Panasonic have unveiled a lot of details about their 4K camera/recorder, the VariCam 35. The Panasonic VariCam 35 incorporates a newly-developed super 35mm MOS image sensor and the company’s AVC-ULTRA family of video codecs.
The new camera’s superb image handling in multiple formats including 4K, UHD, 2K and HD make it an unparalleled tool for high-end filmmaking, and commercials and episodic production as well as live 4K events.
With its innovative design, the 4K camera module unit (AU-V35C1) is separate but dockable to the recording module unit (AU-VREC1), which is also interchangeable with Panasonic’s new 2/3” camera module unit (AU-V23HS1) (see separate news release). This 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. This common recorder module is also interchangeable with Panasonic’s new 2/3” 1080p camera, enabling professionals to switch between s35mm and 2/3” camera heads to best suit their creative needs.
“Evoking the VariCam heritage of gorgeous, cinematic image rendition, this VariCam 35 establishes new standards for 4K production,” said Steve Cooperman, Product Manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. “With its expanse of formats ranging from flawless 4K RAW output to more practical 4K, UHD, 2K and HD capture, the VariCam 35 represents a matchless option for premier digital capture.”
The VariCam 35 utilizes a new Panasonic super 35mm MOS sensor for 4096 x 2160 (17:9) 4K image capture; this imager when combined with the AVC-ULTRA codecs for 4K enables very manageable and practical 4K production file sizes. The new imager boasts an impressive 14+ stops of latitude, and faithfully captures high-contrast, wide dynamic range imagery without compromise. Powerful color management capabilities provide a much extended color gamut for impeccable image fidelity, and permit support for an Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) workflow for full fidelity mastering of original source material.
Among the camera/recorder’s top-level production features are real-time, high frame rate, variable speed 4K recording up to 120fps, proving the capability for master level 2K/FHD recording; and advanced workflows with parallel simultaneous 4K/ UHD, reference 2K/HD and proxy recordings for in-camera on-set color grading and monitoring / editing ease. The camera also features a newly-developed OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with optical zoom functionality. Lastly, 24-bit LPCM audio is added for in-camera audio master recording.
The VariCam 35 will deliver an unprecedented breadth of recording formats, including 4K and UHD in AVC-ULTRA 4K, and 2K and FHD in AVC-Intra 100/200.* Addressing the need for high-speed file exchange, the camera encodes high-resolution proxy files in parallel with 4K and 2K production formats, enabling fast, efficient offline editing, at bit rates from 6 Mbps down to 1.5Mbps. Wireless workflows for proxy streaming and metadata management will also be available.
The VariCam 35 will use Panasonic’s new expressP2 card for high frame rate and 4K recording (see separate news release). The camera 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 up to 130 minutes of 4K/24p content. The microP2 card is designed for recording HD or 2K at more typical production frame rates.
Professional interfaces include: 3G-HD-SDI x4 for 4K QUAD output; 3G-HD-SDI x2 for RAW output; an HD-SDI out for monitoring (down-converting from 4K); and two XLR inputs to record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio. A multi-connector facilitates docking the camera head to the recording module. In another striking design innovation, the VariCam 35 boasts a removable control panel to facilitate real-time control and easy access when the camera is in a fixed position. The VariCam 35 features a standard 35mm PL mount.
1. 4096 x 2160 Super 35mm CMOS sensor
2. 14 + Stops of Dynamic Range
3. PL Mount
4. Internal 4K up to 120fps
5. Records 4K & UHD in AVC-ULTRA 4K
6. Records 2K & HD in AVC-Intra 100/200
7. Capable of 4K RAW
8. 1.5 to 6 Mbps Proxies
9. Two expressP2 card slots (Record 130 minutes of 4K/24p with these cards)
10. MicroP2 card can record Two microP2 card slots (for HD and 2K)
11. Four 3G-HD-SDI Outputs for 4K QUAD
12. Two 3G-HD-SDI Outputs for RAW
13. HD-SDI out for monitoring (down-converting from 4K)
14. Two XLR inputs can record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio
15. Removable Control Panel
16. OLED Viewfinder with Optical Zoom
The VariCam 35 will launch fall 2014, with pricing to be announced.
For further information about Panasonic professional video products, visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.
*AVC-Intra200 is available only for FHD recording.