As promised, Panasonic has introduced a new add-on system for its popular P2 HD solid-state camcorders that will allow them to be repurposed for studio use, creating a low-cost way for local stations to launch HDTV newscasts. Panasonic first talked about the system back in February, when it introduced its $10,700 AG-HPX300 camcorder.
In doing so, Panasonic is keeping pace with JVC, which already has several stations using its ProHD HDV-based camcorders as full-time studio cameras, and Sony, which has created an optical studio adapter for its XDCAM EX solid-state camcorders.
Panasonic’s new Camcorder Studio System, which will be available in October, will work with the AG-HPX300 as well as a full range of P2 HD and DVCPRO HD camcorders, including the AG-HPX500, the AJ-HPX2000, AJ-HPX3000, VariCam 2700 (AJ-HPX2700) and VariCam 3700 (AJ-HPX3700) models, AJ-HDX400 and the AJ-HDX900. The system includes a compact digital Base Station (AG-BS300), a Camera Adapter (AG-CA300G), Extension Control Unit (AG-EC4G) and a Viewfinder Interface Box (AG-YA500G). It is capable of high-quality digital signal transmission at up to 328 feet, full remote camera control and a range of professional features, such as return images, tally signals, mic signals and genlock signals.
The AG-BS300 base station connects with the AG-CA300G camera adapter with two BNC cables allowing transmission of HD digital images, and comes with a power cable that runs along the BNC cables to supply remote power to the camcorders. The base station features two HD/SD SDI outputs and a composite video output. Cables for the base station are available in two lengths: 328 feet (100M) and 164feet (50M). Users can remotely shade or paint the camcorder from the control room.
The system will be available in four custom packages: the 300 Studio package, which is suitable for the HPX300 and other camcorders on which a camera monitor is used for the viewfinder and includes the camera studio adapter, base station and remote control; the P2 Studio package, which adds a viewfinder adapter for on-shoulder applications; and the 300 Studio Plus and the P2 Studio Plus packages, which are slight variations of the other systems.
List prices for each package are as follows: 300 Studio, $9,900; P2 Studio, $10,898; 300 Studio Plus, $12,080; P2 Studio Plus, $13,078. The components are also available individually.