Panasonic launches next-gen Varicam in two variants

Panasonic utilised IBC 2014 to launch the much-anticipated Varicam, the star of a wide range of products and innovations that the company believes will make film and TV production significantly easier.

The Varicam retains the clever modular design first introduced at NAB in Las Vegas, as the third generation Varicam arrives in two new variants, the super 35mm, 4K Varicam 35, and the 2/3 type, high speed HD Varicam HS.

Andre Meterian, Director of Panasonic’s Professional Camera division, said, “Inherited from original Varicam, the Varicam 35 features a V-Log gamma to cover a wide latitude – an impressive 14+ stops.

“What is more, the ability to simultaneously record in two different formats and codecs together with its in-camera colour grading function means, for instance, that it is possible to record 4K master and HD simultaneously and begin colour grading on site. This will greatly help production companies to streamline their workflows.”

He continues, “Varicam HS will provide smooth slow motion effects, by recording in 240fps HD, without a cache memory.”

The new Varicam 35 and Varicam HS start shipping in October 2014.

News Gathering Made Simple
Panasonic have also promised to make Electronic News Gathering easier, with the introduction of the world’s lightest[1] shoulder 2/3 type camera-recorder equipped with 3MOS image sensors.

Set for release in October, the AJ-PX800 weighs just 2.8kg, captures both SD and HD, and comes with a comprehensive range of codecs including AVC-Intra and the AVC-Long G (50/25/12/6Mbps) codec set.

“Importantly, the camera comes equipped with a standard LAN/Ethernet port for wired network connection and an optional wireless function too. This enables the use of functions such as proxy preview and camera remote control from a PC, Mac, tablet device or smartphone. 4G/LTE network connectivity is also supported, allowing broadcast stations to edit recorded data immediately, enabling faster news turnaround and opening up live stream capabilities,” added Andre Meterian.

Testing of the news gathering network workflow began last month with Independent Television News (ITN), a major UK broadcaster, and will continue to be carried out on a rolling basis with the company’s broadcast partners in countries around the world.

The AJ-PX800 will be released alongside the new AJ-PG50 portable recorder which enables dual-codec recording and comes with two micro P2 and a single P2 card slot.

Connecting Camera and Cloud
A collaboration with LiveU will see future releases of Panasonic broadcasting camera recorders support a direct connection with LiveU Central, the unified management system which allows broadcasters to acquire both live and recorded content from the field, preview it centrally or remotely, broadcast it live or in scheduled programming and distribute it to any location.

“By collaborating with LiveU we can realise live transmission and file transfer on to a world renowned site, making our customer’s workflow more efficient.” said Kunihiko Miyagi, Director of Professional AV Business Unit.

Tap and Go Remote Control
Elsewhere, Panasonic have also partnered with VidiGo to showcase a Tap Camera System, set to launch in March 2015, which enables quick and easy remote camera control, allowing the user to simply tap a tablet screen on the spot where they want the camera to point.

“Non-camera specialists can effectively control navigation with the system, opening up a variety of applications in conferencing and education,” said Meterian. “The easy operation means there is no need for specialist camera support, reducing costs and allowing more organisations to utilise a remote camera facility.”

Simple Switching
Also on show at IBC was Panasonic’s new compact broadcast switcher, aimed at studio sub-control rooms and outside broadcasts. The AV‑HS6000 is the first 2ME model in Panasonic’s HS series, it employs a newly designed, easy-to-use GUI Control Panel to support accurate switching.


[1]For a 2/3-type shoulder-type HD camera-recorder with three MOS sensors (as of Aug 2014)

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