Panasonic has directly integrated a RAW camera module for its Super35mm Varicam platform from Codex, the leader in high-end raw workflows.
Varicam is one of the oldest brand names in HD, going back to the original 720P DVCProHD tape ENG system of a decade ago, through today's 4K Super35mm data-focused models. Panasonic moves the line into the future with the release of the VariCam Pure, its raw-only model released today in advance of IBC in conjunction with Codex.
Codex has long been a leader in on-set capture tech, and is probably best known for their Onboard-S line of recorders being used frequently with the ARRI Alexa platform. While a company the size of Panasonic could easily have developed their own raw media recorder, it makes sense that they choose to work with an outside developer in this application. RAW is still considered something of a niche application for these cameras (which are still largely targeted at traditional broadcast workflows where it isn't used frequently), and the combination of the VariCam 35 with the Codex V-RAW proved popular on projects for Netflix such as Death Note and The OA. Taking that successful combination and enhancing the integration between the camera body and recorder—while allowing users to continue to work with the familiar workflows of the Codex— seems like a very smart move.
By using the new V-RAW 2.0 recorder, specially designed to work with the native Varicam 35 body, users can now skip the previously required AU-VREC1 unit that used to interface between the body and the older V-RAW recorder. This creates a camera more than 6" shorter, which will have real benefits on Steadicams, gimbals, drones, and of course when sitting on the operator's shoulder. The new V-RAW 2.0 recorder can mount on any VariCam 35, creating a "VariCam Pure," and should ship by the end of the year.
This combination will be especially popular with shows already shooting VariCam Raw, of course, but it should also help Panasonic make inroads with episode narrative and low-end feature production.
- 14 stops of latitude
- Dual Native ISO
- 120fps 4k raw
- Panasonic VRAW, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHR
- Codex Production Suite dailies and archiving
- Codex Capture Drive 2.0