Panasonic Intros AG-AC90A AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder
Panasonic has announced a new professional AVCCAM HD handheld camcorder, the AG-AC90A, with significant improvements over its predecessor, the AG-AC90. Advances include two new recording options — a PM mode (1280×720, 8Mbps) supporting sports analysis applications and a CS mode (720×480, 3.5Mbps) for cloud service utilization.
Other enhancements comprise the ability to copy content from one SD card to another, a date and time superimpose function ideal for law enforcement and legal depositions, Freeze Frame (still picture) on video out during shooting position change, Eye-Fi card support, a Variable White Balance function, additional marker displays, and a Digital Range Stretch (DRS) On/Off user button. Current AC90 owners can access these new features via a free firmware upgrade available at http://pro-av.panasonic.net/en/index.html.
The AC90A is a full-featured model that establishes new benchmarks for professional entry-level acquisition. Features inherited from the AC90 include a high-quality 3MOS/BSI sensor; a highly-accurate 12X zoom lens with three independent adjustable rings for zoom, focus and iris and wide 29.8mm to 357.6 mm (35mm equivalent) viewing angle; and Panasonic’s exclusive Nano Surface Lens Coating that reduces ghosting and flares. Other key features include two SD Memory Card slots; a five-axis image stabilizer that dramatically improves stabilization for hand-held shooting; 4X pixel shifting technology for a sharper image; and an intelligent Auto (iA) Zoom 25X super-resolution function for automatic adjustments of edge, gradation and detail.
In addition to the new PM and CS modes, the AC90A records in premium PS mode (28 Mbps, 60p only), in PH mode (average 21 Mbps/Max 24Mbps), in HA mode (approx.17 Mbps), in SA mode (approx. 9 Mbps), and in HE mode (approx. 6 Mbps) for extended recordings.
The AC90A is compatible with Panasonic’s ultra high-speed Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Card series (in addition to providing SDXC and SDHC card support), with transfer rates of 90MB. The two slots can also be
utilized for simultaneous back-up recording.
The AC90A also includes time code/UB recording, two wired remote control terminals (for zoom, focus, iris, REC start/stop controls), and a built-in 5.1 channel surround microphone. Standard professional interfaces encompass an HDMI output, USB 2.0 (mini B-type), Multi-AV output, and a 3.5 mm stereo headphone out.
The camcorder features two locking XLR inputs with switches for mic/line, two RCA audio outputs, and records two channels of Dolby Digital.
For editing or playback, professionals can transfer content by inserting the SD Memory Card into Mac or PC computers or by connecting the camera directly via its USB 2.0 interface. Panasonic’s AVCCAM Importer software, a QuickTime plug-in component that eliminates the need to convert AVCHD files to ProRES422 files before editing in Final Cut Pro, is available as a free download from the company’s web site.
For easy HD viewing, the camcorder is equipped with a widescreen LCOS color viewfinder and a widescreen, 1.15-million pixel 3.5-inch LCD color monitor. The LCD monitor rotates 270 degrees for easy low-angle,
high-angle and self-interview shooting.
The AG-AC90A is available at a suggested list price of $2,250. Panasonic supports the AC90A with a three-year limited warranty (one year plus two extra years upon registration).