updated 12:20 pm EDT, Mon April 16, 2007
New Panasonic pro video
Taking advantage of the ongoing NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) convention, Panasonic has revealed several pieces of pro video hardware, notably a collection of cameras. The AJ-HPX3000 is the new peak of the P2 range, costing $48,000, and being able to record 10-bit, 4:2:2 1080p video using three 2.2-megapixel CCD sensors. AVC-Intra support will come standard when the camera ships in September. Cheaper and more imminent is the AG-HPX500 (pictured), which only records up to 1080i, but supports 32 HD and SD formats and has four P2 card slots. Anywhere between 64 and 256 minutes can be recorded depending on the DVCPRO quality selected. The HPX500 will arrive in May for $14,000.
The highest-end camera of the group is the AK-HC3500, which sits outside of the P2 line, and costs a considerable $56,000. This does garner some benefits however, such as 38-bit DSP, a 12-axis color matrix, and a 14-bit A/D converter. The camera is also equipped with sensors similar to the HPX3000, but actually has resolution slightly higher than 1080p, at 1920x1100. The HC3500 will ship in the fall.
Finally there is the AK-HC1800, which like the HPX500 is a less expensive alternative to its bigger sibling. The limit is again 1080i, but with a more compact design, and a weight of only 3.3 pounds. It will also be usable with a variety of pan-tilt systems. The 1800 should be released in the fourth quarter of the year at an unknown price.