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NAB 2009: Panasonic Intros Low-Cost, High-Quality HD Camcorder

Panasonic has introduced a new P2 HD solid-state camcorder with 10-bit, 4:2:2 image processing, the AG-HPX300, which will be available in March at a suggested list price of $10,700.

The camera, which was formally introduced at a press event in New York Wednesday where Panasonic detailed its plans for the NAB convention in April, uses Panasonic's AVC-Intra advanced compression scheme to record HD video at 100 and 50 megabit-per-second bit rates in both the 1080i and 720p formats using solid-state P2 memory cards.

The HPX300, which has a 1/3-inch imager with 2.2-megapixel 3-MOS technology, can also be used as a studio camera and is equipped with a remote control terminal (RCU) for use with the optional AJ-RC10G Remote Control Unit and compatible studio remote control systems. Panasonic says that later this year it will release a customized studio configuration system which will include the AG-BS300 base station, AG-EC4 extension control unit (ECU) and AG-CA300 remote control camera adapter. The optional studio add-on package will sell for less than $10,000.

"The HPX300 establishes a new benchmark for performance within this price range" said Robert Harris, Vice President, Panasonic Broadcast. "It not only captures full native 1920 x 1080 HD resolution, but it allows professionals to record at a quality level that no other camcorder in this price range can equal. Without the compromise of 8-bit, long GOP, 4:2:0 recording, the HPX300 provides master-quality, 10-bit, 4:2:2 individual frame capture using our award winning AVC-Intra codec. Video professionals will immediately realize that this camera is in a field of its own."