PANASONIC UNVEIL AJ-PD500 P2 HALF-RACK RECORDER
Panasonic unveil AJ-PD500 P2 half-rack recorder
MICROP2 slots, AVC-ULTRA 1080/50p Recording with 24-bit, 16-Channel Audio; High Resolution Proxy Recording & AVCHD Playback Options
Panasonic Professional Camera Solutions today announced the AJ-PD500, its first P2 HD recorder with native AVC-ULTRA recording and built-in microP2 card slots. Its range of format choices (including AVC-LongG as standard, and AVC-ULTRA Class200, AVCHD playback and proxy recording as options) and array of professional input/outputs make the PD500 ideal for use in reality television, long-form documentaries, live events, satellite facilities, news trucks, and as a redundant playback/record device in news facilities.
The PD500’s other powerful features include an intuitive, multi-control jog dial; native 24p recording, a super-fast USB 3.0 interface; and 24-bit four-channel digital audio, two-channel analog audio. Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA offers master-quality and/or low-bit-rate 10-bit, 4:2:2 recording in Full HD to meet a variety of user needs from mastering to transmission. AVC-LongG, designed for applications where file size is critical, offers 10-bit, 4:2:2 sampled recording in a much smaller file size, saving storage cost and transfer times over MPEG-2 while maintaining equal or better video quality. 1080p recording at 50 frames per second is added to existing AVC-Intra compression modes, and also affords 24-bit, 16-channel audio. For ultra high-end mastering and mezzanine workflows, the Class200 option will produce visually lossless compression, ideal for migrating current HD tape masters to a file-based format without degradation, and with a far smaller file size than many platform-specific mezzanine formats.
The PD500 has two built-in slots for Panasonic’s new microP2 cards, which have an SD card form factor (see separate news release). The PD500 also has two standard P2 card slots, as well as an SD card slot for proxy/metadata and AVCHD Playback (option). 12V battery-operated, the PD500’s rugged, half-rack design holds up to the demands of field production, yet at under 2kg it is small and light for easy transport.
With AVC-Intra 100/50 record/playback as well as AVC-LongG, the PD500 makes 10-bit, 4:2:2 master-quality video versatile, cost-effective and portable. This ultra-reliable, dedicated deck allows users to play back and review footage on its 3.5-type, 16:9 LCD screen; manage clip files and metadata; record full resolution, 10-bit quality content from a wide range of Panasonic and non-Panasonic cameras via its HD-SDI input; and back up data onto hard disk drives.
The PD500 offers native 24p 1080 recording and 1080/24PsF input/output. The recorder supports a broad range of high definition and standard definition recording formats including 1080 at 60p/50p/60i/50i/25p/24p; 720 at 60p/50p/24p; and 480/60i; 576/50i in the optional DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV codecs. The unit plays back HD/SD content automatically (no need to change settings) and is internationally operable in 50Hz or 60Hz.
The PD500’s “SuperSpeed” USB 3.0 host interface permits super-fast transfer rates of up to 4.8Gbps. This allows users to easily transfer content to low-cost hard disk drives or solid-state drives for a fast and safe deliverable to clients. When attached to a computer, the USB device mode allows the PD500 to become a two-card microP2 or P2 drive. In addition, users can connect a hard drive to the PD500, allowing the preview of non-real-time content. This functionality allows for the confirmation of content copied to a drive, and for the reviewing of previously-shot content on a drive.
The recorder’s HDMI output enables the transmission of uncompressed digital data to an array of consumer playback devices (video projectors, digital televisions). The deck offers an RS-422A control, thereby allowing it to be controlled as a video source by nonlinear editing systems and colour correction systems. The PD500 features wired connection ability and Gigabit Ethernet. The PD500 also includes audio I/Os, headphone jack and speaker, timecode in/out and a reference sync input.
Additional valuable features include up/down conversion, a USB keyboard connection for easy metadata input, waveform and vectorscope display functions, and a selection from many functions for allocation to six user buttons.
In addition to the standard high-resolution proxy recording and AES/EBU four channel 24-bit audio, there is the option to playback AVCHD content.
The PD500 will be available this Autumn, with a suggested RRP of under €13,000 excluding VAT.
 Users must select between microP2 and standard P2 card recording.