The AG-DVX100B is the most recent version of the Panasonic 24-frame standard definition video camera. When initially introduced, the AG-DVX100 (pre-A model) was the first small video camcorder to offer film-like 24-frame per second recording. High-end shoulder mount cameras offer film-speed recording, but operating these cameras requires a large production crew and oodles of money. The next model, the AG-DVX100A added more gamma correction and other cine' picture-look settings than the first model.
The AG-DVX100B is the improved version of the "A" camera with some 20 new features like a higher resolution viewfinder, Scene Files and Time Code transfer through the FireWire cable, greater power efficiency with newly developed battery pack, more delicate zoom control and more. An all-black paint job on the new DVX-100B camera actually hides finger marks and smears and reduces reflection compared with the older silver bodied "A" model. This latest version also comes standard with Magic Bullet edit software and an instructional DVD production book.
- Superior Image Rendering with the Leica Lens and OIS
- The Leica Dicomar lens featured in the AG-DVX100B incorporates Leica optical technology and real-world professional experience. Use of low-dispersion glass reduces color aberration and increases resolution, while a multi-coating process minimizes flare and ghosting. The results are sharp, crisp, beautifully rendered images with delicate nuances and exceptional shading. The lens system features 15 lens elements in 11 groups, including three aspherical lenses. Panasonic's advanced OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer) drastically cuts the blurring caused by hand shake. Optical processing with an automatic correction function helps assure consistently clear, sharp images.
- High Sensitivity and Superior Image Quality
- Panasonic designed the AG-DVX100B to deliver the high sensitivity and picture quality professional require. At its heart is a 3-CCD RGB system comprising three 1/3", 410,000-pixel progressive CCDs developed especially for broadcast and professional applications. The new "on chip lens" design achieves high f/11 sensitivity, allowing the camcorder to record in light as dim as 3 lux, for example, in nighttime news gathering. Its high Signal to Noise ratio means less noise in darker parts of the image and low smear that allows shooting in sunlight or under bright spotlights.
- High-Sensitivity Slow Shutter (Cumulative) Function
- The slow shutter function uses image accumulation to enable shutter speeds with frame rates reduced by half or more. You get the ultra-high sensitivity needed for nighttime shooting without illumination, as well as dramatic frame-by-frame or soft focus effects.
- High Image Quality with 12-Bit A/D Conversion
- The AG-DVX100B features an A/D converter that uses the same 12-bit processing as broadcast cameras. Precisely digitizing the gradation and colors captured by the progressive CCD, this A/D converter supports gamma switching and other fine downstream image adjustments.
- RGB Gamma Processor Provides Rich, Film-Like Tones
- Panasonic has greatly expanded the expressive capability of the DV camera by creating unique gamma functions such as Cine-Like gamma curves, which produce images strikingly similar in tone to film images. For each of the RGB signals, the gamma curve settings are processed immediately upstream from the digital signal processing circuit. This helps achieve outstanding image quality. The AG-DVX100B continues with the tradition of the seven gamma curves pioneered with the DVX100A.
- High-Quality, Native Progressive 24p/30p Mode
- Thanks to its progressive 3-CCD chip-set, the AG-DVX100B creates native progressive images with outstanding vertical resolution unlike images produced using conventional electronic interpolation. With its high mobility and low costs, the AG-DVX100B is the ideal tool for producing independent films, shorts, or streaming video. You may choose from three shooting modes: 24p (24 fps, progressive) for images with the look and motion of film movies, 30p (30 fps, progressive), or standard 60i (60 fps, interlace).
- 24p Advance Mode For 24p Non-Linear Editing
- In 24p mode, images from the CCD can be 2:3 pulldown-converted (24p Mode) or 2:3:3:2 pulldown-converted (24p Advance Mode) and recorded onto tape in the standard 60i TV format. The tape can then be played back or edited using an ordinary DV system. True 24p editing can be achieved by uploading 2:3:3:2 pulldown-converted images via an IEEE 1394 DV interface to a compatible non-linear editing system. The 24p Advance Mode allows 60i/24p conversion with minimal picture degradation and on the fly 24 frame extraction.
- Improved Color Reproduction and Advanced Image Adjustments Built-In
- Optimized color separation optics help provide true-to-life colors
- Enriched Matrix setting offers more saturated colors
- Adjustable V detail level (edge correction in vertical direction), H/V detail balance, and detail coring (detail noise removal)
- Knee point (luminance compression) settings Auto, Low, Mid and High
- Wide-Angle Zoom Lens Addresses Professional Needs
- The AG-DVX100B zoom lens extends from 4.5mm to 45mm covering the full wide-angle range needed in most broadcast and professional shooting scenarios. It gives you ample range for close-ups, recording in small rooms, and self-recorded interviews. In addition, with a minimum object distance (MOD) of approximately 0.6 m (1.9') in telephoto mode, the AG-DVX100B has the maneuverability of a handheld camera.
- Fast, Smooth Cam-Driven Manual Zoom and Focus Assist
The cam-driven (mechanical) manual zoom ring provides the same smooth, easy zooming as cameras with interchangeable lenses. Its direct operation gives you fast, precise zooming control. When you turn the zoom ring, you will experience the familiar steady resistance as with familiar 35mm lenses. The AG-DVX100B is also equipped with a servo-driven zoom that allows slow zooming. Slowest zoom has been reduced to a dramatic 30 seconds from 20 seconds.
