Panasonic is now going to compete with other cameras on terms of blank media, for those that decided not to go with the P2 workflow, think again. The new blank media, microP2 is simply the same memory card, with a new form factor, SD. This size all of a sudden, makes the P2 card much more widely accepted and versatile. The 64GB and 32GB cards will help allow large video files to move from camera to computer and other devices, even older cameras with an adapter.
The adapter may also extend the use of your existing cache of class 10 SD cards to Panasonic's P2 cameras. The microP2 cards also support AVC-ULTRA, the new compression platform which is coming in 2013 and will prepare the way for future video work. As for exciting news, none may top the 4K camera body that was briefly shown during the press conference in Las Vegas. It looked to have four XLR inputs, SDI outputs and capacity to add plenty of attachments. This is all part of Panasonic's plan to allow users a 4K workflow from shoot to edit to master and monitor.News that is more readily useful includes a few updates, the first is for a camera that we reviewed, the AG-AF100. The software upgrade allows for 1080 60p and 50p HD and ring in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio marking which is utilized in theaters and useful for documentary and narrative producers. This update, AF-SFU100 comes in May at $250. If you don't have one of these Panasonic cameras yet, look into these updated versions of professional cameras, the AG-AC160A and AG-AC130A.
The AC160A ($5,100) includes 1080, 60p HD recording and a focus assist that allows for zooming in to check focus. This turbo-speed focus assist can be upgraded on your camera for $300 at an authorized service center. The AG-AC130A ($4,200) will likewise be available in May if you are looking to pick up the camera with the upgrade already installed. These announcements definitely give Panasonic a forward-facing plan with the microP2 blank media, upgrades to current cameras and what could be the most complete 4K workflow we've seen.