At InterBEE this year, our booth concept was “Ultra Speed and Quality”, and we focused on proposing new and advanced workflows to our customers. Especially with regards to our ideas for cloud workflows, we received positive comments and agreement from many broadcasters. The key to making possible such a cloud workflow is a high-quality, low bitrate codec, such as AVC-Ultra.
As I hope you all know well by now, AVC-Ultra features very strong compression technology to allow for very high quality video at a low bitrate. But what you may now know is that we have managed to contain all of that AVC-Ultra power in a single LSI chip, known as DYNA.
This is significant because it allows to include the high-powered AVC-Ultra codecs in compact, palm-type camcorders, the first of which will be the AJ-PX270, to be released in Spring 2014.
In addition to being the first AVC-Ultra palm camcorder, and a completely redesigned body, the PX270 also boasts a wide range of new features, including a new compact 22X zoom lens, OLED viewfinder, high-res LCD, and a variety of other new features to enhance usability. Please watch the below video to learn more about the PX270, and stay tuned for more news and demo footage as we get closer to the release in Spring 2014.
Last week, the InterBEE show was held in Japan. Being the last of the four major shows of the year, following NAB (USA), BirTV (China), and IBC (Europe), InterBEE acts as an opportunity to look back over the entire year, while also getting valuable contact time with Japanese and overseas customers.
Attendance numbers increased from 2012, and through spending time in our booth and elsewhere on the show floor, I felt that the mood of the industry has brightened significantly.
I’ve included some pictures of our booth on this post, and will discuss some of the announcements we made and other news from the show over the next few days.
We currently provide a wide range of switchers and mixers, but this will be our most full-featured offering yet. Although maintaining a compact 3-RU size, the HS6000 is 2 M/E, and features 32 SDI and 2 DVI inputs along with 16 SDI outputs. We also offer an optional 10” touchscreen menu panel that can also display the input and output video. Beyond features, we focused heavily on usability when designing this product. From the new touchscreen interface, to the well-known and satisfying click of the switcher buttons, we believe that all levels of users will be happy with this product.
It is on display now in our booth at IBC, and will be available in early 2014, so please drop by the booth or contact your local Panasonic representative to hear more or have a demo.
For a while, Panasonic has talked about AVC-Ultra, the new family of broadcast codecs, providing coverage from low bitrates to high-end, master-quality recording. Now we are pleased to begin providing products featuring AVC-Ultra.
The first products to market are the AJ-PX5000 shoulder-type camcorder featuring 2/3” 2.2M 3MOS sensors, and the AJ-PD500 compact 4U half-rack size memory card recorder.
These are the first products to feature slots for microP2 cards, the new solid-state broadcast media compliant with the UHS-II standard for SD memory cards. As they also feature networking ability, we believe these products will greatly improve our customers’ working processes.
Also, the basic performance of the PX5000 has also been dramatically increased in comparison to previous models. I believe that witnessing the incredibly sensitive and noise-free images will help you appreciate the strength of our sensor technology.
Also at IBC, we are for the first time displaying a working model of the new AJ-PX270 handheld camcorder. I hope that you will soon get look at these products at IBC or another event, and witness the power of the AVC-Ultra family.
Starting 13 September, IBC 2013 will be held in Amsterdam. I would like to give all of you a preview of what we will have on display at the show.
We have two main points we are trying to express:
improvements to the current HD workflows that support our users’ business
strategy for a future movement to 4K
Panasonic believes that the simultaneous advancement of these two issues is extremely important.
Following this line of thinking, at IBC we will be holding detailed demonstrations featuring content management systems and cloud-based solutions, as well as new file-based camcorders in our P2HD and AVCCAM lines, also a new “handy” studio camera, a new 2ME live switcher, and new HD production tools.
Finally, we will be making major announcements regarding our 4K strategy. I can’t say more than that at the moment, so ask that you please look forward to our press announcements from Amsterdam! For anyone attending IBC-come see us at Booth C45 in Hall 9!
Basically, it lines up four of our AW-HE120pan-tilt-zoom remote cameras, to shoot a “film-strip” wide shot. We believe that this type of shot will be useful in a number of industries, most obviously in sports, as it allows for the capture of high resolution footage of the entire field of play. To capture an image such as this currently, it is necessary to use either a single camera with a wide angle lens - which will result in a very low resolution, or multiple cameras - which are very difficult and time-consuming to set up and match.
When our system has been put into place (which can be done by two people, even going up stairs to the top of a stadium), all that needs to be done to set it up is to set the angle for a single camera. The other three cameras will then automatically align themselves so as to create a perfectly stitched video. The entire setup process takes only a few minutes.
We have heard already from many coaches and leagues who are interested in the system to get a high-resolution record of the entire field for analysis after the game, as well as for applications of cutting out windows of the 64:9 video for broadcast of just the needed area, either live or after the event.
