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Panasonic Debuts Lightweight VariCam LT Cinema Camera

Panasonic has debuted the VariCam LT 4K cinema camera. The VariCam LT camcorder uses the same super 35mm sensor as the VariCam 35, but with significant reductions in size, weight and price.

Panasonic’s latest VariCam LT, model AU-V35LT1G, weighs in just under six pounds, nearly half that of the Varicam 35 camera module, making it eminently suited to handheld, SteadiCam, jib, crane, drone, gimbal and overall cinema verité work. The VariCam LT is likewise tailor-made for owner/operators, independent filmmakers, documentary makers and corporate production creators.

In order to maintain the VariCam ‘look’, the VariCam LT is equipped with a 35mm single-chip MOS sensor, originally developed for the VariCam 35 and has a similarly wide dynamic range. The VariCam LT achieves over 14 stops of dynamic range using V-Log, and features dual native ISOs of 800/5000.

The VariCam LT delivers multiple formats including 4K (4096 x 2160), UHD (3840 x 2160), 2K and HD, and like the VariCam 35, is fully capable of HDR field capture. The new 4K camcorder offers Apple ProRes 4444 (up to 30p) and ProRes 422 HQ (up to 60P) support for HD recording, as well as Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA family of advanced video codecs.

New codecs introduced in the VariCam LT include AVC-Intra LT and AVC-Intra 2K-LT, both designed to offer capture rates up to 240fps in imager crop mode, ideal for sports and other fast motion footage.

The VariCam LT has 14+ stops dynamic range with switchable 800/5000 native ISO

The VariCam LT has 14+ stops dynamic range with switchable 800/5000 native ISO

Powerful color management capabilities combined with VariCam’s extended color gamut and support for the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) workflow allow for full fidelity mastering of original source material. The VariCam LT offers in-camera color grading, with the ability to record an ungraded 4K master along with all on-set grading metadata. A new color processing feature is “V-LOOK,” which acts as a blend of V-Log and video, and allows filmic documentary acquisition without the same need for intense color grading.

The VariCam LT differs from the VariCam 35 in being a one-piece, short-bodied camcorder vs. a two-piece camera head plus recorder. While the VariCam LT does not feature parallel sub-recording, it does have an SD slot for high-resolution proxy recording. Proxy files can be wirelessly uploaded via FTP, which facilitates wireless color grading. Variable frame rates are available with LongG6 recording.

The lens mount can be changed from an EF mount (standard) to a PL mount (optional), increasing the range of usable lenses.

The camera ships from March 2016.

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