Why the Panasonic PX270 is a game changer ! (£5,573 incl vat)

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

AJ-HPX270-web

This handheld camcorder is rather special in the way it has been conceived, in the words of Panasonic,s Rob Tarrant “It has the DNA of a shoulder mount packaged into a handheld format”.

Lets start with a list of priorities for an all-round pro spec camcorder…

1. 50Mbps or better

2. Affordable media

3. Decent lens range better than 14x

4. XLR inputs

5. 10bit 422

6. Dual record ?

7. Broadcast quality

8. Wi-Fi

9. Decent LCD/viewfinder

Having the AVC-ULTRA codec surpasses the 50Mbps needed for broadcast work not only that you can record at 1080 50p Long GOP 25 which is equivalent to 50Mbps on a low cost SDHC card.

Here is the important point… NO other manufacturer using 10bit 422 allows you to record onto SDHC card at 50Mbps and that’s the clincher. Finally we are now able to use low cost media, very useful for archive, at broadcast quality.

Lens…I have had various interchangeable lens camcorders and can’t remember changing the lens in all but one, having a 28 to 616mm (22x) lens is as good as you need for most filming plus the ability to use the lens on full manual mode.

AJ-PX270-back

Dual record (DR)…is a must in every new professional camcorder in fact if it has not got DR it affects sales. The Panasonic goes one stage better some DR camcorders will not continue to record if any of the cards fail during recording thats not something I knew about which is rather alarming.

Even more alarming is I have just tested this on a dual record camcorder taking out card 2. Card one still stays in REC mode but when you stop the recording you get INVALID beside slot 1. On further investigation card 1 will no longer format or play back …it’s only when you re-format the card in a DSLR that the card becomes usable again.

The PX270 will have the ability to loose one of two cards and keep recording, that is coming in a future FREE firmware update and is known as BACKGROUND RECORD, this is indeed a game changer and very much welcomed by camera operators.

Rob Tarrant of Panasonic told me that to further insure no loss of information it is advisable to have at least one micro P2 card when using the dual record mode.

The PX270 is equipped with network functions and an optional wireless module will be available for tablet and smartphone linking. You can also record two individual codecs onto two cards, one for HD the other for proxy.

The menu system has come direct from the shoulder mounts making it a lot more slick and just as easy to use.

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Price of the PX270 will be £5,573 incl vat and a 64G micro P2 card will cost £305 incl vat.

I will be getting a Panasonic PX270 at the end of March for review and I am looking forward to putting it through its paces.

 

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3 comments on this post

  1. Mike Warren says:

    Phil, I’m looking forward to your review. It would be great if you can make some out-of-camera clips available in LongG25/50p and LongG50/25p.

    If you want to have a look at the manual before you get the camera, I have it on my web site for download.

    http://mike-warren.net/panasonic-aj-px270-user-manual/

  2. Bernd says:

    When you get a PX270 for your review, please check if it finally has a proper broadcast-style lens like the Sony EX1/PMW200 have. With the HPX250 the manual focus was “fly-by-wire” only and I really hope that Panasonic now upgraded this. But as far as I can see, the PX270 lens again has neither distance nor iris markings, so I’m afraid that there is no improvement here.

  3. Mike Warren says:

    It’s almost certainly nearly identical to the HPX250. These lenses have to have fly-by-wire to fake parfocal zooming. They would either have to increase the price and weight significantly, or cut back on the zoom range in order to have the multiple moving groups needed for parfocal.

    My hope is that they’ve improved the response so the focus can keep up with fast zooms.

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