Los Angeles Cameraman

Big Panasonic P2 Announcements, Pre-Nab 2011

I'll have more about these in the next few days, but some highlights:


1) E Series P2 cards are now 30% cheaper. For instance, you can get the excellent 64GB card for $695. 


2) The PCD30 is a new 3-slot P2 reader which works with USB 3 connections and can read cards faster than any other reader available. To date, the PCD-35 was Panasonic's fastest reader, connecting via a PCIe card into a Mac Pro or PC desktop. It could transfer a 64GB card to in less than 10 minutes, but now the PCD30 can match or exceed that (depending on the kind of drives you're copying to). And since it connects via USB 3, you can use it with laptops and other non-tower machines. Price will be $2255. 


3) Wireless metadata for the HPX3100, via the AJ-WW30 wireless module. I think this is one of the coolest products on the horizon, and hope Panasonic executes the concept well. The concept is that you can attach this little card/dongle to your HPX3100, and use your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or laptop to wirelessly enter metadata to clips as they record, or after. Few people use metadata now, but that will change if Panasonic has actually made the process convenient. Imagine using your iPhone to enter an interviewee's name into a clip before an interview starts, or right after. Or a reality producer inserting markers into a cameraman's footage as he records it, so the producer can find the noteworthy moments quickly once in the edit bay. Or a script supervisor making notes about various shots on set. It can all be possible if this feature is robust, and bug-free. Price is about $1650. It kills me, though, that Panasonic couldn't figure out a way to make the add-on work with existing cameras besides the HPX3100. A year ago, Panasonic was demoing this tech as an add-on that supported all sorts of cameras.  


4) A new, lightweight 9" field monitor (BT-LH910) with 720p resolution, vectorscope and 3D capabilities. $3500. 


5) A new portable field recorder, and some interesting archival database software for backing up P2 clips to LTO drives and other sources, while retaining easy access to proxy videos and thumbnails. 


More later!