New Panasonic Varicam 35 announced – competition for RED/Alexa/Canon

by planetMitch3 Comments

In a press conference today, Panasonic announced a new Varicam 35 to go after the higher end cinema market plus this new camera will have capabilities to do live broadcasts – so this will have a wide variety of uses.

While I understand that our audience is focused on DSLR video, I know that many of you are also very interested in where the markets are going for the future.

Based on what I heard on the conference call, this will be a phenomenally cool as it is hitting many of the bullets that filmmakers are looking for.

  • Shoots 4k, 2k, 1080 all simultaneously
  • Can be used for live events
  • Wireless transmission of video
  • 120 fps
  • 14+ stops of dynamic range

It will be available in the fall of this year (2014) and the pricing is TBA – but is likely well beyond the wallets of most of our readers. We'll know more details at NAB they said.

Panasonic Varicam 35

  • Incorporates VariCam’s heritage of gorgeous, cinematic image rendition that users love, but VariCam 35 is also ready for 4K production

  • Unparalleled creative tool for high-end filmmaking, commercials and episodic production, as well as live 4K events
  • New super 35mm MOS sensor for native 4096 (17:9) 4K images
  • AVC-ULTRA in multiple formats including 4K, UHD, 2K and HD. making it an unparalleled tool for high-end filmmaking, commercials, episodic production and events
  • 4K RAW for pristine image quality
  • Unique design — 4K camera head is separate but dockable to the recording module
  • Expandable with umbilical cable where 35mm 4k camera & AVC-ULTRA recorder can be used as a “box” camera on jibs, cranes and other remote camera needs.
  • Impressive 14+ stops of latitude, faithfully captures high contrast wide dynamic range imagery
  • Flexible wireless workflows for control, metadata management and remote viewing / logging
  • Workflows with simultaneous 4k/UHD, reference 2k/HD and proxy recordings for in-camera on-set color grading and monitoring / editing ease
  • Variable speed 4k recording up to 120fps
  • Standard 35mm PL mount

Panasonic Varicam 35

Press conference

Answers from the floor of the conference:

  • 14 stop dynamic range is based on the RAW output – they didn't estimate dynamic range without RAW
  • they are calling it super 35 but aren't giving actual sensor size at this time (NAB timeframe)
  • not a global shutter but very fast read and very low ‘skewing'
  • I asked for a ‘price range' on the pricing – there was a bunch of laughter (implying that ‘if you have to ask, it is out of your price range”?) – answer from Panasonic: above $10k and below $100k – I was hoping to gauge which cameras they were targeting to compete with

Oh, and they announced a new 4k Reference Monitor for $28,000 – so if you want one, please make sure to buy it thru my B&H link HAHA!

Press release:



Ultimate Image Production for Cinema and Episodic Drama; Breakthrough Modular Design Enables Docking Either 4K or 2/3-Inch Camera Head to Same Recording Module

 NEWARK, NJ (February 27, 2014) – Panasonic today 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’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.

With its innovative design, the 4K camera module unit  (AU-V35C1) is separate but dockable to the recording module unit (AU-VREC1), which is also interchangeable with Panasonic’s new 2/3” camera module unit (AU-V23HS1) (see separate news release). 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” 1080p camera, enabling professionals to switch between s35mm and 2/3” camera heads to best suit their creative needs.

“Evoking the VariCam heritage of gorgeous, cinematic image rendition, this VariCam 35 establishes new standards for 4K production,” said Steve Cooperman, Product Manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. “With its expanse of formats ranging from flawless 4K RAW output to more practical 4K, UHD, 2K and HD capture, the  VariCam 35 represents a matchless option for premier digital capture.”

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 color management capabilities provide a much extended color gamut for impeccable image fidelity, and permit support for an Academy Color 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, 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 (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.* Addressing the need for high-speed file exchange, the camera encodes high-resolution proxy files in parallel with 4K and 2K production formats, enabling fast, efficient offline editing, at bit rates from 6 Mbps down to 1.5Mbps.  Wireless workflows for proxy streaming and metadata management will also be available.

The VariCam 35 will use Panasonic’s new expressP2 card for high frame rate and 4K recording (see separate news release).  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.

The VariCam 35 will launch fall 2014, with pricing to be announced. For further information about Panasonic professional video products,

*AVC-Intra200 is available only for FHD recording.

Panasonic Solutions for Business

Panasonic delivers reliable business technology solutions that connect data with decision makers to drive better outcomes—for our customers and our customers’ customers. Panasonic engineers reliable products and solutions that help to create, capture and deliver data of all types, where, when and how it is needed. The complete suite of Panasonic professional solutions for government and commercial enterprises of all sizes addresses unified business communications, mobile computing, security and surveillance, retail point-of-sale, office productivity, visual communications (projectors, displays, digital signage) and HD video production. Panasonic solutions for business are delivered by Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation.


All brand and company/product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies. All specifications are subject to change without notice. Information on Panasonic solutions for business can be obtained by calling 877-803-8492 or at


About Panasonic Corporation of North America

Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and services for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation, and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. In Interbrand’s 2013 Annual “Best Global Green Brands” report, the Panasonic brand ranked number four, the highest ranked electronics brand in the report ( As part of continuing sustainability efforts, Panasonic Corporation of North America relocated its headquarters to a new facility built to meet LEED certification standards, adjacent to Newark Penn Station in Newark, NJ. Learn more about Panasonic at

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. Author

    I was really impressed by the presentation – but I suspect 99.9% of us won’t be able to afford it… what do you think?

  2. This seems like it’s a rental camera. But specs wise it seems like an excellent alternative to a RED. The 120 fps seems like it will be perfect for commercials and high-end videos. Plus, I like the compression rate they are suggesting.

  3. I’d love to see the final ergonomics of the camera. Will it be mountable on certain sliders, handheld advantages/disadvantages, etc. This is DEFINITELY a great move for Pana for sure!

    Awesome sauce!!

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