March 23, 2013

Panasonic's New Smaller, Faster, and Lower-Cost MicroP2 Cards Coming in April, Starting at $250

Panasonic announced back in April 2012 that they were coming out with the next breed of solid-state memory cards, the microP2 series. A reworking of their original P2 cards, the microP2 boasts a faster, cheaper, and more compact design. Comparable to an SD card, the microP2 is the world's first UHS-II compliant memory card. Panasonic also plans to release the microP2 adapter simultaneously, ensuring that P2 card users -- like myself -- won't have to go out and buy new hardware (I'm cradling my HVX-200 and telling her I'm not tossing her in the dumpster). Panasonic recently announced pricing information, and Mike Bergeron from Panasonic gives us a look at the microP2 in the video below.

The microP2 is durable, able to resist water, dust, static electricity, bending and twisting, magnets, X-rays, wide temperature ranges, and has a safety built-in-fuse. It has a flash memory error correction system, a Lifetime Counter, a Content Protection System that password-protects the card, and a QR code for scanning and identification.

Here's an excerpt from Wednesday's press release:

With an SD card form factor, the MicroP2 cards will ensure high-speed transfer, high reliability and the writing assurance of all P2 frame rates, formats and codecs. Furthering the versatility of the microP2 card adapter and microP2 card slots, their design allows Class 10 SDHC/SDXC  cards (at bit rates only up to 50Mbps)to be used in P2 products.

According to Panasonic, "the microP2 card's double-layered UHS-II interface fascilitates transfer speeds of 2.0 Gpbs (1.7 times faster than standard P2 media, and 12x faster than ordinary SD media)." Not only that, but Panasonic's partnership with cloud video production platform, Aframe, resulted in Panasonic's Production Network (PPN), which allows professionals to upload and view high-quality video from the cloud server.

The microP2 drive has a USB 3.0 interface for faster transfer speeds. A firmware upgrade -- if you're using current P2 hardware -- is needed in order to use the card adapter. Now, as far as backwards compatibility, Mike Bergeron from Panasonic says that for many of the later cameras (he mentions the HPX250) will be able to use the new cards with the adapter. However, it may not work with some of the earlier models. Panasonic has also announced two new products with built-in microP2 slots: the AJ-PX5000 P2 HD camcorder and the AJ-PD500 half-rack recorder.

How much are these little micros and their accessories going to cost? Well, here are the suggested list prices:

  • AJ-P2M032A 32GB microP2 card: $250
  • AJ-P2M064A 64GB microP2 card: $380
  • AJ-P2AD1 microP2 adapter: $200
  • AJ-MPD1 microP2 drive : $350

So, P2 fans, eat your hearts out. The microP2 cards seem reliable, durable, fast, and less expensive than their (literally) big brother. I guess now I don't have to sit down and start making serious life choices every time I want to buy another P2 card. However, it remains to be seen which cameras will make the cut and be able to use the microP2 (Please say HVX200 -- she's ancient, but I love her).

What do you think about the microP2? Will the new smaller design help or hinder your production process? And will that even matter if it's as fast as it says it is?

Link: Panasonic microP2 Press Release

[via Cinescopophilia]

Your Comment

29 Comments

I was at the press unveiling of this last year at NAB and only now it's being released. I hope Panasonic has a surprise or two this year.

March 23, 2013

-1
Reply

Can I stick this in a GH2?

March 24, 2013

-2
Reply
Me

anyone remember 5 slot p2 reader, there was no single for a while, that was awful.

March 24, 2013

1
Reply
ryan

Making non-industry standard, non-open standards is dead.
Just let people use fast SD / CF / SSD storage.

March 24, 2013

0
Reply
Tulio

Dead? Based on what? All the top cinema cameras use proprietary systems right now.

March 24, 2013

-1
Reply
Gabe

If you really want to get mad, find an old unusable P2 card and bust it open. Yes. Yes you're seeing what you think you're seeing.

March 25, 2013

-2
Reply
trackofalljades

ri·dic·u·lous

March 24, 2013

1
Reply
enrik

I'm really hoping this is the prequel to a new Panasonic camera.

March 24, 2013

0
Reply
alex

Sony 32GB Class 10 SD card: $15.
SanDisk extreme 32GB 45 MB/s SD card: $35.
SD card reader: probably built into your computer.
Panasonic 32GB micro P2 card and drive: $600.

March 24, 2013

2
Reply
TiCa

It's not just an SD card. The form factor is but that's it. The memory is a tiny RAID and the card also contains a processor that organizes and safeguards the files. In short it's no SD card.

