European first for VariCam RAW with Convergent Design

London based production company Pundersons Gardens has completed the first production in Europe using the Panasonic VariCam LT’s recently introduced RAW recording capability and Convergent Design integration. Provided and set up by rental provider VMI, the night shoot was a music promo video for UK grime artist Trim who recently signed James Blake’s 1-88 Dinosaur label, and was directed by Chris Read and shot by Pundersons Gardens co-founder Jeremy Valender.

The production was shot entirely with vintage two anamorphic Cineovision lenses to give a filmic look, and makes use of the VariCam’s RAW recording capability and Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q RAW integration with the new HD Titan Extract firmware release. The integration was recently enabled as part of a September 2016 firmware update, announced at IBC 2016.

“We did some initial low light tests with a number of cameras, and I was shocked at how good the camera was. We shot using only the available light at night, and most of the time we spent blocking light out rather than trying to add more, because we just didn’t need it,” said Valender.
Shot entirely at 5000 ISO at native 4K, the 16:9 RAW output was then de-squeezed in post production to create the 2.66:1 final version, with monitoring on set de-squeezed via the Odyssey 7Q. Connected to the VariCam LT via its built-in 3G-SDI terminals, the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q recorder/monitor used by Valender has a trigger recording functionality, allowing the external recorder and camera to automatically start recording simultaneously with matching timecodes.

“The low light performance was the primary reason for choosing the LT, and the 5000 ISO function was like shooting at 800 on any other camera as regards to noise. The other thing that surprised me was the amount of colour – especially with the low light, a lot of other cameras’ colours wash out a little bit, but the LT’s strong colour saturation gave us a lot to work with in post,” added Valender.

“The quality achieved by full 12 bit RAW capture from the Panasonic VariCam LT to RAW-enabled Odyssey 7Q recorders has not been available before at this budget level and this is something that we are very excited about for our high-end clients,” added Barry Bassett, VMI’s Managing Director.

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