Panasonic Intros Versatile AVC ULTRA Handheld Camcorder for ENG

Panasonic has announced the immediate availability of the economical AJ-PX230PJ AVC ULTRA handheld camcorder, providing the quality, image control, and much of the functionality of its predecessor, the company’s popular AJ-PX270.

AJ-PX230-mediumOffering 10-bit, 1080p AVC-Intra and AVC-LongG codecs, extensive video control, a 22x zoom and lens, and OLED viewfinder, the PX230 camcorder is ideal for a wide range of applications, including professional broadcast, documentary, education, house of worship, and live event work. The camcorder provides the same video recording quality and body design as the PX270, minus networking (wired and wireless), proxy and Genlock/TC interface, delivering a significantly lower-cost version for shooters who don’t require these features.

The five-pound PX230 camcorder features high-sensitivity, low-noise 1/3” 3-MOS imagers to produce stunning pictures, even in low light conditions. With its AVC-ULTRA codec, the camcorder features a wide range of recording modes: for high-quality recording, the camera records in 100Mbps AVC-Intra100, as well as 200 Mbps AVC-Intra200. For applications where file size is critical, it incorporates a choice of AVC-LongG quality levels, including AVC-LongG50, AVC-LongG25 and AVC-LongG12. These 10-bit, 4:2:2 sampled codecs (LongG50/25) record in much smaller file sizes, saving storage cost and transfer time while maintaining equal or better video quality to existing legacy codecs. The camcorder also offers legacy recording in DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV formats.

The camcorder’s compact, 22X zoom lens offers a wide 28 mm to tele 616 mm (35mm equivalent) zoom range. The PX230’s three manual operation lens rings — zoom, focus and iris – provide a comfortable manual control similar to interchangeable lenses, but without the need for actual lens changes. The zoom ring’s solid feel and smooth action allows delicate ultra-slow zooming. In addition, the camera’s multi-step zoom control provides fast response and smooth zoom action, providing the creative freedom every camera operator wants. The zoom control on the handle enables variable speed zoom, allowing fine zoom control even for low angle shots.

The PX230 is equipped with Panasonic’s Emmy Award-winning Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC) technology to maximize lens performance; a Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) function to optimize scene image contrast at the pixel level, reducing overexposure and crushed shadow content and dramatically improving human skin rendition; and a highly accurate flash band detection and compensation algorithm that minimizes partial image exposure due to strobe lighting.  The camcorder delivers seven-mode (HD/SD/FILMLIKE 1/FILMLIKE 2/FILMLIKE 3/FILM-REC/VIDEO-REC) gamma selection and extensive digital image settings, including 12 + 3 Axis Matrix Control to fine tune skin tone.

Two microP2 card slots enable cost-effective operation. In addition to 1080/60i, the PX230 supports 1080/24p, 30p, 60p (AVC-Intra100, LongG25, LongG12 only), 720p multi HD format and SD recordingAlso, 50i, 50p, and 25p are supported by 59.94 Hz/50 Hz switching. Variable frame rates  in 1080-59.94p in 25 steps from 1fps to 60fps, including 24fps, 25fps and 30 fps, are standard.

Professional interfaces include HDMI out, HD/SD-SDI out, 3G-SDI out to support 1080 60p video output, USB 3.0 (host), and USB 2.0 (device). The PX230’s three 2.2M pixel MOS sensors deliver a horizontal resolution of 1000 TV lines; the camcorder achieves high F11 (59.94 Hz)/F12 (50 Hz) sensitivity and produces excellent images. Minimum illumination is impressive at 0.02lx. Gain control is measured as -3dB to18dB, 1 step=3dB (-3dB is only on High-Sensitivity mode). Super Gain (24,30,36dB) can be assigned to a user button.

Other key features include an OLED viewfinder for true-to-life tones, and 1.56-megapixel QHD LCD color monitor. Audio capabilities include two, separated XLR audio inputs, and recording up to four channels of 48kHz, 24-bit audio in AVC-Intra formats (16-bit in AVC-LongG, DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO and DV). An XLR connector is conveniently located at the rear, off to the side for easier cable connection during handheld shooting. The audio recording level control is located towards the front for easy adjustment during shooting.

Standard features include a wide range of shutter speed in 60i/60p mode (1/60 to 1/2000), 50i/50p mode (1/50 to 1/2000), 30p mode (1/30 to 1/2000), 25p mode (1/25 to 1/2000) and 24p mode (1/24 to 1/2000);  an Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) for hand shake correction; Digital Zoom function for 2x, 5x and 10x boostsand a four‐position optical ND filter (OFF, 1/4 ND, 1/16 ND, 1/64 ND).

The AJ-PX230PJ is available now at a suggested list price of $4,495.00

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