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Panasonic Varicam 35 and Varicam hs Professional Grade Camcorder Solutions
  • Panasonic has soft-Launched some new professional grade camcorders due to arrive in Fall 2014...

    Nice Industrial design at least...


    Panasonic announced a third-generation VariCam® camera, the VariCam HS, that incorporates the company’s AVC-ULTRA family of video codecs and high speed 1080p image capture of up to 240fps to produce extraordinary high-definition imagery for the most demanding documentary, sports or SFX slow-motion applications.

    Featuring an innovative modular design, the VariCam HS 2/3” camera head docks with the AVC-ULTRA recording module to provide the full functionality and ergonomics of a conventional production camera/recorder. This system flexibility can be expanded with an umbilical cable between the 2/3” camera module Unit (AU-V23HS1) and the recording module Unit (AU-VREC1), providing “box” camera functionality for jibs, cranes and other “remote” camera needs. This common recorder module is also interchangeable with Panasonic’s new s35mm 4K camera module unit (AU-V35C1) (see separate news release), enabling professionals to switch between 2/3” and s35mm camera heads to best suit their creative needs.

    “Building on the esteemed VariCam legacy of breathtaking image rendition and versatile off-speed effects, this next-generation modular design will deliver unprecedented flexibility to users, who can move between the worlds of sports, documentary, and other content creation with extraordinary ease and efficiencies,” said Steve Cooperman, Product Manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America.

    The VariCam HS utilizes three newly-developed, 1920 x 1080p MOS imagers with an extraordinary 14 stops of dynamic range, providing full control over wide range lighting conditions for unparalleled 1080p native recording/operation. The camera/recorder boasts a classical RGB imager/prism system that provides equi-band full resolution color processing for critical applications. Among the camcorder’s key features are real-time high frame rate and off-speed recording to 240fps in 1080p (using AVC-Intra Class100), plus the ability to ramp / change frame rates during record. To complement the impressive video quality, the new VariCam boasts 24-bit LPCM audio capabilities. Powerful yet creative image controls such as matrix, detail, gammas and a new Log recording capability, allow precise, powerful creative control over image parameters.

    The VariCam HS will feature a range of high-quality recording formats including AVC-Intra Class100 (recording as 1080/24p, 30p or 60p format with VFR (up to 240p), AVC-Intra Class200 (up to 30p/60i) and AVC-Intra Class4:4:4 (up to 30p). Both AVC-Intra Class200 and AVC-Intra Class4:4:4 deliver spectacular performance in applications where image quality is the utmost consideration.

    The VariCam HS adds Log to the well-respected FilmRec, VideoRec and Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) image contrast management controls. The VariCam HS will feature Panasonic’s Emmy® Award-winning Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC) technology to minimize lateral chromatic aberrations and dramatically improve the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) of the optical system.

    AVC-Intra Class4:4:4 supports 12-bit recording for 1080p content, allowing file-based 4:4:4 workflows with the unparalleled ability to handle the finer tonal graduations and color fidelity that the 12-bit format provides. AVC-Intra Class200, at twice the bit rate per frame of AVC-Intra Class100, is visually lossless, delivering studio master quality for recording network-level programming and archiving. AVC-Intra Class200 is ideal for field capture of content for film-outs; the higher quality greatly enhances color correction processes, as well as green screen and compositing applications.

    The VariCam HS will use Panasonic’s new expressP2 card for high frame rate recording (frame rates above 60fps: see separate news release). The camera recording module unit is equipped with a total of four memory card slots, two for expressP2 cards and two for microP2 cards. The new expressP2 card can record about 32 minutes of 240p 1080 HD video. The microP2 card is designed for recording HD or 2K at more typical production frame rates.

    Addressing the need for high-speed file exchange, the VariCam HS encodes high-resolution proxy files in parallel with higher bandwidth production formats, enabling fast, efficient offline editing, at bit rates from 6 Mbps down to 1.5Mbps.

    Professional interfaces include: RGB4:4:4; a 3G-HD-SDI out to support 1080/60p, an HD-SDI out for monitoring; and two XLR inputs to record four channels of 24-bit, 48KHz audio. A multi-connector facilitates docking the camera head to the recording module. In another innovative design addition, the VariCam HS boasts a removable control panel to facilitate real-time control and easy menu access when the camera is in a fixed or remote position. The camera’s 2/3” B4 lens mount enables use of a remarkable variety of prime lenses and servo zooms, lensing possibilities simply not available on larger formats.

    The VariCam HS will launch fall 2014, with pricing to be announced. For further information about Panasonic professional video products, visit

  • 39 Replies sorted by
  • oh yeah! And the Varicam 35.... that looks tasty

  • Very very beautiful image. Good job panny.

