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Old April 15th, 2014, 05:51 PM   #1
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2 New VariCam Models Announced: High Speed & 4K

Panasonic has announced the latest in itís legendary VariCam series, the VariCam HS. What was old is new again as Panasonic brings back the dockable camera solution. The camera is made out of two components; the head, with the lens mount and the sensor, and the back with the dockable recorder. The head features a 2/3Ē 1080p sensor that is capable of generating 240 frames per second. The camera can record 4:4:4 12-bit AVC-Intra or, in a surprise move, 4:4:4 12-bit Intra-Frame ProRes. Another surprising specification, Panasonic claims that their newly designed 2/3Ē sensor block is capable of delivering 14 stops of dynamic range. This would make it one of the only small-sensor cameras capable of doing this. Although itís not that far removed from Blackmagics Super16mm Pocket cam which delivers 13 stops with a single 1Ē sensor.

As part of Panasonicís dockable VariCam solution they have introduced a second options for camera heads. The VariCam 35 head can be mounted to the same dock recorder as the VariCam HS head. VariCam 35 features a completely newly designed 4K Super35mm sensor and a PL lens mount. The exact details of what it can record internally arenít quite clear. It appears that it can record 4K at 4:2:2, 10-bit, Intra-Frame in ether AVC-Ultra or ProRes. It also appears it can record 1080p at 4:4:4, 12-bit, Intra-Frame in ether ProRes or AVC-Ultra. It may also be able to record 4K at 4:4:4, 12-bit, Intra-Frame in ether ProRes or AVC-Ultra. Internal 4K recording appears to be capable of at least 60p but possibly can go up to 120p. The camera can also record 4K RAW to an additional optional docking unit. Similarly to the Sony F55 all the internal 4K recording is done using the Panasonic or ProRes codecs but by docking on the additional module you now have 4K RAW.

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2 New VariCam Models Announced: High Speed & 4K-varicam35-w-raw-recorder.jpg   2 New VariCam Models Announced: High Speed & 4K-panasonic-varicamhs.jpg  

Eric C. Petrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16th, 2014, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: 2 New VariCam Models Announced: High Speed & 4K

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric C. Petrie View Post
Similarly to the Sony F55 all the internal 4K recording is done using the Panasonic or ProRes codecs but by docking on the additional module you now have 4K RAW.
Unfortunately, the Varicam RAW is uncompressed, unlike how Sony and Red do it. The file sizes are big enough for those cameras, it's difficult to see a viable workflow for most people for Varicam RAW.

The Varicams have already been discussed on this forum at New! Panasonic 4K & HS 1080 Varicams .

As is clear there, one very big dissimilarity between the Varicam and F55 is that the Varicam has a rolling shutter - the F55 is global.

In the previous thread, there was speculation as to pricing, and $20-30k seemed to be best guess at the time. I believe $60k was quoted at NAB(!), and with the lack of RAW compression and rolling shutter as disadvantages for starters, it's difficult to see who is going to choose the Varicam over the F55.
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Old May 10th, 2014, 11:25 AM   #3
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Re: 2 New VariCam Models Announced: High Speed & 4K

The shocking $60K SRP will not going to move this camera anytime soon. Panasonic is way late in the cinema game and to price it that high is pretty risky. They will have rebate incentives and all sorts of price reduction after 2015. It will be more in the $30-40K a year or so after its debut. I'm guessing they are desperate to recoup the R&D costs and the first wave of buyers are for those who have disposable income to burn.
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