Panasonic Releases New AW-HE120 Pan Tilt and Zoom Camcorder

If you've ever directed or set up a live event, you know how hard it can be to find reliable and affordable camera operators. Though there is nothing that can beat a knowledgeable camera operator, Panasonic has come close with it's new AW-HE120 pan and tilt camcorder. Their camcorder can mount to any surface and give a video feed and remote control ability to a director making multi-cam events easier and cheaper than ever to pull off. Panasonic made this camera 60% lighter than their previous offering, making the camera mountable on almost any surface.

In order to get a video feed, the camera can be connected through HDMI and a standard Ethernet cable. The HDMI gives a high quality 1080/59.94p video feed while the Ethernet cable allows a director to control every aspect about the camera from a distance. The camera also comes with a 20x zoom range so that you can mount it in the back of a room and still achieve excellent close up shots, has a 2.2 megapixel U.L.T. 3-MOS sensor (in true Panasonic style), and has three different ND filters – 1/4, 1/16, and 1/64.

Though the ND filters seem like a bit of an overkill given that the camera will almost always be mounted indoors, it did include some excellent engineering with a pan range of -175 degrees to 175 degrees and a tilt range of -30 degrees to 210 degrees meaning that this little beauty has more flexibility than an owl. For those needing to mount the camera to a white ceiling, the unit comes in pearl white though a black metallic model can be bought for theatrical occasions.

Panasonic will be shipping this item in what they call "winter" so expect it to come out shortly before CES in January. The suggested retail price is $8,900, making it clear that Panasonic is targeting the house of worship and theater markets with this product. However, if you're finding it hard to get quality camera operators for a fair price, this could be the product you've been waiting for.

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Dan Bruns is an award winning cinematographer and editor.