April 12, 2011

Panasonic AVCCAM HD camcorders

Panasonic unveiled two new AVCCAM HD handheld camcorders at NAB: the AG-AC160 and AG-AC130.

“These new AVCCAM handhelds offer the longer lensing that customers have been clamouring for in a small form factor with state-of-the art, high-bandwidth AVCCAM, Panasonic’s implementation of MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 high-profile encoding,” said Jan Crittenden Livingston, Product Manager, Panasonic Solutions. “In addition, the AC160 adds the creative flexibility of Full HD off-speed recording and an HD-SDI out.”

They are similar to the new HPX250 (we now have a full review of the HPX250), but record AVCHD to SDXC cards instead of AVC-Intra to P2, with a maximum bit rate of 24Mbps. As they have two SD card slots, they can do relay or simultaneous recording (for instant back up). Both of the camcorders have have three 1/3-inch 2.2 megapixel CMOS sensors and 21x zoom lenses, with three independent rings for zoom, focus and iris, and a fairly wide angle of 28mm.

At 50Hz the cameras record 1080/50i and 1080/25p, 720/50p and 720/25p. At 60Hz, they record in 1080/59.94i, 1080/29.97p, 1080/23.98pN, 720/59.94p, 720/29.97p, 720/23.98pN, as well as in standard definition (DV). The AC160 is 50Hz/60Hz switchable for worldwide use.

The AC160 (pictured above) also features variable frame rates, two channels of Linear PCM audio and HD-SDI output.

The AG-AC160 and the AG-AC130 will be available this Autumn with expected list prices under €4,600/$5500 and €3,900/$4000 respectively.

[[UPDATE: Panasonic has released 18 new, free, downloadable scene styles for both the AG-AC130 and the AG-AC160]]

By David Fox

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