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New 64GB P2 Card Boosts Capacity and Transfer Rate

Panasonic is now offering a 64GB P2 solid-state memory card (model AJ-P2C064) that allows professionals to record for hours, offering double the record times of the 32GB P2 card and increased storage capacity for larger high-definition data files. The new P2 card also features an improved transfer rate of up to 800 Mbps for faster transfer and offload of P2 content. focus f5

The reusable 64GB P2 card can hold more than five hours of DVCPRO footage (356 minutes), two hours of DVCPRO50 or AVC-Intra 50 recordings (128 minutes), or an hour of full raster AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD content (64 minutes).

With five 64GB P2 cards installed, a VariCam 3700 or AJ-HPX3000 P2 HD camcorder can record for 10 hours and 40 minutes in AVC-Intra 50, or 5.3 hours in AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD (6 hours and 40 minutes in 1080/24pN mode). Up to 13 hours and 20 minutes can be recorded in AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD using the 720/24pN mode available in the VariCam 2700 or AJ-HPX2000 P2 HD camcorders.

With P2 solid-state memory cards, users can immediately access recorded content, eliminating the need to digitize or process footage. P2 cards can store the complete range of P2 frame rates and formats, from HD to SD and from DVCPRO to AVC-Intra 100. The P2 card can be connected to a laptop PC with ExpressCard slots by employing a PC card-to-ExpressCard adapter.

The 64GB P2 card (at a suggested list price of $2,600) works with all P2 HD camcorders purchased from May 2007 forward. P2 and P2 HD products purchased prior to that date will need a free, downloadable software upgrade available on the Panasonic website.

For more information, visit

Flash XDR Frees Shooters To Do More

The Flash XDR HD recorder/player from Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Convergent Design is now being used by a variety of applications, highlighting the unit’s versatility’s and file-based workflow advantages.focus f5

Everyone from broadcasters to independent feature productions using HD cameras like the fact that it provides native QuickTime files that don’t have to be transcoded before working in Final Cut Studio. This saves significant time in post.

WJLA, a local TV station in Washington, DC, has tested the unit (and transmitted data directly from it) in the field and, another user, Mark Magin, took one up in his plane during the Oshkosh Air Show (in Oshkosh, Wis.) with POV cameras and, even at 12 Gs of force, it never dropped a frame.

“This workflow will save me a lot of money and the hassle of working with tape,” said Michael Palmer, an independent shooter and one of the first users. “It also allows me to own the camera at a very affordable price, synch time code of multiple cameras, shade the image on set (via a DIT using a video village setup) and it allows me to capture a 1920x1080 signal straight back to a low-compression, low-price recording device.”

Palmer recently shot the second season of “Faithful Friends” on the Animal Planet channel with three Sony XDCAM EX-3 cameras. Through his Heads & Tails Productions, in Bon Fall, Calif., he recorded to a Flash XDR box on each camera and backed it up to SXS cards.

“The [Flash XDR HD recorder] allows you to choose the compression level you want, irregardless of what the manufacturer dictates,” he added. “That’s very empowering.”

Thanks to a licensing agreement with Apple, a new firmware upgrade for the Flash XDR enables QuickTime files to be directly written to the Compact Flash cards. Users will also be able play and edit clips directly from the CF cards via a Firewire-800 reader.

The compact unit (2.7 lbs without battery) offers record and playback at 50 Mbps 4:2:2 in 1080i60/50 as well as 720p60/50. Other features—like 24p removal, 1080p formats, and higher bit-rate acquisition--will be enabled in the coming weeks via additional firmware updates. These upgrades can be accessed via a coded download from the company website. (A special Flash XDR Forum has been set up at:

Including four compact flash slots, the unit features an aluminum enclosure with rubberized protective jacket for greater shock and vibration resistance. Card capacity levels are displayed on the LCD screen and metadata is stored in XML file format. Users can also transfer MXF data files into NLE-compatible formats like AVI.

HD ASI file support (used by news crews to transmit files directly from the box via microwave) will be available soon, according to the company, and will include selectable bit rates from 17.5 to 100 Mbps in 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 formats.

Priced at under $5,000, the company offers specific mounting options for the Canon XL H1 and G1 as well as the Sony XDCAM EX cameras. Other models will follow.

Convergent Design is also planning an uncompressed version of their solid-state recorder, which will necessitate large capacity (and expensive) high-speed CF cards and they’ll have to be stripped together via a RAID-0 configuration to protect the data. The price for firmware upgrade is $995.

