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Panasonic AJ-PX270 Overview
The Panasonic AJ-PX270 microP2 Handheld AVC-ULTRA HD Camcorder is a compact camcorder that draws many of its design features from Panasonic's shoulder-mounted line of camcorders. It features a 1/3" MOS imager that captures 1920 x 1080 at up to 60p, and a 22x optical zoom lens, with optical image stabilization. It records at high data rates to a variety of media, including microP2, as well as full-sized P2 media cards, while allowing you to use SDHC/SDXC media cards at lower data rates. It features a single P2 card slot, dual microP2 card slots providing a variety of recording options, and a single SD card slot for recording proxy files and camera settings.
The AJ-PX270 features AVC Ultra recording, which allows for expanded recording options. In addition to the standard frame rates, the camera will also record in variable frame rates at 1080p, from 1 to 60 fps in 25 steps. The camcorder features both an OLED viewfinder and a 3.5" IPS LCD view screen. The lens has built-in manual focus, zoom, and iris rings, providing manual control in addition to the servo control of zoom, and autofocus and iris functions. Taking a page from the larger shoulder mount rigs, the camera features a front-mounted audio input, for a camera-mounted mic, and a rear-mounted audio XLR input for a second microphone. Audio level controls are at the rear of the camera; however, a second audio level control for the front XLR input is located towards the front of the camera, making it easy to adjust the level on that mic while shooting handheld.
Even though it is designed as a compact handheld camcorder, the AJ-PX270 features connections that let you easily integrate it into multicamera shoots with large shoulder-mounted cameras. First, it features timecode in/out and a genlock in connector, so it can connect to a switcher for live multicamera shoots. It features a 3G-SDI output for integrating into an SDI infrastructure and outputting 1920 x 1080p60 video. The HDMI output allows you to monitor on lower-cost consumer monitors. The camera features a USB 3.0 connector with USB Host capabilities, a 2.5mm zoom s/s control jack, a 3.5mm focus/iris control jack, as well as USB 2.0 and LAN ports. It also features built-in networking protocols that allow you to wirelessly transfer your files when using optional USB dongles.
The 3MOS sensor features 2.2MP resolution, providing 1920 x 1080p images at up to 60 fps. It features two menu settings—the default setting and the High-Sensitivity setting, which acts a gain boost with noise reduction, providing a cleaner image than just using the gain function.
The camera features:
Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS)
Advanced Flash Band Compensation (FBC), compensating for dark areas in the frame that can occur when a still flash goes off. The FBC adjusts the image to minimize the appearance of the dark areas.
Gamma modes: The camera features seven user-selectable gamma modes—HD, SD, FILMLIKE 1, FILMLIKE 2, FILMLIKE 3, FILM-REC, VIDEO-REC
12-Axis Matrix Control + 3 skin tone: Provides a 12-axis color control of your image, with three skin-tone control, so you can isolate and adjust your colors precisely and protect your skin tones.
The 22x optical zoom lens has a 35mm focal length equivalent to 28-616mm, so you have the focal range from wide to long covered. It features Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which is necessary when handholding with a long lens. The lens also features individual lens control rings for zoom, focus, and iris. This enables manual control of your lens (in addition to servo), that is similar to the control you get on full-sized shoulder-mounted cameras.
The camera records at standard speeds, 23.98, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94, it also records at variable frame rates in 1080p.
1080p60: 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 40, 44, 48, 54, 60 fps
1080p50: 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32, 34, 37, 42, 45, 48, 50 fps
The AJ-PX270 features slots for available P2, microP2, and SD cards. This provides you with a wide choice of media to choose from. If you already have P2 cards, the AJ-PX270 is compatible with them. It features two microP2 slots that allow for a variety of recording functions. You can also record to SDHC/SDXC cards in the microP2 slots using reduced data rates. The camera detects the type of card you are recording to, and will display an error message if the card is not capable of recording the selected codec to that card.
Note: There is no recording media included with the camera.
Even though microP2 cards share the same form factor as SD cards, they differ significantly.
microP2 cards feature an internal raid configuration, allowing them to record at significantly higher data rates than SDXC cards.
microP2 cards continue recording from the physical memory space where it last stopped recording, even if erased or formatted. This extends the usable life of the microP2 card, as all the memory in the card is written to, instead of just a portion getting most of the writing/rewriting.
Although the microP2 card has the same form factor as SD cards, and you can read and write to SD cards using the camera's microP2 card slots, an SD card reader cannot access the additional contacts on a microP2 card, so it cannot read the high data rate files on the microP2 card.
microP2 Recording Modes
The camera features two microP2 slots, allowing for more recording options than just the single SD or P2 slot.
Simultaneous recording: simultaneously creates duplicate recordings on both microP2 cards.
Relay recording: The camera automatically switches recording from a filled card to an empty card. With enough power and memory cards you could record nonstop.
Loop recording: Similar to Relay Recording, except when the second card is filled, the camera switches back to the first card, erasing one minute at a time and recording onto that minute. This mode is especially suited to recording events that do not occur at a predetermined time, allowing you to set the camera up, start recording, and not worry about missing the action while changing cards, or filling up the cache, and losing the shot because you hit record too late.
Dual-codec recording: Allows you to record two different codecs simultaneously on the same microP2 card. This allows you to record a high-resolution file and a proxy file on to the same card.
One-clip recording: Every clip on the card is saved as one clip, as if you were recording on a tape-based system.
Background recording: Records continuously to one card, ignoring the start and stop button, while the other card follows the recording triggers. Announced update for June 2014
The AJ-PX270 can record to P2 cards; however, the R, A, and E series P2 cards are limited to 100 Mb/s, supporting up to AVC-Intra 100 at 1080i 50/60, and 1080p 24/25/30. These cards do not support the AVC-Intra 100 (1080p 50/60) or AVC-Intra 200 codecs. The P2 F series card supports the same codecs as the R, A, and E series, but it also supports AVC-Intra 100 at 1080p 50/60 and the AVC-Intra 200 codec at all frame rates.
SD Card Recording
You can record using standard SDHC/SDXC cards in the microP2 card slots; however, they will not support recording all the codecs available with microP2 cards. The camera also features a dedicated SD card slot that allows you to record proxy files to an SD card, as well as loading and saving scene files and updates.
The camera features an Ethernet port that allows you to connect it directly to a LAN (bypassing the need for a computer) and transfer your files to an FTP server with a global IP address.
The PX270 features a 2.5mm jack for remote zoom s/s control and a 3.5mm jack for remote focus/iris control
The camera uses standard streaming protocols. Using an available AJ-WM30 USB dongle, you can connect the camera to a Wi-Fi network and transfer files to an FTP server. Available third-party dongles will allow 4G/LTE connectivity.
Quality of Service
The camera supports QoS (Quality of Service) protocols with select devices that support QoS. This allows the camera to resend packets that did not arrive. This function is dependent on the protocols supported by the available receiving device and the compatibility with the AJ-PX270.
The AJ-PX270 is compatible with VW-VB batteries, such as the included VW-VBD58 battery which is rated at 5800mAh at 7.2 VDC, and features a battery level indicator. This battery is not compatible with previous Panasonic cameras as it is slightly wider than previous generations of batteries. However, you can use available CGA-D54 batteries to power the AJ-PX270. The camera features a battery charger and a power supply, so you can charge a battery while powering the camera with the separate power supply. You can even hot swap batteries provided the AC adapter is powering the camera when you do.