Panasonic AVCHD shoulder-mount camcorder meets low-cost sports production needs

Panasonic will introduce a number of new cameras and products at NAB, including the AG-HMC70, the industry’s first AVCHD shoulder-mount camcorder, at a suggested list price of $2,495. With sports networks and rights holders increasingly turning to the Internet as a means of low-cost distribution finding a low-cost production solution is paramount and the AG-HSC1U handheld is designed to meet those needs.

“The HMC70 is the latest product in our professional AVCHD camcorder line,” says Robert Harris, Vice President of Marketing, Panasonic Broadcast. ”AVCHD is a new industry-standard camera recording format, introduced by Panasonic and Sony, and now supported by over 30 different manufacturers.”

Harris says the second-generation HD format utilizes MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression and offers significant improvements in bandwidth efficiency and image quality over older MPEG-2 based systems such as HDV.
“Unlike HDV, AVCHD content can be captured on a standard SD card and played immediately in a growing number of inexpensive consumer products such as Blu-ray players, game machines, computers, and plasma displays,” Harris adds. “Now supported by most of the leading NLE products, AVCHD content can also be edited and rendered to almost any format or media.”

The HMC70 utilizes the AVCHD High Profile video codec, which offers similar image quality to HDV 1080i but uses about half the bandwidth. This means longer recording times and half the storage requirement—an important feature for long-form sports event recording. Users can record in one of the camera’s three recording modes – 6Mbps, 9Mbps or 13Mbps. The HMC70 can record over 2.6 hours at 13Mbps, the HMC70’s highest quality mode, or up to 6 hours at 6Mbps, the camera’s extended recording mode — all on just one 16GB SDHC memory card.

The HMC70’s three-CCD quarter-inch progressive image system captures 1080i HD, 16:9 images. The camera is equipped with a 12X 38.5mm to 462mm (35mm equivalent) Leica Dicomar wide-angle zoom lens, one-push Auto Focus, and integrated Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.). In addition, solid-state SD card recording eliminates mechanical wear associated with tape, optical disc, or hard drive based systems.

The HMC70 is equipped with Y/Pb/Pr BNC connections for playback or live feeds to video projectors or large displays for presenter magnification use in auditoriums and other large venues. It also has high quality audio features such as two locking XLR inputs with switches for mic/line, +48V Phantom Power, Auto/Manual level, mic attenuation, and front/rear assignment. It also features a headphone volume control to match the camera’s output to the shooters’ stereo headphones.

The HMC70 comes standard with HD Writer software and a 2GB SD card. Optional accessories include a VW-VBG260 battery pack (7.2V 2,640mAh), VW-VBG6 battery pack (7.2V 5,800mAh), VW-AD20 AC adaptor, VW-LDC102 Light, VW-LF43N Filter Kit, VW-W4307H Wide Conversion Lens and a VW-T4314H Tele Conversion Lens.

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