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Panasonic Press
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Panasonic Corporation is one of the largest electronic product manufacturers in the world, comprised of over 680 companies. It manufactures and markets a wide range of products under the Panasonic brand to enhance and enrich lifestyles all around the globe.

Panasonic Avionics to provide TRT World live broadcast

TRT World, international news platform launched in 2015 and headquartered in Istanbul, offers an alternative viewpoint on global and domestic events, challenging perceived narratives and providing a much-needed new perspective on news. With this agreement with Panasonic, TRT World will extend its reach to passengers on airlines around the world.

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), the world leader in inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) provides in-flight connectivity and infotainment content for over 80 connectivity customers around the world. This partnership enables Panasonic to extend TRT World’s live broadcast to many of the world’s leading international carriers, including Turkish Airlines.

“It is important to stay informed and up-to-date on world events. Passengers tune in to different outlets for news and it’s vital to have variety in your sources to have a more well-rounded view of current events. Thanks to Panasonic for making this challenge a lot easier during flight” said Fatih Er, director of News and Programmes, TRT World “Partnering with Panasonic to deliver our content in-flight is a major achievement to fulfill our promise to offer our service everywhere, whatever platform our audience prefer to receive it.”

Julie Lichty, head of Digital Solutions and Services at Panasonic Avionics said, “ Panasonic is proud to offer the world’s only truly global inflight live television services. Whether it’s the best in current affairs, sports and entertainment from a selection of the world’s premier media brands, our mission is to keep passengers informed and entertained with quality programming. We believe that TRT World is a significant enhancement to our portfolio, and will be a tremendous  enhancement to our airline customers’ passenger experience”.

Levi Allen shoots extreme sport with latest Atomos 4K monitor/recorder

Spectacular, gravity-defying shots – that’s what adventure filmmaker Levi Allen needed to capture when he filmed highlining athletes walking a slackline strung hundreds of feet above a canyon. And that’s what the Atomos Ninja V 4k HDR monitor/recorder delivered. Allen, who specialises in filming action sports, is one of the fastest rising stars on YouTube today and was one of the first shooters to really put the Ninja V to the test. He rigged it to his Panasonic GH5 for awesome 4K 10-bit 422 Apple ProRes recording at 60fps direct to SSD drive. The results are stunning.

The right kit for the filmmaker on the go

Documenting extreme sports athletes Mia and Spencer required Allen to climb and hike fast with all his gear. Working solo and having the Ninja V enabled him to keep his kit lightweight yet still record production-ready professional footage from his mirrorless camera. He said, “my favorite thing about the Ninja V is how portable it is for my adventurous shooting style, while also packing a punch where it matters most.”

The other primary purpose of the Ninja V is as a monitor and here it really excelled. Even though the shoot was outdoors in bright conditions, Allen was able to get perfect, clear monitoring thanks to the 1000 nit high brightness 1920×1080 display. The Ninja V was also the perfect monitor to use when shooting with his DJI Ronin S gimbal thanks to its smaller size and weight.

The shoot took about a day and while it looks dangerous Allen points out that he and the athletes rigorously put safety first at all times. With so much going on Allen needed his kit to work flawlessly and let him concentrate on what was going on in front of him. He explains, “the Ninja V is the first recorder that didn’t hold me back when shooting in the field. It fits perfectly into my workflow, and allowed me to focus more on the stories I’m trying to tell and less about the gear.”

The perfect companion for your mirrorless or DSLR camera

Ninja V is for anyone who is serious about getting better quality video out of their mirrorless camera or DSLR. Small enough and light enough to go anywhere it redefines what a small monitor and recorder is capable of. Unlock the full potential of latest models like the Canon EOS R, Nikon Z6, FUJIFILM X-T3, Panasonic GH5/GH5S and Sony A7 III by bypassing internal compression and recording time limits. Record up to 4Kp60 10-bit HDR video direct from your camera’s sensor into edit-ready Apple ProRes or Avid DNx formats.

