Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Interesting…are we witnessing a competitor to the Sony FS7 or even the FS5, lets hope so for Panasonic’s sake, they badly need a foothold into this marketplace and this just might do it for them.

Panasonic will announce their new VariCam on Wednesday, February 10th 2016 at 7pm at the DGA theater — 7920 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046.

PS. Dear Panasonic my Birthday is 5 days before your announcement any chance of an early birthday present xxx.

PPS. Thanks Rose for this heads up. xxx


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

5 thoughts on “New VariCam from Panasonic on the 10th February 2016

  1. that’s the old and consolidated marketing of the past decade : back to the pre-DSRL situation and prices (and that’s what they REALLY care about). Because of the range of money it should be free of all the intentional limitations infesting ALL the pro-sumer models (i8ncluding the FS7). This one should actually bring a good low light performance while the competitors still work on smaller sensors (but without any darkening in the processing): so Pana did something new this time: they did some work with the processing and noise reduction apparently. The sensor is too big for broadcasting, and it’s not for “movies” (no rentals for varicams) , so I’m kinda curious where they want to position it, maybe live sports , documentaries, situations where you need to keep the shutter speed higher. Dunno. What’s important for us to understand is that past 10K (US) they give stuff without limitations and tricks. Below that? A plethora of intentional limitations and tricks. C’est la vie. But this could be the very first time that I see a (possible) better low light and noise reduction. (but ehy… it’s not like the noise reduction is something new! DSRL cameras are all doing it for at least 8 years . Video just didn’t want to do it before it was absolutely necessary.
    Anyway, Philip, still guessing why the FS7 doesn’t have a decent servo zoom? (you know.. a real one… from wide to tele)?

  2. Wonder if it is in the FS7/5 range or just some hype for a $30,000+ 8K version. Looks like you might still need the 10K+ record module on this. All speculation of course and all will be revealed soon either way.

  3. If it’s got “Varicam” on it, I don’t expect it to be competing in FS5/FS7 territory…..

    The real problem with the current Varicam is price. Nothing wrong with the camera – but you can get the same or better specs much cheaper elsewhere. I just looked up the price (£25,000+VAT for head, v/f, and recorder) and the other (2/3″) head didn’t even seem to be listed on the sites I looked at?

    Which makes me wonder if the two piece idea may have been a bad move…..? I wonder how many of the 2/3″ heads have even been sold….? Accept that any interest has only been in the s35 version, and it begs the question of why make it with a separate recorder in the first place?

    And accept that, and this announcement could easily be a one piece camcorder combining the s35 front end and recorder, and hopefully (much) cheaper than the dockable version I suspect it will replace. If that is true, the question is how much cheaper? Considering a comparable F5 package with v/f is available for around £10,000 (even less, depends which v/f) I’d expect the street price needs to be no higher than about £12,000 to start to see sales.

  4. it’s a camera to be priced for movies , therefore to be placed on the market of rentals. Wondering how many cameras ARRI sells to people and how many to the rental circuit. For people (event in the onemanband scenario) more than 10K US is TODAY some obscene amount of money considering the GH4. Come on people.. let’s wake up!!!!
    We need a GH4 with a servo zoom and a faster processing. Do we have to pay that absurd money for a shoulder mount , a zoom and a decent blur panning? come on.
    Movies and broadcast need durability (and that cost money, I agree) but in terms of “performance” as GH4 has everything (well.. almost everything… wondering WHY that “almost” thing needs to be added)

  5. David Heath. What camera with “Better specs for much cheaper elsewhere” are you referring to? Name one camera in that price range that can do 120fps in camera, ProRes 4444. Shoot UNCOMPRESSED RAW out of camera, not Red compressed. Please don’t say F5 and F55 as that camera cannot shoot 120fps in camera. Alexa is more expensive and red Epic needs more kit on it to match what the Varicam can do – add a sound module, etc. By the time you get the epic up there, it’s $20k more expensive. So, what camera can you offer for “Cheaper” as you said with better specs?

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