The re-writable, solid-state memory media format used in many Panasonic cameras are becoming an increasingly common sight on a wide variety of TV productions. P2 has been used on various types of television programme from Natural History (Planet Earth Live, BBC) and Children’s (Postcode, CBBC) to Gameshows (The Cube, ITV) and Drama (Moving On, BBC). Here are 10 reasons why:
Capable of capturing HD, SD, DV, DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO 25 as well as AVC-Intra, they have been made available in various sizes over the years but are currently sold in three capacities: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.
2. Fast data transfer
P2 cards can transfer data at a speed of 8:1. In real terms that means it is possible, as an example, to transfer a full 32GB E Series card (that includes at least 32 minutes of P2 HD video) in less than four minutes. The data transfer speed is up to 1.2 Gbps (gigabits per second).
3. Edit capable
P2 cards can be used as an editing media. This means that, although transfer times are fast, you don’t actually need to transfer footage to an external device or separate storage in order to edit it. You can simply edit directly from the card itself.
4. Operating system agnostic
Because a P2 card uses the FAT32 file system and records to universally interchangeable MXF data files it is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems.
5. Ease of use
P2 records like a digital stills camera. Unlike other recording mediums that store footage as video data, P2 cards record footage as computer data files, hence its universal compatibility.
6. High spec tech
It might sound a bit grand for something so small, but P2 cards are high precision microcomputers equipped with their own RAID controller and processors
plus firmware and gigabytes worth of solid-state memory chips.
7. Long life
P2 cards can last up to ten years, if you use them once a day at half capacity. At full capacity they will keep going for five years.
In a world where computers fail all the time it may sound unlikely, but a P2 Card ensures a fault-free operation by doing a write-verification step for every byte of memory that is written to it.
P2 cards are a more durable than other solid-state recording mediums because they have a die-cast aluminium construction and impact-proof connectors P2 cards are much more rugged than other, plastic and easily breakable, formats. They are also made without moving parts. This is potentially a huge deal as it greatly reduces the chances of mechanical problems and means they should
perform in extreme environments and be resistant to temperature extremes, shock and vibration.
10. Seamless filming
P2 cards are hot swappable, so if you’re using a camcorder such as the Panasonic HPX3700 that can hold as many as five 64GB P2 cards at a time, you can record continuously for days on end by simply swapping cards in and out while the camera is still rolling.