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
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.
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.
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.