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Header image for article VariCam Firmware Updates

VariCam Firmware Updates

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This week Panasonic released firmware Version 7.0 for the VariCam 35 and HS, and Version 5.0 for the VariCam LT. These updates feature expanded ProRes recording, including higher bit rate Apple ProRes codecs and VFR to allow for more internal recording options to support your production's needs.

Recently Ian took us through external recording with the VariCam LT. This latest firmware upgrade allows for higher bit rate recording internally to Panasonic Express P2 media in instances where RAW is not necessary. Previously, internal ProRes codec options were limited to ProRes 4444 in 10-bit form and ProRes 422 HQ, both in HD resolution only. Now the bit depth of the ProRes 4444 codec has increased from 10 bit to 12 bit, enabling 68.7 billion colors. V7.0 and V5.0 also expanded options to include ProRes 4444 XQ, ProRes 422, and ProRes 422 LT. All of these codecs are also now available in 2K resolution as well as HD.

VFR recording for ProRes has also been expanded. The VariCam 35 can now ramp up to 48 fps in ProRes 4444 XQ and 60 fps in ProRes 4444. 120 fps is still possible in HD in ProRes 422 HQ but now 96 fps is supported in 2K. This update also added the ability to add VFR as a user button for fast switching between high speed and normal recording on set.

Another exciting development this month is the additional of a remote control app for iPads, "VariCam ROP." You are able to access a control menu via wifi, similar to the user-friendly interface of the control panel, enabling the ability to start/stop record, adjust home screen settings – such as frame rate, ISO, WB, and shutter – as well as control four user switches.

A few other highlights include SDI output improvement including shortened delay, 23.98PsF support, and letter box support. Below is a complete list of included updates.

You can download the VariCam 35 firmware and the VariCam LT firmware from Panasonic's site now.

The following additions are also part of this update:

  • The following ProRes formats are added (35 / HS / LT)
    • ProRes 4444 XQ
    • ProRes 4444 (12 bit) *ProRes 4444 (10 bit) replaced with (12 bit)
    • ProRes 422
    • ProRes 422LT
  • Newly supported 2K recording in all ProRes codecs (35 / HS / LT)
  • VFR ON/OFF function can be assigned to the USER button. (35 / HS / LT)
  • Support for newly released ROP APP for iOS (35 / HS / LT) *ROP APP is application software that can be downloaded free of charge from Apple APP store.
  • VariCam 35: SDI output improvement (Shorten delay/ 23.98PsF support / letter box support)
  • "Image Invert” & “Surround View” can be selected independently (35 / LT)
  • VariCam 35: MON OUT can be selected "Anamorphic DeSqueeze in 2K / HD mode.
  • "2.00:1” aspect can be selected for Frame Signal
  • The FOCUS DISP menu is also available while the Main Color Setting is Vlog.

Visit Panasonic’s site for official download links, updated manuals and guides, as well as a camera simulator coming soon in mid-February.

Megan Donnelly
Technology and Education Development Manager, AbelCine LA

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