Panasonic Releases AG-HPX370, P2 HD Shoulder-Mount Camera

Panasonic Solutions Company has announced the immediate availability of the new AG-HPX370 P2 HD camcorder, an affordable second-generation, interchangeable lens camcorder with 10-bit, 4:2:2 , independent-frame full 1920 x 1080 resolution AVC-Intra recording.

“With a newly-developed U.L.T. imager and 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, the HPX370 is unrivaled in its class for reliable, master-quality production,” says Panasonic Solutions Company executive Robert Harris.  “Unlike its competition, the HPX370 is a fully-integrated solution that requires no third-party hardware to boost its performance.”

The HPX370 incorporates newly-developed 1/3”, full-HD 2.2 megapixel U.L.T. (Ultra Luminance Technology) 3-MOS imagers and a 20-bit Digital Signal Processor to acquire native 1920 x 1080 resolution images. Rivaling the image quality and sensitivity of ½” imagers, the new U.L.T. sensor results in marked improvements in sensitivity, measured at F10. These high levels of sensitivity and image quality have been achieved with a new high-sensitivity photodiode and low-noise pixel transistor, both based on low-noise analog process technology. The same levels of sensitivity and image production that characterize the interlace mode are now possible in progressive mode courtesy of Progressive Advanced Processing (P.A.P.), a 3D adaptive processing technology. The HPX370 also features a built-in flash band detection and compensation technology that eliminates the “flash band” effect that can occur with CMOS imagers.

“The market has increasingly recognized the AVC-Intra codec for its full-raster, 10-bit, 4:2:2 sampling with none of the inherent compromises of 8-bit, long GOP and 4:2:0 recording,” says Harris. “With the HPX370, professionals can capture and record at quality levels that no other camcorder in this price range can match. And with its affordable studio configuration, the camera offers extraordinary quality and versatility for a broad range of studio production and staging applications.”

Although the HPX370 features advanced AVC-Intra compression, it also supports 100Mbps DVCPRO HD, as well as standard definition recording in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV. The HPX370 supports international HD and SD standards, an added benefit to producers with global clients. In AVC-Intra 100 and 50, it records in 1080 at 59.94i, 29.97p, 23.98p (native 24p/30p), 50i and 25pN and in 720p with variable frames in 23.98pN, 29.97pN, 59.94p, 50p and 25pN. In DVCPRO HD, the camcorder records in 1080 at 59.94i, 29.97p, 23.98p, 23.98pA, 50i, 25p over 50i and in 720 at 59.94p, 29.97p, 29.97pN, 23.98pN, 50p, 25p over 50p and 50pN. In DVCPRO50/25 and DV, it records in 480 at 59.94i, 29.97p, 23.98p, 23.98pA, and in 576 at 50i and 25p over 50i. The output of the camera can also be set for down-conversion or cross-conversion with letterbox, 4:3 crop or squeeze.

The HPX370 comes standard with a Fujinon 17x HD lens but offers the flexibility of interchangeable lenses, including the option of a 1/3” to 2/3” lens adapter, which allows the user to pair the HPX370 with existing 2/3” zoom and prime lenses. The camera is equipped with Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC) to maximize lens performance, built-in scan reverse for use with film lenses, a Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) function to help compensate for wide variations in lighting, a waveform monitor and vector scope display, and two focus assist functions – a picture expanding function and a focus bar.

For creative flexibility, the HPX370 has variable frame rate recording for creating fast and slow motion effects. In 720p mode, a user can choose from 20 variable frame steps between 12 and 60. The shutter speed can be set between 1/6 sec on the slow end (in 24p mode) and 1/2000 sec on the fast end. Used with the VFR function, this allows the user to create a blurring effect or crystal-clear stop-motion. Advances in the HPX370 include a one-clip REC function that records up to 99 consecutive cuts as a single clip, greatly facilitating nonlinear editing.

Equipped with two P2 card slots, the HPX370 can record for up to 320 minutes in AVC-Intra 100 at 720/24pN, 160 minutes in AVC-Intra 100 1080/24pN and 128 minutes in other HD formats on 64GB cards. The HPX370 offers all the benefits of a faster, file-based P2 HD workflow including such recording features as instant recording startup, clip thumbnail view for immediate access to video content on all cards, and a host of time-saving recording modes including continuous recording, card slot selection, hot swapping, loop, pre-record (three seconds in HD and seven seconds in SD), one-shot and interval recording. The camera also features an SD memory card slot for saving or loading scene files and user settings, and proxy data recording (optional AJ-YAX800G proxy video encoder card required) for easy transmission of dailies over wireless and wired networks.

The HPX370 has advanced gamma functions offering seven shooting scenarios, including the popular Cine-Like Gamma modes found on Panasonic’s popular P2 HD VariCams, which gives recordings the characteristic warm tone of film. A scene file dial provides quick access to six pre-loaded settings and can be programmed with user-defined settings.

The camera’s interfaces include two SDI outputs (switchable between HD/SD-SDI output), video output (down-converted SD video only), IEEE 1394, USB 2.0 interface compatible with host mode, time code input/output (with built-in SMPTE time code generator/reader). In addition to HD-SDI output, an internal down-converter allows high-quality SD video to be output.

Support functions include three values (A/B/Preset) of white balance with auto-tracking white function; mode check; selectable zebra; and Y-GET brightness measurements at screen center. Additional features include Genlock input, 4-position ND optical filter controls, a 16:9/4:3 conversion mode, DC power input, color bar switch, 48-kHz/16-bit four-channel digital audio recording, three XLR audio jacks (one in the front, two on the rear), wireless microphone slot (2-channel UniSlot wireless receiver compatible), multiple battery support and programmable user buttons.

The HPX370 can also be used as a studio camera. It is equipped with a remote control terminal (RCU) for use with the optional AJ-RC10G Remote Control Unit and compatible studio remote control systems. Panasonic offers a customized studio configuration system for the HPX370, the Camera Studio System, which includes the AG-BS300 base station, AG-EC4 extension control unit (ECU) and AG-CA300 remote control camera adapter.

At eight pounds, the HPX370 offers a well-balanced, low-profile, shoulder-mounted design. All operation switches, volume controls and card slots are on the left side for easier operation. For easy HD viewing, the camera is equipped with a widescreen 1,226,000-dot LCOS color viewfinder and a widescreen 921,000-dot 3.2-inch LCD color monitor. Its power consumption is low at only 19 watts.

The HPX370 is available at a suggested list price of $11,700. It is supported by a five-year warranty program (1 year + 4 additional years with registration).

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