September 9, 2014

The First Footage from Panasonic's 4K VariCam 35 is Here, & It's Absolutely Stunning

Panasonic VariCam35 First Footage
At NAB 2014, Panasonic finally lifted the veil on their long-rumored 4K VariCam 35 cinema camera. Even though the price point of the system will likely leave many disappointed, there was little doubt in anyone's mind that it would be a powerhouse of a camera once it landed in the hands of a capable cinematographer. 

As of today, we now know that's definitely the case, as Panasonic has released a reel of sample footage shot with the VariCam 35. In two words, the footage is breathtakingly stunning. But don't take my word for it. Have a look for yourself.

In case you need a refresher on the specs of the VariCam 35, here they are:

  • 4096 x 2160 Super 35mm CMOS sensor
  • 14+ Stops of Dynamic Range
  • PL Mount
  • Internal 4K up to 120fps
  • Records 4K & UHD in AVC-ULTRA 4K
  • Records 2K & HD in AVC-Intra 100/200
  • Capable of 4K RAW
  • 1.5 to 6 Mbps Proxies
  • Two expressP2 card slots (Record 130 minutes of 4K/24p with these cards)
  • Two microP2 card slots (for HD and 2K)
  • Four 3G-HD-SDI Outputs for 4K QUAD
  • Two 3G-HD-SDI Outputs for RAW
  • HD-SDI out for monitoring (down-converting from 4K)
  • Two XLR inputs can record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio
  • Removable Control Panel
  • OLED Viewfinder with Optical Zoom
  • Availability: Fall 2014
  • Price: TBA - (Although it's expected to be north of the $30k mark)
Panasonic VariCam35

It's hard to say yet where the Panasonic VariCam 35 will fit into the current spectrum of digital cinema cameras, although it's safe to assume that if it's priced in the same neighborhood as Sony's F55, that it will become a serious competitor to that popular camera. Given the VariCam's modularity, and the fact that the camera module and the recording module can be kept apart from one another and connected via an umbilical cable, the VariCam will likely become a popular choice when flying cameras on jibs, cranes, or anywhere where size and weight are crucial.     

Your Comment

62 Comments

Images as stunning as the price.

September 9, 2014 at 7:43PM, Edited September 9, 7:43PM

0
Reply
avatar
Andrea Labate
Director / Cinematographer
237

Exactly! but... Hey! We're going to have this sensor on next GH cameras in less than 2 years i guess.

September 9, 2014 at 8:32PM

0
Reply
avatar
Fabio Lanzone
Director of Photography
74

Indeed, this is why I like reading about these very high priced cameras. Because even though I can't afford it, it is a forward glimpse at what I'll get in the future!

September 10, 2014 at 12:24AM, Edited September 10, 12:24AM

0
Reply
avatar
David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2281

That's right, give 2-3 years and these specs are gonna be on prosumer cameras. I <3 technology.

September 10, 2014 at 10:30AM

0
Reply
avatar
Andrea Labate
Director / Cinematographer
237

The Sony F55 and Alexa and Sony F65 and Amira get a serious competitor. Would love to see a shoot out between these guys. And curious about weight. To compare this with the Amira for run and gun work.

September 9, 2014 at 7:59PM, Edited September 9, 7:59PM

3
Reply
avatar
Ed David
Director of Photography
1697

http://www.studiodaily.com/2014/04/panasonic-details-varicam-35-prores-4... Price less than 60k. So gunning for F65 and Alexa world.

September 9, 2014 at 8:03PM, Edited September 9, 8:03PM

0
Reply
avatar
Ed David
Director of Photography
1697

Yep, I guess this goes beyond my Panasonic GH4. Panasonic is coming back strong on many levels I say...including the levels where F55, Red and Arri Alexa now rule. Good stuff.

September 9, 2014 at 8:05PM

2
Reply
Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer
729

Looks good, shame the vimeo link doesn't allow you to download original less compressed file, can't see much.

September 9, 2014 at 8:22PM

0
Reply
avatar
Vladimir Druts
Founder & Director at Intangible.co
378

Damn... That looked really, really good. A boy can only dream.

September 9, 2014 at 9:10PM, Edited September 9, 9:10PM

0
Reply
avatar
Gene Sung
DP / Director
725

And a man can always rent.

September 10, 2014 at 11:22AM

1
Reply
avatar
Anthony F. Marino III
produce shoot edit
293

A challenger has appeared!!

The specs stack up, but let's see one of these [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCT-YMgjm9k] for this price range.

September 9, 2014 at 9:15PM

0
Reply
avatar
Robert H. Boscacci
Phirector of Doblography
88

Beautiful! I hope the next step in the camera wars is driving the prices down.

