Kyle Barrett from the production company Oxen Made based out of Florida USA, has shot some test footage with the Panasonic VariCam LT camera and has gracelessly offered you the chance to download the footage so you can grade it yourself.
Just wanted to submit a short video of test clips we shot while we had the new VariCam for a short time. We loved the camera and wanted to share some of our experiences with it. In our vimeo link for the video I’ve provided a Dropbox link so people can download the original footage and grade themselves.
Recently we rented the new VariCam LT for use on a two day shoot and with the few hours we had before having to return it made it out to shoot a few test clips. The project we were using it for was all in a studio and was limited in how we could push it.
The focus of the shots we captured was simply to see how the camera handled high contrast images i.e bright skies, dark foregrounds etc. We also tested out some of it’s high frame rate functionality which is unlocked when switching to either a cropped 2K or 1080 mode. You can shoot 4K 60fps however for our test we wanted to see how it’s 240fps looked. Another goal was to see how it handled skin tone in a variety of situations and to see how well the two native ISO’s held up and what they looked like should footage need to be cut together from both.
Overall we loved the camera. It’s larger than comparable cameras but that didn’t bother me. Having shot on the majority of other popular camera systems i.e Alexa, RED, Canon, Sony and Blackmagic I can say that in our opinion this comes the closest to matching the Alexa in terms of skin tone rendering straight out of camera. There’s no argument that the Alexa is the champion of skin tones but if shooting RAW isn’t an issue than this thing rocks. **RAW output via the 3G-SDI port will be enabled via firmware later this summer, so it will have that ability soon. Just not internally.
These clips we cut in Premiere and than ran through Resolve. With all the clips I simply applied the standard ARRI LogC to Rec 709 LUT as a baseline. All of the ISO tests have only that LUT applied to show no bias. Some of the clips up front however have been graded and pushed or pulled as needed.
We shot some random clips around our office when we first took it out of the box and upon first glance I couldn’t believe how clean ISO5000 was, at least compared to what I’m used to from most other cameras sans the A7S.
My only two gripes about the camera were that Panasonic is still clinging on to it’s proprietary P2 card format. The cards are fast and reliable but I would have really liked to have seen them abandon that in favor of something more common like CFast. Second is the fact that in order to change things like codec, timebase or frame rate the camera has to be booted off and back on again in order for the changes to take effect. Not a deal breaker but definitely cumbersome.
There was a lot I learned from our short time with the camera and am happy to go further into detail about something specific. I also am happy to make some of the footage available to download if anyone is interested in editing/grading it to test it out.
– Panasonic VariCam LT
– Zeiss Compact Zoom T2.9 28-80mm
– PrimeCircle XM Lenses 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm
– Edited in Premiere Pro
– Graded in DaVinci Resolve
Download VariCam LT footage to grade yourself HERE