March 24, 2013

-1
Reply

That's exactly the problem. If anyone's ever worked with data for a living, they know that the idea of capturing the controller for a RAID inside the storage device itself is a nightmarishly bad idea. Let me say that again, NIGHTMARISHLY BAD. Ever talked to someone who bought one of those stupid "external hard drive" toys from companies that make pretty boxes, like LaCie, only to find out later (after a failure) that it contained a random dirt cheap proprietary and unsupportable RAID controller inside it? Yeah. Hey let's create a storage device that absolutely cannot be analyzed by an external device in a useful way in case of failure! Awesome!

The proper solution to this "problem" is to sell your proprietary magic crap in a little sleeve that ears real, standard, commodity memory cards. The only reason not to do so is money, and thinking about money in that "screw the user" way that Sony might as well patent at this point (Panny, really, you can do better).

March 25, 2013

-3
Reply
trackofalljades

You are totally right.

And by the way I am always asking myself why there is absolutely no professional video camera on the market (at least that I know of) that will record to two seperate cards simultaneously. And I don't mean some inside-the-card-Raid like they do. No, two physically seperate cards.
All the professional stills cameras can do it, why not video cameras?

March 29, 2013

0
Reply
Heiko

@Erik Yes, agreed it is a superior format. But at what price?

March 24, 2013

0
Reply
TiCa

@Tica you answered your own question earlier - $600.

March 24, 2013

0
Reply
chris

To be able to record a redundant copy at low cost on a non-proprietary format, couldn't they just include two SD card slots in their camera? That seems the simplest solution.

March 25, 2013

0
Reply
TiCa

You're also forgetting about speed. 2.0 Gpbs vs at most 95Mbps. That is a big difference, and something that cannot be replaced by two SD cards.

March 25, 2013

1
Reply
David S.

Please forgive the ignorance as I'm unfamiliar with P2 cards, but does the faster write speed translate to higher image quality?

March 25, 2013

1
Reply
Scott

Yes. Unless the new Panasonic cameras will be raw, it's useless.

March 25, 2013

-2
Reply
enrik

It means there is potential for higher image quality. The codec is limited to the write speed of the card, so if your codec needs to write more data faster, you need a faster card. The card itself doesn't increase the quality, but it allows the camera to record in higher quality, if it can.

March 25, 2013

3
Reply
David S.

@David OK that is actually quite an impressive data transfer rate. It is starting to seem like the mini P2 card is expensive, but good. I.e. there is at least some justification for the premium price.

March 25, 2013

3
Reply
TiCa

"The microP2 is durable, able to resist water, dust, static electricity, bending and twisting, magnets, X-rays, wide temperature ranges, and has a safety built-in-fuse." Shame the same thing can't be said about the receiving pins inside the camera. Very easy to break with an over-enthusiastic insertion.....insert inappropriate comments here.

March 25, 2013

1
Reply
Neill

Fuck proprietary media. That is all.

March 25, 2013

-2
Reply

Yeah there are many ways to go into more detail than that, but they shouldn't be required. This should be obvious. This is a message from a vendor to the purchaser that "we own your ass and we'll spank it for giggles, now bend over and call us daddy while we laugh."

March 25, 2013

1
Reply
trackofalljades

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha ! P2. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha !

March 25, 2013

1
Reply
FabDex

Don't laugh, it's pretty much a standard in the broadcast industry (at least here in Germany) besides XDCAM discs.

March 29, 2013

-1
Reply
Heiko

I know a lot of folks hate proprietary media, but is there a non-proprietary option for a card this fast, with this technology at this size (as in, not SSDs)? I'm not defending P2 (or SxS or whatever else), I just can't think of an alternative option.

March 25, 2013

1
Reply
David S.

No one can withstand the power of the mighty SD Card. Muhahahaha.

Seriously, it was about time Panasonic went the SD Card way

March 29, 2013

1
Reply
Heiko

However, they limit SD use to 50Mbits, isn't DVCProHD always 100Mbit? So what would you be able to record on an SD Card in a P2 camera?

March 29, 2013

0
Reply
Heiko

2.0 Gbps is about 250 MB/s. So 95 MB/s is about 0.75 Ggbs so is double plus the writing speed of and SD card. But new SD cards UHS-II with writing speed of 250 MB/s about 2.2 Gbps faster and cheaper.

May 30, 2014

-1
Reply
Darien