Panasonic Adds Low End Unit to the VariCam Line – introducing the VariCam LT

by planetMitch

Late yesterday, Panasonic added to their massively successful VariCam line with the VariCam LT

cinema5D has had their hands on (see below)

There is a bunch of info also in this cinema5D article and at panasonic.co.uk

I suspect many of our readers will consider this a bit out of their price range at $18k and $24k with their OLED videwfinder but it is indeed lower pricing than the other cams we've seen lately in the VariCam line.

The VariCam LT is a Super 35mm 4k video cam with the ability to shoot 4k up to 60fps (other VariCams go up to 120fps). It is a smaller and lighter body as well.

Panasonic VariCam LT VUGjem



vimeo.com/154672268

VariCam LT Hands-On

We had a chance to get our hands on the VariCam LT and see how the camera feels on the shoulder. As each shooter has different preferences in terms of a rig design, it is hard to generalize wether a camera offers a design that works for everyone and you should always try a camera yourself. During the brief time I had with the VariCam LT I could see though, that they had thought of a lot of small things that a single-operator shooter will be thankful for.

For example the comfortable shoulder plate can be moved forwards and backwards in order to balance the camera correctly, which is not possible on the FS7. The menu can be moved to the viewfinder, much like on the Arri AMIRA and there are dedicated menu controls on the left hand side which can be easily accessed blindly. Unlike other “ergonomic” cameras, it seems like with a small learning curve the LT could become a tool that lets you be fast. That said, it seemed like the camera booted just as slowly as the VariCam 35 which lets you wait 40 seconds until it’s ready to shoot.

The camera was well balanced and everything felt right, except maybe the EVF mount that couldn’t be positioned perfectly for me as it didn’t extend far enough to the left. 3rd party EVF’s can be used, as well as Panaonsic’s own OLED EVF that they had on the camera.

read much more: Panasonic VariCam LT – Hands-On & Exclusive 4K Footage

Convergent Design also now supports the new LT

(Colorado Springs, CO – February 10, 2016) Convergent Design today announces that Odyssey monitor/recorders will support the Panasonic VariCam LT digital cinema camera's RAW file format. VariCam V-RAW is the newest format to be supported in Convergent Design's Odyssey RAW Bundle for Odyssey7Q and Odyssey7Q+ monitor/recorders along with Canon Cinema RAW, Sony FS RAW, ARRIRAW and more. The Panasonic VariCam LT, announced today, will add RAW output in a firmware upgrade from Panasonic this summer.

“The Odyssey supports RAW from more cameras than any other device in the industry.”said Mike Schell, President, Convergent Design. “The VariCam LT is a great camera and an important one in the Panasonic line, and we're proud to include it in the Odyssey RAW Bundle for the Odyssey7Q and Odyssey7Q+. Odyssey will support all frame rates and resolutions available for output from the Varicam LT. In addition to our RAW record capabilities, we can integrate the Odyssey's Image Analysis Tools for focus, color and exposure, as well as its accurate OLED monitor and comprehensive Odyssey LUT System. Together the VariCam LT and the Odyssey make a complete professional image capture package.”

Press Release:

Panasonic Announces Compact 4K Super 35 VariCam LT
Cinema Camcorder

NEWARK, NJ (February 10, 2015) – Panasonic today unveiled the VariCam LT, representing the next generation of 4K cinema cameras. The VariCam LT camcorder inherits the same super 35mm sensor and superb imaging capabilities that distinguish the award-winning VariCam 35, but with significant reductions in size, weight and price.

Incorporating this identical imaging “DNA” in a more compact rendition, the VariCam LT (model AU-V35LT1G) delivers 14+ stops of dynamic range with V-Log, and the esteemed cinematic VariCam image quality and color science, as well as the VariCam 35's breakout innovation, dual native ISOs of 800/5000.

Weighing just under six pounds and having superior capability to similar sized cameras, the VariCam LT will be the ideal camera for handheld, SteadiCam, jib, crane, drone, gimbal and overall cinema verité work. The VariCam LT is likewise tailor-made for owner/operators, independent filmmakers, documentary makers and corporate production creators.