September 9, 2014 at 9:59PM

0
Reply
avatar
Raafi Rivero
Director

Price is a bit too up north for Me... Looks kool... but aahh im not so sure about the price.

September 9, 2014 at 10:07PM, Edited September 9, 10:07PM

18
Reply
avatar
Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2356

They had to set their "pro" camera way above the GH series, and sir, they surely did!

September 9, 2014 at 10:10PM

0
Reply
avatar
Rafa Ga
Digital Film-Video Editor / Colorist / Motion Graphics
246

Yup, though I wish they'd bring out the latest camera to the AF100 series. It hasn't been updated in a while, at for its time and price it was a very nice camera.

September 10, 2014 at 12:26AM

0
Reply
avatar
David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2281

I'm gonna... I just... Oh boy...

September 9, 2014 at 10:42PM

0
Reply

Thats how you do a demo reel of a new camera! Some narrative shots, some nature shots, and some commercial product shots. Not just a 3+ minute video of nature/city shots and random focus pulls. Great way of showing what applications this can be used for.

September 9, 2014 at 11:03PM

0
Reply
avatar
Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
931

First of all, every camera company should take note on how to make a camera reveal video like Panasonic's. This camera looks phenomenal and it has a very nice organic look to it. It does, like the sony cameras, favor magenta and green, but it wouldn't be very noticeable to most people. I would say Panasonic is really trying to rival the Amira and F55. The more competition, the better the cameras.

September 9, 2014 at 11:32PM

0
Reply
Adam Akopyan
Director of Photography
160

Bummer! Looks like the video has been removed. Weird!

September 9, 2014 at 11:51PM, Edited September 9, 11:51PM

13
Reply

Ignore me - it appears to be working now :)

September 10, 2014 at 12:03AM

2
Reply

I wonder if there's such a thing as being too good? Most likely not but jeez the image is flawless, you have to dirty it up. I'm sure you can manipulate it any which way, 16 bit, RAW right? I dont think my eyes are use to such clarity. The colors are what struck me most, beautiful. Nice work Panasonic.

September 9, 2014 at 11:54PM, Edited September 9, 11:54PM

0
Reply
avatar
Anthony F. Marino III
produce shoot edit
293

Honestly, I really didn't expect that much from this camera but I was surprised :) It was beautiful and I would love to see some of the log images out of this bad boy.

It kind of makes me hopeful that Panasonic might actually be able to one day offer better colour science in their cheaper cameras as from the footage I've been given, it seems to be the one department the GH4 lacks in. This proves that they must at least know what they are doing so maybe we'll see some improvements in the near future!

September 10, 2014 at 12:16AM

9
Reply

Already the AF100 offers a very good color processing. It is not the sharpest camera, but the colors it produces are very beautiful. So, I think something Panasonic can improve is the sharpness of their lower-end cameras and not color reproduction.

September 10, 2014 at 7:41AM

0
Reply
Ludwig Villiger
Indie Filmmaker
94

Amazing :) Love how I predictably got down voted for daring to say a (slightly) bad word about the GH4. It's a good camera but there is still room for improvement...

September 10, 2014 at 4:55PM, Edited September 10, 4:55PM

0
Reply

I really hope this thing costs over $60K. I'm an F5 owner.

September 10, 2014 at 12:18AM

5
Reply
Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1497

Footage is gorgeous. Do we know the weights? In respect to flying it.

September 10, 2014 at 12:30AM, Edited September 10, 12:30AM

0
Reply
avatar
Alex Smith
Documentary/Cinematographer
1378

I think this is the first time I can, whole-heatedly, agree with the much-used phrase, on NFS, of "absolutely stunning".

September 10, 2014 at 12:39AM

11
Reply
Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1497

Was starting to get sick of the "absolutely stunning" hyperbole placed on all these new cameras and their footage but just watched the video and this IS absolutely stunning.

September 10, 2014 at 12:40AM

0
Reply
Jonny H
Actor / Director / Editor
81

The raw footage might blow you away!

September 10, 2014 at 7:43AM, Edited September 10, 7:43AM

0
Reply
Ludwig Villiger
Indie Filmmaker
94

The footage looks amazing but it's almost too clean or maybe too sharp. I don't know, maybe it's because I'm more of a film guy. I'd be interested to see what the color space is on this though. I'm hoping it's 16bit.

