• Professional Camera Solutions



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[1], 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.  

[1] Users must select between microP2 and standard P2 card recording.