The Ninja V displays 10+ stops of dynamic range in realtime from Log/PQ/HLG signals and features a stunningly bright 5.2” 10-bit HDR monitor. The sleek aluminum body is crafted for maximum durability, yet it weighs only 360g. With a 1TB AtomX SSDmini you can record up to 150 minutes of 4K.

A modular expansion slot adds functions via a high speed data/audio/video port. The first modules are the AtomX Sync module for wireless synchronisation and Bluetooth control, plus the AtomX Ethernet/NDI module.

In users’ hands now

Atomos are delighted to announce that the first Ninja V units are now in customers hands, with more stocks on the way. The company will endeavor to ship as many as possible in the coming weeks to meet the extreme customer demand for this exciting product.

Panasonic SA launches new South African headquarters in Cape Town

On 12 July, Panasonic South Africa – a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation – launched its new South African headquarters in Century City, Cape Town.

The event was attended by the managing executive officer of Panasonic Corporation in Japan, Daizo Ito; premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille; Western Cape Minister of Finance, Dr Ivan Meyer; head of the Africa Region, Hiroyuki Shibutani; and the managing director of Panasonic South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Hidetoshi Kaneko.

Kaneko told Wesgro: “We are excited about our new headquarters in Cape Town. We decided to move to the Western Cape because of the growth in our customer base in this region, and access to other large companies located in the Cape. We are also encouraged by its strong skills-pipeline.”

At the launch, Zille said: “We welcome this latest move by Panasonic. It is a great vote of confidence in our region to have such a major global player set up base in Cape Town. Since 2009 we have worked tirelessly to create a conducive environment for businesses to operate freely, create jobs and grow the economy.”

The new Century City based facility has established a “Life Experience Centre”, open to the public and designed to enable Panasonic to hear customer voices with the aim of developing new products which are uniquely suited to the South African market. On display are several Panasonic products which are available in other parts of the world but have not been introduced into the South African market as yet.

In March, Panasonic launched the “YOU CAN BE THE LIGHT” project in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. At this ceremony Panasonic donated the first batch of Panasonic-branded solar lanterns (414 units) to the Foundation, who in turn will distribute the units to those in need of lighting in off-grid areas. As 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth and the founding of Panasonic by Konosuke Matsushita, Panasonic multiplied 100 by two and aims to donate 10 000 lights over the next few years.

Panasonic expands studio camera range

Panasonic recently announced the launch of a new studio camera system aimed at the production, rental and live events markets.

Expanding its portfolio of studio cameras, the new S35mm MOS sensor AK-UC4000 outputs in both Ultra HD and Full HD and is set to ship in Spring 2018.

Becoming the company’s flagship studio camera, it is launched alongside a new camera control unit (AK-UCU600). The camera, as well as the camera control unit have the same format as the UC3000 system, but additionally features a 4.4K image sensor in UHD, achieving 2000 TV lines and a S/N of 62dB. 2 x 12G SDI and 4 x 3G (two times 4 x 3G is available as option) are standard. All outputs are capable of supporting HDR (HLG) and SDR independently.

A Media over IP interface (MoIP), with SMPTE-2022 and SMPTE-2110 for remote operation configurations, will become available as an option in Autumn 2018. Furthermore, the AK-UC4000 camera system will incorporate switchable 2x, 3x and 4x high speed HD support as standard later this year.

“Panasonic’s new studio camera system delivers excellent value for money, over and above its competitors,” says Stefan Hofmann, Panasonic manager Sales Engineering Live Operation. “What’s really unique is that there are a high number of Panasonic products such as the EVA1, VariCam LT, PTZ cameras and other cameras from the professional camera range, which can be controlled by the same remote control panel, the HRP1000 and HRP1005. In a live events space, this is invaluable.”

New Panasonic GH5S and Atomos Ninja Inferno – a dream combination for low light shooting

Panasonic recently released their new GH5S mirrorless camera with amazing low light capabilities. Unleash its full capability by combining it with the Atomos Ninja Inferno 4K monitor / recorder – recording up to DCI 4Kp60 10-bit 4:2:2 over HDMI 2.0 directly into production-ready Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR on SSD drives.

