** At NAB 2008, Company Debuts Two Solid-State, Master-Quality, 10-Bit 4:2:2 P2 HD VariCams and New P2 HD Handhelds

At NAB 2008, Panasonic Broadcast reinforced its leadership in
solid-state high definition video production with another doubling of card memory capacity, and new key additions to its line of P2 HD solid-state products. Foremost among these announcements is long anticipated introduction of two new advanced P2 HD VariCam™ camcorders. The fully solid-state VariCam 3700 and VariCam 2700 build upon the unrivaled legacy of the VariCam HD Cinema Camera, globally recognized as the industry’s premier digital cinematography acquisition tool widely used to create major films, documentaries, television shows, and national commercials.

Providing evidence of the worldwide success and momentum that P2 is enjoying, Panasonic announced that it has delivered more than 80,000 P2 HD/P2 units worldwide with over 840 television networks and stations having adopted the solid-state recording format. In the U.S., the ever-growing list of television stations, groups, and networks converting to P2 includes KABC, Barrington, Cordillera, Cox, Cowles, Dispatch, Entravision, Fisher Broadcasting, Fox, Freedom, Gray, Griffin Communications, Journal, Liberty, McGraw-Hill, Media General, Meredith, Morgan Murphy, Nexstar, Quincy, Raycom, Sinclair, Univision, Waterman, Weigel and Young Broadcasting.

These next-generation P2 HD VariCam camcorders, VariCam 3700 (model AJ-HPX3700) and VariCam 2700 (model AJ-HPX2700), represent a synergistic pairing of Panasonic’s popular solid-state recording technology and unique VariCam features and capabilities. These new 2/3″ Native HD resolution models greatly advance digital filmmaking with features including master-quality, full-resolution 10-bit 4:2:2 AVC-Intra 100 recording; variable frame rates in one-frame increments; HD-SDI output of 23.98PsF/24PsF; and a multi-gamma function including Film-Rec for the prized VariCam look closely matching the color and response of film stocks.

Other P2 HD announcements at NAB 2008 include the fully solid-state AG-HPX170 P2 HD handheld camcorder; a 64GB P2 card (model AJ-P2C064) that provides unprecedented high definition recording capacity; and the AJ-PCD35 Express Card, a new five-slot P2 solid-state memory drive with an ExpressCard interface that increases simultaneous access to P2 content on ExpressCard-equipped notebook or desktop computers.

“With these forward-looking introductions, Panasonic is bolstering its position as the industry leader in solid-state video production,” said Robert Harris, Vice-President of Marketing, Panasonic Broadcast. “In addition to independent frame recording, full-production quality HD, exceptionally-reliable solid-state operation, unrivalled flexibility and a faster file-based IT workflow, the ‘beauty of P2 HD’ now encompasses the creative flexibility and unique look that VariCam users have treasured.”

The new flagship model of the P2 HD VariCam line, the VariCam 3700 offers full native 1920×1080-pixel acquisition and independent frame recording with 10-bit/4:2:2 sampling. The HPX3700 2/3″ 2.2 megapixel 3-CCD camera also offers a 4:4:4 RGB dual-link live output to deliver pristine images ideal for composition of visual effects even while recording. Tailor-made for feature films, television episodic and commercial production, the VariCam 3700 records in full-raster 1920×1080 resolution in AVC-intra 100, and records in AVC-Intra 50 and DVCPRO HD as well. Its variable frame rate function has a range from 1fps to 30 fps in 1-frame increments, and it is equipped with three HD-SDI outputs (dual-link plus monitor). The VariCam 3700 is backed by Panasonic’s five-year limited warranty* and will be available fall 2008.

A fully solid-state implementation of the highly-regarded DVCPRO HD VariCam, the VariCam 2700 offers 2/3″ native HD resolution 3-CCDs and produces cinema-quality, independent frame, 1080 and 720 images with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling in AVC-Intra 100. The camera also supports recording in a more bandwidth efficient AVC-Intra 50 compression as well as the ubiquitous DVCPRO HD. Designed for sports, documentaries, independent films and other projects where versatility is essential, the VariCam 2700 offers intuitive operation with advanced gamma setting, variable frame rates (from 1 fps to 60 fps in 720p mode), as well as two separate HD-SDI outputs. The VariCam 2700 is also backed by the industry’s leading five-year limited warranty* and will be available fall 2008.

