Cinematographer Doug Farris, owner of Ghost Hand Productions, serving the San Francisco Bay area, recently invested in two Panasonic VariCam 35 4K camera/recorders, as well as a VariCam HS high-speed camera/recorder.
Ghost Hand Productions specializes in scripted end-to-end production, equipment rentals and crewing. Farris terms his business a Panasonic house, and makes extensive use of P2 HD camcorders -- four AG-HPX370 shoulder mounts, and seven AJ-PX270 and AG-HPX250 handhelds to cover marquee events such as the CrossFit Games.
Farris has already utilized the VariCam HS to shoot major portions of a PSA for a government agency. “There’s a segment of our clientele that isn’t looking for a large format camera, but rather a well-designed, ENG shoulder-mount with B4 lenses,” he said. “That’s the VariCam HS to a tee, a very high-end 2/3-inch camera ideal for sports coverage and one- or two-man news-style crews. We shot the entire PSA material at 1080p/240fps—our subject was moving water—and the effect of the slow motion on water was stunning.”
Just as the VariCam HS positions his company for higher-end ENG work, Farris anticipates that the VariCam 35 will introduce Ghost Hand to a higher-tier of cinema production/rentals. He has already utilized the camera on several projects for their corporate clientele and the image results have been impressive.
“Panasonic may not have been the first to market with a 4K camera, but they’ve brought their A game,” he said. “The dual native ISOs of 800 and 5000 are a genuine innovation.”
Farris praised the VariCams’ modular design (the 4K and 2/3-inch camera heads are separate from but dockable to a common, shared recording module), their build quality and serviceability. He said that he is working closely with longstanding clients such as the PAC-12 Conference, Bell Helmets and ESPN to produce footage demonstrating the capabilities of the new VariCams.
For more information about Farris and his company, visit www.ghosthandproductions.com.