Enjoy saturated colours and capture sparkling shots even when shooting in V-Log format in the dimmest conditions. Colours are rich and deep even in super low light and reds are really red. Huge amounts of colour information are retained with 10-bit. This technological advance puts paid to the widespread assumption that you should never shoot Log in low light with mirrorless cameras because of excess noise. Now you can get the full benefits of a wider dynamic range and punchy colours and enjoy a clean image while staying in Panasonic’s V-Log, giving you a greater ability to manipulate your image in post-production.

This is all made possible with the 10-bit pipeline and data rates of up to a whopping 1880 Mbps when shooting in 4Kp60 and ProRes HQ, far in excess of the camera’s internal capabilities. This makes an incredible difference, especially at ISOs of 3200 and above.

The combination can also be used to shoot the HLG form of HDR at DCI 4Kp50 and 60. Additionally, it will add the correct metadata tags for display on YouTube and HDR screens. The unique AtomHDR mode on the Ninja Inferno allows for quick and easy setting of exposure when shooting Log or HLG images for HDR or regular Rec.709 shooting.

To showcase the pairing’s incredible abilities, Atomos released a video shot using a pre-production GH5S in just a few hours near one of London’s best-loved landmarks. The small team started late at night, shooting in only available light – so little of it that no regular camera would have allowed them to film. The whole project was captured in Panasonic V-Log, with the London buses rendered a deep red, and detail invisible to the naked eye clearly seen on the famous statue of Admiral Nelson. In these historic surroundings, young skateboarder Karan practises into the early hours, even in freezing conditions.

The crew shot in DCI 4Kp50 with the camera’s ISO set at either 3200 or 6400 ISO. Lenses were a Voigtlander 10.5mm f0.95, 25mm f0.95 and a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 zoom with a Metabones Speedbooster. These combinations allowed a shutter speed at 100th of a second to be achieved with good exposure at all times. AtomHDR mode was used on the monitor to assess the image and ensure that noise was suppressed while retaining maximum levels of highlight detail.

The GH5S-Ninja Inferno pairing is easily used on a gimbal, in spaces where you haven’t got room for a full crew set-up or want to operate discreetly without attracting too many bystanders. For this shoot, the camera was mounted to the Letus Helix Junior brushless gimbal, which has the unique ability to balance the GH5S with Zacuto cage attached, and the Ninja Inferno mounted on top, giving the operator a compact shooting package with an unobstructed view of the monitor.

The 4Kp50 footage was slowed down to 25p in post and a basic grade applied using Filmconvert. An upgraded version of the film will be released shortly so that you can judge the image quality for yourself and see what you can do with the results. We’re confident you’ll agree that this pairing is a midwinter night’s dream.

As with the older GH5, the combination of the GH5S and Ninja Inferno also has the following benefits:

  • 7” monitor with 1500 Nit high brightness
  • Calibration using dedicated XRite display calibrator for accurate colour even as time goes on.
  • Vlog with VGamut Monitoring with AtomHDR
  • Waveform monitor, vectorscope, false colour, peaking and image magnification for focus check
  • Dual XLR audio input with Phantom power
  • Affordable open standard SSD media
  • The ability to load custom LUTs and quickly toggle between different looks
  • Directly output to HDR televisions and displays using PQ HDR10 or HLG from your HLG or V-Log material
  • Instant review of shot material in the field on the Ninja Inferno display.

Watch the full video here.

Camera illusion

Choosing a camera for production these days is bound to leave many scratching heads for answers to the age-old question, “What is the best camera available?”.

Realistically there is no objectively right or wrong answer here. There is only what’s “right” or “wrong” for you and what you plan to achieve with your camera – all of which have their pros and cons; therefore, there is no such thing as “the best camera.” The most expensive cameras don’t necessarily offer the best images so it’s probably best to look at a camera and a host of accessories that will give you the best look for your application rather than getting lost in the spec sheets.

