Panasonic has unveiled a 4K camera/recorder, VariCam 35 that incorporates a newly developed super 35mm MOS image sensor and the company’s AVC-ULTRA family of video codecs. The new camera handles multiple formats including 4K, UHD, 2K and HD and is designed for high-end filmmaking, and commercials and episodic production as well as live 4K events.
The 4K camera (AU-V35C1) is separate but dockable to the recording module unit (AU-VREC1), which is also interchangeable with Panasonic’s new 2/3-inch camera module unit (AU-V23HS1. This system flexibility can be expanded with an umbilical cable between the s35mm 4K camera and the AVC-ULTRA recorder, providing box camera functionality for jibs, cranes and other remote camera needs. This common recorder module is also interchangeable with Panasonic’s new 2/3-inch 1080p camera, enabling professionals to switch between s35mm and 2/3-inch camera heads to best suit their creative needs.
The VariCam 35 utilizes a new Panasonic super 35mm MOS sensor for 4096 x 2160 (17:9) 4K image capture; this imager when combined with the AVC-ULTRA codecs for 4K enables very manageable and practical 4K production file sizes. The new imager boasts 14+ stops of latitude, a much extended color gamut, and permit support for an Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) workflow.
Among the camera/recorder’s production features are real-time, high frame rate, variable speed 4K recording up to 120fps, proving the capability for master level 2K/FHD recording; and advanced workflows with parallel simultaneous 4K/ UHD, reference 2K/HD and proxy recordings for in-camera on-set color grading and monitoring / editing ease. The camera also features a newly developed OLED electronic viewfinder with optical zoom functionality. Lastly, 24-bit LPCM audio is added for in-camera audio master recording.
The VariCam 35 will use Panasonic’s new expressP2 card for high frame rate and 4K recording The camera is equipped with a total of four memory card slots, two for expressP2 cards and two for microP2 cards. The new expressP2 card can record up to 130 minutes of 4K/24p content. The microP2 card is designed for recording HD or 2K at more typical production frame rates.
Professional interfaces include: 3G-HD-SDI x4 for 4K QUAD output; 3G-HD-SDI x2 for RAW output; an HD-SDI out for monitoring (down-converting from 4K); and two XLR inputs to record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio. A multi-connector facilitates docking the camera head to the recording module. The VariCam 35 also has a removable control panel to facilitate real-time control and easy access when the camera is in a fixed position. The VariCam 35 features a standard 35mm PL mount.
The VariCam 35 will be featured at NAB 2014 and will launch in the fall, with pricing to be announced.