Panasonic has announced the two video cameras it will show at NAB 2014: a new 4K VariCam 35 and a VariCam HS (high-speed). Later this April Panasonic will show off its new 35mm camera that can shoot video in 4K RAW at up to 120p. The VariCam 35 will shoot 4096 x 2160 video in the AVC-ULTRA 4K format using a new Panasonic-made Super 35mm MOS sensor. On top of high-resolution video, the VariCam 35 can also be set across 14+ stops of dynamic range.
Panasonic also introduced a new VariCam high-speed camera with 2/3″ sensor, which can shoot 1080p footage up to 240fps. Both the VariCam 35 and VariCam HS feature a modular design, allowing users to swap out parts of the camera including the camera head and recording module. Video professionals will be able to replace the sensor unit on Panasonic’s 4K cameras with its new 2/3″ 1080p camera module unit. Meanwhile, the VariCam HS can be outfitted with different camera heads between the 2/3″ and Super 35mm parts.
The two VariCam models are set to launch this fall but the pricing has yet to be announced. We’ll see more at NAB soon and until then stay tuned for more camera goodness, plus some specs after the break. [click to continue…]
Ultra High Definition video has finally become affordable for the masses with Panasonic’s new GH4, which is the first consumer-friendly 4K-capable mirrorless camera. But the camera is not only for amateurs, as the massive add-on interface unit goes to show. One of the first videographers that was able to realize a project with the new GH4 is Bryan Harvey, who used two GH4 bodies and a slew of Micro Four Thirds lenses for a shoot in Yucatán, Mexico.
While some might claim that 4K doesn’t make a huge difference over Full HD on screens smaller than 50 inch at regular viewing distances, it does make a difference as soon as your display resolution is higher than Full HD. On the MacBook Pro Retina, there is a visible difference between the 4K and the Full HD footage in terms of raw sharpness, and when watching the video it made our jaws drop. In fact, the footage is so sharp that we felt an urge to dive right into the scene in front of us–that’s how life-like and realistic it looks.
Whether or not the GH4 will fully satisfy even the most demanding of videographers will remain to be seen, as this is mainly a question of the quality and flexibility of its output. But so far, what we see is pretty breathtaking, and the fact that 4K is now available at a consumer-friendly price tag is simply exciting. You can find Bryan Harvey’s video after the jump, as well as a short behind-the-scenes clip where he talks about the experience. Be sure to also take a look at our first impressions with the camera.
It’s been rumored for a while now, and Panasonic is announcing the brand new GH4 just in time for CP+. The new camera is the company’s flagship and is said to live above the GH3, but is not a direct replacement to it. On that note, the GH3 will continue to be sold. During our short briefing time with Panasonic, we learned about the heavy emphasis that the company is putting on video output with the latest offering. But overall, it so far seems like only minor improvements were added to the already pretty darned good GH3. And by minor, we’re talking about a brand new sensor and a couple of features that should have been included in the first place.
Think of this almost as the upgrade from the Canon 5D Mk II to the Mk III, but with less ergonomic changes. Except that with this one, they’re targeting it at Pros and enthusiasts.
No, it doesn’t by default have that giant thinger on the bottom or that microphone–those are instead accessories. Just in time for CP+, Panasonic is announcing the brand new GH4 mirrorless camera. This new addition will not replace the GH3 but instead sit above it kind of like what Canon does with the 1D X and 1D C. The new GH4 shoots two types of 4K video. At its heart, the company says that it houses a brand new 16.05 MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor. But otherwise, it mostly seems like it’s just like the GH3 with the exception of the revamps to the autofocusing that the company spoke about.
Small lenses quite obviously help keep your camera package portable and lightweight. Since the mirrorless camera movement has been around, folks have been asking for small pancake primes to really make the system work towards its original intentions. But DSLRs also have great small pancakes, and if you’re looking for one, check out this list.
And now for some news that can be taken both well and incredibly sad…
According to Bloomberg and 43Rumors, Panasonic is currently citing a massive profit increase due to restructuring of the company. Essentially what they’ve done is what any other company would do when they’re not surviving–trim the fat! Combined with layoffs, part of this is attributed to getting rid of emphasis on things that aren’t profitable for the company like Plasma TVs. Bloomberg states,
“President Kazuhiro Tsuga, in his second year at the helm, is pivoting toward products for cars and homes as he accelerates changes to recover from back-to-back annual losses. Panasonic suspended plasma panel production, trimmed smartphone and circuit board operations and sold a stake in semiconductor factories to focus on growing businesses.”
What the articles aren’t really citing though is a report from the Credit Suisse earlier on this year that states that Panasonic recently sold off 51% of its Imaging Division. In fact, the company has given them until March 2016 to become profitable or else they get the axe. That means that within the next two years, we need to start seeing some seriously game changing technology from Panasonic. This will be a tough task overall for the Four Thirds industry as Panasonic needs to work with Olympus to become a stronger force in the industry. Micro Four Thirds has the most market share in the mirrorless industry, but the offerings that we’re seeing from Fujifilm and Sony are both taking massive Great White Shark sized bites out of them.
Panasonic has also changed up a lot of their game plan–with mostly trying to cater to pros and those reaching for higher hanging fruit.