CAMERAS

ARRI and RED continue to lead the digital revolution in high end videography. Whilst ARRI’s Alexa line-up remains out of reach for many filmmakers, RED lowered the bar to entry with its introduction of a sub-$10K camera, the Red Raven; a 4K camera with a wide dynamic range and impressive frame rates of up to 120fps. With the ability to record in REDCODE RAW (R3D) and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD, simultaneously, RED RAVEN supports a wide range of trusted workflow options and has become a favourite with film maker’s world over. As one of the smallest and most lightweight RED cameras yet, RED RAVEN is uniquely suited for hand-held shooting, as well as gimbal and drone applications.

Not content to let RED have all the drone and gimbal fun, ARRI introduced the ALEXA Mini recently, which takes the image quality of the original ALEXA and shoves it all into a much smaller Carbon Fibre package. The camera is capable of up to 200fps 2K ProRes and 30fps 2.8K ArriRAW recording to internal CFast 2.0 cards (60fps at 4:3 and 120fps at 16:9 if you go to a Codex recorder). It can record 4K by upscaling but the quality of the sensor is such that ARRI can get away with it. The coolest thing about the Mini is that nearly everything is controllable from WiFi, including the ND filters, so you can operate the entire device remotely.

Canon and Panasonic have put out a few good offerings, particularly this year, but have generally been outpaced by Sony’s and Blackmagic Design’s rapid rate of innovation.

Released back in 2015 but with a major firmware upgrade boosting it to new heights, the new SONY PXW-FS5 is a great small package that packs a lot of punch. Its Super 35 Exmor CMOS image sensor (the same size as the PXW-FS7) delivers 14 stops of dynamic range and can shoot up to 960 fps in burst mode. It also offers 240 and 480 fps and gives you the ability for 40x slowmo – it’s a really impressive beast.

With a new 4.6K sensor, CinemaDNG raw recording capability, and optional PL mount, it’s hard to imagine a better-value camcorder with more professional features than Blackmagic Design’s Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K. To produce cinematic images, the URSA Mini can record uncompressed raw sensor data in the CinemaDNG format onto CFast 2.0 memory cards. The URSA Mini also records UHD (3840 x 2160) and 1080p video using ready-to-edit ProRes files in many different flavours depending on your workflow and is my pick as camera of the year.

Canon’s EOS C100 Mark II Cinema EOS Camera is so popular in the USA that it’s been sold out of stock twice in the past year. The EOS C100 Mark II uses the same Super 35mm Canon CMOS sensor as its big brother, the C300. With an EF lens mount, the camera is compatible with the full range of Canon EF, EF-S, and EF Cinema lenses. This is particularly useful for DSLR shooters who have already invested in Canon lenses.

Demonstrating why it is a leader in the industry, Sony has released its latest full-frame Alpha a9 Mirrorless Digital Camera. The new sensor and processor system provide an ISO range of 100 – 51200 (expandable to 50 – 204800), ensuring optimal image quality with minimal noise in low light, and at fast speeds. The new camera also supports uncompressed 14-bit RAW. 4K (3840x2160p) video recording across the full width of the full-frame image sensor is supported and, when shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to produce high-quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth.

Incidentally, most DSLRs have a 30-minute video recording limit which is actually the result of an EU spec that defines a video camera as opposed to a still camera. There are higher tariffs in the EU for video cameras so the still camera manufacturers have implemented this time limit in their firmware to hold down costs to the consumer.

LENSES

Lens manufacturers Tokina have added new 18mm and 25mm cine prime additions to their exciting Vista prime lens line-up as well as a new revamped Cinema 16-28mm T3.0 Mark II wide angle zoom. The new Tokina 16-28mm has been re-engineered to use the optical formula of the award winning still lenses and is also is par focal. The new Tokina 16-28mm T3 II is available in PL, Canon EF, MFT, Sony E, Nikon F mounts.

Professional video creators and filmmakers have been eagerly anticipating the release of a wide-angle G Master lens. The Sony 16-35mm F/2.8 GM promises sharpness across the zoom range and throughout apertures, with Sony promoting the extreme aspherical (XA) element to achieve the greatest resolution and lowest image distortion. Weighing in at only 680g, the lens is lighter than the Canon equivalent, but a little more expensive.