  • Just saw the footage is on pair with the best of the best, I'm still in state of shock.... ;-)


    Not cheap though estimation goes for less than $60,000 dll (OUCH)


  • How about a hack to get rid of the 30min EU limit, Vitaliy? when can we expect it?

  • How about a hack to get rid of the 30min EU limit, Vitaliy? when can we expect it?

    What is it about?

  • Well this camera only records in 12-bit, can your hack make it 14? Also I'd like to go to 15 stops dynamic range.


  • Holdans price in the UK for the basic unit is a 'suggested list price of £19,125+VAT'.

  • impressive doble native ISO (800 and 5000) demo

    More videos, on Raw, on Wireless CDL, on codec and workflow, Q&A, etc.

  • Emmanuel Pampuri got his hands on this camera and posted some interesting footage. He shot at the new codec, AVCUltra 4:2:2. He posted a Pro-Res 4:2:2 HQ version of the footage (that originated from AVCUltra) that we can download and play with. I included the link below, to download the footage.

    I downloaded this footage, and toyed around with it, I must say this camera has a really nice image. Like they mention in the videos, they have managed to turn their noise into grain. This camera doesn't have noise, it has grain. I agree with this with one caveat, that being the AVCUltra. They boast in video #4 that AVCUltra is a fraction of the size of ProRes blahblahblah. To do this there is always a sacrifice, and they are lying if they say it doesn't. In playing with emmanuel's footage I found that when I used advanced coloring techniques it introduced a lot of saturation noise (not grain, sorry varicam) in the darks and lower mids. Clearly a codec issue.... Fortunately the camera offers ProRes recording as well. I am curious to see how they stack up in some tests, if my suspicions are correct the PR will not have this issue.

    Due to what I suspect is a codec issue with the AVCUltra codec, I am very anxious to see what the quality is on the V-Raw.

    Dual ISO looks pretty incredible! Can't believe no one has tried it before, I love it when an idea is so simple in nature, but no one has thought of it yet. I may be mistaken, maybe it has been thought of and Pan. are the first ones to pull it off, but as far as I know its the first time it has been thought of.

    The color science is Vari nice ;) did you see what I did there? I am liking V-Log, and would love to see it available on my GH4, would make the GH4 the perfect companion camera (for drone work, or a throwaway cam for stunts etc.) These two would make a killer duo on a feature.

    This is a very long winded review, based of a very small test. Would love to get my hands on some V-Raw, and some ProRes from this camera winkwink panasonic. Or better yet a loaner to test out! I may have to wait til it hits the rental houses... certainly don't have $55,000 just lying around.!nEQURDAB!ZUtXe0brdDPVyY64AmBW5_0kttpGaEA91HRF5DZ5qVU

  • How does the lowlight compare with the Sony A7s ?

  • Check out this video. Note, the A7s will give you incredible low light capabilities, like freaking night vision, but close to no color detail. I couldn't see myself using any of that extreme low light A7s stuff in any legitimate way.

    The varicam probably won't rock the low light the same way as the A7s, but it is pretty dang incredible, the difference being, what the varicam does get, has incredible color detail. Check out the video.

  • Panasonic VariCam Camera Tour

  • A look at the Panasonic 4k Varicam S35

  • Pricing for the VariCam components and kits is as follows:
    VariCam 35 complete package with AU-V35C1 4K camera module, AU-VREC1 recording / control module, AU-VCVF1 color viewfinder, AU-VSHL1 shoulder mount module: $55,000
    VariCam HS complete package with AU-V23HS1 2/3 camera module, AU-VREC1 recording / control module, AU-VCVF1 color viewfinder, AU-VSHL1 shoulder mount module: $46,000
    VariCam 35 s35mm 4K camera head, PL mount - $29,000
    VariCam HS 2/3″ 1080p camera head, B4 mount - $20,000
    VariCam common recording module / control unit - $17,000
    Shoulder mount module - $2,000
    Color viewfinder $7,000
    ExpressP2 drive $495
    ExpressP2 card, 256GB $2,000

    Is this correct? Dont these prices seem a bit... high insane?

  • It is not competing against the URSA Mini. This is meant to outclass the Alexa / RED / F55 / C500 / etc In that context, it can seem quite "reasonable".

    Pity Panasonic has such a HUGE gap between their GH4/DVX200 and their Varicam? They've got nothing between the two I believe? Wish their rumoured AF200 was true.

  • Here's hoping for an MFT mount Varicam Mini....

  • Panasonic Varicam 35 Coloring Test