Panasonic AJ-PX230 Handheld AVC-ULTRA HD Camcorder
Cost-effective compact Handheld camera recorder
The AJ-PX230 is a unique new model camera recorder with extremely high performance. It features a powerful CAM-type 22x zoom lens with three manual rings, a 600% dynamic range with 1/3-type 3MOS (RGB) image sensors, and AVC-ULTRA* multi-codec recording, including the high-quality AVC-Intra200 codec, all in an easy-to-operate, professional camera design.
As the ultimate handheld camera recorder, the AJ-PX230 offers high-quality acquisition for a host of uses, from ENG to video production.
* The AJ-PX230 does not support all of the formats included in the AVC-ULTRA family.
CAM-type 22x Zoom Lens with Three Manual Rings and Ultra Low-Speed Seesaw Zoom Levers
The AJ-PX230 features a high-performance, compact zoom lens. Zooming from 28 mm to 616 mm (35 mm equivalent), this 22x zoom lens covers a wide field of view, from wide-angle to telephoto, without the need for a conversion lens. Combining 18 lens elements in 12 groups, this advanced lens unit further adds a UHR (Ultra High Refractive) glass element, a low dispersion element and aspherical lenses. This advanced optical technology provides superbly high resolution.
In addition, it is combined with our unique digital signal processing technology, called Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC), to minimize colour bleeding in the surrounding image areas and to achieve rich expression with finely rendered nuances and excellent shading.
The AJ-PX230 has three manual rings: a mechanical (cam-type) zoom ring, a focus ring and an iris ring. The operating feel and rib pattern of these rings are carefully designed to make manual operation feel like using an interchangeable lens. The focus ring is knurled for reliable fingertip control of delicate focusing. The seesaw zoom levers (grip/handle) support extra-slow zooming down to 180 seconds.
Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS), Digital Zoom and ND Filter
- Hand-shake correction with the built-in optical image stabilizer (OIS).
- Equipped with a digital zoom function.*1 Magnification control can be assigned to a user button for quick zooming to 2x, 5x or 10x. It provides a telephoto capability of up to 220x in combination with the optical zoom.
- Built-in ND filter (OFF, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64).
*1: Flash Band Compensation will not operate while digital zooming.
Advanced Flash Band Compensation (FBC)
This function detects and precisely compensates the flash bands (bands of light and dark) that often occur in still cameras equipped with an MOS sensor.
600% Dynamic Range with 1/3-Type 3MOS Image Sensors
2.2-megapixel 1/3-type 3MOS (RGB) image sensors offer full-pixel HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, F11 (59.94 Hz) or F12 (50 Hz) sensitivity* and low noise. They also achieve rich gradation and vibrant colour reproduction. The 1/3-type image sensors achieve the same maximum 600% level (compared to the 300% level of our previous model) of dynamic range as many high-end shoulder-type models. This captures rich data all the way from highlights to shadows, to render truly realistic images. Features such as color grading also expand post-production flexibility.
* In [HIGH SENS.] mode
- FILM-REC Gamma: Featured in our VariCam model, this function was made possible by the 600% dynamic range. It achieves a latitude that exceeds the CINE-LIKE D mode in our previous handheld camera recorder. Gamma curves can be selected from 7 modes (HD/SD/ FILMLIKE 1/FILMLIKE 2/FILMLIKE 3/ FILM-REC/VIDEO-REC).
- DRS (Dynamic Range Stretch): Suppresses blocked shadows and blown highlights to achieve a visually wide dynamic range.
Image Adjustment Function from a Menu
The AJ-PX230's camera signal processing LSI enables hue-adjustable 12-axis colour compensation for each color gamut, independent 3-axis skin-tone colour compensation, and also has a detailed image adjustment function. The image adjustment menu brings you intuitive image control.
Setting Items: H detail, V detail, detail coring, skin tone detail, chroma level, colour temperature, master pedestal, knee, matrix, color correction, RB gain control, chroma setting, black control, gamma, high color, white clip.
Variable Frame Rate Supporting 1080p
The Variable Frame Rate function (AVC-Intra100)* was inherited from the Panasonic VariCam, which is widely used for producing movies, TV series and TV commercials. Featuring a variable frame rate of 1 to 60 fps, this function creates a wide range of film-camera-like images, such as overcranking for slow-motion and undercranking for quick-motion effects.
* Pre-Rec, Loop Rec, Interval Rec, One-Shot Rec, Dual Rec and One-Clip Rec cannot be used while recording at native variable frame rate.
Advanced Focus Assist Functions
A variety of focus assist functions support quick and accurate focusing in manual focus mode.
- Turbo-Speed One-Push AF: Pressing the PUSH AUTO button enables focusing in 0.5 seconds or less.*
- Focus-in-Red Display: Emphasizes the image areas in focus by marking the edges in red.
- Expand: Enlarges the center portion for increased visibility.
- Focus Bar: The meter graphically displays the focus level.
