Day TWO IBC 2014…Panasonic’s long awaited VariCam HS and

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VaricamHS-web

The Varicam HS incorporates the AVC-ULTRA family of video codecs and high speed 1080p image capture of up to 240fps*1 and features an innovative modular design. The Varicam HS 2/3 type camera head docks with the AVC-ULTRA recording module to provide the full functionality and ergonomics of a conventional production camera/recorder. This system flexibility can be expanded with an umbilical cable between the 2/3 type camera module (AU-V23HS1) and the recording module (AU-VREC1), providing “box” camera functionality for jibs, cranes and other “remote” camera needs.  This common recorder module is also interchangeable with Panasonic’s new s35mm 4K camera module (AU-V35C1), enabling professionals to switch between 2/3 type and s35mm camera heads to best suit their creative needs.

The Varicam HS utilizes three newly-developed, 1920 x 1080p MOS imagers with an extraordinary 14 stops of latitude, providing full control over a wide range of lighting conditions for unparalleled 1080p native recording/operation. The camera/recorder boasts a classical RGB imager/prism system that provides equal-band full resolution colour processing for critical applications. Among the camcorder’s key features are real-time high frame rate and off-speed recording to 240fps in 1080p (using AVC-Intra Class100), plus the ability to ramp / change frame rates during record. To complement the impressive video quality, the new Varicam HS boasts 24-bit LPCM audio capabilities. Powerful yet creative image controls such as matrix, detail, gammas and a new Log recording capability allow precise, powerful creative control over image parameters.

The Varicam HS will feature a range of high-quality recording formats including AVC-Intra Class100 (recording as 1080/24p, 30p or 60p format with VFR (up to 240p*1), AVC-Intra Class200 (up to 30p/60i) and AVC-Intra Class4:4:4 (up to 30p). Both AVC-Intra Class200 and AVC-Intra Class4:4:4 deliver spectacular performance in applications where image quality is the utmost consideration to produce extraordinary high-definition imagery for the most demanding documentary, sports or SFX slow-motion applications. It also includes Apple ProRes 4444 and ProRes 422 HQ*2 support for HD recording. The ProRes codec component is licensed from ATOMOS Global Pty. Ltd., which has shipped ProRes recorders for years.

The Varicam HS adds “V-Log“ to the well-respected FilmRec and Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) image contrast management controls. The Varicam HS will feature Panasonic’s Emmy® Award-winning Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC) technology to minimize lateral chromatic aberrations and dramatically improve the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) of the optical system. Varicam HS also affords in-camera colour grading.

AVC-Intra Class4:4:4 supports 12-bit recording for 1080p content, allowing file-based 4:4:4 workflows with the unparalleled ability to handle the finer tonal graduations and colour fidelity that the 12-bit format provides. AVC-Intra Class200, at twice the bit rate per frame of AVC-Intra Class100, is visually lossless, delivering studio master quality for recording network-level programming and archiving. AVC-Intra Class200 is ideal for field capture of content for film-outs; the higher quality greatly enhances colour correction processes, as well as green screen and compositing applications.

The Varicam HS will use Panasonic’s new expressP2 card for high frame rate recording (frame rates above 60fps). The camera recording module unit is equipped with a total of four memory card slots, two for expressP2 cards and two for microP2 cards. The new 256Gbyte expressP2 card can record about 32 minutes of 240p 1080 HD video. The microP2 card is designed for recording HD at more typical production frame rates.

Addressing the need for high-speed file exchange, the Varicam HS encodes high-resolution proxy files in parallel with higher bandwidth production formats, enabling fast, efficient offline editing.

Professional interfaces include: RGB4:4:4; a 3G-HD-SDI out to support 1080/60p, an HD-SDI out for monitoring; 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. In another innovative design addition, the Varicam HS boasts a removable control panel to facilitate real-time control and easy menu access when the camera is in a fixed or remote position. The camera’s 2/3 type B4 lens mount enables use of a remarkable variety of prime lenses and servo zooms, lensing possibilities simply not available on larger formats.

VariCam35-web2

The Varicam 35 4K camera/recorder incorporates a newly-developed super 35mm MOS image sensor and AVC-ULTRA family of video codecs. The new camera’s superb image handling in multiple formats including 4K, UHD, 2K and HD make it an unparalleled tool for high-end filmmaking, and commercials and episodic production as well as live 4K events.

The Varicam 35 innovative design, includes  the 4K camera module unit  (AU-V35C1), recording module unit (AU-VREC1), which is also interchangeable with Panasonic’s new 2/3 type camera module unit (AU-V23HS1). Enabling professionals to switch between s35mm and 2/3 type 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 an impressive 14+ stops of latitude, and faithfully captures high-contrast, wide dynamic range imagery without compromise. Powerful colour management capabilities provide a much extended colour gamut for impeccable image fidelity, and permit support for an Academy Colour Encoding System (ACES) workflow for full fidelity mastering of original source material.

Among the camera/recorder’s top-level production features are real-time, high frame rate, variable speed 4K recording up to 120fps*1, 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 colour grading and monitoring / editing ease.  The camera also features a newly-developed OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with optical zoom functionality. Lastly, 24-bit LPCM audio is added for in-camera audio master recording.

The Varicam 35 will deliver an unprecedented breadth of recording formats, including 4K and UHD in AVC-ULTRA 4K, and 2K and FHD in AVC-Intra 100/200*2. Addressing the need for high-speed file exchange, the camera encodes proxy files in parallel with 4K and 2K production formats, enabling fast, efficient offline editing. It also includes Apple ProRes 4444 and ProRes 422 HQ*3 support for HD recording. The ProRes codec component is licensed from ATOMOS Global Pty. Ltd., which has shipped ProRes recorders for years.

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. In another striking design innovation, the Varicam 35 boasts 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.

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