September 10, 2014 at 12:59AM

0
Reply
avatar
Peter Phillips
Filmmaker
633

Looks pretty nice! Much better than the imagery coming out of the BlackMagic cameras - I'd say this is definitely a serious contender to join the Sony club, which is good, because Sony have their own set of problems that can be difficult to deal with. I shot a lot of my really old projects on old Panasonic Mini-DV cameras so I'm rooting for these guys - so far so good, looks like this camera will fit right in with the standards established by the current set of popular cameras.

September 10, 2014 at 1:04AM

0
Reply
avatar
Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2111

Cut my teeth on the DVX-100... Amazing what could be squeezed out of that cam with some love and post :)

Here's something I shot on that cam with only a 2 low-powered lowel lights from their interview kit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE8OuThSfU4 (this was around 8 years or so ago... literally zero budget, etc.)

I believe in Panasonic due to all that nostalgia... funny how that branding works.

September 11, 2014 at 3:33AM

0
Reply

I hope that Panasonic does not forget to update the AF100 sometimes!

September 10, 2014 at 3:57AM

0
Reply
Ludwig Villiger
Indie Filmmaker
94

Wow. It almost looks like you're looking through a really really clear window into these landscapes. Nice. I would love to see a technical test(not creative) between the Varicam 35, Amira, F55, RED Dragon and A7S.

September 10, 2014 at 5:32AM, Edited September 10, 5:32AM

3
Reply
avatar
Dantly Wyatt
Musical Comedy & Content Creator.
719

Absolutely stunning yes!!!! But maybe too sharp for skin....I mean...I can see all the make up and skin texture....nice but maybe too much...ahahha...anyways...I like the new NFS website btw. And here is a link for this video in 4k version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPdOEvZgODs&feature=youtu.be

September 10, 2014 at 5:36AM

6
Reply

Absolutely stunning yes!!!! But maybe too sharp for skin....I mean...I can see all the make up and skin texture....nice but maybe too much...ahahha...anyways...I like the new NFS website btw. And here is a link for this video in 4k version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPdOEvZgODs&feature=youtu.be

September 10, 2014 at 5:39AM

0
Reply

FYI, they posted a 4K version to YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPdOEvZgODs

September 10, 2014 at 5:46AM, Edited September 10, 5:46AM

0
Reply

Watching this on my 1440p monitor I really can't get a feel for the level of detail this thing's recording - shame there's no source download. It's definitely feeling a little soft compressed on Vimeo.

September 10, 2014 at 8:59AM, Edited September 10, 8:59AM

0
Reply

Edit: Ahm, the 4k on youtube... Jaw dropped. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPdOEvZgODs

September 10, 2014 at 9:01AM

0
Reply

Beautiful footage and nice grade. Im sure this will be a fantastic high end camera but.. at a price near 60K what does it really offer over the F55?, and for that matter the F5 gets IF it gets official fully supported internal 4K. I cant see if it claims a global shutter? and is the 4K 120 correct?, pretty impressive if so. Panny can price it up in Alexa territory all they want to increase it's perceived value and Im sure it's quality is worth it, but they'd probably be better off aiming at the 55's price point.

September 10, 2014 at 10:15AM

6
Reply
avatar
Bill Thomas
DP
218

Very impressive

September 10, 2014 at 10:56AM

0
Reply
avatar
Ricardo J Dylan
Writer & Director
74

I am hearing this bad boy will be in the 55K dollar range. That's a bit pricey but it does have very nice features and the footage is stunning. Interested to see how it does in the current market at that price.

September 10, 2014 at 11:04AM

0
Reply
avatar
Brian Galyean
Producer, Director
161

Wish Blackmagic would take the time to hire a real DP to shoot a reel like this I get they're building their name off of a community but it wouldn't hurt to pay once to really show what their cameras can do. Think they get a bad rap because theirs too much amateur footage that looks bad out there

September 10, 2014 at 11:54AM

0
Reply
avatar
Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
931

Many a great production cameras to choose from now! Good job Pani!

September 10, 2014 at 12:02PM, Edited September 10, 12:02PM

2
Reply
avatar
Joe Gonzalez
Filmmaker/Editor/Sound Designer
128

Very, very impressive color and dynamic range. Good to see Panasonic back in the game.

But it's sharp to the point that it's hyperreal and looks more like a soap opera than a movie. The sharpness is less bothersome with the landscapes and animals, but it's a problem with the actors. You can actually see the powder foundation and eye liner strokes.

September 10, 2014 at 1:25PM

0
Reply

+1. I'd also like to see an AF200. This is absolutely beautiful footage, with a very distinct look.

September 10, 2014 at 2:03PM, Edited September 10, 2:03PM

0
Reply
Marc B
Shooter & Editor
526

Indeed, it seems like it has been so long since they updated the AF100 series.

