Panasonic 4K Varicam surfacing once again

February 28th, 2014 Jump to Comment Section 5
Panasonic 4K Varicam surfacing once again

Panasonic varicam

Let’s be honest, Panasonic has been a bit slow out of the gates with camera announcements. Since the release of the Panasonic AF100, we’ve seen nothing in the large sensor video department; users have had to rely on their stills division to head up both large sensor acquisition, and 4K.

That’s not to say we haven’t seen evidence of products ticking along in the background, we’ve seen a prototype 4K Super35mm camera popping up at last year’s NAB and IBC. Watch the below video where we caught up with Panasonic at the Amsterdam show:

In a pre-NAB conference yesterday, Panasonic raised interest in this camera once again, promising a more substantial announcement of the camera at NAB 2014. For now, here are the specifications (which are subject to change) of what is currently being called the Panasonic Varicam 35.

  • 35mm MOS sensor 4096 X 2160
  • PL mount
  • Modular design  – camera, recorder and control panel can be separated
  • Shoots up to 120 fps
  • 4K & UHD in AVC-ULTRA 4K
  • 2K & HD in AVC-Intra 100/200
  • 4K RAW — internal or output unconfirmed
  • 14+ stops of exposure latitude
  • OLED viewfinder with optical eyepiece magnification
  • 4 card slots, for two expressP2 cards and two for microP2 cards.
  • Four 3G-HD-SDI Outputs for 4K QUAD
  • Two 3G-HD-SDI Outputs for RAW
  • HD-SDI out for monitoring (down-converting from 4K)
  • Two XLR inputs can record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio

Availability like previous reports is said for later this year, no word on pricing yet. There was also mention of a second camera, the Varicam HS, a 2/3″ 3-sensor 240fps camera, also schedule for premiere at NAB 2014.

What are your thoughts? Has Panasonic come in too late with this camera? In our interview with Panasonic, they said their reasoning behind this was to perfect a 4K camera package that slots into existing workflows, not to rush a camera to release that isn’t cost effective, and hard to wrangle data. Very respectable thinking, lets just hope the camera lives up to the hype.

With both mentioned Varicam cameras coming in at a spec list similar to that of an F55/EPIC, you have to wonder whether Panasonic has something up their sleeves for the lower market, as these are certainly not replacement camcorders to the AF100.

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