Panasonic’s new P2 HD VariCam series – consisting of the VariCam 2700 and the ultra performance VariCam 3700 (model AJ-HPX3700) -- advances the art of high-end high-definition cinematography by combining VariCam’s renowned filmic-look with key functions including variable frame rates, wide dynamic range and advanced master-quality, 10-bit 4:2:2 AVC-Intra recording.
Designed as a premium quality workhorse HD cinematography camcorder, the VariCam 2700 will shine in a wide range of mission-critical content creation applications, from sports and films to music videos and television commercials. Equipped with three full 1-megapixel 2/3" native HD CCDs, the VariCam 2700 records pristine, independent-frame 1080 and 720 images using advanced AVC-Intra 100 and AVC-Intra 50 compression, now supported by the industry’s leading nonlinear editing systems. AVC-Intra 100 provides full-raster, 10-bit master video quality for high-level shooting, while AVC-Intra 50 Mbps delivers robust DVCPRO HD quality at half the bit rate of the current compression, thereby doubling the record time on a P2 card. The camera also records in the widely supported DVCPRO HD format.
With the VariCam 2700, professionals can record in progressive or interlace HD video formats including 720 23.98p/24.00p/ 25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p, as well as 1080 23.98p/24.00p/25p/29.97p /50i /59.94i. The camera is switchable between 59.94-Hz and 50-Hz recording for use worldwide.
The VariCam 2700 has excellent sensitivity (F10 at 2,000 lx), and with 14-bit A/D processing, provides a wide dynamic range, full 12-axis control of matrix and color correction for precise image matching, and a host of unique shutter angle settings. The camera utilizes Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC) for optimum lens performance, a Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) function to control wide variations in lighting and a built-in scan reverse for use with film lens.
Offering a full range of variable frame rates, from 1 fps to 60 fps (in 720p mode) in single-frame steps, the VariCam 2700 provides precise control for overcranking and undercranking for fast and slow motion effects. It also delivers 1080 23.98/24psf HD-SDI output (when in 1080 mode). The VariCam 2700 has seven selectable gamma settings including the notable VariCam Film-Rec mode.
The VariCam 2700 has the essential interfaces needed for high-end production including three HD-SDI outputs, down-converted SD video output and IEEE 1394 output (DVCPRO HD codec recording only) and USB 2.0. It incorporates 48-kHz/16-bit, four-channel digital audio recording and also offers valuable functions like scene file capabilities, focus assist functions, user buttons, user menu and newly-designed two-wheel (ND and CC) optical filters. The camera allows text memos and shot markers to be added as well as proxy data recording (with the optional AJ-YAX800G board).
The all-solid-state VariCam 2700 provides high-quality HD recording without the mechanical wear and environmental limitations of tape, hard disk, and optical disc based systems. The camera ensures the highest reliability, especially in challenging conditions of extreme temperature range, shock and vibration.
With solid-state technology, users can immediately access recorded content for on-set viewing (eliminating time spent digitizing). The HD Cinema camera also gives users the benefit of metadata capture so content can be managed more easily during shooting.
The VariCam 2700’s five P2 card slots allow continuous recording, card selection, hot swapping, loop rec, pre-rec, interval rec and one-shot recording. With five 32 GB P2 cards installed, operators can record up to 200 minutes in AVC-Intra 100 at 1080/24p, 400 minutes in AVC-Intra 100 at 720/24p, 320 minutes in other AVC-Intra 50 formats, and 160 minutes in other AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD formats. Recording times will double with the release of Panasonic's 64GB P2 card later this year.
The 11-pound, shoulder-mount camcorder has a specially-designed grip handle with five threaded holes for mounting accessories and a three-point locking viewfinder mount for easy adjustment (color viewfinder compatible). The VariCam 2700 is backed by Panasonic’s industry’s leading five-year limited warranty.
The AJ-HPX2700 will be available at a suggested list price of $39,995. A new color viewfinder, model AJ-CVF100, designed for both P2 HD VariCam camcorders, is planned to be released in early 2009.