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Product Spotlight: Panasonic AK-HC931

Mar 18, 2002  •  Post A Comment

What it is: Panasonic AK-HC931, a multiformat digital camera system. Panasonic plans to introduce the new camera, the latest in its HC900 series of camera products, to the public at the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters convention.
Handles high definition and standard definition: The digital camera is equipped with a 720-line progressive imager, which means it captures resolutions at 720p and can then output the images in any of three formats: 480i, 720 or 1080i. A signal format converter converts the 720p signal to a 480i standard-definition output, and the camera can also be outfitted to output at 720p or 1080i. That enables the camera to serve both high-definition and standard-definition needs, which can be helpful for TV stations making the transition from analog to digital, said Jeff Merritt, product line business manager, high-definition business products, for Panasonic in Los Angeles.
Variation on a frame rate: One of the other key features of the camera is its variable frame rate capture, which means it can capture images at seven frame rates: 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 40 and 60 frames per second. “If you are using 24 frames per second as a common denominator, it is possible with this camera to capture frames at 60 frames per second and play back at 24 frames per second,” he said. That kind of adjustment allows for high-quality slow-motion for sports coverage, for instance.
Target market: The camera system is designed for studio applications, electronic field production, mobile trucks, episodic television and any other endeavor that necessitates high-quality studio production.
Additional features and benefits: The camera can be hand-held or used in a studio setting. The dynamic range is 600 percent, which means the camera can resolve details in whites that are 600 percent brighter than the black. The shutter speed operates from 1/100th of a second to 1/2000th of a second.
Cost: About $50,000.