* The focusing time varies depending on the shooting conditions and subjects.
OLED EVF and High-Resolution LCD Panel
The AJ-PX230 features a viewfinder with a high-resolution OLED display (approximately 2,360 K dots; image display area: approximately 1,770 K dots) for minimal image delay and superb colour eproduction. The LCD monitor uses a QHD IPS LCD panel. These allow easier focusing.
Built-in Electronic Level Gauge
The electronic level lets you easily confirm camera tilting on the LCD monitor screen. It helps to keep the camera level during handheld shooting, low-angle shooting and high-angle shooting.
Scene Files and User Files
Six preset scene files can be changed freely. One set of scene files can be stored internally in the AJ-PX230, and eight sets can be stored on an SD Memory Card. In addition, one user file containing camera settings can also be stored internally in the AJ-PX230, and eight files can be stored on an SD Memory Card.
Other Recording Support Functions, Professional Image Quality and Advanced Functions
- Eight User Buttons: Functions can be freely assigned to each button.
- WFM/ VECTOR: Simplified waveform and vectorscope display.
- Gain Selector: The 3-position gain selector can be assigned with gain levels selected from a range of –3 dB to +18 dB to its L, M and H positions.
- +36 dB Super Gain: +24 dB/+30 dB/+36 dB Super Gain function enables extra-high sensitivity with subject luminance of as low as 0.02 lx.*
- Electronic Shutter with Slow Shutter Capability: The shutter speed can be set in seven steps between 1/60 and 1/2000 second (60i/60p mode). It is also equipped with Slow and Synchro Scan (variable) modes. The shutter opening angle (deg value) can be set with synchro scan mode.
- Shockless Auto White Balance: A smooth transition occurs when switching White Balance modes. This is effective, for example, when moving from outdoors to indoors.
- Mode Check: Displays a list of the camera settings on the VF and LCD.
- Zebra: Select any two levels from among 0% to 109%, in 1% steps. A mode also allows two patterns to be overlaid and displayed.
- Y-GET: Measures brightness at the center and displays numerical data.
- Knee Mode Setting (AUTO/MANUAL/OFF).
- Two-value (A/B) memory and preset (3200/5600/VAR) white balance.
- Scan Reverse Function: Displays/records images in vertically or horizontally inverted orientation.
- Marker: Displays a center marker, safety zone marker and frame marker.
* When set to F1.6, 18 dB gain, 1-second accumulation, [HIGH SENS.] mode
High-Quality or Long Time Recording with AVC-ULTRA
The AJ-PX230 features the AVC-ULTRA codec family. To meet the various needs from mastering to streaming, the image quality and bit rate can be selected to match the application.
An intra-frame compression method that is highly suited to image production. In addition to the conventional AVC-Intra100/50 codec, the AJ-PX230 features the AVC-Intra200 codec with twice the bit rate (10 bit quantization, 4:2:2 sampling, and a bit rate of approximately 200 Mbps for 1080/59.94i). It offers a level of quality that meets the needs, from mastering and archiving.
This inter-frame compression method achieves highquality HD recording at a low bit rate. Ideal for providing on-air content direct from the shooting location and for workflows using content transferred over the internet. Three bit rates are available:
AVC-LongG50/25/12 Mbps. AVC-LongG25 provide 10 bit/4:2:2 quality at a bit rate of approximately 25 Mbps.
HD/SD Multi Format/Multi Codec
In addition to 1080/60i,* the AJ-PX230 supports 24p,* 30p,* 60p,* and 720p multi HD format and SD recording. It is 59.94 Hz/50 Hz switchable to ensure smooth global productions.
(Please see the specifications for more details.)
* 60i, 60p, 24p, and 30p are actually recorded at 59.94 Hz, 23.98 Hz, and 29.97 Hz respectively. 24p, 25p, and 30p are all available with native mode recording.
Full Frame Progressive Recording
1080/60p* (50p) full frame progressive recording is supported. In addition to being able to record with the AVC-Intra100 or AVC-LongG25/LongG12 codec, the camera is capable of camera through output from the 3G-SDI and HDMI output terminals.
* 60p is actually recorded at 59.94 Hz.
High-Quality 24 bit 4 channel Audio Recording
AVC-Intra and AVC-LongG*1 modes support 24 bit digital audio recording*2 (16 bit for AVC-LongG12, DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO 50, DVCPRO and DV).
The AJ-PX230 offers 4 channel audio in all recording modes. Channel input is located in front and rear (both selectable from mic/line).
The level volume also supports 4 channels.
*1: The AVC-LongG12 mode does not support 24 bit digital audio recording.
*2: The audio signal can be played back by using 24 bit digital audio equipment.
For details, refer to "Note Regarding 24 bit Audio" on the back page.
Two microP2 Card Slots
The AJ-PX230 comes with two microP2 card slots.
- microP2 card: While inheriting the high reliability of the P2 card the microP2 card was greatly downsized to match the size of an SD Memory Card, resulting in a considerable reduction in cost.