For more information, visit

New Hard Disk Recorders Speed Digital Video Workflow

Lightweight and portable hard drives, tied to a camcorder in the field, can offer videographers the ability to record onto both tape and hard drive simultaneously. They greatly speed up workflow by allowing instant editing.

focus f5The FS-5 Portable Recorder by Focus Enhancements is a new class of recorder, weighing only twelve ounces. It brings direct-to-edit recording technology to most camcorders and enables users to add custom metadata while recording.

Featuring a backlit color display with simple menu system, a 100GB hard drive, and a removable, rechargeable battery, the Focus FS-5 passes audio, video, timecode, and control information through a single FireWire cable. It can connect wired or wirelessly via USB 2.0 to an NLE system or PX Media Server. Price is $2,195.

Fast Forward Video’s Elite HD, the first camera-mounted digital video recorder and player to deploy the J2K compression codec for recording HD-SDI video signals, works with any camera with a HD-SDI output at 1080i or 720p. Prices begin at $6,234.
The Elite HD uses J2K, which provides nearly lossless compression within each frame of recorded output. While most outboard drives record using traditional MPEG based compression systems, the Elite HD is able to capture the full potential of the camera by recording the camera’s full, uncompressed signal.

The Elite HD can handle up to eight channels of embedded audio. Video is stored to an off-the-shelf, hot-swappable 2.5-inch SATA drive, which provides up to 10 times more storage at a greatly reduced cost.

Fast Forward Video’s Elite HD, weighing only 1.25 pounds, can be easily detached from the camcorder and connected directly to a nonlinear editing system via USB cable.

Codex Digital has announced a new On Camera recording system set for delivery next spring. It works with HD, 2K and 4K cameras, and can record over two hours of 2K cinema footage, or over four hours of high-end broadcast material.  It features many of the same features as the Codex Portable, a recorder used on many high-end productions.

The new On Camera recorder offloads footage up to ten times faster than real time, in file-formats ready for editing and compositing. It runs off all standard camera batteries (12-28V).
Flexible I/O configurations mean the On-Camera can record from virtually every digital camera available today—including all HD cameras in video mode, plus data-mode from cameras such as the ARRI D-21 and DALSA’s Origin, and others as their data ports become available.
Pricing will be announced at the time of delivery.

For more information, visit,, and

New Panasonic Pro DV Tape Available

No, tape is not dead. Panasonic Broadcast announced two new advancements in its line of professional digital media – the AMQ-Series Advanced Master Quality tape for professional master-quality HDV, DV and DVCAM recording and the new PQUS-Series Professional Quality Pro DV tape for professional Mini DV recording.

Developed for the U.S. market only, the AMQ tape series provides high performance recording using Panasonic’s Super Advanced Metal Evaporation (S-AME) technology. S-AME provides four times the magnetic density of previous tape generations, and +1.2dB higher output than other products on the market, according to Panasonic.

Advancements in Panasonic’s proprietary Dry-Type lubricant and robust Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) film development help to increase the tape’s durability for high speed shuttling, still-frame, and professional editing.  A surface treatment process extends VTR head life and reduces head clogging and dropouts.
For professional Mini DV users, the new (U.S. market-only) PQUS tape series utilizes an Advanced Metal Evaporation (AME) technology for that provides a high signal output, consistent durability and optimal tape-to-head contact.
The AMQ-Series includes two mini advanced master tapes - AY-HDVM33AMQ (22/33/49 minutes) and AY-HDVM63AMQ (42/63/94 minutes) - and four standard advanced master tapes - AY-HDV96AMQ (64/96/144 minutes), AY-HDV124AMQ (82/124/186 minutes), AY-HDV186AMQ (124/186/279 minutes) and the AY-HDV276AMQ (184/276/414 minutes). The new PQUS mini DV tape series includes the 33-minute AY-DVM33PQUS, the 63-minute AY-DVM63PQUS and the 83-minute AY-DVM83PQUS Mini DV cassettes.

Both AMQ and PQUS tapes are designed with a rugged ABS resin shell construction, which prevents tape warp and cassette housing damage and provides impact-resistant durability. The anti-static cassette lid repels dust and contaminants that can cause dropouts.

AMQ cassettes are packaged in a rugged, side-locking hard case to increase tape protection and prevent against accidental opening.  The case’s non-slip, ribbed finish and special grooves allow for safe stacking and carrying within the production facility.

Each PQUS cassette comes with a durable, two-way opening case made from a soft resin that will not break if dropped. The two-way lid construction enables users to easily extract the tape with one hand, even while recording.

For more information, visit