Object of Desire: VariCam LT

May 20, 2016

By Greg Scoblete

Panasonic’s VariCam is a presence on many feature films sets, but the two-piece cinema camera with its assorted components added doesn’t exactly cut a compact figure. With the VariCam LT, Panasonic is bringing to market a smaller, less expensive version of the camera that retains much of the same core imaging science used in the full-sized original. It boasts a Super 35mm-sized 4K image sensor capable of ProRes 4444 recording at up to 30p and ProRes 422 video at up to 60p. The camera also supports new codecs (AVC-Intra LT and Intra 2K-LT) to hit 240 fps in crop mode to cope with fast-moving subjects. It captures 14 stops of dynamic range using V-Log with the same dual native ISO technology introduced in the original model. Footage is stored to express P2 memory cards and a firmware upgrade promised for this summer will enable RAW output through the SDI port. You can color-grade LT footage in camera while simultaneously saving an ungraded 4K master file that contains the grading metadata. There’s also a new V-LOOK processing setting, which Panasonic says delivers a “filmic documentary” look without requiring extensive color grading. Rounding out the feature set are ND filters, an optional OLED viewfinder with optical zoom, focus assist, three XLR inputs (one 5-pin and two 3-pin) and built-in GPS. The LT accepts EF-mount lenses and weighs in at about six pounds (body only).

PRICE: $16,500 (body only)


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