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?