Panasonic Launches AG-HPX171E Compact P2 HD Handheld Camcorder

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Panasonic PBITS Professional & Broadcast Systems has announced the AG-HPX171E compact and light-weight P2 HD handheld camera. The AG-HPX171E features a newly developed Leica Dicomar zoom lens providing the widest angle of any 1/3-inch class camcorder. Incorporation of the P2 solid-state recording system reduces the camera's weight by 25% compared with its predecessor, making the AG-HPX171E the lightest compact HD camcorder in its class, and significantly easier for camera operators to handle.

Equipped with a new 1/3-inch progressive 3CCD system, the AG-HPX171E delivers a substantially improved signal-to-noise ratio and prevents smear. The camera offers a 20-step variable frame-rate function for overcrank/undercrank camera effects, a focus assist to support HD shooting, a waveform/vectorscope display function, and an HD/SD switchable output compatible with a wide variety of applications.

The AG-HPX171E's newly developed optical x13 Leica Dicomar wide-angle lens is lighter and more compact than the acclaimed lens used for the AG-HVX201E series cameras. With a frontal lens diameter reduced to 53.2 mm from the 67 mm of conventional systems, and a class-leading 28-mm wide angle, the AG-HPX171E provides exceptional versatility without the need for additional conversion lenses.

The AG-HPX171E's Dynamic Range Stretcher (DRS) function reduces blocked shadows and blown highlights in scenes that include both bright and dark objects, such as views of interiors shot from outside. Gradations across bright, halftone, and dark areas are maintained, and colour distortions are minimised, resulting in footage with an exceptionally wide dynamic range.

The variable frame-rate function, first introduced in Panasonic's highly successful VariCam, gives the AG-HPX171E operator access to a rich palette of camera effects, and the focus-assist function for HD has been enhanced to provide a histogram, in addition to the centre zooming function and a new focusing bar display. A simplified waveform and vectorscope display of the image can be viewed on the LCD monitor.

As part of Panasonic's industry-leading support for its professional products, the AG-HPX171E is backed by a five-year, free-of-charge warranty contract providing reassurance to users and significantly reducing cost of ownership, as well as a premium, five-day turnaround repair service.

Additional functions and specifications include a high-performance DSP with a 14-bit A/D and 19-bit process functions; seven-mode gamma parameters that produce rich gradations and cine-like images; broadcasting DVCPRO HD and multicodec recording; two P2 card slots; loop-rec, one-shot-rec and interval rec functions; and four channel PCM audio recording with XLR terminals.

"Panasonic's P2 HD camera range is redefining the standards for today's broadcasters and film-makers," says European Provideo Project Manager Nela Pertl. "The AG-HPX171E extends the range, offering a high-performance and quality option for operators requiring a compact camera that's easier to handle for long periods of shooting, while providing all the versatility and workflow benefits of the P2 system."
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