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NAB Spotlight: Panasonic Talks 'World's First' NDI-Enabled Camcorder

Anthony Burokas interviews Panasonic's Mitch Gross at NAB 2019.


Anthony: Hello there, my name is Anthony Burokas. I am here at NAB 2019 for Streaming Media Producer. I am here with Mitch in the Panasonic booth with the first NDI camcorder. The CX 350

Mitch: AG-CX 350. It's the first NDI-enabled camcorder. And it's not just NDI

Anthony: Right.

Mitch: It has an ethernet cord on it. So we also, we can be using it to go direct streaming using like RTMP. Go to Facebook Live or YouTube or however you might want to be able to stream content out of this camera.

Anthony: Right, so there's been, I think all the major manufacturers have had camcorders with streaming capabilities. But with NDI growing and growing and even Panasonic, with your NDI video mixer. There's been, you know, somebody says, "Well, I wish somebody besides pan-tilt-zoom cameras, I wish somebody would come out with an NDI camcorder," and you were the first.

Mitch: Yeah, so building out these systems, NDI has been very successful.

Anthony: Yes.

Mitch: And we've been partnering with NewTek to be able to build our system so we do have, we are the number one manufacturer for PTZ camera systems.

Anthony: Right, I mean I don't know how many, you know, you have a lot of pan-tilt cameras.

Mitch: We have a large list of them. And then you can get them in white or black, so it's twice as many actually.

Anthony: Yes.

Mitch: We have lots of 'em. And then along with that we have our own switcher system. The HLC 100 and that's a very complete NDI system. And you can use an NDI and you can also have channels that are direct connect--

Anthony: Right, right. It's a hybrid system.

Mitch: With BNC connections SDI. So you can hybrid and be able to go back and forth between that so that you can build out to lots of different functionality. But whether you're using our switcher system or going to another NDI system, a lot of people wanted to have the ability to, not just be sort of a strict limitation install of what a PTZ type system would allow for you. So they wanted to have the flexibility of a camera man on a camera on a tripod. Be able to move it to wherever you might need it to be.

Anthony: For like sports or something like that where you really can't. You know, it's got to like really follow the action fast.

Mitch: Exactly, I mean if there is a quarterback running down the field, a PTZ camera just might not be able to keep up. And be able to be nimble, do it the way you want. Or for the next play, once you pick the tripod and run over to another spot to be able to get a better angle for it.

Anthony: Right, right.

Mitch: So that's why we now have a very flexible lightweight camera. This camera only weighs about four pounds. And it's a very high-performance camcorder, just on its own.

Anthony: Yeah.

Mitch: But then also connect through NDI to connect its systems.

Anthony: Well, I think that's an important point too. And I mean the news for Streaming Media is that it's NDI-capable, meaning it's an additional license that you get to enable it on the camera.

Mitch: Right.

Anthony: But if you're not into NDI or you don't need that aspect right now, it's nice to have this camera for, okay if I need that in the future. But out of the box it has a lot of production capability built into it, like it does HEVC as well.

Mitch: Yeah, this camera can record in three different types of codec. So we have an all eye inter frame codec. We have which is a 400 mega bit a second. Very rich format. And of course we can do 4K, we can do HD in this camera. 4K up to 60 frames a second. HD up to 120 frames a second.

Anthony: Wow.

Mitch: You can also record in our longGOP structure and then we have the new H.265, the HEVC codec. And by having these three different systems, it's not that one is better than another, it's really for recording format.

Anthony: Right.

Mitch: It's about workflow.

Anthony: Right.

Mitch: Because depending on what your post system is like and which analyze you prefer to use, one might be better than the other just for speed of use or easy access to material. However, that might be for rendering out and such. So we put all three in there. We don't limit you to one thing. And the way I look at it is that on Sunday you might be shooting the game.

Anthony: Right.

Mitch: And be all hooked up to the switcher system. And then on Tuesday you're doing a seminar, and you're doing a Facebook Live stream, and then on Friday you're doing some interview and just recording in the camera.

Anthony: Right, right.

Mitch: We're very versatile in that way.

Anthony: Right, and to me, good camcorders start in the $3000 realm, and this doesn't even seem to have a price premium for all the capability that's in it. I mean it's right in that mid-level hunt there you know we're not talking ENG, big on shoulder, 10 thousand dollar and up. This camcorder seems to have like, hey, you get a great camcorder, you get a nice long lens, you get all the different feature sets, and it's also got that NDI hook for people who also want to say hey, and now I want to jack it in to my thing for a live stream. And it's almost like there's no cost premium to it.

Mitch: Yeah, NDI is really important to us and the streaming is really important to us but we want this to be a great all around production machine. So we could've put a huge price tag on it. Some people would've bought it but we wanted this--

Anthony: Yes, so oh did you want the NDI camera, that's another $1000.

Mitch: Right, we don't want to slice it up that way. We did, you know, it is something where you get the license for the NDI because not everyone is going to use that sort of thing and that's something, you know, NewTek. So it is something where you just buy the camera and then you use is as you want to use it. But it has lots of capability in it for all users. And so as part of our general product line, where it lands compared to some of our other cameras. We want to make it an affordable easily access system.

Anthony: Well I think you've done a fantastic job and I look forward to possibly even getting a review unit. Testing it out with my NDI system. I'm a TriCaster user so having NDI is something that I've longed wished a camcorder had and now they do. So thank you very much.

Mitch: Thank you, I think you'll find that having a 20X lens on here that gets wider than anybody else's. And then you zoom in and you can use the digital zoom part to get more tighter than everybody else. You're going to find it's a very versatile machine.

Anthony: Right, my name is Anthony Burokas here with Mitch at the Panasonic booth at NAB 2019 here for Streaming Media Producer. Thanks for watching.

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