New from Canon is the COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens, a cinema-style lens that includes a servo drive unit as a standard feature. Additionally, the lens incorporates Image Stabilization, Autofocus, and Auto Iris functionality – three extremely useful features not commonly found in cinema lenses, but popular in EF lenses. The lens also provides high image quality that supports 4K image productions and was designed to be utilised in a variety of shooting styles including, hand-held, shoulder mounted, and tripod mounted and is compatible with EF-mount Super 35mm large-format cameras.

ON CAMERA MONITORS

There’s a wide range of decent on-camera monitors to choose from, and now there’s one more candidate: the new Marshall V-LCD70W-SH. It’s a 7”{ HDMI and SDI LCD monitor with a detachable sun hood that’s also foldable, HDMI and SDI inputs and a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels but for great value for money and technical innovation you just can’t beat Blackmagic Designs Video Assist which works with everything from DSLR’s to SDI camcorders.

There are two models available – the 5” Video Assist features a 1920 x 1080 screen and an HD recorder. The other model is the Blackmagic Design Video Assist 4K featuring a 7” high resolution screen, two high speed recorders for non-stop Ultra HD recording, XLR mic inputs, a built-in speaker and more!

MUST HAVE ACCESSORIES

This is a great device and those who own it wonder how they ever managed without it. The NEXTO DI NCB-20 Card Batcher allows you to copy up to eight memory cards at once to either one or two external drives connected via USB 3.0, all without the need for a computer. It has a single-button operation design, and a simple 2,4” LCD display to monitor the copying process. The device is capable of carrying out automatic labelling, a feature that will sort the files on the HDD according to slots and create organised folders. It is also possible to assign a camera to a certain card slot on the device, which will copy all the files into a folder according to shooting date, slot number and a text field, such as the camera operator’s name, for example. There are 7 variants for SD/SDHC/SDXC/MicroSD (UHS1) cards, CFast cards, XQD cards, SXS cards, P2 and Express P2 cards and RED MINIMAG cards

BATTERIES

Though our cameras and production accessories continue to get smaller and more portable, battery manufacturers have been working to develop better and longer lasting batteries, which in a strange way is a problem. Recently the International Air Transport Association (IATA) tightened its regulations for battery transport. The regulations that state that Li-ion batteries transported as cargo must be charged to no more than 30 % of their rated capacity. Those with Anton/Bauer batteries will be pleased with the Anton/Bauer LPD Discharger that can discharge up to four Li-ion batteries simultaneously and works with either Gold Mount or V-Mount batteries. As a dedicated battery discharge unit, the LPD requires no external power; rather, it uses energy from the batteries it is discharging. This allows for travel-friendly operation and ensures that the discharging process does not damage the batteries.

IT’S A WRAP

Realistically, at the end of the day we all know that a great looking image isn’t judged by its dynamic range, resolution, f-stop or anything else technical. Specs do matter, but what matters most is the person behind the camera and the ability to utilise the resources you have at your disposal.

Panasonic unveils VariCam LT cinema camcorder

Panasonic has unveiled the VariCam LT, representing their next generation of 4K cinema
cameras. The VariCam LT camcorder inherits the same 35mm sensor and imaging
capabilities that distinguish the VariCam 35, but with significant reductions in size,
weight and price.

Incorporating this identical imaging DNA in a more compact rendition, the VariCam
LT (model AU-V35LT1G) delivers 14+ stops of dynamic range with V-Log, and the
VariCam image quality and colour science, as well as the VariCam 35’s dual native
ISOs of 800/5000.

Weighing just under three kilograms, the VariCam LT is ideal for handheld,
SteadiCam, jib, crane, drone, gimbal and overall cinema verite work. The VariCam
LT is likewise tailor-made for owner/operators, independent filmmakers,
documentary makers and corporate production creators.

The VariCam LT delivers image handling in multiple formats ranging from 4K, UHD,
2K and HD, and like the VariCam 35, is capable of High Dynamic Range (HDR) field
capture. The 4K camcorder offers Apple ProRes 4444 (up to 30p) and ProRes 422
HQ (up to 60p) support for HD recording, as well as Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA family
of video codecs.