I’ve uploaded a sample clip to Youtube, and recommend that you view it in fullscreen, but as 4 HD streams are squeezed down to a single monitor size, it’s not possible to view at full resolution. I’ve included some frame grabs (simple print screens from playback of a compressed file) to illustrate how much detail can be seen while capturing the entire field. Notice that you can read the players’ numbers, which is very important for coaching applications.
We will be displaying this system at events all around the world, including IBC next week in Amsterdam. Please come and see the system, with video live on multiple displays, to get the full experience!
Japanese broadcasters are currently working very hard on a variety of new projects, and there was a lot of attention given to workflow solutions utilizing cloud technology.
Additionally, as a lot of Japanese content is made in the Fukuoka area, so there were a lot of people from the production industry eager to get a look at the new PX5000 camera and our new AVC-Ultra codec.
Today I would like to introduce an example of interesting content being made in Kyushu, the southern Japanese island where Fukuoka is located.
I want to introduce a company called VICOM. VICOM is a leader in “railroad videos”, having produced a variety of content related to trains and railroads, and is very well known and popular among train fans. They have also been using our products for a very long time. They recently used our products to produce a new “healing” series. The title is “Healing Islands OKINAWA 4 ~Ishigakijima”, and it has been widely praised in Japanese video magazines. VICOM manages to capture the beauty of Ishigakijima in a way that puts the viewer into the calming environment of the islands. The video is referred to as being “healing”, and I myself felt quite refreshed after watching it. I urge all of you to watch the preview below.
As I introduced to you last time, our organization has expanded to become the Imaging Business Division, handling both consumer and professional video products. Today I would like to introduce a new consumer-oriented product that I think many pros will also be interested in: the HX-A100 Wearable camera.
Within the world of action cameras, the unique point of this product is that the camera portion and recorder portion are separate. This separate design, and a weight of only 30g for the camera part, combined with the included ear mount mean that the camera provides natural, eye-level POV video while being hardly noticeable to the user.
We feel that one major application for this product will be in shooting sports such as skiing or skateboarding. In addition to high quality FullHD at 60p and 30p for beautiful action shots, the camera also offers 120p and 240p options at reduced resolution, to produce dramatic slow motion. The idea of shooting such extreme sports with action cameras is already well-established, but we feel the lightweight and easily wearable A100 camera will help expand that type of POV-shooting into everyday activities, such as cooking or playing with children. The unit is also dustproof and waterproof to 1.5m or 5ft (IPX5 and IPX8 compliant).
The shot footage can be shared wirelessly with smartphones, tablets and computers, allowing for simplified sharing with social networks.
There is already a lot of footage shot by A100 users. Please have a look on our website and Youtube. As always, please share any footage you have taken with our products via our Facebook page!
For now, check out this video shot with the camera by Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr!
As you may have noticed, I haven’t updated this blog for a while. Although it may sound like a poor excuse, I have just been very busy recently. I am going to start updating more frequently, and look forward to hearing your feedback via our Facebook page.
Today I would like to introduce one of the reasons that I have been so busy: a reorganization that has been made in Panasonic as of April. The biggest change for me is that in addition to the professional video products, we are now joined by the consumer camcorder business unit, and I will be responsible for both of those product groups. Our B2B and B2C video operations are now brought together under one roof, as the Imaging Business Division.
Through this change, we are now able to put together a strong R&D and engineering organization for producing video products for consumers and pros alike. I aim to use these expanded resources to produce a variety of new products that will be appreciated by our customers.
We recently held an event in Tokyo called Panasonic Super Meeting, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of the DVX100. We held the event to mark ten years of DVX100 cameras in action, and invited around 500 people, largely users of the camera, to join us. In addition to sharing thoughts and memories of the DVX100, we also took the opportunity to introduce our new products to the attendees.
As I said in my opening remarks at the event, I think I can brag a bit and say that the DVX100 really was an industry-changing product. Since it was released and dominated ten years ago, offering features new to that range of products, such as 24p and cinema-like gamma, we have continued to pull the palm camcorder industry forward, with groundbreaking products such as the first memory-based camcorder in the HVX200, the first large-sensor camcorder in the AF100, and our current lineup featuring the “three brothers” - the HPX250, and AC160/AC130. Our most recent addition to the industry is the AC90. It has a form reminiscent of the original DVX100, and while the image quality has been increased by an incredible degree, the price is about 1/3 what the DVX100 was at release.
Along with our customers, we also feel clearly that technology has advanced rapidly over the last ten years, and will continue to do so. As with the DVX100, we are proud of the advances that the AC90 represents, and are happy that it is starting to be widely recognized throughout the world.
We gave away three units of the AC90 at the event the other day, and all the winners were extremely happy. I can’t wait to see what they create with their new cameras!