After letting some of its mindshare slip to Arri and RED over the last decade, Panasonic has made a huge step back into the cinema market with the Varicam renaissance of the last few years, starting three years ago with the Varicam 35. We particularly love last year's smaller form factor Varicam LT, which we reviewed a few months ago and found very impressive. Panasonic is now aiming squarely at regaining ground in the indie cinema marketplace with the new EVA1, announced today at Cine Gear Expo on the Paramount Lot in LA.

Au-eva1_drama_hr_copyCredit: Panasonic

An EF mount, 5.7K cinema camera, offering 4K up to 60p and 2K up to 240p, the EVA1 will come in at a price point of under $8000 when it starts shipping this fall. Similar to its larger Varicam cousins, the EVA1 is built around dual native ISO, though precisely what those ISOs are won't be finalized until later. The Varicam 5000 ISO is incredibly useable in low light work, and hopefully, the EVA1 will come in somewhere close to that in terms of low light performance.

Au-eva1_skateboard_hr_copyCredit: Panasonic

The EVA1 body comes in at only 2.65lbs, making it ideal for handheld, Steadicam and gimbal work. It also offers Electronic Image Stabilization that should make it even more useful as an action camera. It has full sized XLR audio inputs, and puts out 4K over both HDMI and SDI. The 5.7K sensor is used for oversampling 4K footage, which should offer even cleaner 4K signal and richer color information that previously available. The camera records up to 400 Mbps, which creates more robust files and more versatility in color grading without increasing noise levels.

Au-eva1_daybag_copyCredit: Panasonic

If there is one frustration, it's the EF mount over the MFT of the GH5. With an MFT mount, a PL adapter is easy, whereas the EF mount doesn't adapt to PL due to flange focal distance. While the decision makes sense in terms of the deep EF userbase, the decision to go to EF makes this really more of a C200 beater than an FS7 killer. If you want a great 4K camera on a budget with a PL adapter, the FS7 and the Ursa Mini Pro remain your options.

Au-eva1_slant_copyCredit: Panasonic

That said, PL mount glass is still an expensive purchase or rental for most of us, and there is a tremendous amount of beautiful EF mount glass in the world. The advantages of the EF mount in terms of internal lens control and lens choice make its use here understandable. With the DVX100 and the HVX200, Panasonic offered indie filmmakers amazing cameras at a great price, and it seems like that the EVA1 will continue that tradition of high-level performance and color that indies can afford.

Au-eva1_side_copyCredit: Panasonic

Shipping this fall for less than $8000. For more info, see Panasonic's site.

Tech Specs:

  • EF mount, EIS capable
  • 2.6lb camera body
  • 4k up to 60p, 2k up to 240p
  • 5.7K raw output via future firmware upgrade
  • V-log & V-gamus
  • 400 Mbps Recording
  • Dual SD card slots
  • 4:2:2 10 Bit
  • 2/4/6 stop ND filter wheel
  • Removeable IR filter via wheel