New codecs introduced in the VariCam LT include AVC-Intra LT and AVC-Intra 2K-LT, both designed to offer capture rates up to 240fps in imager crop mode, ideal for fast motion footage.

Powerful colour management capabilities combined with VariCam’s colour gamut
and support for the Academy Colour Encoding System (ACES) workflow allow for
full fidelity mastering of original source material. The VariCam LT offers in-camera
colour grading, with the ability to record an ungraded 4K master along with all on-set grading metadata. A new colour processing feature is V-Look, which acts as a
blend of V-Log and video, and allows filmic documentary acquisition without the
same need for intense colour grading.

The VariCam LT differs from the VariCam 35 in being a one-piece, short-bodied
camcorder vs. a two-piece camera head plus recorder. While the VariCam LT does
not feature parallel sub-recording, it does have an SD slot for high-resolution proxy
recording. Proxy files can be wirelessly uploaded via FTP, which facilitates wireless
colour grading. Variable frame rates are available with LongG6 recording.

There is one expressP2 card for all formats including high frame rate and
HD/2K/UHD and 4K recording (the 256Gbyte expressP2 card can record up to 90
minutes of 4K/4:2:2/23.98p content). RAW output from SDI is planned to be
supported by a firmware upgrade in early 2016.

The VariCam LT features an EF mount (vs. the VariCam 35’s PL mount), suitable for
lenses available for smaller cameras. The EF mount can be switched out to a
standard PL mount, expanding the range of compatible lenses that can be used. The control panel can be separated from the camera body to facilitate control and easy menu access. The camcorder has a magnesium body to assure durability and
reliability in challenging shooting locations.

Other features new to the VariCam LT are power hot swap, IR shooting, 23.98 PsF
output, and image presets as scene files.

Among the camcorder’s top-level production assets are ND filters (CLEAR, 0.6, 1.2,
1.8), an optional OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with optical zoom functionality,
24-bit LPCM audio for in-camera audio master recording, Focus Assist, anamorphic
lens de-squeeze, special REC functions (PreRec, interval, one-shot), IP control via
Panasonic’s AK-HRP200 camera remote controller, and built-in GPS.

Professional interfaces include: 3G-HD-SDI x 3 (SDI-OUT X 2 and VF), LAN, genlock
in, timecode in/out, USB2.0 Host and USB2.0 Device (mini B), and three XLR inputs
(one 5-pin, two 3-pin) to record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio. In addition,
its interfaces allow use of the Panasonic AU-VCVF10G viewfinder, as well as 3rd
party viewfinder solutions.

Panasonic AV-HS6000 2ME video switcher

Panasonic’s 2ME video switcher was introduced at IBC 2015 as part of its live
production line-up.

• 32 inputs (DVI×2) and SDI×16 outputs; all inputs have built-in frame
synchronisers
• Colour correctors are installed at eight inputs and four outputs
• Up-converters at four inputs and down-converters are installed at two
outputs
• Equipped with four DVE and two DVE (2D) per ME to handle backgrounds and
keys
• AUX1 to AUX4 buses are equipped with MIX transitions
• Equipped with real-time high-quality chroma keying that employs Primatte®
algorithms. Standard 1 channel, expandable up to four channels
• Four keyer per ME (total eight channels) also capable of PinP
• Four downstream and four upstream keyers
• Equipped with four independent MultiViewer displays
• Single MultiViewer can display a maximum of 16 video sources
• Source names, tallies, audio level meters, and safety markers are
displayable
• Web server function: The switcher can be set and operated via LAN
connection
• Shot, event and macro memory allow to preset and recall frequently used
effects
• Video clips and still images can be registered up to four channels each, allowing
them to be easily used for CG wipes
• Plug-in software, external device control capability can be added in accordance
with the operation workflow
• Operation with two additional panels is possible by IP connection
• The switcher can be set by the 10,1-type touch-operated Menu Panel AVHS60C3G
(optional) or by a PC monitor and USB mouse.

Panasonic AG-DVX 200 4K handheld camera

At NABShow 2015, Panasonic launched its new 4K camera, which is intended as a
companion for the Varicam 35.

