Panasonic Debuts HD Studio Camera System at WFX 2012

Panasonic has introduced a new studio camera system, the AK-HC3800, that delivers higher-quality video and greater control than many more expensive studio cameras.

The new studio camera system features three high-sensitivity 2/3 type 2.2-mega pixel IT CCD sensors and a next-generation 38-bit DSP (Digital Signal Processor) with 16-bit A/D converter, to deliver excellent video in a wide range of shooting and lighting conditions.

Making its U.S. debut at the Worship Facilities Conference and Expo (WFX) in Atlanta, this compact, eight-pound camera incorporates features designed to improve video production quality and workflow, including chromatic aberration compensation (CAC), scene file settings, and Panasonic’s exclusive dynamic range stretch (DRS). The new AK-HCU200 camera control unit (CCU), in combination with the new AK-HRP200G remote operation panel (ROP), delivers cost-effective, high-grade uncompressed video and control via optical fiber. IP control will also be supported with a software upgrade scheduled for release before NAB 2013.  A small, lightweight 7” LCD studio viewfinder, the AK-HVF70G, completes the basic system for high-quality studio and EFP image recording.

The AK-HC3800, AK-HCU200, AK-HRP200G and AK-HVF70G will be available in December 2012.

The AK-HC3800 studio camera achieves a high sensitivity of F11 at 59.94Hz (2,000 lx) and an S/N ratio of 60 dB. A newly-developed 16-bit A/D and 38-bit DSP incorporate Spatial Offset Technology, and an advanced single transfer system provides a high resolution picture (1,100 lines) with less moiré and a vertical smear level less than -130dB. High definition formats can be switched to allow worldwide use at 1080/59.94i and 1080/50i.The output of 720/59.94p video will be supported via a software upgrade available before May, 2013.

The camera’s advanced DRS functions reduce blocked shadows and blown-out highlights in scenes where very bright and very dark objects coexist. The camera’s CAC function compensates for chromatic aberration at the lens periphery when used with many CAC-enabled optics, allowing more flexibility and economy in lens selection.  The low-profile head and compact main body design are ergonomically designed for comfortable operation and provide an unobstructed view to the camera operator’s right-hand side. The HC3800 is equipped with the Film Rec Gamma function adapted from Panasonic’s renowned VariCam HD camera models, and a Scan Reverse function for cinema lens adaptors. It also features an internal digital extender (x2 magnification).

The AK-HCU200 CCU, rack-mountable, lightweight and measuring measures 2U in height, has two main HD/SD-SDI OUT channels and two additional HD/SD-SDI OUT channels that can be used in conjunction with the picture monitor outs. For return video inputs, the CCU is equipped with two HD/SD-SDI channels and one VBS (analog composite video) channel. A down converter is also incorporated and the aspect ratio of an HD/ SD-SDI OUT can be selected from Letterbox, Crop or Squeeze.

The CCU and the AK-HRP200G remote operation panel can currently be connected at distances of up to 50m using the optional ROP50 cable.  An IP connection between the two devices will be supported in early 2013, allowing control over much greater distances. The compact, 2.9-pound ROP can be used to control Panasonic’s AW series convertible camera systems and integrated HD cameras (e.g. AW-HE120), in addition to the HC3800. Both the CCU and the ROP are equipped with SD card slots, which can be used for storing various settings or upgrading firmware.

Camera operators will have a choice of three electronic viewfinders. The newly-developed AK-HVF70 7” color LCD delivers superb picture quality with SWVGA (1,024 x 600 pixel) resolution. It is equipped with three function switches, to which a user can assign functions such as contrast, brightness and peaking adjustment. The compact EVF also features a “Focus in Red” function, which highlights the edges of an object in red, and a “Pixel-to-Pixel” function, which allows the input video to be displayed without resizing. Additional viewfinder options for the HC3800 include the AJ-HVF21KG 2” HD monochrome CRT and the  AJ-CVF100G 1” color LCD models.

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