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)
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.