Panasonic Introduces AG-DVX100B Mini DV Camcorder
Panasonic Broadcast has introduced the AG-DVX100B 24p/30p/60i Mini-DV Camcorder with more than two dozen enhancements.
QUICK VERDICT -
The good: Great sound, progressive modes, and image control; professional-calibre viewfinder and controls; wide lens; particularly well suited for multi-camera projects.
The bad: No high-definition capability; no 16:9-native chips; lens is short for some applications; moderately steep learning curve.
The bottom line: Panasonic has listened. The third incarnation of the AG-DVX100 offers unrivalled bang for the buck in a prosumer standard-definition MiniDV camera.
"Our objective with the AG-DVX100B was to create an environmentally-conscious camcorder while improving upon the outstanding feature-set of its predecessors"
The successor to the highly-popular AG-DVX100A and AG-DVX100, which have made serious filmmaking affordable for a new level of content producers, the AG-DVX100B is among the first professional camcorders to be RoHS*-compliant, i.e. a product that is virtually free of lead, arsenic and other hazardous substances. Compliance with the RoHS directive becomes mandatory in July 2006 in Europe.
"Our objective with the AG-DVX100B was to create an environmentally-conscious camcorder while improving upon the outstanding feature-set of its predecessors," said Jan Crittenden Livingston, DVCPRO/DVCPRO50 Business Line Manager, Panasonic Broadcast. "While making it RoHS compliant, we revisited the product design and enriched the camera with many improvements that video professionals have been requesting."
The 4-pound, hand-held AG-DVX100B boasts new specifications that are tailor-made for full-fledged video production. For instance, it is the industry's first DV camcorder to allow camera-to-camera time-code syncho and user-settable file transfer over IEEE 1394, facilitating the AG-DVX100B's use in simultaneous, multi-camera shoots. Other innovations include 16:9 Letter-box Display Mode on the large electronic viewfinder (EVF) and 3.5" color LCD monitor for distortion-free Squeeze Mode or Anamorphic Display; Remote Control of Focus and Iris (wired) for easier operation when mounted on a jib or tripod; Single Button Character Off for LCD and EVF displays; improved Video S/N for better low light recording; and higher resolution LCD (210,000 pixels) and EVF (235,000 pixels) monitors.
"We revisited the product design and enriched the camera with many improvements that video professionals have been requesting"
Other key improvements include: a more sensitive on-camera mike; the re-location of the speaker to nearer the LCD screen to make audio easier to hear during playback; slower middle zoom speed; a heavier duty, easily replaced tripod connection; audio off tape or live E-E mode for delay free (echo free) monitoring; an End Search Camera Function to speed up search; a "what you see is what you get" image in the LCD and EVF; a new design for the scene file dial's rib protector to prevent unintentional file changes; a colour drop-down display mode for menu choices; and a new colour finish (Black Sapphire).
The camcorder's standard accessories include a CGR-D54 battery, AC adapter/charger, microphone holder, remote control, shoulder strap, lens cap, cleaning tape and instruction manual.
Incorporating exclusive CineSwitch technology that supports 480i/60 (NTSC), cinema-style 480p/24fps and 480p/30fps image capture, Panasonic's DVX100 series of mini-DV camcorders has set the standard for affordable 24p acquisition and been proven performers with hundreds of independent movies, TV programmes, commercials, and documentaries to their credit. Like its predecessor, the 1/3" 3-CCD AG-DVX100B offers outstanding audio performance, extensive auto and manual controls, and a CineGamma curve that truly emulates the rich look of film.
The AG-DVX100B is available in the US at a suggested list price of $3,995. For more information, visit the Panasonic website.