Unfortunately this camera NoFilmSchool posted about is not it :-/

September 13, 2014 at 7:06AM

10
Reply
avatar
David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2281

It looks great! But then again, the location scout has to get a credit for some of this ;-)

September 10, 2014 at 2:24PM

0
Reply
avatar
Kevin Erhard
Content Strategy
234

So, lets shoot some beautiful footage with a F5, F55, Amira, Alexa, F65, Ursa etc etc. Bang it all together in a nice impressive video then go out and say there's this beautiful new camera out, make up some name for it and release it on Vimeo. Guaranteed people will praise it to the heavens, others will say how consistent the colours are, others will say the footage isn't that great.

In fact you could take this video and say it was shot on a number of cameras and nobody could tell the difference. But that's only if it's shot well, colour graded nicely by someone who knows what they're doing.

September 10, 2014 at 3:59PM

0
Reply
avatar
Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1701

Gorgeous Dynamic range and clean as can be. That's how you do a camera introduction show reel.

September 10, 2014 at 5:17PM

0
Reply
avatar
Braden Storrs
Post Production Manager, Photographer
369

Just watching the trailer for 'I believe in butterflies' shot on S16. I know it's a tired old story but watching this all it made me think was 'My next film will be shot on... film'

Shot my first feature on Alexa which has bags of personality, next film on F55 and the follow up on Epic and none of them come close to that feeling film gives you.

Commenter below comparing this to the Sony look, and I have to agree, although it shares the GH4's super-clean look. In the right hands any camera can shine but I didn't see anything to love here. The BMC's seem to have more 'personality'.

Such a tricky thing to pin down but it's not worth judging a cam on one sample too much.

September 10, 2014 at 5:24PM

0
Reply
avatar
Robin Schmidt
Director
238

I just wanted to point out that this was colored by Ian Vertovec, the same guy who colored The Social Network, Gone Girl, other Fincher movies, Enders Game, Expendables etc.

September 10, 2014 at 7:10PM, Edited September 10, 7:10PM

14
Reply

exactly..

September 10, 2014 at 10:30PM

0
Reply
avatar
Bill Thomas
DP
218

Very, very impressive color and dynamic range.

But the image is so sharp and perfect that it looks like super high-res TV, not cinema. It's really noticeable with the actors. You can actually see the makeup painted on their faces and every pore, peach fuzz and eyelash. That's not good, unless you're shooting test charts or a wild life documentary.

It would be interesting to see some footage shot on vintage lenses. That may help remove the digital curse. This was shot on Leica and Fuji, which is about as sharp as glass comes and it's not doing the camera any favors.

I still think Arri hit the sweet spot with the Alexa. Sharp enough to hold detail in a wide shot and landscapes, but still gentle on your actors. It's still the camera to beat and obviously why it dominates in the field.

The Panasonic looks like a great camera, but hopefully they over sharpened everything on purpose, because this is going to be a problem.

September 10, 2014 at 9:24PM

0
Reply
Ed Jones
288

Agreed. I don't know why everyone is so obsessed with 4K. Color science and dynamic range are so much more important. I feel like we spend half our time in post trying to get rid of the resolution in 4k material because it's so harsh on skin.

I just hope all this 4K stuff drives the price of high end HD cameras down so I can buy an Alexa.

November 5, 2014 at 12:43AM

0
Reply
Josh Stafield
Director of Photography, Editor
231

already in luv

September 11, 2014 at 12:11AM, Edited September 11, 12:11AM

0
Reply

I'll give 50% of the image credits to place, than 40% to the lenses, 5% for the DP and 5% for camera sensor. Maybe 6% for DP and 4% for the sensor.

September 11, 2014 at 12:35AM, Edited September 11, 12:35AM

5
Reply

Wow! How much?

September 11, 2014 at 1:53AM

0
Reply
avatar
John Kaweske
Film Student
142

John, the article says "Price: TBA - (Although it's expected to be north of the $30k mark)"

Going to be too expensive for me... :-/

September 13, 2014 at 7:08AM

0
Reply
avatar
David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2281

I think the images are beautiful BUT, I also think pretty much anybody in the same environments, armed with any good camera and a sense of composition that anyone calling themselves a DP should have, could make images just as good.

September 11, 2014 at 11:18PM, Edited September 11, 11:18PM

0
Reply
Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1497

Wow!
what a beautiful Quality!

September 30, 2014 at 12:57AM

4
Reply
avatar
Shabeer Ahmad
Director and Post Production Manager
81

The footage is truely stunning . A vast improvement in 4 k film making technology. Makes film making more appealing as ever . Thank you Panasonic.

July 28, 2016 at 12:42AM

4
Reply