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Panasonic Unveils Compact HD Recorder and Multi-Purpose Camera Head

Panasonic announced the expansion of its Professional AVCCAM line of professional solid-state high-definition products with the introductions of the AG-HMR10 handheld, battery-operated field recorder/player and the AG-HCK10 compact, multi-purpose camera head.

AVCCAM Recorder with Camera Head
(artist rendering)
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Offering the combination of high quality, low cost and mobility, the AVCCAM recorder and camera utilize MPEG-4/AVC High Profile compression. Equipped with an HD-SDI input and output, the HMR10 recorder is also suitable for backup recording from any HD-SDI-enabled camera or for use in studio or event production.

The AG-HMR10 handheld recorder and the AG-HCK10 compact camera head will be available later this year for a price to be announced.

AG-HCK10 Camera Head
Designed for use with the HMR10 recorder, the small HCK10 camera head features three 1/4-inch native HD resolution MOS imagers. Iris, focus, zoom control and power are supplied from the HMR10 recorder. Cables connecting the camera to recorder will be available in lengths up to 10 meters.

AG-HMR10 Handheld Recorder
The HMR10 provides the flexibility of SD memory card-based recording and full 1080 and 720 resolution capture in a small, portable unit. Utilizing AVCHD, an MPEG-4/AVC High Profile-based format, the HMR10 provides a near doubling of bandwidth efficiency with improved video performance over the older MPEG-2 compression used in HDV formats. SD cards containing AVCCAM recordings can be played directly in a growing number of Panasonic Blu-ray players, Sony PlayStation 3 game machines, PCs and other devices.

The handheld unit records full HD (1920×1080) resolution images in three recording modes: the highest quality PH mode (average 21Mb/s, maximum 24Mb/s), HA mode (approximately 17Mb/s) and HG mode (approximately 13Mb/s). The HE mode (approx. 6Mb/s) records at 1440×1080.

The HMR10 records in HD formats including 1080/60i, 1080/50i, 720/60p and 720/50p. (To record in the high-quality PH mode, an SD card specified at class 4 and higher is required.)

With the HMR10, users can capitalize on the cost advantages, reliability and widespread availability of SD and SDHC memory cards. Using just one 32GB SDHC memory card, a user can record three hours of full-resolution 1920×1080 video and audio in PH mode, four hours at HA mode and 5.3 hours at HG mode. In the HE mode, the camera can record up to 12 hours of 1440×1080 HD content—all on a single 32GB SDHC card.

The HMR10 comes standard with interface connections including the HD-SDI in/out, HDMI out and USB 2.0. Professional audio features include an internal speaker and headphone mini jack. Compact and lightweight, the handheld unit has a built-in 3.5-inch color LCD monitor that displays content in thumbnail images for quick viewing. The HMR10 operates on battery or 7.3V DC power.

For editing or playback, professionals can instantly transfer content from the SD card to Mac or PC computers with an SD/SDHC card reader or by connecting the HMR10 recorder directly via its USB 2.0 interface.

AVCHD is supported by wide range of editing systems, including Apple Final Cut Pro 6.0.5, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Grass Valley Edius PRO v4.5, Pinnacle Studio Plus 11, Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 12, Nero7 Premium Reloaded, Apple iMovie, Corel Ulead Video Studio 11 and Corel Ulead DVD Movie Factory 6 Plus.

Additionally, a free transcoder, available for download from the Panasonic Broadcast Web site, will convert AVCHD files to DVCPRO HD and downconverted DV files for use with most existing professional editing packages.

  • Panasonic Offers Free AVCHD to DV Transcoder Update, Videography.com, Feb. 13, 2009

Panasonic’s AVCCAM series brings the benefits of solid-state recording to budget-conscious professionals. Like digital still photography, recording onto SD/SDHC cards offers a fast and simple file-based workflow with reliable performance and resistance to shock, vibration and extreme temperatures and weather. SD and SDHC memory cards are inexpensive, widely available and can be reused repeatedly. Since AVCHD records video as digital data files, content can be transferred and stored on affordable, high-capacity hard disk drives (HDD) or optical storage media and transferred to future storage media as technology advances.

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