A No Film School reader took the Panasonic Varicam for a spin—and loved it.
[Editor's Note: Ben Meredith, a No Film School community member, filmed this review. The following words and images are his own.]
I'll let the review speak for itself, but overall, this is a very great camera that beats many competitors in a variety of ways. It does have its pros and cons, but ultimately I fell in love with the image and usability of the Panasonic Varicam LT right away.
The camera has an extremely natural, organic, filmic look, probably to be compared to the likes of Arri— which is why, for me, it beats out many of the RED/Sony/Blackmagic/Canon systems. The Canon c300 Mark II comes close for the price range, but it still has that "Canon" look and lack of certain options (Varicam offers even more).
"It beats out many of the RED/Sony/Blackmagic/Canon systems."
Video review sections
Control Panel: 10:18
(Switching) Codecs: 21:09
Looks/Dynamic Range: 30:19
From Dust: 36:35
Final Thoughts: 41:05
- Image quality very filmic (to my eye) and great color reproduction; fine noise texture
- 800 and 5000 ISO is amazing
- Robust codecs as well as ProRes
- Built like a tank
- Slow motion options
- A bit on the bulky side once you build it out, but still a tight enough package
- Restarting the camera when changing codecs/frame rates can be time-consuming
- No internal microphone for scratch audio (definite bummer)
- P2 cards—solidly built, but quite expensive
- Cropped 240 FPS slow motion displays noticeable quality loss
For more information and specs on the camera, read this interview with Panasonic Varicam's product manager.