Vision Unlimited/LA News

The HD Camera Landscape

by on Feb.16, 2009, under Panasonic

Many of you know that i do training work for Panasonic, among others.
Part of my job is keeping up with the choices in the high definition cameras used in various types of production, and Panasonic has announced a couple of new cameras just this past week.

One of the new cameras is a repackage of parts of two earlier camera systems and the other is a new direction for the company.

The “repackage” is the AW-HE870 box camera, which uses the 2/3-inch offset-sample front end of the HPX500 camcorder, but pairs it with a 38-bit DSP, for 12-point color color control and gamma control similar to the other HD box cameras and the higher end camcorders. At $11,500 without lens, this little guy is a pretty interesting package for remote control applications that need custom lenses.

The really new camera is the AG-HPX300 full-size P2 camcorder using three new 1/3-inch “3MOS” (aka CMOS), 1920 x 1080 pixel sensors. If you were excited by the HPX500 price point, then the HPX300 might also appeal to you. The list on this little tool is $10,700, with a 17x Fujinon lens. Add to that the Chromatic Aberration Compensation introduced on the HPX3000 and continued into the HPX500, and you have an impressive approach to the 1/3-inch removable lens quality problems. Then, there is genlock and remote control capability, but possibly the most impressive feature is the release of the AVC-Intra, 10-bit, full format CoDec in such a low priced camera. The camera can record AVC-I, DVCProHD, DVCPro or DV onto each of two P2 cards, in 1080i, 720P and 480i at 24, 30, or 60 frames or 30 fields per second.

If you don’t have a problem with the CMOS issues faced by all of the cameras using this technology, or with the 1/3-inch depth of field limitations, then you might want to check out the HPX300. It’s another shocker.

->jump to the HPX300 specs
->jump to the HE870 specs


1 comment for this entry:

  • crcaillouet

    The latest that i heard was that it went back because of the appearance of the HD SLR cameras from Canon and Nikon. The new Scarlet may be more in the vein of a DSLR than a miniature 16mm camera.
    My world doesn’t pay much attention to the RED cameras because they are more of a continual “build-up kit” than a “grab-it-and-go” run and gun camera. For the price, you have to really understand the limitations and advantages and you still have to nurse the workflow to make it work for you.
    It doesn’t work or appeal to most of my clients.

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