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    Live from the Panasonic NAB press conference...
    11:58 a.m. ... I've got a choice front-row seat and a Verizon broadband-equipped laptop... you guys will know everything as soon as it's announced... check back frequently as I'll keep refreshing this post.

    12:00 ... there's at least one new camera going to be introduced; I can see it across the room but they haven't announced anything yet

    12:00 ... the announcer just said that the presentation will begin in five minutes, so ... wait for it...

    12:05 ... still waiting. The new camera looks like a mini HVX.

    12:06 ... it even has a snorkel.

    12:07 ... if people would SIT DOWN, we could get this party started... Sheesh.

    12:10 ... sizzle reel is showing. Beijing Olympics...

    12:12 ... Jim Wickizer, national manager, marketing services.
    P2HD will be the official recording format of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

    12:14 ... John Baisle, President of Panasonic Broadcast USA
    He's wearing an "eco-friendly" pin
    Business has been challenging, but the business climate is improving.
    Panasonic's Vision is eco-friendly, solid state recording, and file-based workflow
    Their Technology Strategy is MPEG-4 AVC widespread support
    It's being broadly adopted by both Panasonic and other manufacturers
    Talking about the spread of AVC-I, from teh 3700 down to the 300
    Talking about introduction of professional AVCHD lineup, "AVCCAM"
    "an ideal choice for professional customers with a smaller budget"
    The HMC150 is enjoying "incredible customer momentum"
    More AVCCAM announcements in a moment.

    Major P2 announcement...

    Advancements in solid-state memory are allowing them to increase capacity and speed while lowering costs.

    A NEW TYPE OF P2 CARD: the P2 "E" Series. It's "blazing fast", thanks to a newly developed design, it's 1.2 gigabits per second! And they're cheaper: "dramatically lower prices". The new 64GB card has an MSRP of under $1,000 (the existing A series card is $2650!) The 32GB card is $625, and the 16GB is $420.

    They have a shorter lifetime than the existing A series, about 5 years of daily use. 16 and 32 are available in May, the new 64 is available in August.

    There are 950 broadcast stations and over 110,000 P2 units in use worldwide. Professional and college sports, moviemaking, nature and documentaries. More than 340 US TV stations, including most large production groups. KSTP is the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis/St. Paul and is the latest group to convert, they've bought over 40 HPX300s for use in the field as well as in the studio. P2's usage in broadcast production is gaining momentum; Starz' "Party Down" is shot on the HPX3000. THey're showing a clip.

    In addition to P2, they're 'delighted' with the growing support of AVCCAM. Schools, churches, government agencies, wedding videographers, and more are choosing AVCCAM.

    12:24 Joe Facchini, director of product marketing.
    "AVC-Intra features 64x the color values of competing 8-bit formats like HDV or XDCAM."
    "More and more top production professionals (like Jason Zada and Graham Futerfas and Eric Koretz) are switching to AVC-Intra."
    HPX300: a "key" new product introduction. The world's first affordable 10-bit professional camcorder.
    Coming soon: a new customized studio configuration under $10,000.
    Dan Brockett just got a shoutout! They say he's the classic target customer for the HPX300. Oooh, he's even getting a video interview. You go, DVXUser Dan Brockett! Talking about a spot he did for the metro transit authority. He's sitting on a matthews red dolly, holding the camera out over the street, couldn't do that with a larger betasp camera, etc. "it has amazing features for the money, detachable lens, great codec, flexibility to shoot in almost any kind of situation. It's a lot of camera for the money."

    Joe Facchini: MOS-based sensors can suffer from flash issues. Panasonic is advancing the performance of MOS imagers by introducing a free firmware upgrade for Flashband Compensation. It fixes the CMOS flash issues!

    P2 Portable. We already know all this...

    PCD35 five-slot P2 Drive with PCI Express Bus. This is the one you want if you're using the new E-series cards, it's 1.2gbps. Plugs into a computer's PCI-E slot. $2190.

    AJ-HRW10 P2 Rapid Writer offloads up to 5 cards at a time and copies it simultaneously to RAID hard drives, and has a gigabit ethernet port. Available now at $9,995.

    HPX3700 and HPX2700: "earning excellent reputations in the movie and TV industries". Varicam performance with 10-bit master-quality recording. HPX3700: 4:4:4 RGB Dual Link live signal, while simultaneously recording 4:2:2 AVC-I in the camera. HPX2700: full frame rates from 1 to 60 in 720p; Shane Hurlbut ASC used the 3700 to shoot a Cheech & Chong concert. He's the cinematographer of Terminator: Salvation, Swing Vote, Into The Blue, and many more. He's getting a video interview.

    "The look of film, the dynamic range of film, with no hassles. He loved the resolution, the feel, the skin tones were excellent. The 3700 was the ultimate choice."

