The indie HD camera to beat?

“Offering flexibility and versatility never before available to video professionals, the AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD P2 hand-held camcorder provides 1080i and 720p recording with the production-proven image quality of 100 Mbps DVCPRO HD. The AG-HVX200 shoots on a P2 card in 1080/60i, 30p and 24p; in 720/60p, 30p and 24p; and in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO or DV,” stated Panasonic’s press release.

When asked by this publication about why users should pick a HD P2 solution with only 8 minutes of video combined with a normal, SD DV tape, or HDV as other manufacturers are offering, Jim Wickizer, a Panasonic spokesperson, said one word: “Quality.”

For audio the AG-HVX200 includes two XLR inputs. The camcorder can record 4-channel non-compressed 48KHz/16-bit in DVCPRO and DVCPROHD. The camcorder also includes a headphone out jack.

Panasonic Announces AG-HVX200 for $5,995 – HD Tape and Flash Media Camcorder with 24P

I like the last bit on audio which I continue to learn is so so important.

What is P2? Read more about the Panasonic AG-HVX200 CamcorderIt is Panasonic’s proprietary tapeless recording format. How will it work? As usual, HD For Indies is the place to go:

Q: What about this new P2 based, $6000 HD camera from Panasonic coming out (AG-HVX200, due Q4)?

1.) Can your machine edit it?
2.) How can you get the footage in there in the first place?

Answer 1: It’s DVCPRO HD codec, same as Varicam, so 1 GHz G4 or faster. No, sorry, your dual 500 G4 doesn’t cut it.

Answer 2: If you have a laptop with a PC Card slot, you can pop it in there. Or an external one connected to a Mac. Drivers aren’t perfect yet for that, but you can drag the files over. For direct integration into Final Cut Pro 5, you need the little P2 reader. The only one on the market is either $2000 or $2500, can’t recall off the top of my head. Ouch. But it’ll pull the footage into FCP with timecode etc. I expect a better driver and cheaper reading options by the time the camera ships.

RELATED: HD Camera Comparison, Will XL3 be HD?

[Thanks to the anonymous commenter on the XL3 post for turning my attention to this camera.]