Autor: Redaktion

Panasonic Varicam LT

Panasonic's smaller brother of the cine camera Varicam 35.

The Panasonic Cinema VariCam LT camera provides the same picture specifications as the larger VariCam 35 camera. Like the VariCam 35, the VariCam LT uses the same super 35mm single-chip MOS sensor with over 14 stops of dynamic range recording in V-Log .

The sensor has two native ISO settings - 800 and 5000. Similar levels of noise performance is achieved thanks to both ISO settings employing two different analogue circuits with separate A/D converters. This enables a higher quality signal to be generated, even at very low ambient light.

The camera has a standard EF lens mount. A PL mount can be optionally fitted. Other aftermarket mounts such as Leica or Nikon, developed by third parties, should be available in the future.

The camera body weighs 6lbs/2.7kg, which is slightly heavier than a Mini Alexa or Sony F5/F55 , and once lenses and accessories are added the ready-to-shoot camera rig weighs around 22lbs/10kg. This makes the camera well suited for gimbal, Steadicam or shoulder mounted operation. The camera is designed for single camera operation, so is particularly useful for documentary programme making.

The camera’s control panel doubles as a live picture monitor. This can be removed from the camera and can be operated upto 90cm away from the camera.

Any changes in frame rate, codec or resolution require a reboot of the camera which may take up to 20 seconds. All the necessary setup changes are made prior to the reboot. Panasonic is constantly refining the operation of the Varicam LT, with firmware updates.  This includes the remote control of the camera via the Varicam ROP app for the Apple iPad.

The camera has a variable internal ND filter of CLEAR, 0.6ND, 1.2ND and 1.8ND. This is comparable to other ENG cameras so it is likely to prove popular with single camera operators.

The VariCam LT records 4K (4096x2160) and UHD (3840x2160) up to 29.97fps using the AVC Intra codec with colour sub-sampling of 4:2:2 at 10 bits (AVC Intra 4K 422). If one uses the lower bit rate codec AVC Intra LT, up to 60 (59.94) fps is possible. For 2K (2048x1080) up to 60 (59.94) fps using AVC Intra can be recorded with colour sampling of 4:4:4 or 4:2:2. Higher frame rates are possible only by using a cropped portion of the sensor and at a maximum resolution of 2K.

For HD (1920x1080) in addition to the AVC-Intra codec, ProRes 4444 or ProRes 422 codecs are available at 30 or 60 fps. Unlike the VariCam 35, it is not possible to record 4K RAW or ProRes 4444 at 120fps. However, it is possible to mix different frame rates or codecs on a single memory card.

The VariCam LT offers powerful tools for internal colour management and pre-grading. The choice of gamma curves is:

●    V-Log: This curve represents the largest dynamic range. Colour correction in post-production is essential.
●    V-709: This curve corresponds to the CINE-LIKE standard curve of the VariCam. Because of its colour reproduction this curve is recommended for monitor playback.
●    V-406 060 / VariCam look: This is a gamma curve for cinematic look. The setup is optimised for contrast and it is recommended to expose skin tones up to the 50% level.
●    V-452 080 / VariCam look: Another curve again for cinematic look but with the optimisation on soft textures. Until about the 45% level this curve is slightly softer than the V-406 060 after which it is harder until they coincide in the highlights.
●    Video45: This is the broadcast gamma curve for video.

The main full resolution image data is recorded onto an expressP2 card or P2 card loaded into the main media slot. The second, sub-slot houses an SD card which records proxy files using the AVC-LongG6 codec at 6MBit/s for full HD resolution. This enables the Varicam LT to simultaneously record two different quality files at the same time. 

Panasonic Varicam LT specifications

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