Punts 4K Varicam into 2014, Along with a Revamped Ultra P2 Format
Panasonic's camera introductions at IBC included the new shoulder-mounted AVCCAM AG-AC8, which records 1080p HD to dual SD card slots, aimed at "pro and semi-pro" users, as well as the new panoramic Ultra Wide Angle Camera, which combines four AW-HE120 cameras assembled in a single rig to create 180-degree (64×9) panoramic images capturing the entire field during a sporting event. Built to order, the UWAC is scheduled to ship before the end of 2013 at a suggested price yet to be determined.
If you were expecting a big 4K announcement, you were probably disappointed. The company promised "prioritised development" of the 4K Varicam, which it trotted out first as a "concept camera" back at NAB 2012, and said it will be released at some point in 2014. Built to take advantage of Panasonic's AVC-Ultra codecs, the 4K Varicam is intended to capture 4K footage at frame rates ranging from 24p all the way up to 120p, the company said. The camera will have a newly developed 4K image sensor in a Super 35mm form factor with support for extended color space and log recording. Also new with the 4K Varicam launch next year will be 256 GB Ultra P2 cards, which take the same form factor as traditional P2 cards but with a new high-speed PCIe interface.
On display in prototype form was the AJ-PX270, a new P2 handheld camcorder with built-in 22x zoom lens, 1/3-inch type 3MOS sensors, and AVC-Ultra recording on board. The PX270 will be able to record to AVC-Intra200, AVC-Intra100, or, for extended recording capabilities, AVC-LongG, the long-GOP flavor of AVC encoding. The PX270 has dual microP2 card slots which it will be able to write to simultaneously for backup purposes. The camera is scheduled to ship next spring at an undetermined retail price.
Also on display at Panasonic's IBC booth was the 31-inch BT-4LH310 4K LCD production monitor, with a 10-bit IPS panel supporting DCI-P3 color space (as well as Rec. 709) and LUT uploads. The monitor can also be used to display up to four screens in 2K and/or HD resolutions simultaneously for use on non-4K productions. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the panel is set to ship beginning in December.