Enjoy quick, sharp focusing manually or automatically. In manual mode, the focus ring provides the similar operating feel and responsive control as conventional cameras with interchangeable lenses. In Auto Focus mode, you get the quick, sharp focusing needed in news gathering or when shooting at a high or low angle. When set to infinity, the focal distance is immediately prepared for the next manual focus. When in Manual Focus mode, pressing the Push Auto button temporarily activates auto focus. Macro Focus can be achieved either manually or automatically when the zoom lens is in the wide angle position.
- Three User Buttons for Customized Operation and Scene File Dial
The AG-DVX100B provides three user buttons, each of which can be assigned any one of the 11 functions. The assigned functions can then be accessed at the touch of a button. This lets you customize the AG-DVX100B for quicker, easier, more versatile operation.
Set the Scene File dial for any particular shooting condition, and later you can retrieve the settings instantly. Six preset files are provided (F1 to F6); you can change any of the six file names and their settings as desired. The AG-DVX100B also introduces a new design in which a rib protects the scene file dial to prevent unintentional file changes.
- 3-Position White Balance with Auto Tracking White Function
- One press of the AWB button is all it takes to adjust the white balance and black balance. There are three white balance values to select from one preset and two (A and B) that you can set and save in memory. The Auto-Tracking White Balance (ATW) function can also be assigned to any of the three positions. The ATW mode supports fast, active shooting by adjusting the white balance in real-time as lighting conditions change.
- Auto Button for Instant, Easy Shooting
- Just press the Auto button to turn on Auto Iris, Auto Gain, Auto Tracking White Balance, and Auto Focus and you are quickly ready to shoot. You can also customize the Auto button by removing functions and setting the gain to any value desired. With this new Auto function, the AG-DVX100B gives you the best of both worlds- the speed and ease of automatic operation and the precision of manual control.
- Lightweight and Balanced Design
- The AG-DVX100B has an advanced design that ends the contradiction between a compact, lightweight body and overall stability. The center of balance is located precisely at the handgrip. Because there is no need for a wide-angle conversion lens, the weight balance is ideal for comfortable shooting. The AG-DVX100B's short body and lightweight (about 4 lb/1.9 kg) in operating condition means free, easy maneuverability. In addition, the low-center-of-gravity design and new skeleton lens hood greatly improve forward vision.
- Magnesium Alloy Chassis
- The AG-DVX100B features the same magnesium alloy die cast chassis as the DVCPRO broadcast cameras. This tough, rigid unit protects the high precision mechanism, giving the AG-DVX100B outstanding reliability and durability. Built for professionals, the AG-DVX100B stands up to the bumps and jolts that occur in the field.
- Time Code Synchro and File Transfer Functions
Connecting two AG-DVX100B units together with a FireWire cable (IEEE1394) allows synchronous time-code setting, which then enables time-code-locked editing of clips recorded with multiple camcorders for "TC synchro editing." The built-in SMPTE time-code generator/reader lets you select, preset and regenerate the Drop Frame/Non-Drop Frame and Free Run/Rec Run modes. User Bits are also provided, letting you record your choice of date, time, frame rate or user data.
The new User File transfer function makes it easy to get uniform image quality from multiple camera-recorders. When two AG-DVX100B units are connected together with a DV cable (IEEE1394) you can transfer user files containing camera parameters to help match cameras on a multiple camera shoot. Additionally, the Time Code value can be transferred as well making a common starting point for recording.
- Remote Operation Function
- The AG-DVX100B is equipped with terminals that allow remote control of focus and iris settings. You can combine these control functions with the conventional remote control functions (Zoom, Rec Start/Stop) to create an easy-to-use remote control system for mounting to the handle section of a tripod or on a remote arm of a jib.
- Three 16:9 Wide Modes, Including the New Squeeze Mode
- The AG-DVX100B has three modes for shooting 16:9 widescreen images. Use the optional 16:9 conversion lens (AG-LA7200G, sold separately) to take full advantage of the higher image quality made possible by using all of the CCD pixels. With the standard lens, you can record in letterbox mode or the newly added Squeeze mode. This gives you extra flexibility when using the AG-DVX100B together with equipment from other manufacturers. Activating the Aspect Ratio function on the LCD allows for a letterbox display for easier framing when shooting in Squeeze Mode or when using the Anamorphic lens.
- External Backup with the IEEE 1394 Synchro Lock Function
- An IEEE 1394-compliant 4-pin DV terminal features a synchro lock function that allows the AG-DVX100B to remotely start and stop an external DV device connected to it via a DV cable. Three recording modes help protect against mistakes: record only onto the external recorder, record onto both the AG-DVX100B and the external recorder, begin external recording when the AG-DVX100B tape ends.
- Support Functions for Greater Convenience
- End search: Automatically searches for the last recorded portion of the tape. Convenient when preparing to start the next recording.
- Mode check: Displays a list of the camera settings on the viewfinder and monitor. Makes it easy to check settings before recording.
- 2-Pattern zebra: Displays an overexposure warning on the viewfinder and monitor. Select any two levels from among 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, 100% and 105%.
- Rec Check: Plays back the last portion of a recorded passage for easy checking.
- Index: Enables marking while recording. Convenient for searching after recording.
- Tally lamps: Provided on the unit front and rear menu switchable.
- Reversible eye cup for left and right-eyed shooters.
- Built-in SMPTE color bars useful for setup.