Well it’s been an exciting NAB show so far! There’s been some great new broadcast product launches, notably from AJA, Blackmagic Design and Panasonic.
Here’s a few of the NAB 2012 product launches that got us talking.
The T-TAP (yes an odd name) is a fantastic little bit of kit. Thunderbolt to HD SDI / HDMI. That’s all you need to say. And it’s only £160. Fantastic.
The Ki Pro Quad – a chunkier looking Ki Pro Mini – ups the ante in the 2K and 4K world and comes complete with Thunderbolt connectivity.
Here’s the AJA Ki Pro Quad brochure
The Ki Pro Rack is also a nice addition to the Ki Pro family – it’s essentially the Ki Pro as we know it and love it – but it’s in a 1RU 19" rack-mount form factor. There’s some options already out there to rack-mount the Ki Pro but the Ki Pro Rack – with it’s dual storage docks – is perfect for flyaways, OBs and studio installs. The Ki Pro Rack also supports DNxHD as well as Pro Res.
Here’s the AJA Ki Pro Rack brochure
The HyperDeck Studio has been granted the all-important and long awaited Apple Pro Res codec. A sigh of relief from every HyperDeck owner out there!
Blackmagic have also released a new version of the HyperDeck Studio – the HyperDeck Studio Pro – a 4 channel version with Thunderbolt connectivity. Interesting stuff.
And last out of the Blackmagic Design press department – and no doubt a product that wil garner much publicity – the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera. Yes, Blackmagic Design now make cameras! We hear they’re also designing a new solar powered jet ski and a range of white goods – all with Thunderbolt connectivity. Ok that was a joke, but they really have launched a new camera!
I think the new Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera has to be seen to be believed but the specs read well and as usual, the Blackmagic price tag is extremely competitive.
Panasonic have announced some interesting upgrades and enhancements, including microP2 cards – a P2 card in an SD card form factor – and a new version of the HPX250, the HPX255 which can be controlled via Panasonic’s AG-EC4 RCP – good news for us multi-camera types.
Panasonic also announced the new HPX600 camera – a big brother to the HPX371. Panasonic say it’s future proof, so when AVC-Ultra is finally rolled out, the HPX600 will be one of the first cameras to support it.
So the BBC have approved the Panasonic AG-HPX250 for HD acquisition.
With the AVC-Intra 100Mbps codec, 1920×1080, 4:2:2 processing and the professional record media of P2 cards, it certainly sounds like the specs of a broadcast camera.
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At Visuals showroom, we had a chance to get a bit of hands on time with the new Panasonic AG-HPX251 / AG-HPX250.
As big Panasonic P2 users – and a particular fan of the Panasonic HPX371 camera, we were excited by the news at NAB 2011 of the release of the HPX251 – a very similar camera to the HPX371 but in a smaller form factor. Think Sony EX3 size and style.
So, the specs… The Panasonic AG-HPX1 is switchable between SD and HD – that’s full HD, 1920 x 1080, 10 bit, 4:2:2 processing, with the widely recognised AVC-Intra recording format. It also does DVCPRO HD if that’s your thing. But the important thing here is that you don’t need an external portable tapeless recorder to make up for poor in camera recording compression. AVC-Intra 100 is a fantastic codec that’s recognised by broadcasters. The HPX371 camera has made it’s way onto the BBC approved camera list with the same codec. Will the HPX251 join it?
The main differences between the HPX251 and the HPX371 is that the HPX251 doesn’t have an interchangeable lens – it has a wide 28mm to 588mm (35mm equivalent) 21X HD lens – suitable for most shooting situations. The HPX251 has the usual inputs and outputs you’d want and expect, making it suitable for small scale multi-camera productions – HD SDI out, genlock in, timecode out etc. A handy feature is the HDMI output – there’s a lot of good quality, cost effective camera top monitors/viewfinders out there with HDMI inputs so the AG-HPX251 could be used in a studio configuration. Or the HDMI output could be used as monitor output for the director – or some other important person!