A tool designed for professional media producers, the AG-HPX170 solid-state handheld camcorder enables high definition and standard definition recording, the widest zoom lens in its class, and a HD-SDI interface for connection to baseband production and distribution infrastructure, all in a lightweight 4.2-pound body. Building on the phenomenal success of the AG-HVX200, the HPX170 is equipped with three new premium 1/3-inch CCDs and a high-performance digital signal processor with 14-bit A/D conversion and 19-bit processing to deliver broadcast-quality, independent frame recordings. The HPX170 offers a 13X Leica Dicomar zoom lens with a 28mm wide-angle setting (the widest in its class), and a 20-step frame rate selection in 720p mode for variable-speed shooting in the 12fps to 60fps range to acquire fast- or slow-motion in-camera effects. The HPX170 is backed by Panasonic’s five-year limited warranty* and will be available fall 2008.

Incorporating these new premium quality 3-CCD imagers and the 28mm zoom lens of the new HPX170, is the latest version of the popular HVX200, the HVX200A. Offering both the advantages of P2HD solid-state variable speed acquisition and a mini DV tape mechanism, the HVX200A is ideal for producers and educational institutions that are transitioning from an older standard definition, tape based infrastructure to file based, high definition production.

Quickly outpacing the storage capacity of tape and disc-based systems, the new AJ-P2C064 64GB P2 card can hold more than four hours of DVCPRO footage (64 GB X 4 minutes per GB), or more than two hours of DVCPRO50, AVC-Intra 50 (64 GB X 2 minutes per GB) or 64 minutes of AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD. With five 64GB P2 cards installed, an AJ-HPX3000 P2 HD camcorder can record for 5.3 hours in AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD (6.6 hours in 1080/24pN) and 10.6 hours (13.3 hours in 24pN) in AVC-Intra 50 or DVCPRO 50. The reusable 64GB P2 card is ideal for long-form production and other applications that require long record times, and is scheduled for initial deliveries in fall 2008.

The AJ-PCD35 Express Card P2 memory card drive provides professionals with a faster, more convenient file transfer workflow with the latest generation of ExpressCard computers. The external P2 memory drive can transfer data from up to five P2 cards, making content immediately available to nonlinear editing systems and servers. The PCD35 plugs easily into a laptop or tower computer’s PCI Express card slots, is compatible with Windows XP and Mac OS X, and features DC operation via its AC adaptor. The AJ-PCD35 will be available later this year at a price similar to the current AJ-PCD20 drive that offers USB 2.0 and IEEE1394 connections.

These new P2 HD products join an existing line-up that includes: the AJ-HPX3000 2/3″ native 1080p
shoulder-mount camcorder featuring three 2/3″ high-density 2.2-million pixel CCDs to acquire master-quality, full-raster 1920 x 1080, 4:2:2 10-bit images using the built-in advanced AVC-Intra codec; the
AJ-HPX2000 2/3″ shoulder-mount camcorder with three HD native resolution 2/3″ imagers to record pristine quality video in more than 30 HD/SD formats, and offers AVC-Intra capability as an option; the AG-HPX500 2/3″ shoulder-mount camcorder, a highly affordable, full 2/3″camcorder recording in more than 32 HD and SD formats; the AG-HVX200A 1/3″ 3-CCD Handheld P2 HD/DV camcorder, now featuring improved progressive 3-CCD imagers, a DSP that increases sensitivity while lowering noise and smear, and a new 13X zoom lens; the AJ-HPM110 P2 Mobile field recorder featuring six P2 cards slots for unmatched recording times in intra-frame DVCPRO HD/50/25 and DV formats, as well as optional master-quality, full-raster 1920 x 1080 10-bit, 4:2:2 AVC-Intra recording; the AG-HPG10 P2 Gear, a one-pound, battery-operated, two P2-slot unit providing viewing, backup recording, file management, and HD-SDI bridging of P2 recorded content; and the five-slot AJ-PCD20 internal/external drive providing easy access to and high-speed transfer of P2 content via USB 2.0 or IEEE1394 to a desktop or laptop.