Panasonic unveils third-generation VariCam HS

Panasonic has used NAB to introduce the third-generation VariCam® HS, that incorporates the company’s AVC-ULTRA family of video codecs and high speed 1080p image capture for demanding documentary, sports or SFX slow-motion applications.

Featuring an innovative modular design, the VariCam HS 2/3 type camera head docks with the AVC-ULTRA recording module, to provide the full functionality of a conventional production camera/recorder.

This system flexibility can be expanded with an umbilical cable between the 2/3 type camera module (AU-V23HS1) and the recording module (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 (AU-V35C1), enabling professionals to switch between 2/3 type and s35mm camera heads to best suit their creative needs.

“Building on the VariCam legacy of breath-taking 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 effortlessly.  In addition, given the prevalence of Apple ProRes* as a popular editing format within the production community, its inclusion in the VariCam HS will position the new camera/recorder solidly within a well-established and widely accepted HD workflow,” said Steve Cooperman, Product Manager, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America.

The VariCam HS utilises three newly-developed, 1920 x 1080p MOS imagers with 14 stops of Latitude, providing full control over a wide range of lighting conditions for unparalleled 1080p native recording/operation. The camera/recorder boasts a classical RGB imager/prism system that provides equi-band full resolution colour 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 change frame rates during record. To complement the impressive video quality, the new VariCam HS boasts 24-bit LPCM audio capabilities. Powerful yet creative image controls such as matrix, detail, gammas and a new “V-Log“ to the well-respected FilmRec and Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) image contrast management controls.  

The VariCam HS will launch in Autumn 2014, with a suggested list price under €45,000, including EVF and shoulder mount module.

For further information about Panasonic professional video products, please visit our website.

* The Apple ProRes format is licensed from Apple Inc.