In April, members of the broadcasting industry from all over the world will head into Las Vegas to attend the 2014 NAB show, where they’ll see the latest in professional broadcasting and filmmaking equipment. The majority of equipment exhibited isn’t designed for consumer use, but they could impact the stuff we watch today, and perhaps even trickled down to consumer products in the future. Take Panasonic’s 4K VariCam, for example.
Having been in prototype stage for some time, Panasonic will debut a production model of the 4K VariCam 35. This camcorder shoots 4K raw and variable frame rates up to 120 frames per second. It uses a Super 35mm (4096 x 2160) CMOS sensor and a PL-mount for cinema lenses. The camera has all the fixings pro video production folks need, plus 14-plus stops of dynamic range. It uses a modular design where the sensor and recording units are separate, which theoretically could be updated with new modules.
Panasonic will also show off a second VariCam that shoots high-speed footage at up to 240 fps. This camera, the VariCam HS, won’t do 4K or Raw, but it’ll handle Full HD 1920 x 1080 using three 2/3-inch CMOS sensors (red, green, and blue), and have 14 stops of dynamic range. Like the 4K model, the VariCam HS also uses interchangeable modules, which one can swap with the 4K camcorder. This means a production company can own both cameras but share the various modules that go with them.
The camcorder will be pitted against those from Sony, Canon, RED, Blackmagic, etc. Like we said, consumers won’t ever bother with this stuff, but it’s cool to see what the pros are using. As the industry continues to push 4K into the mainstream, equipment like this is what the filmmaking industry will be using to bring us that content. The interchangeable concept, however, allows users to produce content for today’s standards while future-proofing the gear.
Pricing has yet to be determined, but Panasonic is scheduling a fall 2014 release.
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