Veteran DP Chuck Schultz Shoots Live Gators for CBS With Panasonic P2 Camera
Director of Photography Charles “Chuck” Schultz’ last encounter with wildlife was with a congregation of alligators in one of their more famous stomping grounds, the Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, FL. Armed with his new AJ-PX270 P2 HD handheld, Schultz captured extensive video that later aired on CBS Sunday Morning’s signature nature segment.
“I’ve shot successfully with the HPX500 for years, but needed a newer and smaller camcorder to accommodate my documentary work,” says Schultz. “As on the alligator assignment, I need to get in and out in a hurry.”
“When I evaluated available cameras, the PX270 measured up with its broadcast-quality specs, especially the 4:2:2 color space,” he added.
Schultz has spent extensive time testing his new camcorder, and singles out several features. “I like the XLR connectors for external audio, but the studio mic on board is more than adequate for natural sound,” he said. “That’s a key criterion for me, as CBS stipulates unenhanced audio for its nature segments.”
“I love the smoothness of the zoom, and the 22X lens affords me plenty of reach,” he continued. “The camera stops and starts easily, comparable to many of the lenses I’ve worked with on the larger HPX500.”
“Using the HDMI out, I’m able to make a 4:2:2 back-up while making my primary recording on a microP2 card,” Schultz noted. “And I really like the back end of the OLED viewfinder: basically, the approach of my eye activates the EVF, which means there’s no waste of battery life.”
“The PX270’s time-lapse performance in especially impressive,” he said. “It’s very simple and quick to set up, and it does a flawless job playing back on a timeline. I’ve always found time-lapse to be a major effort with DSLRs.”
Upcoming projects Schultz will shoot with the PX270 include another nature segment for CBS Sunday Morning that will be shot on location in the Colorado Rockies. He will deploy the PX270 on his full assignment roster; past work shot with the HPX500 encompasses multiple nature segments for CBS, a one-hour shown on the Florida Everglades that aired on NBC, and extensive corporate work for companies such as IBM and Office Depot.
The AJ-PX270, Panasonic’s first P2 HD handheld camcorder with AVC-ULTRA recording, combines the efficiency of low bit rate recording and the flexibility of 3G/4G/LTE wireless mobility. The five-pound PX270 provides all the key functionality of Panasonic’s high-end, shoulder-mount camcorder, and features newly-developed high-sensitivity, low-noise 1/3” 3-MOS imagers to produce high-quality pictures, even in low light conditions. With its AVC-ULTRA codec, the PX270 features a wide range of recording modes, including high-quality 100Mbps AVC-Intra100, as well as optional 200 Mbps AVC-Intra200. For applications where file size is critical, the camcorder incorporates a choice of AVC-LongG quality levels; for high-speed file exchange, the PX270’s high-resolution AVC-Proxy encodes in parallel with higher bandwidth production formats, enabling fast, efficient offline editing,