For the AJ-HPX3700, Panasonic developed a high-density 2.2-megapixel 2/3-inch CCD that provides high-resolution full-pixel (1920 x 1080) HD images. The AJ-HPX3700 provides a choice of progressive/interlace HD video formats, supporting native 1080 23.98p/24p/25p/29.97p, as well as 1080 50i and 1080 59.94i. The camera offers a high F10 sensitivity at 2000 lux when operating in 1080i.
This exclusive technology works between lens and camera, allowing for a highly sophisticated algorithm to be deployed that automatically compensates the registration error that is caused mainly by lens chromatic aberration, and minimizes the neighboring blur. By using a CAC-compatible zoom lens, the P2 VariCam Series can obtain images similar to those captured with a prime lens.
We offer a 14-bit A/D conversion system along with the new highperformance DSP circuit. The 12-axis color correction matrix lets you make fine adjustments in specific color regions. Functions such as skin detail let you further fine-tune the image.
The P2 VariCam Series can use an ultra prime lens and even an anamorphic lens adapter that creates a 2.35:1 aspect image for wide-screen cinematic shooting without cropping the image. Its scan reverse function cancels the image inversion that occurs when Angenieux&s HD lens adaptor is used.
In scenes with mixed contrast, such as when panning from indoors to outdoors, the DRS function automatically suppresses blocked shadows and blown highlights. A gamma curve and knee slope is estimated to match the contrast of each pixel, and applied in real time. When dark, bright, and intermediate shades are all contained in the same scene, this produces excellent gradation for each shade and minimizes blocked shadows and blown highlights. The images that result are enhanced by a visually wide dynamic range.
The DSP circuit in the P2 VariCam Series has seven selectable gamma modes. These include Film-Rec and Video-Rec gamma for movie production, which are the same modes incorporated in the VariCam. When using HD SDI dual-link output with the AJ-HPX3700, images recorded in Film-Rec gamma mode can be converted to P-10Log gamma, or "live" P-10 Log content can be recorded to external devices for high-end digital cinema production.
Both models come ready for system expansion with an HD SDI terminal that allows camera-through 1080/24PsF output. The AJ-HPX3700 adds a second HD SDI output terminal that can serve for dual-link output. HD images can be output with RGB 4:4:4 quality and the 10-bit Log (P-10Log) gamma curve*, ideal for high-end movie production using an uncompressed recorder.
*P-10Log images can be used only with camera-through output. They cannot be recorded onto a P2 card.
In Film-Rec gamma mode, a cinema compensation function converts the signal to provide high-contrast images for monitoring with ideal gradation. Both the viewfinder and monitor display a fully preserved Film-Rec gamma curve while the images are recorded onto a P2 card or output from the HD SDI terminal. "VF Gamma" can be set from the menu for the LCD and viewfinder display, and "Mon Gamma" can be set for monitor or remote output.
Panasonic led the industry in developing the variable frame rate function. This ground-breaking function, from which VariCam takes its name, allows undercranking and overcranking to produce expressive quick-motion and slow-motion scenes.
The AJ-HPX2700&s frame rate can be set all the way from 1 to 60 fps, and the AJ-HPX3700&s from 1 to 30 fps.
*The settable frame-rate range varies with the system mode and the video format or recording format. See the Input/Output Video Format table on page 6 for details.
* Normal cinematic shooting (at 24 fps or 30 fps) The 24 fps rate refers to the same rate as used in film cameras. The 30 fps rate is the standard frame rate used in the production of TV commercials.
* Higher-speed shooting (at over 25 fps*) This produces slow-motion effects. It is especially effective for high-action scenes like car chases or crashes, or to create a dramatic impact in a scene.
*When the standard speed is 24 fps. For a standard speed of 30 fps, anything over 31 fps will be overcranked.
* Lower-speed shooting (at under 23 fps*) This lets you attain a fast-motion effect. It can be combined with a warp-speed effect to give special emphasis to flowing water, fast-moving clouds, etc.
*When the standard speed is 24 fps. For a standard speed of 30 fps, anything under 29 fps will be undercranked.
