SCREEN AFRICA reports from IBC, the premier broadcast technology trade show in Amsterdam.
After an absence of five years, Panasonic is back at IBC with a big focus on 3D. Said Jerome Bernard, director of AV Systems, Europe. “Five years ago we decided to promote solid state technology through local events rather than exhibiting at global trade fairs like IBC. However, we’re back at IBC this year and are proud to be launching two world firsts – the AG-3DA1 professional camcorder – the world’s first twin lens camcorder – and the AG-AF101 handheld film like camera. I’m also proud to say that Panasonic solid state camcorders now account for 60% of all camcorders in Europe.
“Panasonic technology has always been based on solid state memory and high quality codecs and this year we’re adding 3D stereoscopy. Our 3D products range “from camera to couch’ – this includes 3D camcorders, 3D monitors, 3D, production switchers, 3D plasma screens and 3D displays. We offer 3D professional plasma screens in 85 inch, 103 inch and 152 inch – the latter is the world’s largest display. Our commitment to 3D is further enhanced by the opening of our 3D Innovation Centre in Wiesbaden, Germany. Panasonic currently has 15 partners supporting its 3D technology.’
The frame-based codec, AVC-Intra, was highlighted at the press conference by Darren Long, director of Operations at Sky Sports. “Sky broadcasts 44 channels of HD and we have over the last year been working on developing the world’s largest tapeless studio. As a result we have been looking at all available codecs and Panasonic’s AVC-Intra stood out, being intra-frame and 10 bit. This will give us the best quality storage and the ability to store content on small accessible drives in our OB vans. All our ENGS shoot with Panasonic P2 cameras.’
Praises for the AG-3DA1 came from Benjamin Klumpp of Rat Pack, who is working on Germany’s first 3D movie. “I was tasked to do a behind the scenes film and Panasonic kindly gave me a prototype of the AG-3DA1 to use on the project. I’ve been amazed at the quality of pictures on this camera and how easy it is to use. It allows you to shoot 3D like 2D.’
An effusive endorsement of the AG-AF101 camera came from American filmmaker Barry Green. “In the last few years we’ve had a DSLR revolution in that people have been starting to shoot on these small cameras instead of using professional cameras. But they’re awful as DSLRs were designed to shoot still pictures so if you shoot moving images you get appalling artifacts (ie. false details in the image). The AG-AF101 is everything that a DSLR camera is not and includes the cinematic shallow depth of field developed by Panasonic.’
Green then produced three pages of features that the AG-AF101 includes and extolled the camera’s praises repeatedly.
For more on Panasonic’s latest products see the October issue of Screen Africa.