July 11, 2016

Stunning New Infrared Footage from Panasonic VariCam LT

When adding infrared to your toolkit makes sense.

The Panasonic VariCam LT has been impressing shooters since its announcement back in February, including NFS community member Ben Meredith, who did an extensive review on it. But the 4K camera does come with a price tag: depending on the flavor, it can range from $16,000 to $28,000 off the shelf.

The LT, as we now know, is the little brother to the VariCam 35, as it uses the same super 35mm sensor for its imaging but on a smaller form factor in terms of weight and size. Releasing compact versions of first generations has become more common; another more recent example is the URSA Mini. It’s one reason why many of us wait to jump on board to that next “new” thingwe know it’s going to be replaced by something better and more intuitive soon.

One of the features on the LT that’s been getting some attention is its integrated and detachable IR cut filter. Infrared photography is nothing new, but it’s becoming more of a relevant tool in film work as cinematographers look for different ways to tell stories. (Roger Deakins used infrared for the tunnel scene in Sicario and Richard Mosse shot on 16mm color infrared film for The Enclave, to name a few.) 

Watch 26 Inch Productions' newly-released infrared test on the Panasonic VariCam:

This got me thinking about how to use IR as a storytelling tool. When is it useful? When is it not a gimmick? Let us know where you stand in the comments.

And for more mind-blowing infrared cinematography, check this out.     

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The price tag is not bad at all. 16000$ for the body + handle + panel monitor. Then you can buy a cheaper VF than the too expensive Panasonic one or add any monitor you want (or even start with the small panel monitor if you're brave enough). Same for the shoulder rig. If you add the 5 years free warranty (in Europe at least, don't know worldwide), the internal ND filters, the XLRs and SDIs, internal proxies on SD card, 3Dlut, 5000 native iso which will require less lighting in many situations, I think this camera is perfectly priced. It's even a bargain. A Red Scarlet-W would be 10400$ (brain + 3 OLPFs to get a bit closer to the Varicam DR and low light) + 1900$ for the Vlock Expander + 700$ for the Canon mount + 1150$ for the sidekick (equivalent of the Varicam panel) + 550$ for the top handle + 1250$ to extend the one year warranty to 3 years + a few more for some ND filters, we are between 16000 and 16500$ without XLRs & multiple SDIs (then you need to pay even more to get them) and the Varicam still has 2 more years of warranty. Even the 256GB Varicam P2 card is 1150$ vs the 1400$ 240GB Red mini mag.

July 12, 2016 at 12:46PM, Edited July 12, 12:58PM

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JoachimV
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