BBC Natural History Unit Orders Panasonic VariCam Cameras

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Mon, 08/03/2015 - 15:00 -- Nick Dager

The BBC Natural History Unit has ordered both 4K and high-speed versions of Panasonic VariCam camera. The decision was made following a three-month test shoot, supported directly by Panasonic and Films@59.

The VariCam has a rich heritage with the Bristol based NHU, with nearly 30 of the second generation HD camcorders used on productions including Planet Earth, Frozen Planet and Africa.

Nigel Wilkes, UK group manager for Panasonic, said, "This is the moment we have been waiting for and we are very proud to be involved with the next major production being produced by the NHU. For many years, VariCam was the defacto standard NHU camcorder, it set the standard that was required to capture the natural world at its best. The new camera includes a new true 4K head recording 120fps, an HD head recording 240fps, the ability to record multiple formats simultaneously (4K/1080/Proxy) and the famous dual ISO at both 800 and 5000."

The VariCam has a 35mm 4K unit (AU-V35C1) which is separate to the recording module unit (AU-VREC1), allowing interchange with Panasonic’s High Speed 2/3-inch camera module unit (AU-V23HS1). The recorder and camera head can be split apart using an extension cable of up to 20 meters, making the VariCam suitable for use in helicopters, cranes and cars.