The one downside we could see with the HPX251 is that there isn’t an option to connect an RCP, remote control panel – just LANC style controls.
Well, we’re a big fan of the Panasonic AG-HPX251 – for those situations where you need a small, light, portable camera, or there just isn’t enough budget for a bigger camera, the HPX251 fits the bill. And at around £4,000 (+ VAT), it’s keenly priced.
Looking forward to seeing what Panasonic will announce at IBC 2011…
Here’s the Panasonic AG-HPX251 Brochure
Panasonic announced some new broadcast equipment and products at NAB 2011 in April. We went to the Panasonic Experience Centre at Pinewood Studios to check out their new toys a few weeks ago…
(excuse the iPhone photos!)
A big part of Panasonic’s new products announced at NAB 2011, centred around 3D. We saw the AV-HS450AN vision mixer in action, with the new 3D optional SDI output board - AV-HS04M7D. For anyone already with a HS450 mixer, it’s a no brainer to buy the 3D SDI board – although at £3,500 (+ VAT), it’s not cheap. But 3D production isn’t! Shame Panasonic haven’t done the same and released an optional 3D SDI board for the HS400 mixer.
AV-HS450 Vision Mixer specs
AV-HS04M7D 3D SDI Output Board brochure
The AV-HS450 (and AV-HS04M7D 3D board) combined with the BT-3DL2550 3D monitor, makes live 3D production work affordable and accesible.
The new Panasonic AG-3DA1 integrated twin lens professional 3D camera also enforces Panasonic’s new push into the 3D market and the Panasonic AG-3DP1 broadcast level camera (the big brother to the AG-3DA1) makes it clear Panasonic want a chunk of the 3D broadcast market.
Panasonic AG-3DA1 brochure and specs
Panasonic AG-3DP1 specs
More 3D equipment from Panasonic released at NAB 2011, was the AG-HPD24 portable P2 recorder. An upgrade to the AG-HPG20 (available to hire at Trickbox TV), the HPD24 has two P2 slots, has more connections (including a welcome LTC input), HDMi output, and supports synchronised 3D recording and playback with two units synced together. The other notable addition to the HPD24 is it’s USB 3.0 interface.
Panasonic AG-HPD24 press release
Panasonic AG-HPD24 specs
Whilst on the USB 3.0 theme, Panasonic have released the AJ-PCD30 P2 (3 slot) card reader with the all important USB 3.0 interface to allow you to tranfer your P2 cards at 1.5Gbps. But what about a P2 card reader with a Thunderbolt DisplayPort connection we hear you say? We asked Panasonic the same thing. They wouldn’t officially say if they were going to release a P2 card reader with Thunderbolt connectivity, but they hinted it was being ‘looked into’.
Panasonic AJ-PCD30 specs
The Panasonic BT-LH910G is a great little 9" LCD monitor with 3D functionality (although doesn’t allow for 3D viewing). With X2 SDI and a HDMI input, plus waveform and vector scope, timecode and embedded audio display, the BT-LH910G is pretty powerful for something so small.
The Panasonic AG-HPX250 is Panasonic’s new P2 HD handheld camera that’s a hybrid of the older HVX200 series original P2 cameras and the more recent popular AG-HPX371 camera. Unlike the HPX371 (available to hire at Trickbox TV), the HPX250 doesn’t have an interchangeable lens and comes in a smaller form factor. But it still has all the other features such as 10 bit, 4:2:2 processing, full HD 1920×1080, 2.2 megapixel sensors and has the all important high bit rate codec, AVC-Intra 100. But will broadcasters accept it for HD production?
Panasonic AG-HPX250 press release
Panasonic AG-HPX250 specs
The Panasonic AG-AC160 is similar to the HPX250, but is part of the Panasonic AVCCAM lineup of cameras.
Panasonic AG-AC160 specs
With regards to P2 cards, Panasonic also proudly announced at NAB 2011, that they’re reducing P2 card prices by 30% – making a 64GB P2 card, £440 (+ VAT).
So, the only question that remains is, what will Panasonic announce at IBC 2011 in September?