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Panasonic Varicam LT Goes Live – Firmware Upgrade

January 25th, 2018 icon / message-square 1
Panasonic Varicam LT Goes Live - Firmware Upgrade

Version 6 of the Panasonic Varicam LT firmware offers all the tools you need for a professional live production. Now you can utilize that Super 35 look on multi-cam events such as concerts, events or TV shows.

Varicam LT

Varicam LT with fiber connection and large box-style lens. (Photo credit HDLOC)

The Varicam LT just got even more versatile. With firmware version 6 due at the end of February, Panasonic unleashes a whole set of functions, resulting in a total transformation of this cine camera. If you’re into big live productions, you now can use the Varicam LT to pull off an entire live event or concert without the need to switch camera systems.

Varicam LT Firmware 6.0

If you’ve ever attended a live event that was being broadcast live, you probably came across 2/3″ ENG cameras with large box-style lenses. However, as soon as this firmware upgrade is available, you may find some Varicam LTs behind those giant lenses.

Varicam LT
Panasonic has implemented a whole suite of live-related features into this new firmware release. The camera will get a new shading mode alongside with tally and return video management. You’ll be able to control it entirely via remote control units, such as the already available AK-HRP1000 remote panel. Live grading is possible with an optional PC running the necessary software of choice, such as Pomfort’s LiveGrade, FireFly or Codex.

Varicam LT
Everything can be controlled remotely, including advanced paint features such as shading, LUTs and scene files. This makes it easy to match multiple cameras in order to achieve the desired (and matching) look. The new shading mode will allow the option to record V-Log in-camera while performing live in-camera color correction.

Fibre transmission is possible via transport systems from DTS, ERECA, Multidyne, Telecast and more. Each SDI output of the camera can be controlled separately. It’s possible to get one color-corrected clean output for broadcast and one monitoring view for status check, markers and menus, for example.

Varicam LT
In order to allow clean sound recordings, the Varicam LT firmware upgrade features a new “live mode”, which reduces fan noise while shooting.

ENG vs Super 35

Since the Varicam LT camera has a Super 35 sensor, the image quality exceeds standard 2/3″ ENG cameras when used in a live environment. According to Panasonic, the follwong list of benefits apply:

  • Create cinematic depth of field with VariCam’s award-winning Super 35mm sensor
  • Take advantage of the VariCam’s HDR-ready 14+ stops of dynamic range
  • VariCam image quality and colour science
  • Capture low light shots using VariCam’s Dual Native 800/5000 ISO feature
  • The 5000 ISO compensates for any F drop due to a lens adapter or long zoom focal length

Even if a low depth of field is not always desirable for live recordings, this list is definitely worth considering for high-quality concerts, events or TV shows.

Pricing and Availability

The Update is expected to roll out at the end of February 2018 and it will be free of charge for existing users of the Varicam LT system.

Varicam LT
This firmware upgrade is not for everybody, obviously. If you’re more of an indie shooter, you won’t need any of these new features. However, it’s nice to see how Panasonic is constantly working on the further development of the Varicam LT and has now even made it a completely new kind of camera. Whether you use these features or not is of course your decision.

Links: Panasonic

Any Varicam LT users around? What do you think, would you use this camera for a live production? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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