At A Glance: Panasonic VariCam 2700 AJ-HPX2700

HDVideoPro may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. HDVideoPro does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting HDVideoPro.

The Panasonic VariCam 2700 (AJ-HPX2700) is the latest iteration in the VariCam line, a workhorse camera designed for use with field productions, thanks to its in-camera production abilities, including a variety of slow- and fast-motion frame rates and AVC-Intra 100 recording in full 10-bit, 4:2:2, as well as the half-compression AVC-Intra 50 codec for doubling recording capacity. Most importantly, the 2700 also brings the extensive benefits of the P2 tapeless acquisition format to the VariCam series.

The five P2 card slots of the VariCam 2700 allow hot-swappable, continuous recording of up to 400 minutes of video (depending on format and card capacity). The advantage to a tapeless-based process is a more efficient workflow, thanks to digitized files that can be directly downloaded and accessed without the time it takes to ingest tape-based video. Generations are also lossless, as any copies made are direct digital reproductions.

The VariCam 2700 utilizes three 2?3-inch, 1-megapixel native HD CCDs for independent-frame 1080 and 720 images with AVC-Intra 100 and AVC-Intra 50 compression. The VariCam 2700 also records in the ubiquitous DVCPRO HD format. Single-step variable frame rates range from 1 fps to 60 fps (in 720p mode), enabling over- or under-cranking for time-lapse effects, which can be played back in-camera without the need for frame rate conversion in post.

Seven selectable gamma settings also are included, like SD/HD gamma and a Video-Rec gamma. Others simulate the look of film, including the Filmlike 1, 2 and 3 gammas, and the esteemed VariCam Film-Rec mode for recording with a cinematic feel. The camera includes the ability to add metadata, text memos and shot markers, as well as proxy data recording from the optional AJ-YAX800G board. There are scene file capabilities, focus-assist functions, user buttons, a user menu and a newly designed two-wheel (ND and CC) optical filter.

The VariCam 2700 features a high sensitivity rating (F10 at 2000 lx), with a minimum illumination of 0.021 lx (at 1 fps VFR and +30 dB gain-up); 14-bit A/D processing provides a wide dynamic range for capturing detail in brights and darks. The Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) function keeps lighting variations under control by automatically suppressing blocked shadows and blown highlights. A full 12-axis control of matrix and color correction provides calibration for precise image matching to the scene it’s recording.

Sensor: Three 2/3-inch, 1-megapixel CCDs
720p / 1080p switchable
Frame Rates:
Variable frames (1 to 60 fps) and 1080 23.98/24psf HD-SDI output (when in 1080 mode)
AVC-Intra 100, AVC-Intra 50 and DVCPRO HD
Recording Medium:
Solid-state P2 cards
11 pounds

The electronic shutter offers seven shutter speeds up to a maximum 1?2000 sec. (plus a Half mode) and unique angle settings similar to film cameras. Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC) optimizes lens performance, and a built-in scan reverse provides compatibility with film lenses. An anamorphic lens adapter, for instance, can be used to create a 2.35:1 aspect image for wide-screen, cinematic styles, and an HD lens adapter will provide compatibility with 35mm lenses.

The design of the camera includes a grip handle with five threaded holes for mounting accessories. A three-point locking viewfinder mount provides easy user adjustment, and the camera is compatible with color viewers, including the soon-to-be-released Panasonic AJ-CVF100. Connectivity on the VariCam 2700 is comprised of three HD-SDI outputs, a USB 2.0 and a down-converted SD video output, and an IEEE 1394 output (in DVCPRO HD codec recording only). For sound, there’s also 48 kHz/16-bit, four-channel digital audio recording. List Price: $39,950.

Contact: Panasonic, (800) 211-PANA,