Guide to Panasonic microP2

Guide to Panasonic microP2

Copy 1 hour of AVC-Intra 100Mb/s footage in 5 minutes... with microP2

The P2 Heritage

Panasonic introduced P2 technology in 2004. It quickly became the recording format of choice among broadcasters and news corporations worldwide. RAID protected and packaged in a die-cast PC card enclosure, it was the first to deliver a fast and secure IT workflow. Using the Panasonic USB3.0 reader (AJ-PCD30), P2 data can be transferred at 1.2 Gb/s.

Introducing microP2

With the advent of higher resolution video and codecs such as AVC Ultra 200, broadcasters need even swifter transfer rates. At NAB 2012, Panasonic announced microP2, a new professional recording format that offers:

  • Very high speed recording and data transfers (2Gb/s)
  • Dramatically lower cost media
  • Significantly smaller form factor
  • Tough build quality (200% stronger than SD spec)
  • Reliable RAID protected operation, plus static electricity protection
  • Advanced error correction with smart ware levelling
  • QR identification codes for card tracking
  • Professional grade memory verified for broadcast use
  • Designed for professional use: working temperature -25c - 85c
  • Lifetime counter with end of life notifications
  • New Content Protection System (CPS) password-protects the data

The first microP2 cards are:

  • AJ-P2M032A (32GB)
  • AJ-P2M064A (64GB) - 50% cheaper than 64GB P2

microP2 Data Transfer

microP2 shares the standard form format as the SD card so can be inserted into virtually every laptop, and workstation. SD readers connected by USB 2.0 can also be used but will transfer at a maximum of 0.3Gb/s.

But for the ultimate speed... Priced around 80% lower than the equivalent P2 card drive, the dual slot microP2 drive (AJ-MPD1) provides high speed transfer from card to a PC or Mac. With USB 3.0, it can sustain transfer speed of up-to 2.0Gb/s, with no AC adapter required. 

Dedicated microP2 Panasonic equipment

From NAB 2013, Panasonic broadcast cameras will begin to be designed to accommodate microP2 cards. The PX5000G, for example, has two microP2 slots as well as P2 slots.

Adapting microP2 for use in Panasonic P2 equipment

Many Panasonic P2 products can use microP2 cards with the use of the microP2 card adapter (AJ-P2AD1). This device has the same PCMCIA form factor as P2 and can accept a single microP2 card, enabling P2 camera owners to use the new media.

The following equipment is scheduled for a firmware update to enable them to accept the microP2 card adapter:

Data stored on microP2 cards via the adapter can be transferred using SD card readers or the Panasonic microP2 card reader. P2 card readers can accept the adapter, running at speeds from 0.3Gb/s (AJ-PCD2) to 1 Gb/s (AJ-PCD30).

Using generic SD cards?

High speed (Class 10 or faster) SDHC and SDXC cards can be used in the place of dedicated microP2 media. However, they are not designed for professional or broadcast use: microP2 is based on UHS-II technology which is considerably faster than the 0.16Gb/s high-speed mode of UHS-I which runs at 0.8Gb/s. Therefore, standard SD cards should be used as an emergency measure only. Beware: if SDHC or SDXC cards are used, your recording is not guaranteed and recording speeds are limited to a maximum 50Mb/s, supporting DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO50 and AVC-Intra50 formats.

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