Ever since Panasonic launched the original VariCam, industry professionals have talked about its gorgeous picture quality. Now PanSolutions has announced the arrival of the third generation of this product range with the launch of two new camera/recorders – the cinematic 4K VariCam 35 and the VariCam HS – which is capable of 240fps high speed recording, broadening the scope of the VariCam stable in new and interesting ways.
The Panasonic VariCam 35 is a cinematic quality 35mm PL-mount camera with a removable control panel designed for easy access when the camera is in a fixed position. It has a newly-developed super 35mm MOS image sensor and 4K raw recording capability paired with Panasonic's AVC-Ultra family of video codecs.
The range of recording formats include 4K, UHD, 2K and HD, making it very adaptable. The VariCam 35 retains its user-friendly modular design and the 4K camera module unit is separate but dockable to the recording module unit, which is also interchangeable with Panasonic's new 2/3" camera module unit.
As you'd expect, the new generation VariCam 35 is equipped with top-level production features. It records at variable speeds of up to 120fps, has 24-bit LPCM audio in camera, boasts a new OLED viewfinder, and supports ACES workflows. Panasonic claims the new imager achieves 14+ stops of latitude and captures high-contrast, wide dynamic range imagery. They also claim more powerful color management capabilities for better image fidelity.
As a result, in the VariCam 35 Panasonic has produced a cinematic camera that will likely find a market among high-end film and commercial productions. Likewise, it will be well suited to episodic productions and live 4K events.
Meanwhile, in the VariCam HS with its high speed capability, Panasonic has turned its focus in a different direction. With a frame rate up to 240fps and the ability to ramp frame rates during recording, the VariCam HS is well suited to action orientated scenarios such as live sports recordings and documentaries.
The VariCam HS utilises three newly-developed, 1920 x 1080p MOS imagers with 14 stops of dynamic range, to give control over a wide range lighting conditions for 1080p native recording/operation. The key features of the new camcorder are the real-time high frame rate and off-speed recording to 240fps in 1080p, plus the ability to ramp/change frame rates during record and the new VariCam integrates 24-bit LPCM audio capabilities.
Panasonic says that the VariCam HS will use Panasonic's new expressP2 card for high frame rate recording. The camera recording module unit is equipped with a total of four memory card slots, two for expressP2 cards and two for microP2 cards. The new expressP2 card can record about 32 minutes of 240p 1080 HD video.
Like the 35, the HS is modular in design, making it flexible and adaptable to the needs of the production team. The 2/3" camera head docks with the common AVC-ULTRA recording module to provide the full functionality and ergonomics of a conventional production camera/recorder. The common recorder module is interchangeable with Panasonic's new s35mm 4K camera module unit enabling professionals to switch between 2/3" and s35mm camera heads to best suit their creative needs. And it can be used to provide "box" camera functionality for jibs, cranes and other "remote" camera needs.
Both the VariCam 35 and the VariCam HS are available through PanSolutions. For more information about these products, contact us.