Award-Winning Filmmaker Kevin Railsback Makes Panasonic AJ-PX270 P2 HD Handheld his Primary Camera for nature shoots
Prominent Director of Photography Kevin Railsback, who specializes in nature and wildlife cinematography, recently invested in Panasonic’s AJ-PX270 P2 HD camcorder as his primary camera. Railsback, whose www.filmmakingnaturally.com website features tutorials in outdoor video production, also owns Panasonic’s AG-HPX250 and AG-HPX170 P2 HD handhelds.
Railback has already shot extensive wildlife footage with the PX270, and has used it as his “A” camera on a shoot with a professional dance team for a DVD release. Future PX270 projects include shooting historical recreations on an upcoming feature for Fourth Wall Films, creating a meditation video, and acquiring diverse material for his stock footage agency.
Having shot for several years with the HPX250 as his workhorse camera, Railsback already has informed observations about the differences between that camcorder and the new PX270. Among advances, he numbers the PX270’s extra low light sensitivity, better codec, 1080/60p capture, electronic level, redundant recording, smaller size and more.
“Nature and wildlife filmmakers are most active at first and last light--that’s when you have the most wildlife activity as well as that magic hour of light for landscapes,” Railsback said. “The PX270 pushes deeper into low light country without any additional noise. For example, I was filming a purple coneflower on a tallgrass prairie using the camera’s high sensitivity mode. I looked at the time and it was 17 minutes after sunset. With other cameras I would have been half-way home, but I was just wrapping up in the field.
“As Panasonic pushes their cameras’ low light ability down, they’ve raised my creativity by allowing me to film in light previously too dim to get usable footage.”
“I’ve come up through the Panasonic ranks with the HVX200, HPX170, HPX250 and now the PX270—each new camera is a giant leap in image resolution,” he continued. “The PX270 resolves so much more detail that I’m confident when shooting busy nature scenes of, say a tallgrass prairie, that every stem of prairie grass will be incredibly defined and not meld together and be lost with all the surrounding vegetation.”
Regarding the PX270’s 1080/60p format, Railsback added, “When dealing with wildlife, you may only get a fraction of a second to capture something amazing. Slowing down the footage two and a half times real time means you encounter playback as more than just a glimpse.
“I have one user button dedicated to my scene files. I can quickly switch between two scene files that are virtually identical, except one is 24fps and the other is 60fps. If I see a deer come out of the woods, I can quickly switch to 60fps to get some nice slow motion, then switch right back to 24fps to continue filming a prairie flower.”
“I have incredible menu control over the PX270--about the only thing I can’t do on this camera is order my lunch,” Railsback said. “I can dial this camera in with superb detail and controls, and get the look I’m after with surgical precision.”
His editing platform is Final Cut Pro X. For more information about Railsback and his work, visit www.filmmakingnaturally.com.
About the AJ-HPX270
The AJ-PX270, Panasonic’s first P2 HD handheld camcorder with AVC-ULTRA recording, combines the high quality and incredible efficiency of low bit rate recording and the flexibility of
3G/4G/LTE wireless mobility. The five-pound PX270 provides all the key functionality of Panasonic’s high-end, shoulder-mount camcorder, and features newly-developed high-sensitivity, low-noise 1/3” 3-MOS imagers to produce stunning pictures, even in low light conditions.
With its innovative AVC-ULTRA codec, the PX270 features a wide range of recording modes, including high-quality 100Mbps AVC-Intra100, as well as optional 200 Mbps AVC-Intra200. For applications where file size is critical, the camcorder incorporates a choice of AVC-LongG quality levels; for high-speed file exchange, the PX270’s high-resolution AVC-Proxy encodes in parallel with higher bandwidth production formats, enabling fast, efficient offline editing,
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