updated 08:40 pm EDT, Sun April 15, 2012
Panasonic at NAB 2012 unveils sweeping lineup
Panasonic upgraded its pro video lineup in large fashion at the NAB media show with new camcorders, displays, and storage. Heading up the group is the AG-HPX600, what it calls the lightest-ever shoulder-mounted camcorder at under seven pounds. The camera also touts a new 2/3 CMOS sensor and is even upgradeable to add features like AVC-Ultra support, wireless metadata, recording by proxy, and variable frame rates.
Video captures natively in a 10-bit, 4:2:2 AVC-Intra format. The HPX600 should arrive in the fall with a goal of getting the price under $16,000 for a body-only kit.
Also new are the AG-AC160A and AG-AC130A, two AVCCAM camcorders that now have improved focus assists that zoom in to better gauge the sharpness, a "turbo" autofocus, and newfound support for 1080p60 and 50p recording on the AC160A. An AG-HPX255 camcorder records 1080p from a 2.2-megapixel, 1/3 CMOS sensor with support for Panasonic's new AG-EC4 Paint Box remote, and existing AG-HPX250 owners get the same turbo autofocus as the AC160A/AC130A through a software update.
The AC160A and AC130A both arrive in May at $5,095 and $4,195 respectively. The upgrades are available to the non-A versions for $300. Panasonic delivers the HPX255 in July for $6,995, while the HPX250 will get the software update for free.
A new storage format is coming independently of the camcorders. Called microP2, it uses the same physical design as an SD card but is designed for the performance of a pro-level camcorder. The 32GB and 64GB initial cards won't be available until spring 2013, but Panasonic has promised an adapter that will let them fit in full-size P2 slots.
Among displays, Panasonic has rolled out the PT-DZ21KU, PT-DS20KU, and PT-DW17KU projectors. The group is designed to output as much as 20,000 lumens of brightness for a large venue but still have a reasonable size. All three have 10,000:1 contrast ratios and support X-ray viewing, while the larger two can output 3D for either active or passive glasses.
Resolution is the primary difference for the trio, which starts at 1366x768 for the DW17KU and scales up to 1400x1050 and 1920x1200 for the DS20KU and DZ21KU respectively. They can take DVI, HDMI, and SDI for video, along with Ethernet for networked control. The DZ21KU arrives first, shipping in May with a price to be named later, while the other two ship in June with a similar pricing strategy.
Tailing the releases are two toughened displays, the 18.5-inch BT-LH1850 and 21.5-inch BT-LH2170. They hit resolutions of WXGA (likely 1366x768) and 1080p respectively, and share support for 3D lookup tables and captions. LH2170 owners get both a higher color range through the IPS-based LCD as well as a Y-Map (luminance level map) display and a Zebra display. Ports include HDMI and SDI for video as well as standard serial and new RS-485 Serial Rremote options.
The LH1850 arrives first of the two monitors, shipping in April for $2,595, while the LH2170 won't be due until the end of the year and with a $4,500 maximum price.
LH2170 and LH1850