Now shipping: Panasonic’s AG-HPX500 P2 HD camcorder

AG-HPX500 shoulder-mount P2 HD camcorder is now shipping w ith a suggested list
price of $14,000 and the ability to capture images with 2/3-inch CCD sensors,
improving the quality and depth of HD pictures. It also features the tapeless,
IT workflow of P2, interchangeable lens, variable frame rates, and extended
recording capability. A total 5-year extended warranty program is also

The multi-format camera can record in 32 high-definition and standard definition
formats, including 1080i and 720p in full bandwidth DVCPRO HD. The HPX500
employs 14-bit A/D conversion, and its digital signal processor (DSP) employs
19-bit internal processing to deliver spectacular HD and SD images. It also
offers 50/60Hz selectability for international use and a power consumption of
only 22 watts.

“The full-size AG-HPX500 is a highly-affordable, full production-quality HD
camcorder that includes high-end features that video professionals could only
find previously in more expensive cameras,” said Robert Harris, Vice President
of Marketing, Panasonic Broadcast. “The HPX500 offers fast and incredibly
flexible file-based, IT workflow with the ultra-reliable performance of
solid-state recording. We’re so confident in the camera’s performance that
we’re offering it with a free 5-year extended warranty program .”

The HPX500 has a variable frame rate function that allows professionals to undercrank and
overcrank the camera to create fast- or slow-motion effects. For 720p
recordings, users can set frame rates at 24p, 30p or 25p in any of 11 steps
between 12fps and 60fps (or 50fps). And with the camera’s advanced
1080/480 24pA mode, users have the option of using 2:3:3:2 pull down, which
allows most nonlinear editing systems to extract 24 frames on ingest.

With Panasonic’s current delivery of its 16GB P2 card, the HPX500 delivers extended
recording time without “hot-swapping” cards. With four of these P2 cards
installed, the camcorder can record up to 160 minutes at native 720/24pN in
DVCPRO HD, 128 minutes at 720P/30pN in DVCPRO HD, 64 minutes in DVCPRO HD, 128
minutes in DVCPRO 50 and 256 minutes in DVCPRO, so recording capacity is
now equal to and often longer than tape-based and disc-based media. The
HPX500 provides users with the advantages of P2 HD’s IT workflow, including
instant recording, thumbnail clip views, and a host of recording modes, without
the need for ingest.

The 8.2-pound camcorder is equipped with eight gamma modes to address a wide range
of shooting situations, including Cine-like Gamma to create film-like
recordings. Key interfaces include IEEE 1394, USB 2.0, HD-SDI, analog component
and four audio XLR inputs. Its four 48-kHz/16-bit digital audio channels are
independently controllable. The camera also features an SD memory card slot for
saving or loading scene files and user settings and a variety of shooting
assist functions and presets. The HPX500 features an automatic Chromatic
Aberration Compensation (CAC) function that allows the camera to automatically
optimize its performance with new CAC lenses.

The AG-HPX500 is currently available at a suggested list price of $14,000 including
a 5-year extended warranty program. A variety of camera packages is available.