Panasonic Writes Second Chapter in 3D Camcorders With AG-3DP1

Panasonic continued its head-first push into the 3D realm on Sunday at its NAB press conference, announcing a second P2 fully integrated 3D camcorder. The AG-3DP1 is a 3D twin-lens P2 HD shoulder-mount camcorder with 10-bit, 4:2:2 independent-frame, full 1920×1080 resolution AVC-Intra recording. The camcorder is Panasonic’s second 3D camcorder offering, following the AG-3DA1, which was unveiled at last year’s NAB Show.

The 3DP1, which will be available this fall, incorporates two ⅓-in., full-HD 2.2 megapixel 3-MOS three-chip imagers with enhanced sensitivity and a 20-bit digital signal processor to acquire full production quality, native 1920×1080 resolution images. As with the 3DA1, the 3DP1 incorporates stereoscopic adjustment controls, making it easier to use and operate. The twin-lens system adopted in the camcorder’s optical section allows the convergence point to be adjusted. Horizontal and vertical displacement can be automatically corrected without the need for external equipment.

The 3DP1 records in AVC-Intra 100/50 and is 50 Hz/60 Hz switchable. In AVC-Intra 100/50, it records in 1080 at 59.94i, 29.97pN, 23.98pN , 50i, and 25pN and in 720p at 59.94p, 50p, 29.97pN, 23.98pN, and 25pN. The camcorder has variable-frame-rate recording for creating fast and slow-motion effects. In 720p mode, a user can choose from 20 variable frame steps between 12 and 60 frames per second.

The 3DP1 is equipped with dual optical, wide 17x (target) zoom lenses and can record for up to 80 minutes (each) on dual 64-GB P2 cards in AVC-Intra 100 1080/24pN. The camcorder features dual HD-SDI outs, HDMI (3D-compatible) out, and two XLR connectors. Its 3.2-inch LCD screen provides the option to switch from Left, Right or overlay image display that facilitates reviewing depth information without the need for external tools.

P2 Meets AVC-Intra With HPX250
Panasonic also announced the first P2 HD handheld camcorder with AVC-Intra recording, the AG-HPX250. Weighing 5.5 lbs., the HPX250 incorporates high-sensitivity ⅓-in., full-HD 2.2-megapixel three-MOS imagers and a 20-bit digital signal processor to acquire native 1920×1080 resolution images.

Offering a wide 28-588 mm (35 mm equivalent) 21x HD lens with three independent adjustable rings, the HPX250 covers most shooting situations without the need for a wide-angle conversion lens. The 21x lens also features an optical image stabilizer (OIS) function to ensure stable images during shooting. The HPX250 offers variable-frame-rate capability in 1080p up to 30 fps as well as 720p up to 60 fps for undercranking/overcranking to create fast or slow-motion effects.

The AG-HPX250 will be available this fall priced at less than $6,500.

London-Bound for the Olympics
Panasonic also announced that DVCPRO HD will be the official recording format for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Host broadcaster Olympic Broadcasting Services London (OBSL) will also use the P2 HD series with solid-state memory cards for video-recording equipment. including P2 HD camcorder AJ-HPX3100 and P2 portable recorder AG-HPD24 at the London Games.

Panasonic also announced large-scale purchases by Sinclair Broadcast Group (AG-HPX370 P2 HD shoulder-mount camcorders for ENG at its 12 news-producing stations) and NFL Films (a move to file-based, 24p solid-state acquisition using an array of Panasonic P2 HD gear).

Panasonic Odds and Ends
In addition to the AG-3DP1 and the AG-HPX250, Panasonic introduced a battalion of products, including two AVCCAM HD handheld camcorders — the AG-AC160 and AG-AC130 — with full-HD imagers and a new, wider 21x HD zoom lens.

Also announced were the AG-HPD24 P2 portable deck with 3D synchronized record/playback, native 24p recording with variable frame rates and 24-bit, four-channel audio recording in AVC-Intra 100/50; the AJ-PCD30 P2 three-slot drive with a USB 3.0 interface for fast offloads from a solid-state source; and the BT-LH910, a 9-in. LCD monitor with high picture quality and newly developed 3D assist functions.