Panasonic P2 Camera Drives Coverage of EcoFuel World Tour

Panasonic’s
AG-HVX200E P2 HD handheld camera was used by cameraman Falk Gunold to document
the six-month EcoFuel World Tour, in which a Volkswagen running on natural gas
was driven 45,788 kilometres through 40 countries on five continents. The
Panasonic camera’s compact design and solid-state technology allowed Gunold to
shoot comfortably from the car and easily download daily footage from P2 cards
directly to the drive on an editing platform.

“The
HVX200 was appropriate for this journey because it requires little space, is
easily managed within a small vehicle, and is far less conspicuous and
cumbersome than large shoulder-mount cameras,” said Gunold, an integral
member of the team who documented the journey for broadcasters and sponsors.
“With its permanent lens, the camera is not susceptible to dirt, humidity,
or fluctuations in temperature. Because key functional controls are located
much as they are on other familiar camera models, I needed only to adjust to
the light weight of the camera. We encountered a wide range of environments,
and the performance of the HVX200 was outstanding — just fabulous.”

The
intention of the EcoFuel World Tour, led by Rainer Zietlow, was to show that this
alternative fuel concept is a feasible and globally available technology. This
journey around the world was undertaken to demonstrate that natural gas as a
fuel constitutes a full substitute and ecological alternative for petrol and
diesel.

Throughout
the tour, Gunold shot in DVCPro 50, using six 4-GB P2 cards to capture 48
minutes of broadcast-quality footage each day. A microphone bracket on the
camera allowed him to attach a Sennheiser ME 66 professional shot gun
microphone head for audio, as well as a top-light. Each night, in the car or at
the hotel, he downloaded data from the P2 cards to a Panasonic Toughbook CF73
equipped with an AVID editing platform. He then stored daily footage to
individual folders on two separate drives and, after each segment of the tour,
used the data within the editing platform to create an Internet clip, stored on
a CompactFlash card. In this way, Gunold preserved all his daily footage on
external drives, provided material for satellite feeds and updates on the
project’s Internet site, and recycled space on the editing system for each new
stage of the journey.

Panasonic’s
AG-HVX200 cameras represent the first P2 camera-recorder series. As P2-based
products, they provide superior reliability with solid-state memory that is
inherently resistant to impact, vibration, and temperature change. AG-HVX200
cameras offer a variable frame-rate function that responds well to slow- and
fast-paced action. True 25p/50p progressive video, along with cine-like gamma
curves and colour matrix, enables operators such as Gunold to get a film-like
feel while shooting with a flexible, rugged, and highly portable P2-based
camera-recorder.

The
AG-HVX200 features a cam-driven manual zoom, focus ring, and aperture dial. The
camera supports up to four channels of uncompressed digital audio, accepting
XLR audio inputs and outputting via a D4 terminal or FireWire/USB2.0 PC
interface.