Panasonic Previews Third-Gen HD VariCam at NAB
Also Shows New 31-Inch 4K LCD Monitor
While the buzz at NAB was 4K, Panasonic is going one more generation with its iconic VariCam. The third-generation VariCam records 1080p at up to 120fps and expands its array of recording codecs to include AVC-Intra Class100, AVC-Intra Class200, and 12-bit AVC-Intra Class 4:4:4. And the camera continues to use 2/3-inch MOS imagers, a conservative design decision in this era of large-sensor cameras, but one that recognizes the mammoth inventory of 2/3-inch glass still in use among seasoned shooters.
Even so, the company is in no big hurry to bring its next VariCam to market. The company said the VariCam 3 will be available "early next year," and didn't specify pricing.
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The new VariCam will offer Log recording for the first time alongside the familiar FilmRec, VideoRec, and Dynamic Range Stretch modes, and it will have both P2 and microP2 slots.
There was some 4K action at the Panasonic booth. The company showed a new 31-inch 4K field production display, the BT-4LH310. The 10-bit IPS LCD is targeted for video-village use, dailies review, and 4K post workflow. It has HD-SDI, 3G-SDI and HDMI inputs and supports LUT upload. "We're just shy of being able to hit full DCI P3 space, and of course a spot-on Rec. 709, if you need that," Bergeron said. It's coming this fall at a price to be determined.
Also displayed was a 20-inch 4K ToughPad tablet that previously made an appearance at CES. "We see this as a tool for anybody who's trying to show their material," Bergeron told us. "If you're a creative freelancer who needs to sell your work, we think it's going to be very useful to you. But also if you're a studio or a broadcaster who wants to show your clients how things are going to be displayed without bringing a lot of AV equipment in, it's a good way to solve that." It's a slick, gorgeous piece of kit but, unless we missed it, there is no target date for availability.
Otherwise, Panasonic's big news this year revolved around its AVC Ultra family of codecs and the new AJ-PX5000G shoulder-mount camcorder, which were discussed in detail before the show. Read our coverage here.
For more information, visit Panasonic's website.