FilmConvert now have a profile for the Panasonic Varicam LT camera. The VariCam LT is the more compact, and one-body design “baby brother” to the Varicam 35, and much like its predecessor, it is a very capable cinema camera featuring a 4K Super 35mm sensor and a unique dual native ISO settings at 800 and 5,000 make it extremely versatile in standard and low-light situations.
The VariCam LT was apparently one of the best performers in the FilmConvert colour test suite providing beautiful colour rendition straight out of the camera. For those who prefer to work with Log, you can also take advantage of the V-Log and other picture settings, combined with FilmConvert, to get an exceptional cinematic look to your images.
Panasonic Varicam LT Features/Highlights
- 4K Super35 CMOS Sensor
- Native Canon EF mount (PL mount extra option – user swappable)
- 2K/Full HD 240fps Slow-Motion (uses sensor crop)
- 4K/60p and Full HD ProRes 4444 & 422HQ
- 4K/60p Raw to Convergent Design Odyssey7Q+
- Built-in ND filters: 0.6/1.2/1.8
- User Removable IR Cut filter
- Single ExpressP2 card Slot for Main 4K/2K/HD recording
- SDXC Card slot for Proxy Long GOP recording
- Dual Native ISO – 800/5000
- Optional OLED viewfinder ($5,400 at B&H)
- 3 x SDI Out (dedicated one for Viewfinder)
- Support for 3rd Party Viewfinders like Zacuto Gratical and Gratical Eye
- 2 x XLR inputs – 4 x Channel Audio 24bit/48kHz LPCM
- Pre-Rec / Interval rec / One-Shot Rec
- V-Gamut – exceeds BT.2020 HDR colour space
- 14+ Stops Dynamic Range with V-Log
- V-Look and BC-Look Presets – similar to WideDR on Canon C300 (mix between V-Log and Rec.709 for faster turnaround)
- Weight: 2.7 kg / under 6 lbs.
FilmConvert camera profiles are basically dedicated data packs that increase the colour accuracy for your footage. FilmConvert is available as an Adobe Premiere Pro/FCP X or Avid plugin and as a standalone grading software. They cannot be loaded into your camera, but you can use the plugin software to export a LUT with your colour settings to use in-camera if you wish.
To download the latest Varicam LT profile and learn more about FilmConvert including pricing – head over to their website here.
Picking the right camera for your next job, can be quite a daunting task, and while some of you prefer to work with the kit you own, whatever that may be, often opportunities arise where you can hire the kit for the job.
Even though the Varicam LT has been positioned by its manufacturer as a “solo operator” camera, unlike the bigger and more crew-friendly Varicam 35, which was designed from the beginning as a narrative drama/big commercial/crew camera, the LT occupies a bit of a strange place in the modern pro camera hierarchy.
Despite being lighter than the Vari 35, the LT is built like a tank, and by the time you add an AB battery, a viewfinder, baseplate, rods and a zoom lens, the weight can easily approach 20 lbs or even more. However, when it comes to weight – in this “higher end” camera class, that is not so much of an issue – as all the other cameras are pretty much in the same ball park when kitted out – Sony F55, RED Dragon/Weapon, Arri AMIRA, Alexa MINI, – they all bulk up once you start adding accessories like wireless transmitters, cine tape, FIZ motors, external monitors etc.
Most of time, it is the specific production requirements that dictate the choice of camera (sometimes, despite the preference of the DP or director). For workflow purposes, for example, the Varicam 35 offers more flexibility due to it’s dual main recorder with 2 x Express P2 card slots, which the LT doesn’t offer (it does have proxy recording to SD cards though) hence why it often wins over for bigger productions.
For smaller jobs where a run’n gun setup is preferred I can easily see a production going for the more “nimble” and easier to work from the shoulder – Varicam LT.
For those of you stuck between the 2 Varicams, you can explore the differences between the Panasonic Varicam LT and the Varicam 35 in more detail in the video below prepared by Panasonic.
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