In Native mode, the P2 HD VariCam records images at the frame rate set in the camera. For example in 24pN mode, it only records 24 frames instead of the normal 60 frames. Playing back the recording at the normal rate, you can preview the speed effect right on the spot, without using a frame rate converter. Native mode also extends the recording time of a P2 card.
*The AJ-HPX3700 cannot record in 720p mode
The 24p Advance mode applies 2:3:3:2 pulldown to one of the 1080/24p recording modes to allow over 60i recording.* This provides compatibility with the AG-HVX200/HPX170 Series P2 handheld cameras that record using an HD codec.
*See the Input/Output Video Format table on page 6 for details. For information on compatible nonlinear editing systems, visit and click "Nonlinear Compatibility Information."
Both models feature an electronic shutter that offers 7 shutter speeds up to a maximum 1/2000 second, plus a Half mode, as well as an angle setting similar to a film camera. This combines with the variable frame rate function to support a wide variety of shooting techniques. A synchro scan function also provides optimal recording when shooting CRT monitors.
An AVC-Intra codec board is included as standard equipment. It allows recording in either of two modes: AVC-Intra 100, for full-pixel HD (1920 x 1080 and 1280 x 720) images, or AVC-Intra 50 for low-bit-rate, low-cost operation. AVC-Intra is a new codec that further advances HD production. It complies with the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 international standard based on advanced image compression technology, and offers both superb image quality and highly efficient compression. It uses an intra-frame compression system to bring important advantages to professional editing.
With the same bit rate as DVCPRO HD, this mode supports full 10 bit recordings with 1920 x 1080 pixels. It enables the AJ-HPX3700 to capture master-quality video for high-end video production.
This mode delivers video quality very similar to DVCPRO HD, yet is able to do so at bit rates usually associated with standard definition (e.g. DVCPRO 50). AVC-Intra 50&s lower bit rate doubles the recording time per P2 card over DVCPRO HD and lowers storage requirements for editing.
The AVC-Intra 100 and 50 codecs let you record in a choice of HD video formats: 1080 23.98p/24p/29.97p/25p, as well as 1080 50i/59.94i. These worldwide HD formats bring extra flexibility to all of your production needs. The AJ-HPX2700 also supports 720p recording for HD image production in a variety of formats, including 60p and 50p.
See the Input/Output Video Format table on page 6 for details.
The P2 VariCam Series also supports the conventional DVCPRO HD codec. This lets it flexibly adapt to various applications and system environments, and makes for a smooth transition from existing VTR VariCam (AJ-HDC27H) systems.
These camcorders can record full 48-kHz/16-bit digital audio on all four channels. You can freely select the audio source for each channel, choosing from mic, line, wireless receiver, and others. A 5 pin XLR jack with 2-channel compatibility is used for the front mic input. Using the optional AJ-MC900G stereo microphone lets you record stereo with a single mic.
Motion-image compression can be divided roughly into two methods: I-Only compression, which completes all processing within each frame, and Long GOP compression, which processes across multiple frames. AVC-Intra and DVCPRO HD use I-Only compression, while HDV uses Long GOP compression. The MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard encompasses both methods.When the images of adjacent frames are similar, Long GOP compression achieves an advantageously low bit rate. However, this trait is not often seen in broadcasts like flash-filled press conferences, fast-action sports, and music shows with confetti and electronic displays.
Also, because processing is performed frame-by-frame in I-Only, new-generation multi-core CPUs offer high-speed parallel processing. This makes I-Only compression more suitable for Non-linear editing than Long GOP, for which parallel processing is difficult due to its inter-frame dependence.With its I-Only compression, AVC-Intra produces remarkably stable images that are unaffected by adjacent frames, and meets professional needs in virtually all situations and workflows.
By selecting the most effective compression techniques from among those in compliance with the H.264 standard, AVC-Intra has doubled the compression efficiently over earlier Intra frame compression schemes. Its intraframe predictive and contextadaptive entropy coding are particularly effective methods for boosting compression efficiency.
This process generates predictive images based on adjacent blocks of 8 x 8 pixels. Selecting the most suitable predictive mode from among nine luminance signal modes (see illustration) and four color signal modes, it generates accurate predictive images. The residual data (obtained by subtracting a predictive image from the original input image) is recorded together with the predictive image. Because the prediction accuracy is high, there&s minimal residual data, and thus high compression is achieved. This process is conducted within the frame, so prediction accuracy remains high even with fast-motion images.
