-CCD high definition imaging system and a HD-quality Leica Dicomar wide-angle zoom lens with a super-smooth, cam-driven manual zoom, focus ring, and aperture dial in a rugged package. On the newly-announced 8G P2 card, the AG-HVX200 records for 32 minutes in DVCPRO or DV, 20 minutes in 720p/24, 16 minutes in DVCPRO50, and eight minutes in 1080i/60 and 720p/60. The camcorder includes two P2 card slots to permit continuous recording, and the cards are hot swappable to assure non-stop recording. Like VariCam, the

AG-HVX200 can capture fast or slow action in 720p at various frame rates. The AG-HVX200's 4:3 viewfinder displays a 16:9 image in letterbox, which allows the user to view vital camera operating information in areas above and below the image. In addition, its 3.5" LCD monitor is available to assist shooting as well as to view and select thumbnail clips to speed editing. The LCD monitor allows random access to the thumbnail-displayed scenes (on the P2 card) for instant playback and the creation of an in-camera storyboard.

Audio performance is superb with 4-channel non-compressed 48KHz/16-bit digital audio in DVCPRO HD and DVCPRO50 and two channels in DVCPRO and DV. The HVX200 is loaded with system interfaces (including IEEE 1394 and USB 2.0), and professional interfaces including two XLR audio (with +48 volt phantom power) inputs, a component (D4) output, composite in/out, S-video in/out, audio (RCA) in/out, and headphone output.

The AG-HVX200 will be available in Fall 2005 at a suggested list price of $5,995.


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