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27/09/2006

Panasonic send AJ-HDX900 to Alaska and back

Panasonic recently took the opportunity to send its new AJ-HDX900 on a shoot to Alaska with Pioneer productions.
The intention was to prepare some 720/50p content to showcase the amazing pictures achievable when going through the whole production process in this format supporting the EBU preference of the progressive content.
Kirstie McLure, a key producer at Pioneer and a major champion of HD in the UK was in production of a program for Discovery called ‘Into Alaska’. With the offer of equipment support from Panasonic and Fujinon a second unit was sent to Alaska to supplement 1080/30i content for the US program by switching to 720/50p for Panasonic during the shoot.
Pioneer was the first independent production company to purchase a Varicam, quickly followed by another to keep up with the demand from their Producers and Directors. They had several DOPs who understood shooting with DVCPRO HD and David Swan joined the team in Alaska as the support Cameraman and spent 12 days with the main unit already there.
Swan commented: “It was a pleasure to use the new Panasonic camera on the recent 12 day shoot in Alaska. Using it under real location conditions with all the time restraints of modern documentary filming was a pretty good test."
The results of this shoot will be shown as part of the touring exhibition ‘TV by IT’ to showcase both the global scope of the Camcorders ability and the amazing pictures available for at the same cost as SD.
To highlight the AJ-HDX900s switchable capabilities David was asked to regularly change between formats while shooting.
Post production was done at M2 in Soho under the Management of Tom Jones, another very experienced person in the world of HD production.
Panasonic offered support with a HD1400 VTR and using Avid Nitrus DS the whole process was completed without ever leaving 720/50p.
Even Tom was impressed with the outstanding quality of the pictures and his whole team had very little problem integrating this format into established workflows.
The results stand up for themselves and go a long way to support the format as a rich source of HD content and offer the production community a cost effective workflow utilising true progressive images in an uncomplicated, relatively uncompressed system.
(DS/SP)
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