February 2014


Ideal for weddings, conferences, documentaries, events, exhibits and fieldwork, the extremely affordable Panasonic AG-AC8PJ camcorder offers a wide range of file capture at up to 1080/60p in 28 Mbps/VBR, as well as several compressed formats and 1080/1440 in 60i and 720/60p/i. Intelligent auto (iA) resolution technology preserves image resolution during fast zooms on the wide-angle 28mm F/1.8 lens, which also offers 5-Access Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization, a 21x optical zoom and a 50x super-high-resolution mode. The camera is capable of recording to dual SD cards simultaneously with a Relay Auto Switch that allows you to capture backups or extend capture from one card to the other in order to gain extended shooting time. In-camera features include Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) to compensate for extended contrast in a scene, and a Focus in Red function highlights the sharp edges of a subject to assist during manual focusing. Interfaces include HDMI, stereo mini-mic, stereo mini-headphones, AV, Video component and USB 2.0, with support for external portable HDD drives. A Level Function mode automatically detects and corrects for tilt. List Price: $1,450. Contact: Panasonic Solutions Company, www.panasonic.com.


The latest iteration of GoPro‘s HERO camera is available in two editions: the HERO3+ Black and HERO3+ Silver Editions. The flagship of the line, the HERO3+ Black Edition captures up to 4K video with supported frame rates and resolutions of 4Kp15/12/12.5, 2.7Kp30/25/24, 1440p48/30/25/24, 1080p60/50/48/30/25/24, 960p100/60/50 and 720p120/100/60/50, as well as 720p48 fps in SuperView. It’s also capable of 12-megapixel stills in time-lapse sequences of 0.5-, 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-, 30- or 60-second intervals while the Continuous Photo mode allows for full-resolution stills at 3 fps, 5 fps and 10 fps while holding the shutter. The new SuperView video mode unlocks an enhanced wide-angle video mode, and the new Auto Low Light mode automatically adjusts to varying light levels in changing conditions. The HERO3+ Black Edition also sports 33% better image sharpness, 50% less imaging artifacts, a 20% lighter form factor, 4x faster Wi-Fi, a 30% longer battery and improved audio capabilities over the previous model. The less expensive HERO3+ Silver Edition offers resolutions of up to 1080p at 60 fps with 10-megapixel stills and similar enhancements over the previous generation of GoPro cameras. (The two new modes aren’t included.) List Price: $399 (HERO3+ Black Edition); $299 (HERO3+ Silver Edition). Contact: GoPro, www.gopro.com.


Capable of capturing a literal overhead view with full HD video at 1080p30/60i and 14-megapixel still photos, the Phantom 2 Vision from DJI Innovations offers precision flight and stable hovering in a helicopter-like camera system with a 2/3-inch sensor and 4 GB microSD card. With support of multi-capture, continuous capture or timed capture, the Phantom 2 Vision communicates wirelessly between smartphone app and dedicated joystick controller (with smartphone mount) at up to 1,000 feet. Video can be synchronized through Wi-Fi for direct downloads and uploading from your smart device. An integrated GPS autopilot system locks altitude and stabilizes the system in-flight with a radar available for displaying the camera’s exact location. The 5200 mAh Lithium Polymer battery provides 25 minutes of flight time with built-in battery capacity readout and charge/discharge protection. Field of view is selectable in 140°/120°/90°, and a Return-to-Home feature automatically flies the Phantom 2 Vision to the takeoff point if the control range is exceeded. List Price: $1,199. Contact: DJI Innovations, www.dji.com.


For the past 60 years, Panavision has been manufacturing high-precision camera systems and lenses. In regard to optics, it can be argued that Panavision’s Primo prime lenses have been the "gold standard" for the high-end cinematography world. The lenses contain a nice contrast range, full resolution and even field illumination with very little veiling glare, ghosting or distortion. In short, DPs really love the look and feel of the glass, and today cinematographers are rejoicing in Panavision’s announcement of a new line of Primo lenses designed for digital cameras, the Primo V Series. Available in focal lengths of 14.5mm, 17.5mm, 21mm, 27mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm, the lenses include bright apertures of T1.9 and close-focusing distances of only 24 inches for all lengths. Most of the lenses weigh less than six pounds with a matching front diameter of 4.44 inches for fast filter changes. Compatible with P- or Panavision 35-mount systems, the Primo V lenses have been engineered to correct for digital cameras, which require additional optical elements, including low-pass filters, IR filters and ND filters that can increase off-axis aberrations. The resulting image appears more balanced from center to edge. Primo V lenses will be available to rent exclusively from Panavision. List Price: N/A. Contact: Panavision, www.panavision.com.