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.