    12:38 Bob Harris, VP of marketing and product development
    Talking about the benefits of AVCCAM. Reliability, price, playback options, instant access. Best Buy sells a compatible playback device for under $100, or you can use one of panasonic's plasma displays with an SD slot built in. Event videographers, law enforcement, schools, churches, filmmakers, enthusiasts.
    AVCCAM NLE support: FCP, iMovie, CS4, EDIUS Pro and Nero, Pinnacle Studio 12, Sony Vegas, and Casablanca all support PH mode, "well beyond the quality that HDV can deliver."

    AVCCAM line-up: HMC70 and HMC150. Video clip from Robert Neal, owner of Glass Slipper Productions. "The HMC150 is going to be sharp, crystal clear, and it's going to be what I want. The buttons are where you want them to be. No dropped frames, no worries of whether you got the shot. Look at this camera, look at its footage, and it'll rest all your fears and you'll be a believer."

    Bob Harris: so, what's next? We're expanding the AVCCAM line with three new products.
    HMC40: compact handheld camcorder. This is the mini-HVX-looking cam. Priced at MSRP $3195, with 2.2megapixel 3MOS imagers, 12x optical zoom, and it does 1080 @ 24p/30p/60i, and 720p at 24p/30p/60p. Has 10.6 megapixel still image capture, DRS, cine-like gamma, HDMI, USB 2.0, composite and component output, and two XLR audio inputs.
    "It's the hybrid camera professionals have been longing for. It also offers high-end functions including Dynamic Range Stretch and a cine-like gamma mode for independent movie and music video producers."

    "Users have the choice of enhancing the camera's capabilities with an OPTIONAL XLR audio input module." Has a 3-year warranty.

    So I guess the XLRs aren't built-in? Will have to ask.

    AG-HMR10 Portable Recorder/player: compact, battery-powered "deck" like a P2 Portable. HDMI *and* HD-SDI output. HD-SDI input! 3.5" color LCD screen. Offers full tapeless file-based recording capability for HD-SDI-based cameras, switchers, tape decks, and other production tools. 12 hours of 1440x1080 recording or 3 hours of "PH" mode 1080 or 720 recording, on a 32GB card.

    AG-HCK10 "POV CAM". 1/4" full-HD 3-MOS imagers (assuming the same chips as in the HMC40). It's a tiny camera head that can be matched to the HMR10 for a low-cost, high-quality camera & recorder solution. Iris, focus & zoom remote-controlled bvia the HMR10.

    HMR10 MSRP: $2650. HCK10 MSRP: $2,100.

    12:51 Michael Bergeron, Strategic Technology Liaison for Panasonic.
    P2 Partners program
    AVCHD has achieved near-universal acceptance
    DVCPRO-HD has achieved near-universal acceptance
    Professional sports broadcasting requires the intraframe recording of P2
    EVS is adding DVCPRO-HD to its native codec options, for such as the XT(2) server
    AVC-Intra is supported by Apple, Avid, Grass Valley/Thomson, Quantel and Harris, and will be coming to Autodesk, Main Concept, Omneon, and Rhozet.
    MTI Film has added AVC-I support to their Control Dailies product.
    NL Tech is now on the list of worldwide P2 partners.
    SeaChange is the second new major global P2 partner, with their FML200 end-to-end solid-state workflow products.
    Rimage is the third new partner, offering a standalone archiving system for P2 to blu-ray discs
    Final new global partner is Imagine Products, with P2 Log & ShotPut Pro, HD LOg, ProxyMill and TEP HD.
    There are now 35 global P2 Partners.

    12:56 Bob Harris
    "Last year we introduced a breakthrough product for this industry, the AV-HS400A switcher. It has sold well and built quite an incredible reputation. Today we're pleased to introduce the HS450 HD/SD live switcher with 16 SD/HD-SDI inputs standard, and a dual-screen multiviewer function. 10-bit, 4:2:2 live-switching solution for mid-size studios or mobile productions. Built-in frame synchronizers for each input, 4 built-in upconverters, 4 HD-SDI outputs and 2 scalable DVI outputs. It can take existing input boards from the HS400, or the new dual-DVI input board available later this year. Users can view up to 10 images from different sources on each of two screens, so the one switcher can display 20 separate inputs on just two monitors. Available later this year."

    AW-HE870 HD/SD Convertible Camera, 2/3" 3-CCD for $11,500. Would be the "perfect companion" for the switcher.

    Before we wrap up, let's talk about 3-D. People are continuously looking for a way to make their viewing experience as realistic and compelling as possible. People are wondering: what's next? Look to the movies. Just about every top director and studio is creating 3-D experiences; a dozen 3-D films this year, dozens more next year. Monsters vs. Aliens, 28% of screens played the 3-D version, 72% were 2-D. But those 3-D screens accounted for 56% of the box office receipts. 3-D movies are grossing more than 2-D films because of higher ticket prices and longer theatrical runs.

    New logo showing: Panasonic 3DHD.

