Codex and Panasonic Take 4K RAW Recording to A New Level with 4K RAW Only Varicam PURE

Yep, Panasonic just announced another addition to the growing VariCam family – the VariCam PURE. However, this time around the new camera is a bit more special than usual. Panasonic and award-winning high-end Raw recorder manufacturer CODEX are no stranger to each other; it was Codex after all who developed and made the original V-Raw recorder for the Varicam 35, of course in conjunction with Panasonic engineers. The “boutique” 4K Raw recorder maker are also responsible for the new dedicated 4.5K Raw recorder for the Canon C700, which surprisingly to many will come in at a really affordable price of around $6,000 (not including media, which ain’t cheap). However, in their latest partnership with Panasonic, Codex and the Japanese electronics conglomerate once again team up to leverage their engineering and technical expertise of 4K RAW recording to develop a new integrated, lighter and smaller VariCam 35 camera, which only shoots in Raw, and not in the familiar AVC-Intra/Ultra compressed codecs.

Varicam 2.0 PURE

The brand new VariCam Pure will be to some a “true” digital cinematography camera as it is a RAW-only camera that takes the VariCam 35 4K recording head and a newly developed Codex 2.0 V-Raw 4K dedicated recorder to take high-end 4K capture to a new level. Not many specifications are known at this point, but the Varicam PURE will be able to record 4K Raw up to 120fps directly onto Codex Capture Drives.

The new 2.0 V-Raw recorder features a slightly altered design from the original V-Raw recorder used in the other Varicam 35 configuration, which includes the Varicam Recording module (with ExpressP2 cards).

Varicam 35 with Codex V-Raw recorder version 1 and Varicam Recorder module in between the head and Raw recorder.

Varicam 35 with Codex V-Raw recorder version 1 and Varicam Recorder module in between the head and Raw recorder.

The VariCam PURE configuration basically shortens the whole camera setup, by allowing the 2.0 V-Raw recorder to be attached directly onto the Varicam 35 head. This way the whole setup comes in at around 5 kg, making it lightweight enough for prolonged handheld use. In addition to 4K Raw up to 120fps, the Varicam Pure will carry the same 14+ stops of dynamic range (as it uses the same sensor) and the same unique Dual ISO 800/5000 and HDR recording and of course the famous “Varicam Look”.

“Those who have seen this new camera system have been impressed” said Codex VP Brian Gaffney who added, “This combination is a powerful new tool for 4K RAW recording, and is just the kind of camera that studios are looking for to produce 4K content for the cinema or the home. We support camera choices at the front-end with a single workflow that simply and safely moves your data from production into post and beyond.”

Pricing should be around the 30,000 Euro mark for the whole setup and the VariCam Pure is said to start shipping towards the end of 2016. Panasonic will showcase the VariCam Pure at IBC 2016, Hall 11, Stand C45. I’ll be at IBC this year again, so if you want me to ask them any specific questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best.

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