Panasonic EVA-1… First Thoughts

Categories: Miscellaneous 7 Comments

Wow…Panasonic bounce back in style after a five year period of not upgrading the AF101 to 4K in 2012.

Lets look at what we know so far…

Finally a super 35mm sensor which should keep noise down to a minimum.

A Canon EF mount allowing those of us who have Canon or Sigma ART glass to get some fantastic shallow depth of field shots and with electronic image stabilization.

4:2:2 10bit is a major upgrade in quality with V-log and V-gamut. The ability to capture accurate colors and rich skin tones is a must for any filmmaker. Like the VariCam lineup of cinema cameras, the EVA1 contains V-Log/V-Gamut capture to deliver high dynamic range and broad colors. V-Log has log curve characteristics that some would say are reminiscent of negative film and V-Gamut delivers a color space even larger than film. The EVA1 will also import the celebrated colorimetry of the VariCam line.

5.7K sensor with no crop in 4K allowing up to 400Mbps recording to SD cards, similar to the GH5 (after a FW upgrade in the summer).

4K outputs in both HDMI and SDI simultaneously great for monitoring and recording to external recorders.

2K recording up to 240 fps slow motion.

It only ships with an LCD, sadly it does not have a viewfinder though you can get a 3rd party EVF, though it does ship with a sunshade.

Timecode in and out for syncing up external sound recorders or multi camera shoots.

Erik Naso from Newsshooter shows off how small the new EVA-1 is.    ©Newsshooter

I love the size of the camcorder Erik Naso (above) demonstrates this nicely, I also like its looks with the sexy red go faster striping taking it away from the boring regimental black look.

So how does this affect the likes of Sony, Canon, JVC and Blackmagic, firstly JVC does not have a camera at this level.

Sony has the FS5 and the FS7 Mk11 the closest spec. wise being the FS7 Mk11. At £7,614 the FS7 Mk11 is £1,400 dearer and does have the advantage of being out first and becoming a camcorder that everyone is now using from broadcast promos to drama and corporate.

Canon have just announced the C200 but the Panasonic is far superior, spec. wise in every way less the auto focus system.

Blackmagic is the only contender to EVA-1 with their URSA mini Pro priced at £4,919 less EVF (extra £1,434). Panasonic claim the EVA-1 is less than £6,200 ($8,000) to compete with the BM URSA mini Pro it would need to be about £5,200 in my opinion.

I think this is going to be a very popular cine camcorder as it meets all the “wants” from most cameramen and women. With a wide range of EVF’s on the market its a shame you are forced into buying one just to shoot in daylight conditions and find critical focus which cant be done on an LCD without a loupe of some kind.

Panasonic Broadcast have finally redressed the balance with EVA-1, personally I think the GH5 has given them a fright and gone all out to produce a cracking super 35mm camcorder that everyone wants !

Panasonic needs to get the price right on this camcorder so when they quote less than $8,000 (£6,200) and your up against the BM URSA mini Pro at £4,919 incl vat, I don’t think you can genuinely afford to climb beyond £5,200 incl vat and lets be honest its also up against the massive sales of the Panasonic GH5 at £2,000 incl vat (with XLR unit) with very similar specs.

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7 comments on this post

  1. David Heath says:

    I think my first thought is “why would I buy this over an FS5 or an FS7”?

    And to be honest (and on the basis of just these preliminary specs) I can’t really see why anyone would. As regards pricing, then when you say it will cost about £6,200, then can you confirm whether that is with or without VAT? Because the FS7 costs £6,345 WITHOUT VAT – the £7,614 you quote is the VAT inclusive price.

    Frankly, what surprises me most is the absence of any eyepiece viewfinder. Panasonic, this is just dumb. As it stands, it may be fine in subdued lighting, but virtually unusable for bright exteriors. It’s not difficult, and the system Sony use on several of their cameras with a swingable eyepiece over the screen works extremely well IMO.

    It’s interesting to see them using the s35 sensor on this camera. Personally, I think it’s the right choice, but I suspect a lot of people may be very, very displeased to see that’s it’s not a 4/3 sensor…..

  2. David Heath says:

    Having asked around, then I’m afraid I may be right about pricing – that the (approx.) £6,200 you quote will be VAT EXCLUSIVE – so expect around £7,500 with VAT.

    I may be wrong, but……

    Look at the US price for the FS7 and it’s $8,499 – with VAT in the UK it’s £7614. So if the EVA1 is $8,000 in the US, the same conversions would put it at about £7,150-£7,200 in the UK (inclusive of VAT).

    Sorry…….

    HDW : This camera won’t sell if its priced beyond £6,500 incl vat. in my opinion.

  3. David Collard says:

    This is great news. The 5.7K sensor makes a lot of sense since the bayer sensor physics will be overcome in order to maximize a true 4K image.

    Lack of an EVF was surprising but most shooters rely on an LCD type monitor with a hood. Still hoping they’ll offer something by the time it’s released as having an EVF is important too. Maybe a third party will offer something better than an average EVF; that’ll be a blessing instead of including a mediocre one.

    The ability to use EF type lens mounts is another ‘bravo’.

    I don’t have experience with the colour science of this brand but I remain hopeful that this combined with Davinci Resolve will prove to be a winner.

    Kudos to Panasonic for listening.

  4. @David Heath
    It’s a super FS5 or a small FS7 if you ask me.
    Better codec than FS5 and less functional than FS7.
    Pricing in UK is quite hard due to the GBP rate these days, but on a technical aspect, I kind of like the idea.
    Right now, there is a 1,000 usd rebat on the FS5 in the US (on a well-known photo video website).
    The war just started!

  5. David Heath says:

    “HDW : This camera won’t sell if its priced beyond £6,500 incl vat. in my opinion.”

    The official word about pricing in the EU (incl the UK for the next couple of years! 🙂 ) is “Panasonic has advised that the camera will be shipping before end of this year and the final price should be below EUR 8000”

    So $8,000 in the US, EUR 8,000 in the UK – it’s not valid to just convert $8,000 direct to £.

    And Euro 8,000 converts to just over £7,000 at current exchange rates – not far off the £7,150-7,200 I estimated above.

    Maybe it will end up a bit below, but it’s pretty certain to be well above your £6,500 figure.

  6. Gabriel says:

    The market asked for AF100 upgrade from the first time. They spent time with Varicam LT instead of of a new m43 model and finally they gave us GH5. Maybe JVC will strugle to upgrade their LS300 in the right way, keeping the money low. From my POV we need just 2 codecs -Cinema DNG and h265 for FHD and 4K.

  7. David Heath says:

    @Gabriel

    Re codecs. In very general terms, a more advanced codec will give you the same picture quality at a lower bitrate but at the expense of processing power.

    So for a given quality level, it becomes a balance between bitrate/file size and complexity – there’s no valid reason for having a complex codec if you’re not too restrained for bitrate/file size.

    And it’s for such reasons that H264 codecs (X-AVC, AVC Intra) are probably the best compromise with current technology, certainly for 4K. And long in the tooth now though it may be, MPEG2 is still very widely used (XDCAM) for HD. A newer codec would indeed allow comparable quality at a lower bitrate, but be more processor intensive. That may not be a sensible trade off.

    Multi codec capability in any camera can also be useful when shooting for other clients who want it supplied in their house format. (Not long ago, it was a huge benefit my camera could be switched to SD to suit a clients needs – the only time in about 5 years it’s ever been in SD!!)

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