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Panasonic to Ship AVCCAM Recorder and Camera Head in October

Panasonic Broadcast has announced pricing and delivery of its AG-HMR10 AVCCAM compact field recorder/player and the ultra-slim AG-HCK10 remotely controlled 3-MOS HD camera head. Both of these products are versatile additions to the company’s growing AVCCAM line of professional solid-state high-definition products.

Panasonic HMR10 Recorder and HCK10 Camera Head

The AG-HMR10 handheld recorder and the AG-HCK10 compact camera head, which can be connected via optional cables (in 3-meter and 20-meter lengths), will be available in October at suggested list prices of $2,600 and $1,800, respectively. Initial shipments of the HMR10 recorder (through March 2010) will come bundled with free Grass Valley EDIUS Neo 2 video editing software (retail value $199).

AG-HMR10 Recorder/Player
The HMR10 professional AVCCAM recorder provides the flexibility of low cost, SD memory card recording and full 1080 and 720 resolution capture in a small, portable unit. The AVCCAM recorder utilizes AVCHD (MPEG-4/AVC High-Profile) compression and is ideal for applications in video production, sports coaching, health care, public safety, remote imaging and more.

Equipped with an HD-SDI input and output, the HMR10 AVCCAM recorder is also suitable for backup recording from any HD-SDI-enabled camera or for use in studio or event production. The 1.2 lb. unit features a lightweight, ergonomic design suited for handheld use (3.78” W x 2.07” H x 5.24” D) and has four 3mm threaded holes for flexible mounting.

The HMR10 records full-HD 1920×1080 resolution images in three recording modes.

  • The highest quality PH mode (average 21Mb/s, max. 24Mb/s). (To record in the high-quality PH mode, an SD card specified at Class 4 or higher is required.)
  • HA mode (approx. 17Mb/s)
  • HG mode (approx. 13Mb/s).

The fourth recording mode, HE (approx. 6Mb/s), records at 1440×1080.

The HMR10 records in HD formats including 1080/60i, 1080/50i, 720/60p and 720/50p. With input from the AG-HCK10 camera head, the HMR10 will also record 1080/30p, 1080/25p and 1080/24p. It also supports downconversion from HD to SD output.

With the HMR10, users can capitalize on the compact size, cost advantages, solid-state reliability and the widespread availability and low cost of SD and SDHC memory cards.

Using one 32GB SDHC memory card, a user can record three hours of full-resolution 1920×1080 video and audio in PH mode, four hours in HA mode and 5.3 hours in 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. SDHC cards containing AVCCAM recordings can be played directly in a growing number of affordable Panasonic Blu-ray players, plasma displays, Sony PlayStation 3 game machines, PCs and other devices.

In addition to HD-SDI input/output and an external mic input (stereo), the HMR10 comes standard with interface connections including the HDMI out and USB 2.0, and is compatible with TC/UB recording. It also has a built-in speaker and headphone stereo mini jack. The lightweight handheld’s 3.5-inch color LCD monitor displays content in thumbnail images for quick viewing. (The HCK10 camera head can be remotely controlled while images are checked on the LCD monitor.)

Additional features include waveform monitor, simplified vectorscope display, zoom, start/stop, color bar and tone, key lock, convenient playback and recording functions (including shot mark, record check, pre-record, last clip delete, auto record and metadata recording) and 11 one-touch operation buttons. The HMR10 is compatible with camera remote controllers for the AG-DVX100, AG-HVX200 P2 HD, and AG-HMC150 and AG-HMC40 AVCCAM camcorders. It operates on battery or 7.3V DC power (AC power supply included).

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.

AG-HCK10 Camera Head
The compact HCK10 camera head, nicknamed POVCAM, is equipped with three newly-developed 1/4.1-inch 3.05-megapixel HD resolution 3-MOS imagers to deliver superior image quality. Weighing a little over 0.5 lb., the HCK10 camera head is slim (2.1” W x 2.2” H x 4.8” D) and features a 12x optical zoom lens with Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) and Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS), a dynamic range expansion tool that simultaneously compresses highlight information and boosts shadow detail in real time. DRS, mic settings, iris, focus, zoom control and power are supplied from the HMR10 recorder.

Other features include a built-in microphone, 1/4-inch 20 socket for mounting and 43mm lens filter size. Cables connecting the camera to the recorder will be available in lengths of 3 meters (9.85 ft.) for a suggested list price of $300, and 20 meters (65 ft.) for a suggested list price of $600. The cables are detachable at each end for added flexibility.

Panasonic’s AVCCAM series brings the benefits of solid-state recording to budget-conscious professionals with a range of products. In addition to the HMR10 and HCK10, the AVCCAM line includes the compact AG-HMC40, AG-HMC150 handheld, and the shoulder-mount AG-HMC70.

AVCCAM products record professional AVCHD video onto inexpensive, reusable SD/SDHC cards, providing a fast and simple file-based workflow with reliable performance. AVCHD digital files can be transferred and stored on hard disk drives or optical storage media and transferred to future storage media as technology advances.

AVCHD, an MPEG-4/AVC High-Profile-based format, provides a near doubling of bandwidth efficiency with improved video performance over the older MPEG-2 compression used in HDV formats. It is supported by a wide range of editing options, including Apple Final Cut Pro 6.0.5, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Grass Valley EDIUS Pro 5 and EDIUS Neo 2.

In addition, a free transcoder, available for download from the Panasonic Broadcast Web site, will convert AVCHD files to DVCPRO HD P2 and downconverted DV files for use with most existing professional editing packages.