Panasonic Pro Video

News and Thoughts from Kadoma

Varicam and Light Iron

I’ve been very busy the last few months, and have unfortunately neglected my blog. But now I have some very exciting news that I really want to share with you all. 

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That news is that the new Varicams will start shipping very soon. Since we announced details of the new cameras at NAB, we have visited many customers, discussed our plans, and improved on those plans based on the feedback we received. Especially from customers in Hollywood, we received very strong opinions, both positive and negative, and understood deeply the expectations that those in Hollywood have for these cameras. Today I would like to introduce one of those people I personally visited in Hollywood, Michael Cioni at Light Iron

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Upon first arriving at the Light Iron offices, I was immediately impressed by their refreshing and artistic atmosphere. Then, through speaking with the staff, I was moved by their passion towards the movie industry, and their desire to create “new” things. I remember my desire to make the Varicam the best possible product growing every minute that I spoke to them. Finally, we worked closely with Michael and his staff to create the latest rendition of Varicam color, and the new Varicam workflows. 

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More details are available elsewhere, but the points that make the Varicam 35 a revolutionary production camera are:

  • The “Varicam Look” provided by the newly-developed sensor - providing pictures with high resolution, great color and sensitivity, and high frame rates
  • In Camera Color Grading, moving the color grading process in camera to make it easier to achieve that look you can see in your head, and the simplification of the grading workflow by creating an grading file that can be passed along with the recorded images to post
  • The modular and rugged design that allow for the camera to be used in entirely new ways 

These are the tools that will create what users have been demanding from the move to digital workflows: a simple, end-to-end solution.

The cameras are now nearly completely finished, and will be delivered to customers this fall. 

In a further collaboration with Light Iron, we worked with them to create demo reel for the Varicam 35. What they delivered was absolutely stunning, and we are proud to be displaying it in beautiful 4K in our booth at IBC.

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Many engineers from Panasonic attended the shooting of this reel. To tell the truth, although the basic camera functions were available, there were still a lot of features that were not available to the shooting crew, as well as a variety of bugs that appeared throughout the process. I would like to apologize to Michael and everyone on the shoot for making their job harder than it should have been, as well as thank my engineers for their support. And of course, finding those bugs at that point means we will have fixed them by the time we ship the cameras. 

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It is hard to describe in words how good the footage is, so I urge you all to watch it for yourselves. Here it is posted on Vimeo, and it is also available on Youtube in 4K. But as you know, it has been compressed to be transmitted over the web, so I urge you all to visit Panasonic’s booth at IBC, and local shows after that, so you can see the footage for yourself in a proper 4K environment. 

Varicam 35: First Look from Varicam on Vimeo.

I want everyone to understand that Panasonic is back in the production camera game, with our first offerings being the Varicam 35 and HS, both of which we are very proud. In the future as well, we are eager to hear your comments and ideas, further improve our products, and provide you with the best possible products. 

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Filed under Varicam 4K IBC show ibcshow

Varicam & Pro-Res

Along with the details of the Codex announcement, the big news at our press event this morning is that Apple ProRes recording in HD will be natively available in the Varicam line. Our AVC-Ultra family of codecs is now starting to be accepted in the industry, and we believe will become an industry standard. Currently in the production industry, however, Apple’s ProRes is very much a standard already. We want to make sure that customers are able to choose the workflow they prefer, so in addition to AVC-Ultra and V-RAW recording, we have made sure to include ProRes so that users accustomed to a ProRes workflow can continue on with what they are used to. image

Having other codecs in our products is a first for Panasonic, and was quite a controversial decision, but I think it is for the best. ProRes in our products is something that some users have requested for a long time, and may wonder why we haven’t included it until now. All I can say is, we’re giving it a try now in order to improve usabilty for our customers, and I look forward to seeing how this news is received. 

I want to express my appreciation to Atomos. By offering their ProRes Codec module, we will be able to support ProRes in a timely manner.  I also express many thanks to Apple for agreeing to make this announcement at NAB.

Filed under Varicam NABshow NAB show

More on Varicam & Codex

As I introduced the other day, we have concluded a development agreement with Codex for them to develop a RAW solution for the Varicam 35.  This morning in Las Vegas we held a press event and announced some more details, so I would like to fill you in here as well.image

As you can see, the recorder is a unified and elegant solution, as it requires no cabling at all. I think the other very important thing to note about the recorder is that it will be capable of recording uncompressed RAW up to 120fps. image

All of our NAB press releases are available here: Panasonic pressroom

Filed under NAB NABshow Varicam 4K show