The VariCam LT delivers superb image handling in multiple formats ranging from 4K, UHD, 2K and HD, and like the VariCam 35, is fully capable of High Dynamic Range (HDR) field capture. The new 4K camcorder offers Apple ProRes 4444 (up to 30p) and ProRes 422 HQ (up to 60p) support for HD recording, as well as Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA family of advanced video codecs.

New codecs introduced in the VariCam LT include AVC-Intra LT and AVC-Intra 2K-LT, both designed to offer capture rates up to 240fps in imager crop mode, ideal for sports and other fast motion footage.

Powerful color management capabilities combined with VariCam’s extended color gamut and support for the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) workflow allow for full fidelity mastering of original source material. The VariCam LT offers in-camera color grading, with the ability to record an ungraded 4K master along with all on-set grading metadata. A new color processing feature is “V-LOOK,” which acts as a blend of V-Log and video, and allows filmic documentary acquisition without the same need for intense color grading.

The VariCam LT differs from the VariCam 35 in being a one-piece, short-bodied camcorder vs. a two-piece camera head plus recorder. While the VariCam LT does not feature parallel sub-recording, it does have an SD slot for high-resolution proxy recording. Proxy files can be wirelessly uploaded via FTP, which facilitates wireless color grading. Variable frame rates are available with LongG6 recording.
There is one expressP2 card for all formats including high frame rate and HD/2K/UHD and 4K recording (the 256Gbyte expressP2 card can record up to 90 minutes of 4K/4:2:2/23.98p content). RAW output from SDI is planned to be supported by a firmware upgrade in early summer 2016.
The VariCam LT features an EF mount (vs. the VariCam 35's PL mount), suitable for the wide array of lenses available for smaller cameras.* The EF mount can be switched out to a robust standard PL mount, expanding the range of compatible lenses that can be used. The control panel can be separated from the camera body to facilitate real-time control and easy menu access. The camcorder has a production-tough magnesium body to assure durability and reliability in challenging shooting locations.
Other features new to the VariCam LT are power hot swap, IR shooting (further enhancing the camcorder's extreme low-light capture at ISO 5000), 23.98 PsF output, and image presets as scene files.
Among the camcorder's top-level production assets are ND filters (CLEAR, 0.6, 1.2, 1.8), an optional OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with optical zoom functionality, 24-bit LPCM audio for in-camera audio master recording, Focus Assist, anamorphic lens de-squeeze, special REC functions (PreRec, interval, one-shot), IP control via Panasonic’s AK-HRP200 camera remote controller, and built-in GPS.
Professional interfaces include: 3G-HD-SDI x 3 (SDI-OUT X 2 and VF), LAN, genlock in, timecode in/out, USB2.0 Host and USB2.0 Device (mini B), and three XLR inputs (one 5-pin, two 3-pin) to record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio. In addition, its flexible interfaces allow use of the Panasonic AU-VCVF10G viewfinder, as well as 3rd party viewfinder solutions.
The VariCam LT will be available at the end of March in two packages, suggested list price $18,000 (body only) and suggested list price $24,000 (body + AU-VCVF10G viewfinder).

For more information about the VariCam LT, visit www.us.panasonic.com/varicam, or contact Panasonic at 877-803-8492.

* Panasonic does not guarantee the compatibility or performance of all EF lenses. Specifics will be updated on the Panasonic web site, www.us.panasonic.com/varicam.

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 4K 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 us.panasonic.com/business-solutions.

About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and solutions 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 2014 annual “Best Global Green Brands” report, Panasonic ranked number five overall and the top electronics brand in the report. As part of continuing sustainability efforts, Panasonic Corporation of North America relocated its headquarters to a new facility, adjacent to Newark Penn Station in Newark, NJ. It is the first newly constructed office tower in Newark to earn both LEED Platinum and Gold certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Learn more about Panasonic at us.panasonic.com/news.

(cover photo credit: snap from Panasonic)

planetMitch

chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind planet5D.com

He's incredibly happy running planet5D and sharing so much joy of photography and filmmaking with his readers.