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Pro Camera Guide



Panasonic Introduces AJ-HDX400 1080i DVCPRO HD Camcorder (19/1/2005)

High-end features include Cine-Like Gamma, 10-Sec. Pre-Record, SD Output

Panasonic has introduced the AJ-HDX400, a top-production,1080i DVCPRO HD camcorder that makes high definition acquisition more affordable for content creators. The AJ-HDX400 is available in February at a suggested list price of $42,500.

To dramatically lower the cost of HD postproduction, the AJ-HDX400 teams with the Panasonic AJ-HD1200A IEEE 1394 DVCPRO HD VTR and Apple Final Cut HD software to offer a powerful, affordable acquisition-through-editing system.

The AJ-HDX400 features three 2/3" 1-million pixel IT progressive CCDs to produce a high sensitivity of F10 at 2000 lux, outstanding low-light shooting down to 0.008 lux (at +68dB), and ultra-sensitive recording up to 74dB in digital super gain mode. It is equipped with 12-bit A/D DSP circuits that provide optimum picture quality, color reproduction and luminance gradation, and an advanced 12-axis matrix color correction system permits precise colors to be adjusted without affecting overall color tone.

The well-balanced camcorder offers impressive built-in, image-enhancing features including a Cine-like gamma curve to replicate the look and feel of film, versatile detail functions including precise skin tone detail, and shading correction that adjusts for the use of a lens extender.

The AJ-HDX400 uses DVCPRO HD-LP 9-micron recording to record 33 minutes on a DVCPRO medium-size cassette (a 50% tape cost reduction over 18-micron DVCPRO HD recording), and records 48kHz/16-bit digital audio on all four channels. It offers a digital zoom with an up to 400% image enlargement where the HD image retains its superb resolution and brightness is maintained.

The AJ-HDX400 provides as standard a 10-second pre-recording function that permits it to capture spontaneous scenes a shooter might otherwise miss. The pre-recording function continually caches 10 seconds of video and audio in memory (time settable by one-second increments) as it enters the camera's front lens. When a user pushes the record button, video and audio in the cache are recorded to tape. This HD camera also offers a Retake Mode that allows it to automatically back up to the start of the last take and record over it. A one-frame interval REC function is also offered for time-lapse recording.

A standard HD SDI output is included for monitoring and line recording, and a down converter is built-in to produce a NTSC composite output, eliminating the need for an expensive SDI monitor. The camcorder also includes a SAVE REC function that reduces power consumption to a low of 35.5 watts during recording,

Other standard features include: Auto Tracking White Balance; two 4-position optical filters (ND: clear, 14, 1/16, 1/64; CC: Cross, 3200K, 4300k and 6300K); multifunctional zebra patterns (to adjust contrast, auto white balance and color bar output); four user scene files, three user-customized buttons, one-touch display for 4:3 aspect ratio; electronic shutter (1/100 to 1/2000 sec.) with synchro scan shutter (1/60.3 to 1/249.8 sec.); an easy-slide shoulder pad that adjusts 1.18" in 10-steps; and a 3-point locking viewfinder mount for precise adjustment. The weight of the camera head is only 9.4 pounds.

Among the AJ-HDX400's optional accessories are the AJ-GPS900G GPS unit to record real-time position data onto the tape including altitude, longitude and latitude; the AJ-HVF20BP 2" HD 16:9/4:3 viewfinder; and the AJ-MC900G 5-pine stereo mic.

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