Panasonic have just released new free firmware update v5.5 for the Varicam LT, firmware v7.5 for the Varicam 35 and Varicam PURE, plus a new list of tested EF lenses as well as Varicam LT/35 online simulators. All firmware upgrades can be downloaded now from the Varicam website here.
For the Panasonic VariCam LT, one of the big new features is a HIGH SPEED menu mode that enables 240p raw output for 2K (2048 x 1080) or Full HD (1920 x 1080). Utilizing this Raw output, Convergent Design’s Odyssey 7Q+ allows users to record 2K/HD-cropped, uncompressed Cinema DNG files. The Odyssey7Q+ had its own firmware update recently, which you can read more about in our post here.
Also, new for the Varicam LT, the new firmware v5.5 also adds a faster and more efficient software reboot that is completed with the use of the control panel rather than turning off the physical power switch of the camera.
“Panasonic offers these firmware updates on all models of VariCams at no charge to our customers,” said Mitch Gross, Cinema Product Manager. “The added functionality comes from customer requests and our striving to offer the most useful tools in the industry. The VariCams are some of the finest cameras in the world, and now they’re even better.”
For the VariCam 35, HS, and LT, there is a new REC Check function that allows you to check the first five seconds of the latest clip and the last five seconds of the latest clip for tail slate marking. You can assign these two options to USER SW.
For all VariCam cinema cameras (35, HS, LT, and Pure), there is now an expanded frame rate range in HIGH SPEED mode down to 1-fps, allowing capture from 1 – 240p. For VariCam wide-screen capture, Anamorphic De-squeeze is now available in play back as well as when recording.
A horizontal de-squeeze of 1.3x or 2.0x is available for SDI Out or VF SDI. Also for all VariCam cinema cameras, there is an option to apply grading data recorded with clip on play back. The LT can set PLAY BACK GRADING menu from PLAY display on GUI.
Additional features the firmware upgrades include:
- RDD18 (Camera metadata, including Clip name) on MON output
- INFRA mode (Wireless network setting)
- Support WM50MC (for China) and PLANEX GW-900D (For Japan)
- USER CLIP NAME TYPE3 on OSD is off as default (VariCam 35, HS & LT)
- Deleted CPS password system (VariCam 35 & HS)
- Fixed Card remain time bug of AVCLongG at 23.98p (VariCam 35, HS & LT)
- Supports Canon EF 24-105mm F4 L-series USM lens (VariCam LT only)
- Fixed Valid Frame Flag bug on RAW output (VariCam LT only)
Some of the more popular EF lenses that have been tested with the Varicam LT include the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 Art, Canon 24-105mm f4L, Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II, Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L II and many others. Check out the full list of tested lenses from Canon, Zeiss, and Sigma here.
You can familiarize yourself with the Varicam LT and 35 menu system and play with the Varicam Simulator here.