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Panasonic introduces cost-efficient AJ-SPC700 DVCPRO P2 Camcorder designed for news-gathering organizations

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  • May 4, 2024

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    Panasonic Canada today introduced the shoulder-mounted AJ-SPC700 P2 camcorder which features outstanding mobility and low power consumption to meet the demanding needs of news broadcasters.

    ˇ§The AJ-SPC700 camcorder excels in the field, providing not only great images but time-saving IT options and versatile editing options,ˇ¨ says David Craig, Product Manager, Broadcast and Security Systems, Panasonic Canada. ˇ§The camera also contains no moving parts so it is extremely reliable and resistant to environmental hazards such as the shock, vibration, cold, heat and humidity.ˇ¨

    The AJ-SPC700 stores images on P2 cards using the MXF file format to ensure IT compatibility for file transfer. The camcorder features five P2 card slots, providing up to 160 minutes record capacity at DVCPRO and 80 minutes in DVCPRO50 with 8GB P2 cards. A sixth PC card slot is provided to accept a range of options, such as a MPEG-4 Proxy Video Encoder. Proxy video (available in three choices) may be recorded to P2 cards and SD Memory cards, and subsequently viewed on a journalistˇ¦s PC or personal digital assistant (PDA). The AJ-SPC700 starts recording from the moment itˇ¦s switched on, so users can feel confident that they wonˇ¦t miss an important shot. Its ˇ§hotˇ¨ swap function assures non-stop recording, because it allows a user to replace any P2 card (except the one being recorded on) on the fly. The camcorder comes equipped with a USB 2.0 interface for file transfers, and users can add an IEEE-1394 interface (optional AJ-YAD800G board) for a real-time stream and for connection to laptop computers running a range of non-linear editing applications, thereby providing a self-contained field editing solution.

    With its newly-developed DSP, the AJ-SPC700 has a very low power consumption of about 20 watts, which minimizes the number of batteries needed for field work. It is equipped with an advanced 12-axis matrix color correction system, and a news gamma curve specially optimized for the demands of field news acquisition. The news gamma curve helps to preserve image quality by suppressing over-saturation in highlight areas during sudden changes in contrast.

    The AJ-SPC700 combines a high-performance 2/3ˇ¨ 520,000-pixel, IT 3-CCD camera with 60 fields interlace recording in 25Mbps DVCPRO/DV and 50Mbps 4:2:2 DVCPRO50 format on a P2 card. Switchable between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, the camcorder delivers broadcast-level performance, with low smear, 750-line resolution, an S/N ratio of 63dB, a high sensitivity of F11 at 2024 lux, and minimum illumination of 0.5 lux (at +36dB).

    The AJ-SPC700 audio performance supports two audio input channels which will be recorded onto four audio channels of 48kHz/16-bit PCM audio in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV.

    The AJ-SPC700 offers many innovative IT functions:
    „h Three recording modes ˇV Continuous, pre-record or loop-record assure a news crew has less chance of missing an important event, and eliminates waiting for tape scanners or optical media to spin-up prior to recording.
    „h Voice Memo - A built-in memo microphone permits the addition of metadata audio description to clip metadata with specified time code link.
    „h Shot marker indication on clips of video.
    „h Thumbnail clip display and selection ˇV the built-in colour 3.5ˇ¨ LCD monitor provides easy review of video clip thumbnails and the creation of an in-camera storyboard.

    The camcorder is highly customizable with features such as four user scene files, three user setup buttons, and camera setup memory (up to eight camera setups can be saved to a SD Memory card).

    Other valuable features of the AJ-SPC700 include: Auto Tracking White Balance, electronic shutter speeds (1/100 to 1/2000 sec.) with Synchro-Scan capability (1/60.3 to 1/249.7 sec.), 4-position (ND + CC) optical filter, zebra pattern display, and built-in SMPTE time code generator/reader.

    Input/outputs include composite (in/out), Genlock (in), monitor (out), two XLR audio (in), one 3-pin XLR audio (out), two Microphone line (in), DC (in/out), ECU (in) two stereo headphone mini-jacks (out), plus UniSlot wireless Microphone (in).

    The AJ-SPC70 will be available in September at a suggested list price of $16,000.

    Panasonic also offers the shoulder-mount AJ-SPX800 2/3ˇ¨ DVCPRO P2 camcorder, which includes 24fps and 30fps progressive recording as well as 60 fields interlace recording.

    Panasonicˇ¦s DVCPRO P2 series products are fully compatible with DVCPRO, the industryˇ¦s standard for digital newsgathering, and provide a seamless migration path to DVCPRO HD. DVCPRO P2 offers nonlinear acquisition and instant access to material, high-speed file transfer, laptop field editing without requirement for proxy videos, and compatibility with off-the-shelf data storage drives for low-cost archiving, while eliminating traditional digitizing and ingesting operations. P2 cards can be re-used almost indefinitely, since a card can be re-written a minimum of 100,000 times without performance degradation and its ultra-reliable connector will last for a minimum of 30,000 insertion and removal cycles.

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