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posted by - Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Panasonic made several announcements yesterday, including new hardware, a reduction in P2 card pricing, wireless metadata, and native AVCCAM editing in Final Cut Pro. Read on to learn more.

PCD30 P2 Reader

The first announcement is the PCD30, a three P2 card reader with the speed of USB 3.0. The USB 3.0 interface permits super-fast transfer rates of up to 4.8Gbps. Additionally, the PCD30 can transfer data from all three P2 cards simultaneously, so your P2 content will download in no time. USB 3.0 is not available in many computers yet, but is growing every day. Look for this product in the summer for around $2,255.

HPD24 – 3D Ready P2 Recorder

The AG-HPD24 is a small P2 deck that features native 24P recording (with variable frame rates), a USB 3.0 interface for downloading, and 24-bit, four-channel audio recording in AVC-Intra 100/50. This unit is not only a high quality HD-SDI recorder, but also a very fast way to download P2 content. Two of these recorders can even be combined to record in 3D. The HPD24 will be available this summer for around $6,000.

Lower Price P2 Cards

P2 Cards are also dropping in price. The highest capacity 64 GB P2 cards will get a 30 percent price drop, and we can expect a similar drop in the cost of 32 GB and 16 GB cards.

BT-LH910 – 9″ Pro Monitor

Panasonic has a new, small monitor that is designed to support 3D productions. The BT-LH910 is a 9″ professional monitor (1280×768) with two SDI inputs. Traditional 2D monitoring is supported, but it also allows for overlay and side-by-side display of 3D content. It does not allow for 3D viewing, but rather these modes are designed to help stereographers align and compose shots. The BT-LH910 delivers a full range of professional interfaces, including HDMI and 3G-SDI inputs. The LH910 also offers two times SDI loop-throughs to allow it to be used with existing 3D rigs. Key monitor functions include a RGB waveform monitor, vectorscope, RGB direct white balance adjustment, and an audio level meter. The monitor will be available in April at a suggested list price of $3,500.

Wireless Metadata for HPX3100

A new wireless system for Panasonic’s HPX3100 camcorder allows for remote metadata input and proxy playback. The system is composed of the AJ-WM30 wireless module and AJ-SFU3100 software – together they allow transfer of camera information between the HPX3100 and a huge variety of intelligent devices including PCs, iPads and iPhones. Producers, assistant editors and script supervisors will no doubt love this system. The AJ-WM30 wireless module and AJ-SFU3100 software will both be available in April, with suggested list prices of $150 and $1,500, respectively.

Native AVCCAM Editing in FCP

Last, but not least, is the new AVCCAM Importer software, a QuickTime plug-in that eliminates the need to convert AVCHD files to ProRes 422 files before editing in Final Cut Pro. AVCCAM Importer is a software for Final Cut Pro to enable direct editing of an AVCHD “.mts” file without conversion. Since AVCCAM Importer is a plug-in component for Apple QuickTime, QuickTime Player can play a “.mts” file directly after installation of AVCCAM Importer on a Mac. This is a very exciting new software for anyone with an AVCCAM camera, including the AF100. This will be a free software download from Panasonic, available this summer.

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