The entropy coding process used in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 utilizes CAVLC (Context Adaptive VLC) and CAVBAC (Context Adaptive Binary Arithmetic Coding), both of which are context adaptive. MPEG-2 uses a fixed table when performing the VLC coding, with the result that compression efficiency is low with some types of images. In context-adaptive coding, on the other hand, operation varies with different kinds of images and high compression efficiency is maintained at all times.
P2 cards feature a large capacity of up to 64 GB* (using the AJ-P2C064, fourth quarter 2008), a compact size, and light weight of 45 grams (1.5 ounces).This solid-state memory card is highly resistant to shock and vibration, so it brings high reliability and mobility to outdoor shooting. It lets the camera start recording immediately from Standby mode, and allows shooting to start within three seconds of turning the power on. This speedy response shortens downtime when replacing batteries, and greatly cuts down on battery power consumption by letting you turn the power off during standby. P2 cards can even be exchanged with the power off. Recorded data is automatically stored in blank card areas with no cueing required. This eliminates the risk of accidentally overwriting valuable data.
*Total card capacity includes space for data management such as system data, so the actual usable area is less than the capacity indicated on the card.
With five P2 cards installed, the P2 HD VariCam can capture up to 800 minutes of 1080/24p content. It also provides several recording functions that are possible only with memory cards.
* Card selection: The recording slot can be changed (sequential switching) even during recording. This lets you review, organize, edit and transmit just recorded content. Content can also be organized while shooting, by switching cards for each scene category.
* Hot-swap-rec: You can replace a full memory card with a blank one while the P2 cam is recording onto a second card. Successively swapping cards this way gives you virtually unlimited recording capability.
* Loop-rec*: By loop recording onto a specified recording area, you can continue to record over a fixed area.
* Pre-rec*: While in standby mode, you can continuously store, and subsequently record, up to 8 seconds of video and audio. In effect, this lets you record footage of events that occur even before you press the rec start button, giving you a way to "go back" and capture moments you otherwise would have missed.
* Interval rec*: This gives you automatic intermittent recording based on a set interval and recording time.
* One-shot rec*: This frame-shot recording function is useful for producing animations.
* Rec review: This lets you run a quick playback check of the 2 to 10 seconds that lead up to the end of the clip you have just recorded.
*These functions cannot be used for variable frame rate recording.
The P2 HD cam automatically generates a thumbnail image for each clip. You can view thumbnails on the built-in 3.5" color LCD monitor, or, by connecting the camera&s Monitor Out to a separate display. Any of the clips can be accessed instantly. Thumbnail images can be paused, fast-forwarded, and reversed just like a tape, and unwanted cuts can be deleted by selecting and deleting the corresponding thumbnail image. You can also specify a number of clips for seamless playback* or on-air broadcasting. And if a shooting opportunity should arise during playback, the P2 HD cam lets you start recording immediately with no cueing required and no risk of accidentally overwriting valuable data.
*Seamless playback is not possible between clips recorded in different formats.
When recording or previewing a clip, press the Text Memo button at any of up to 100 locations and a text memo label, similar to a bookmark, is registered. Using only the P2 VariCam, you can create a new clip with data copied between text memo labels. Text information can also be written into each memo using the P2 VariCam or a PC with P2 Viewer installed. A shot mark, which allows convenient OK and NG marking, can also be added to each clip during or after recording.
This shows the text memo editing window of the provided Windows PC software, P2 Viewer. A list of memos is shown on the right side. The clip time line below the view window shows the memo marks. Text can be written to an empty memo space created by the camera-recorder. Memos can also be added, deleted or moved.
When the AJ-YAX800G proxy video encoder is installed, the P2 VariCam can record MPEG-4 proxy (low-resolution) data onto a P2 card or SD/SDHC Memory Card. This can be used for quick viewing of dailies with timecode and its low bit rate provides easy transmission over wired and wireless networks.
*Proxy data cannot be recorded when recording with the variable frame rate in Native mode, or when Pre-rec or Loop-rec is used. Proxy data refers to MPEG-4 low-resolution AV data in file form for moving pictures and audio, with timecode, metadata, and other management data included. The use of DCF Technologies is under license from Multi-Format, Inc.