- Content Protection System (CPS):
A security function featured on the microP2 card. The content recorded on the card is locked with a password to protect against unauthorized access. This prevents data from being stolen and enables secure media control.
Multifunctional Recording Including Simultaneous Recording
- Simultaneous Rec: Records simultaneously onto two microP2 cards.
- Background Recording: Slot 1 records with the Rec Start/Stop control, while slot 2 continues recording even while recording is stopped.
- Hot-Swap Rec: Thanks to the two card slots,*1 you can hot-swap microP2 cards for continuous non-stop recording.
- One-Clip Rec Mode: Records up to 99 consecutive cuts as a single clip. A text memo is automatically attached to the Rec Start point for easy searching for the beginning of the cut.
- Pre Rec: This stores approximately 3 seconds of HD or 7 seconds of SD video and audio data in memory while in standby mode and lets you recover and use the data from the point before you started recording.
- Loop Rec: Maintains a recording of a certain time period through repeated loop recording.
- Interval Rec: Records intermittently based on a set interval time.
- One-Shot Rec: A frame-shot recording function for producing animations.
- Text Memo:*2 Up to 100 memos can be posted onto a clip as bookmarks.
- Shot Marker:*2 Used to mark clips as OK, NG, etc.
- Last Clip Delete: Deletes the last recorded clip with a single touch.
- Rec Check: This lets you run a quick playback check of the clip-end you have just recorded.
- Metadata: The metadata function attaches metadata (text memos tagged to time, GPS data, selected character strings and frames) to P2 files. Metadata can be used effectively for searching and management, facilitating the editing, distribution and archiving of video data.
*1: Slots cannot be switched during recording.
*2: The text memo and shot mark cannot be added in Loop Rec, Interval Rec, or One-Shot Rec mode.
Interfaces and Devices
- 3G-SDI OUT: A 3-Gbps speed supports 1080/60p and 50p progressive full frame image output. Can be set to HD-SDI or down-converted SD-SDI. Allows Rec Start/Stop linked backup recording with a Panasonic recorder equipped with SDI input.
- HDMI OUT: This terminal allows digital A/V output to a wide range of devices, such as an HD monitor.
- Aspect Conversion: The aspect ratio can be selected from among Side Crop, Letter Box, or Squeeze mode when down-converting and outputting from the SDI OUT terminal.
- USB 2.0 (DEVICE): Allows use as a P2 card drive.
- Equipped with a headphone terminal (stereo mini-jack).
- Back tally, rear tally equipped. ON/OFF switchable.
- Camera Remote: Focus, iris, zoom and REC start/stop can be controlled.
Switches Match Shoulder-Type Models
The AJ-PX230 was designed for easy operation as an ENG camera. It inherits the functions, switch layout and dials of shoulder-type camera recorders. Users of professional shoulder-type camera recorders will be able to take advantage of the mobility of the AJ-PX230 immediately.
- Front Rec Button
The front Rec button is positioned immediately below. When a tripod is used, this button allows smooth recording starts after operating the lens.
- Front Audio Level Dials
This is the industry’s first handheld camera recorder to feature audio input level controls (which can be allocated with ON/ OFF and CH) on the front side of the unit. This allows quick operation during recording.
- Triple Toggle Switches
Three toggle switches - DISP/ MODE CHECK, GAIN and WHITE BAL - are provided. They are located at the same location as on a shoulder-type model to support operation during recording.
- Audio Level Dials
Large 2 channel (switchable between CH1/ and CH2) audio level dials. Handle with Multi-Stage Zoom Lever The zoom lever located on the upper part of the handle is also provided with a multi-stage variable zoom function. It provides the same smooth zooming operation from a super-low speed as the zoom lever on the hand grip, allowing smooth zooming when shooting from a low angle or using a tripod.
Enhanced Mobility, Easy Operation Design
Even with its high-power zoom lens, the AJ-PX230 is compact and has a low center of gravity. It remains stable during handheld shooting, and provides excellent visibility and a wide field of view. The lens hood with a built-in cover improves convenience and safety while moving. The magnesium alloy diecast chassis is rugged and durable.
Separately Positioned XLR Audio Input Terminals
The AJ-PX230 is equipped with 2 channel XLR mic/line audio input terminals supporting a +48 V phantom power supply. They are arranged on the front and rear sides of the unit, just like on a shoulder-type model. The front mic terminal is located behind the rear mic mounting section, eliminating problems resulting from catching protrusions on the side panel. The rear external audio terminals are located on the right side for comfortable holding of the AJ-PX230 against the chest during recording, and also permit easy connection and disconnection while holding the camera recorder in shooting position.
Battery Replacement during Recording
The large-capacity battery is housed in the main body, and does not extend beyond the rear panel. This ensures comfortable holding of the AJ-PX230 against the chest. When power is supplied to the DC power supply input terminal using the AC adaptor, the battery can be changed while recording.