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P2 Car Reader
The Panasonic P2 card is a digital storage medium for HD format from Panasonic HD cameras for HD recording, such as the HVX. With this you bypass tapes all together and the video is captured as an .MXF file in the specific format you have determined in the camera's settings. The Panasonic P2 card will allow for an incredible amount of HD recording to be saved at full bit rates, but you still will often need to use a P2 store to save some of your footage when you are in production or when you just need to capture the .MXF files onto your computer for video editing. The P2 store can then act as a couple different things, either taking the HD recording from the Panasonic P2 card and saving it or taking the footage from that Panasonic P2 card and just acting as an intermediary. Here is a step by step process on how to use the P2 store and how it relates to the Panasonic P2 card.
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P2 Card Reader
To begin take the proper battery out, which may be the same that you use on your Panasonic HD camera, and then plug it into your P2 store. Hit the power button on the front, and the LED lights in the front will flash up before the Power LED turns to the permanent on position.
If you want to use the P2 store as a P2 card reader where you will take what is on the Panasonic P2 card and transfer it to its internal hard drive you need to begin by checking the available space. Remember, the P2 store does not have a digital display that will just show you openly what is there. Instead, you will have to look at the top of the P2 store and see how many lights come on when you hit the HDD CAP button. Go ahead and push in your Panasonic P2 card into the front of the P2 store and briefly hold the start button on the top, right below the LED lights that indicated the available hard drive space. If you look at the front you will see a Copy Status area with numbers ranging from 20% to 100%. You will see green lights come on here according to how much of the Panasonic P2 card HD recording footage has been transferred to the P2 card reader's hard drive. If they all turn on then the copy process is done and you will hit the power key on the P2 store to finally end that process.
The hard drive for the P2 is broken up into fifteen sections of 4 GB each. The standard Panasonic P2 card is 4 GB, but you can easily get them up to 32 GB. What this will then do is basically just record the amount of HD recording footage that was on the Panasonic P2 card to the available areas, and if one card takes up several areas then that is fine.
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Connecting to a Computer
Connecting to a computer with the P2 store is going to be a different process altogether, but you will still need to be able to transfer the footage off the P2 store's hard drive or use the P2 store as a way to transfer from the Panasonic P2 card onto your computer. To do this you plug in the P2 store to your computer with a USB cable. It will then read the P2 store, or the Panasonic P2 card, as a storage device once you have pressed the dual keys in the STATUS area and the Cancel key so that the USB led light turned orange. Here you will then be able to transfer the .MXF files onto your computer to be used in your editing program.
If you want to just bring them directly into you video editing project then you are going to have to go through the process that is specific to your chosen non-linear video editing software. For example, this process is made standard in Final Cut Pro. Here you simply go to File and select Log and Transfer. Here it will then read the available .MXF files and you will begin setting them to be transferred and formatted to be brought in as usable movie files in your editing project.