The P2 VariCam Series comes with an SD/SDHC Memory Card slot. You can create a metadata upload file (produced with P2 Viewer software) containing information such as the name of the camera operator, the recording location, and text memos on an SD/SDHC Memory Card, and load it as clip metadata. The SD slot is also used to upload scene files and firmware updates.
* Scene files: Store specific camera settings in built-in memory. Up to 16 files with settings can be stored in the camera&s memory. Files can also be copied onto an SD/SDHC Memory Card, allowing storage of up to 8 files.
* Lens files: Store settings for interchangeable lenses. Up to 64 files can be stored in the camera unit, and 64 files can be saved on an SD/SDHC Memory Card.
* User files: Setup conditions can also be stored in built-in memory, and quickly retrieved when changed.
The User buttons let you turn frequently used functions on or off with a single touch. In addition to USER MAIN, USER 1, and USER 2, you can change MARKER SELECT and TEXT MEMO to other functions if desired. This lets you allocate up to 5 functions from the many camera-recorder functions, such as SLOT SELECT and Y GET.
This function simplifies focusing by displaying, in graph form, the frequency distribution of the incoming signal in the viewfinder and LCD monitor. By allocating this function to one of the User buttons, you can use it with a single touch.
The 2-layer optical filter consists of an ND layer (clear, 1/4ND, 1/16ND, 1/64ND) and a CC layer (3200K, 4300K, 5600K, 1/2ND). Adding the 1/2ND to the CC layer enables finer aperture adjustment.
* Variable color temperature: The color temperature can be adjusted with the jog dial after the white balance is set.
* Color bar (switchable between SMPTE, ARIB, and full color) and standard audio signal (1 kHz test tone) output
* Zebra: Select any two levels.
* Marker: Select from center, safety zone, safety area, and frame.
This innovative grip handle has five threaded holes that let you mount a variety of film accessories to it during on-site production.
* A 3-point locking viewfinder mount allows precise adjustment.
* The Audio Rec level adjustment features a push lock function.
* The Audio Input level adjustment (front) can be switched on/off and allocated to desired channels.
* Color viewfinder compatibility.
* A switch layout and design that reflect the requests of professional users.
P2 HD is an ideal system for producing 24p film for movie theater use or creating 30p finished packages for TV use from high-quality progressive images. The P2 card greatly improves shooting mobility. P2 Content Management Software version 1.3 (for Mac*) lets you convert AVC-Intra files recorded in Film-Rec gamma mode to uncompressed DPX (P10-Log gamma) files. Also, still images can be output as DPX files, so color grading instructions can be prepared in advance.
*The software comes in both Windows and Mac versions, but only the Mac version (version 1.3) includes the DPX conversion function.
With its HD SDI dual-link capability, the AJ-HPX3700 can output high-quality 1920 x 1080, RGB 4:4:4/10-bit images directly from the camera. Also, images recorded in Film-Rec gamma mode can be converted to P10-Log gamma images. Using a line connection to an uncompressed video recorder (with a hard drive, etc.), the AJ-HPX3700 can directly record images as DPX files, giving you the highest possible image quality for P2 HD recording. Using files recorded onto P2 cards for offline editing, you can achieve greater efficiency in the final editing stage.
The P2 HD VariCam Series is an outstanding solution for producing HDTV programs with 10-bit/4:2:2 sampling. It offers the high quality provided by the advanced AVC-Intra 100 codec. And it can record video data to a P2 card while at the same time saving onto an SD Memory Card a low-resolution proxy file that can be used for off-line editing. Editing a project off-line makes the final editing process quicker and easier, which means greater production efficiency.At the recording site, the AJ-HPM110 P2 Mobile by itself can be used to monitor images, initialize P2 cards and copy data to them, and copy files to an external hard drive.
*Proxy data cannot be recorded when using the variable frame rate function in Native mode, or when the Pre-rec or Loop-rec functions are used.
Panasonic has been working on the collaboration with strategic P2 Partners. Many nonlinear editing products from Apple, Avid, Grass Valley, Harris and Quantel already support AVC-Intra. Autodesk has announced AVC-Intra support too. The AVC-Intra editing workflow is in place in the market.