Panasonic has unveiled the VariCam LT, representing their next generation of 4K cinema
cameras. The VariCam LT camcorder inherits the same 35mm sensor and imaging
capabilities that distinguish the 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
VariCam image quality and colour science, as well as the VariCam 35’s dual native
ISOs of 800/5000.
Weighing just under three kilograms, the VariCam LT is ideal for handheld,
SteadiCam, jib, crane, drone, gimbal and overall cinema verite work. The VariCam
LT is likewise tailor-made for owner/operators, independent filmmakers,
documentary makers and corporate production creators.
The VariCam LT delivers image handling in multiple formats ranging from 4K, UHD,
2K and HD, and like the VariCam 35, is capable of High Dynamic Range (HDR) field
capture. The 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 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 fast motion footage.
Powerful colour management capabilities combined with VariCam’s colour gamut
and support for the Academy Colour Encoding System (ACES) workflow allow for
full fidelity mastering of original source material. The VariCam LT offers in-camera
colour grading, with the ability to record an ungraded 4K master along with all on-set grading metadata. A new colour 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 colour 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
colour 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 2016.
The VariCam LT features an EF mount (vs. the VariCam 35’s PL mount), suitable for
lenses available for smaller cameras. The EF mount can be switched out to a
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 control and easy menu access. The camcorder has a magnesium body to assure durability and
reliability in challenging shooting locations.
Other features new to the VariCam LT are power hot swap, IR shooting, 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 interfaces allow use of the Panasonic AU-VCVF10G viewfinder, as well as 3rd
party viewfinder solutions.