Panasonic Professional Camera Solutions was delighted to be play a big part in the renunciation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of the new pontiff Francis – documenting the events that preceded and followed the Conclave for use by broadcasters all over the world. 


Eurovision collaborated with  RTS and Panasonic to record the most important moments of the election including the awaited first greeting from the balcony of the Apostolic Palace, the Angelus in St. Peter's Square with over 500.000 Catholics,  and the Mass to inaugurate the Pontiff. 


Eurovision built the broadcast facilities and engineered a complete workflow at the Vatican to record the election and produce exclusive television content which was broadcast by international media agencies and international broadcast networks including the BBC and NBC, as well as German, Argentinian and Mexican national television. 


Panasonic provided all the broadcast equipment for RTS, Eurovision's official production supplier for over twenty years. It included 19 professional cameras, all mobile workstations, recorders, mixers and monitoring tools. RTS production stations were installed in different areas throughout Vatican, to cover the event and Panasonic cameras were placed in an exterior metal camera rig (designed and built by Eurovision) in the Piazza Pius XII which was dedicated to the production, post-production and transmission via fibre and satellite.  For the first time, the Hall Paul VI in the Vatican was used to host hundreds of broadcasters as they transmitted the content produced exclusively by Eurovision to their respective countries. 


RTS used 19 Panasonic cameras, including 10 AG-HPX600EJ camcorders, in order to document the election. The shooting began on the day of Pope Benedict's farewell speech, on February 28 and finished on April 4, after documenting the first acts of the new Pope. 


Pasquale Rizzo, owner of RTS, commented, "By using Panasonic technology, in particular the new HPX600, we were able to accommodate all the needs and requests from the various television networks. The HPX 600 offers great adaptability, flexibility and quality features. It was the perfect product to use at such an important occasion. In particular, Panasonic AG-HPX600EJ P2HD lightest camcorder combines versatility with great HD picture quality at a reasonable price. The AG-HPX600EJ was designed as a linear platform with a wide range of customisation options. The pre-setting menu satisfies all needs in terms of format (16:9, 4:3) and standards (HD, SD, NTSC PAL). 


In particular, Panasonic AG-HPX600EJ P2HD lightest camcorder combines versatility with HD picture quality and with a valuable price ratio. The AG-HPX600EJ was designed as a linear platform with a wide range of customization options. Moreover, the Panasonic cameras simply by the pre-setting menu allow to satisfy all needs in terms of format (16:9, 4:3) and standards (HD, SD, NTSC PAL).


P2 products by Panasonic, unlike other products, can be "read" with any device as they have a single protocol for each type of standard. In addition the use of memory cards for shooting and editing, facilitate access, reading and editing, allowing a fast image acquisition. With P2 products, the operator can quickly access files and make a first selection of useful content before having the material. This feature is now critical, especially for live recording and during events of this magnitude that need to be communicated quickly.


Moreover, these cameras do not suffer from vibration and moisture, which makes them perfect for long outdoor applications as in the case of the Conclave.