Panasonic announces new P2, AVC, 3D products
Marc Loftus
February 22, 2011

Panasonic announces new P2, AVC, 3D products

LAS VEGAS — At a press event earlier today, Panasonic introduced a number of new products, including its next generation 3D camera. The AG-3DP1 offers 10-bit, 4:2:2 AVC Intra recording on P2 cards. The unit has a shoulder-mount form factor and can shoot in variable frame rates. It will be available in the Fall, but pricing wasn’t announced.

The company is seeing increased support for its AVC HD and AVC Intra codecs. Editing solution providers, such as Apple, Adobe and Avid, all support AVC, and finishing system manufacturers, such as Quantel, are also supporting it, allowing for a complete AVC-based post workflow. Panasonic VP of sales and product management Joe Facchini says more recently, that server manufacturers have also come on board, offering support for the format as well. AVC Intra offers 100mb/sec., 10-bit/4:2:2 quality H.264 video.

Panasonic has reduced the prices of its P2 card line. The 64GB card has been reduced by 30 percent to $695. The 32GB card is now priced at $480, a reduction of 25 percent, and the 16GB card has been reduced by 15 percent to $380.

Also on the P2 front, Panasonic introduced the AJ-PCD30, a three-slot drive with USB 3.0 connectivity. Priced at $2,255 and set for release this summer, the PCD30 offers transfer speeds of 15x realtime (4.8 Gbps). Its small form factor allows for installation in a five-inch tower PC slot.

The AG-HPD24 is a new solid state P2 deck featuring two slots that can play and record. In addition to recording 4:2:2 video, the unit can also record four channels of 24-bit audio. The HPD24 has HDMI output and supports AVC Intra, DVCPRO 50, DVCPRP and DV recording.It can be used to record directly from a camera, and offers 24p recording capabilities in both 1080 and 720. Two decks can be used together and synchronized for capturing stereoscopic 3D footage. Pricing is $6,000, and availability is anticipated for this summer. 

The BT-LH910 is a new nine-inch LCD monitor that offers 1280x768 resolution, high brightness and a high contrast ratio. The unit weighs 3.7lbs and supports many HD and SD formats. Panasonic reps say its light weight and small size make is well suited for on-set production as well as for 3D stereo rigs. The unit features two HDSDI inputs and will be available in April for $3,500.

The company introduced a new plug-in for Apple’s Final Cut Pro called AVCCAM Importer Software. The plug-in will be available for free this summer, and creates ProRes files that are immediately available for editing.

In further camera news, Panasonic reports that it has shipped more than a thousand AG-3DA1 3D camcorders to date, including units to Florida State University and WealthTV. They are also seeing interest from the independent filmmaking community via rental houses that offer the camcorder. The company’s AG-AF100, which it positions as an affordable HD cinema camera, is also seeing great interest, reports the company. There are currently a thousand units in the field. The AF100 has a 4.3-inch MOS imager, and is 1080/720 switchable. The AVCCAM format offers long record times, and its ability to accept wide variety of lenses is also making it desirable.