It's safe to say Panasonic's VariCams are quite the hot ticket item for production pros, find out exactly what it is that has these cams creating industry buzz.
Q: What has been the feedback on the camera so far?
I think it’s fair to say our new VariCams (the VariCam 35 and Varicam HS (HS for high speed)) were top attractions at the recent NAB show, and a focus of interest among filmmakers, documentarians and sports producers.
Q: Where did the idea for the VariCam come from?
Combining native 4K 4096 x 2160 acquisition with the VariCam’s legacy of gorgeous, cinematic image production seemed like an ideal pairing. It inspired our engineers to develop a newly-developed super 35mm MOS image sensor and incorporate Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA family of video codecs. We want to emphasize that the VariCam 35 is not only a remarkable 4K camera, but also capable of superb image handling in multiple formats including UHD, 2K and HD as well as native 4K.
Q: What type of production professionals do you expect will use the camera most?
We envision the VariCam 35 as a versatile tool for high-end filmmaking, commercials and episodic production, as well as live 4K events.
Q: What are a few of the VariCam’s main features?
a. The VariCam 35 features an innovative design approach whereby the 4K camera module is separate but dockable to the recording module unit, which is also interchangeable with Panasonic’s new 2/3” camera module (the VariCam HS); this enables professionals to switch between s35mm and 2/3” camera heads to best suit their creative needs.
b. Apple ProRes 4444 and ProRes HQ support for HD recording, which positions the VariCam 35 solidly within a well-established and widely accepted HD workflow.
c. Panasonic is working closely with Codex Digital to develop a dedicated recorder that will capture uncompressed 4K VariCam RAW (V-RAW) at up to 120fps, bolstering the VariCam 35’s suitability for high-end cinema applications.
d. System flexibility can be expanded with an umbilical cable between the s35mm 4K camera and the AVC-ULTRA recorder, providing “box” camera functionality for jibs, cranes and other “remote” camera needs
e. Real-time, high frame rate, variable speed 4K recording up to 120fps.
f. 14+ stops of latitude
Q: What sets this camera apart from others being used in the industry right now?
Native 4K recording, modular design, expanse of formats ranging from flawless 4K RAW output to more practical 4K, UHD, 2K and HD capture.
Q: What trends in production and broadcast do you see on the horizon?
The production and broadcast communities have to manage different sets of criteria as they transition to 4K and beyond, but what they have in common is a need for practical and versatile solutions. Do I need to record pristine 4K for present and/or archival use? Do I need to record in multiple formats simultaneously? Does the production entail high-speed file exchange? With our new VariCam products, we’re in an excellent position to address these issues.
Content courtesy of Steve Cooperman, Senior Product Manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America.