    "incredible sharpness, depth, in-focus, and the color was perfect"

    "Panasonic will lead the way in 3D full HD technology." They're showing a picture of what looks like a twin-lens HPX170, and AVC-Ultra 3D recording, 3D blu-ray authoring, 3D blu-ray compression, 3D plasma monitors, 360d 3D image evaluation rooms, 3D blu-ray discs, 3D blu-ray players, and 3D TV for home.

    They have a 3DHD theater next to the main booth.

    1:06 p.m. Jim Wickizer again
    Thanks and wrap-up. But wait -- watch this: Sunday, May 3rd, at 9 p.m. National Geographic is showing "Expedition Grizzly". Oooh, Kevin Railsback and I would want to shoot this. Casey tracks yellowstone grizzlies all through yellowstone. The footage is fantastic. Good heavens, his best friend is a grizzly named "brutus". He's petting it like a dog. He's 7' 8" tall! He's riding it like a horse, getting a grizzly kiss, sitting on it, dang, that's pretty darn cool. He says "do not try this at home!" Brutus' head is 56" around! He just had it stand up, and he's high-fiving it.

    So, yeah, the footage is incredible, but the content is pretty awesome. Set the tivo.

    Okay, that's it -- press conference is wrapped.
    Last edited by Barry_Green; 04-19-2009 at 01:06 PM.

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    Senior Member AwakenedFilms's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Bernardsville, NJ
    Anything more...


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    Custom Title! Jeff Anderson's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Now wait... You can't just say major p2 announcement and stop!

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    Senior Member
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    Apr 2008
    El Paso, TX
    Cheaper P2 cards but they only have a life-span of 5 years? I don't know what to think of that....
    MindWarp LLC
    HPX170 with 64GB & 16GB E-Cards

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    Bronze Member
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    Oct 2007
    Good to hear the new P2 prices, calling my dealer first thing Monday to place a LARGE pre order.

    I'm not worried about the 5 year lifespan because in 5 years 64 gigs will be what a 4 or 8 gig card is now, almost obsolete.

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    Senior Member
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    Oct 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    The new 16gb P2 card is looking realllly good. It would be great to have a pair of those for in the field use and quick dumping.

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    Senior Member thekreative's Avatar
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    SaltSpring Island, B.C.

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    Okay, updates: the P2 cards that have been available, are still available -- the "A" series, which means the existing 64GB card, plus the 16GB and 32GB have been updated to "A" series. The main thing about "A" series was higher speeds than the "R" series and 100,000 read-write cycles. Those are the cards available now, and those will continue to be offered. They're based on SLC memory technology.

    The "E" series will be sold side-by-side with the "A" series. They're even faster, and cheaper, but will have a shorter useful life. They can transfer at 1.2GBps, about 50% faster than the "A" series (and 50% faster than an SxS card, for that matter). We should be looking at 64GB cards transferring in about 7 minutes, and 16GB cards in about 1:45, assuming that what you're transferring *to* can keep up. The "E" series are based on MLC memory -- that's the kind of memory used in CompactFlash cards. Therefore, it's a lot less expensive. The "E" series are less than half to 1/3 as expensive as the premium-brand "A" series. The tradeoff is in useful life; by Panasonic's estimate you could fill up the card and empty it once a day for five years before you hit that limit. Now, that seems very conservative to me; the original cards were advertised for 100,00 read/write cycles, and that correlates well with SLC memory. So MLC memory is supposed to be good for 10,000 read/write cycles; by my estimate you should be able to fill up and empty a card once a day for 27 years before you hit that limit.

    Pricing: seems to me that a base P2 card with no memory should cost about $200, and 16GB of memory is about $200. So the 16GB card = $400, and twice the memory gives you a 32GB card at $625, and then 32gb more = $400 more, which makes the 64GB card at about $1,000. So if that's the case, I don't know that we should be looking for cards to ever cost less than around $300 or so.

    One major thing about MLC memory would be wear leveling; you don't want to continuously overwrite cells of memory and having them reach their limits, you want it to spread out the wear equally so the card lasts as long as possible. P2 does that; each P2 card has a microcomputer built-in that manages the data and handles write verification and file saving and it also handles wear leveling automatically. That's pretty cool, especially when you consider that a 16GB P2 card now costs less than Red's 16GB compactflash card.
    Last edited by Barry_Green; 04-19-2009 at 01:32 PM.

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    Senior Member
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    Apr 2008
    El Paso, TX
    Thanks for the info Barry. I'm so happy the E series came out but I'm a little worried about their life-spans. Even SDHC cards have higher life spans. Let's say we don't use the E series card everyday for 5 years. Maybe like once or twice a week. Does it still only last 5 years?
    MindWarp LLC
    HPX170 with 64GB & 16GB E-Cards

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    How will that HMC40 stack up to the HMC150? It's about the $400-$600 less in comparison.

    Thanks for the live updates Barry!

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