• Comes with a fixed lense: a Leica Dicomar 4K zoom lens with f2.8 aperture
• 4K/60p recording
• 13x optical zoom
• V-Log L gamma curve
• 12 stops of latitude
• Small and light, ideal for documentary and low budget production

Panasonic’s latest AVC-ULTRA camcorder

NBCUniversal News Group (New York, NY) has purchased a number of Panasonic electronic newsgathering (ENG) cameras and related broadcast equipment as part of its technology and workflow transformation initiative.

The pro video equipment includes Panasonic’s latest AVC-ULTRA camcorder models, the AJ-PX5000G P2 HD shoulder-mount and AJ-PX270 P2 HD handheld, as well as AJ-PG50 and AJ-PD500 AVC-ULTRA field recorders, AK-HRP200 remote operation panels, and VariCam 35 4K camera/recorders.

This equipment will be used across the board to acquire contribution video for all NBC News programmes including NBC Nightly News, TODAY, Meet the Press and Dateline, as well as MSNBC. It will also be utilised to contribute to NBC business partners CNBC, Telemundo and other cable properties.

Ultimately, NBCU News Group intends to standardise on AVC-LongG25 as an acquisition and mezzanine format. According to Leonard Venezia, NBCUniversal vice president of field operations and engineering, “We’ve looked carefully at codecs and are very impressed with Panasonic’s LongG25. It’s remarkable to have the ability to capture full 10 bit HD 4:2:2 images using a 25Mbps codec. The quality is outstanding. While there are reduced storage implications, I think for us the real benefit comes when transferring files back to the home office or even for local use. As an example, using a laptop and card reader, we are able to transfer 60 minutes of content to a thumb drive in about two minutes.’

“NBCU News Group’s decision to standardise on AVC-LongG25 is a testament to the power and flexibility of the AVC-ULTRA codec, and we are tremendously excited to support the network in its broad technology initiative with a range of our advanced ENG gear,’ said John Baisley, senior vice-president, Panasonic System Communications Company.

As part of its longstanding relationship with Panasonic, NBC News assisted Panasonic in the development of the feature set of the PX5000G and its next generation of ENG cameras. “The design and functionality of the PX5000G makes it well equipped for today’s fast-paced and competitive news business,’ Venezia said. “The camera weighs a mere 7.5lbs, uses CMOS sensors, has very low power consumption (29W), great sensitivity and S/N. We used the camera for a Telemundo production, La Voz, and the production team was impressed with the quality of the picture. We also value the microP2 media for its reasonable price, durability and speed.’

With respect to the wireless functionality of the PX5000G and PX270, Venezia added, “Wireless connectivity is critical to our workflow. The ability to transfer files and clips – hi res or proxy – while continuing to record is a major leap forward. We have great interest in using cloud architecture to send an EDL to the camera and receive the hi res clip back at the station for immediate play-out. Further, the ability to add metadata over wireless infrastructure will help streamline and automate manual processes.’

Venezia said NBCU News Group plans to use the VariCam 35 to enhance content for long-form projects, citing the camera’s narrow depth of field, multiple frame rates, enhanced dynamic range and colour gamut as tools to allow photographers and producers to expand their creativity.

Also, NBC News will be among the first customers to take advantage of Panasonic’s new “Bumper to-Bumper’ Premium Service, coverage that the network anticipates will lower cost-of-ownership over the long term and sustain a productive engagement with the company.

The latest series of Panasonic’s P2 HD camcorders with built-in wireless/wired streaming capabilities, the AJ-PX270, AJ-PX800 and AJ-PX5000G, are all AVC-ULTRA capable, with the same recording formats, codec and file structure. When used in modern field production – whether fast-breaking news or scheduled interviews – the tool kits provided are similar, with the camcorders differing only in the lens / imager format and pricing. In many cases a mixture of cameras can used by various crews with, for example, the PX270 utilised for lightweight, handheld use by VJs, the PX800 a more traditional yet affordable 2/3′ camera and the flagship PX5000G used by news photographers where the reach of a 2/3′ camera and lens is required.

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