At IBC 2015, Panasonic showcased their latest broadcast industry products, which included the brand new 4K AG-DVX200 and the recently updated Varicam 35 and HS.
The latest updates for the Varicam 35 include a new 20m extension cable that enables the recorder and camera head to be split apart to make the Varicam suitable for use in helicopters, cranes and cars.
Meanwhile, firmware update 4.0 added support for Apple ProRes 4444 recordings up to 60 frames per second in HD, and adds a new PreREC function when recording in ProRes, ensuring the camera begins rolling before an operator selects record, which is particularly useful in wildlife production.
Other Varicam enhancements include Codex V-RAW recorder playback support, anamorphic lens support, image flip-flop functionality, and the option to decrease the camera’s ISO setting down from the second native dual ISO 5000.
Here's the rest of the improvements in the latest firmware update:
With newly added support for HD recordings in the Apple ProRes 4444 industry-standard codec, VariCam 35/HS users will enjoy the advantages of well-established workflow options as well as premium HD image capture. The addition of 1.33:1 and 2.0:1 anamorphic lensing support for the VariCam 35 is enhanced by the simultaneous recording of squeezed and de-squeezed images in the VariCam 35’s main and sub-recorders, eliminating cut-out operations during post. Anamorphic lens support also enhances on-set monitoring by displaying de-squeezed images in the viewfinder and HD monitor outputs.
Broad Software Support for AVC-ULTRA Codec The powerful versatility of Panasonic’s scalable AVC-ULTRA codec is on full display in the VariCam 35, with AVC-Intra4K422 providing 4K recording up to 60fps, AVC-Intra4K444 12-bit recording up to 30fps for the highest-quality field production and graphics flexibility, and AVC-Intra4K-LT optimized for high-speed capture up to 120fps.
The following products and versions support all the above formats: Assimilate Scratch 8.3 AVID Media Composer 8.4 Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 11.3.1 Colorfront Express Dailies, On-Set Dailies, Transkoder 2015 Digital Vision NuCoda 2015.1 Filmlight BaseLight, DayLight 4.4m1 GrassValley EDIUS 7.5
Additional AVC-Intra4K422 support is provided by: Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015.1 (4k422 and 4k444 are both supported) Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.2.1 Autodesk Flame/Smoke 2016 (4k422 and 4k444 are both supported) Quantel Pablo Rio v2.0
The Panasonic Varicam 35 has just had its first use on a broadcast production in the UK, shooting a new five-part drama for the BBC called Doctor Foster, produced by Drama Republic. The show Line Producer Christine Healy says: “The production team was very happy with the camera and proud of the result. The images are perfect for drama; we were able to reproduce skin tones faithfully and the colours are warm and pleasing.”
Graham Hawkins, MD of our hire sister company 24/7 Drama, which supplied the Varicam 35 to Doctor Foster adds:
“The Varicam is quickly finding a place in the market. Not only does it deliver the Panasonic ‘look’ but the dual native ISO gives you a camera with two completely different film stocks.”
The DVX200 on the other hand is a different, but somewhat similar beast. It does feature a Lite version of V-Log flat gamma profile ported over from the bigger Varicam. However, the new 4K camera from Panasonic is quite revolutionary in the sense that it has a fixed 13x Leica Zoom lens and a 4/3 type sensor, which is significantly larger than the usual 1/3 and 2/3 inch chips we're accustomed to seeing in fixed lens camcorders.
Here's a quick video on the DVX200 we shot at IBC last week:
We are quite fond of the new DVX200 as we believe it has the potential to bring a more cinematic look to ENG productions, live events and corporate work. It is a very good all-rounder with 4K and UHD at 60p as well as 120fps slow motion in Full HD. The built in Leica DICOMAR 13x zoom lens provides a good range for most applications and the affordable SDXC media can save you a considerable amount of money, that you can potentially use towards additional accessories such a camera bag, a top light and a solid ENG shotgun microphone.
For all your Varicam and DVX200 needs, get in touch with our Panasonic specialists at 0208 977 1222. We have a full shooting package of the Varicam 35 in stock. The DVX200 is expected to land in October, and we expect it to be a very popular camera, so get your order in today to avoid long waiting times.