CODEX + VARICAM PURE
Cinematographers and producers are demanding the combination of higher resolution and wider dynamic range to deliver the best possible images today, while also future-proofing their content for tomorrow’s distribution platforms, with a combination of higher resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR).
The Panasonic VariCam Pure more than satisfies these requirements in a small, compact, rugged but powerful package that is also designed to also meet the needs of the cinematographer and their crews.
Ideal for episodic television shows and feature productions requiring 4K RAW acquisition for 4K UHD TV or 4K DCI cinema deliverables, the Panasonic VariCam Pure features a 4K Super 35 sensor, offering 14+ stops of latitude and integrated Codex recording to Codex Capture Drives. The new camera solution is pure.
Cinematographer Oona Menges recently pushed the VariCam Pure to its limits on this short film, showing off all its capabilities.
"We threw the camera into difficult situations to see how she fared with little to no support. Shooting RAW with the Codex, 12 bit depth, 4K, 2020 colour space with those large pixels made her come out shining on all fronts.”
Oona Menges, Cinematographer
FRAME RATE120fps RAW 4K
MEDIACodex Capture Drive
SENSOR4K Super 35
UNCOMPRESSED 4K RAW CAPTURE
A camera system designed by Panasonic and Codex to capture the highest quality images with the Panasonic VariCam Pure. 4K RAW at up to 120fps with a simple workflow via Codex’s Production Suite to deliver ProRes files and all the other deliverables required.
"As a cinematographer I’ve always been attracted to the leading edge technology, industrial design and support that Codex champions, and as a rental vendor, providing Codex kit and media to high-end filmmakers and studios has been an unbeatable business model. Since the arrival of my first V-RAW recorders for the VariCam 35 just after this last NAB Show, they have been in constant demand on shows like Deathnote and Ozark (Netflix) and Better Call Saul (AMC). It should come as no surprise that Codex kit is in daily use on the biggest and best films being made today."
John Sharaf, Cinematographer
Check out the VariCam Pure menu simulator from Panasonic.
Q & A WITH KUNIHIKO MIYAGI AND MARC DANDO
A discussion on the VariCam Pure, hosted by Jon Fauer of Film and Digital Times, with Kunihiko Miyagi, Director of Panasonic’s Professional Video Business Unit, and Marc Dando, Managing Director of Codex.
Kunihiko MiyagiPlease provide an overview of the VariCam Pure. How is it different from the original VariCam 35 and LT?
We are pleased that the performance of the VariCam 35 and LT were well accepted by the market. Panasonic and Codex worked together on the RAW recorder that attaches directly to the back of the VariCam 35 camera head and the Varicam 35 AVC-Intra Recording body. However it had some limitations of mobility. Quite a few customers asked if the RAW recording capability could be made in a smaller package.
Now Codex and Panasonic propose a new RAW recording system that directly connects the existing VariCam 35 camera head module with a completely new, integrated Codex V-RAW 2.0 Recorder. It is an uncompressed RAW-only recording system, up to 120 fps. This new camera system provides better mobility because of its smaller size and lighter weight. It is called VariCam Pure. The name suggests the purity of uncompressed RAW recording that enables the best picture quality.
When did the project begin?
Marc Dando and I got this idea at NAB2016. We started the co-development project in June of this year. The engineers of both companies worked very hard to achieve this in only 6 months. My understanding is that RAW recording amounts to about 10% of the high-end market.
Will this camera make RAW more affordable and popular?
Yes, we believe so. The AVC-Intra 4K recording system of the current VariCam 35 is efficient, with a balance of picture quality and file size. It has been widely used in episodic dramas by major content providers such as Netflix. On the other hand, the demand for uncompressed RAW recording is very high in the high-end market. We believe this new, pure, RAW camera-recorder system will expand the VariCam world.
Describe RAW for someone who doesn’t know much about it.
RAW recording captures the maximum possible image quality from the sensor. It allows for flexibility in post production and color grading to achieve the best possible color reproduction. The VariCam Pure system utilizes the Camera module and the new V-RAW recorder to achieve this quality of 14+ stops latitude up to 120 fps. The CODEX RAW workflow is well established in this industry and so this is a natural step for both companies.
Do you want to tell us about delivery dates and prices?
Delivery will be end of 2016. Prices were announced at IBC.
The original modular concept of the VariCam 35 enabled this project to be realized. We believe that the combination of Panasonic’s camera technology and Codex’s RAW recording and workflow expertise will create an excellent synergy for future developments.
Marc DandoMarc, what is the concept of this new camera?
Meeting with customers around the world, we often heard that they loved the image quality of the VariCam 35, wanted RAW recording, but needed a smaller camera system that could be used in all situations—from an A camera on a dolly to a Steadicam or on a remote head. We knew that we could work together with Panasonic and improve the ergonomics and usability of the system.
Will this camera increase the use of RAW recording?
RAW has become the standard for many feature films and Codex is fortunate to have been at the forefront of that transition. Now that more and more consumers are expecting higher quality in the home, studios like Netflix would like 4K RAW acquisition so that they can meet the expectations of their current customers and also future-proof their content— for example, for HDR distribution.
What are the advantages of shooting RAW?
RAW is uncompressed and unprocessed. It’s the pure image data collected by the sensor. For today, it means you have maximum flexibility in processing and color grading the images. And for tomorrow, it means that as image processing algorithms improve, you can meet the needs of future distribution formats and get the maximum value out of your archive.
But isn’t it harder to deal with in post?
No. Facilities are now very used to dealing with RAW files. They understand the huge advantages for grading, VFX and archiving. Many people are surprised to find out that RAW files often are not that much larger than, for example, high quality ProRes files. The Codex system, from recording through completion, allows users to make mezzanine files (digital intermediates used to make copies) before finishing from RAW, providing all the quality with the simplicity of a ProRes workflow.
Why doesn’t the VariCam Pure record ProRes then?
Actually, it does that very elegantly, but not in the camera. And not only ProRes, but also DNxHR. Insert a Codex Capture Drive into a Codex Production Suite’s Capture Drive 2.0 Dock to clone the RAW files, create dailies and offload to popular formats.
We are very excited to work with Panasonic as we roll out this camera system together. We believe that both companies have done a great job of listening to customers and incorporating their needs. We can’t wait to see the creative results that will emerge.
CODEX PRODUCTION SUITE
With world-class imaging science, high quality image-processing, the flexibility of the Codex File System (CFS) and an intuitive user-interface, Codex Production Suite features sophisticated tools for colour grading and LUT management, QC, metadata editing and audio sync so you can create and manage all your deliverables within one powerful system. For even more flexibility, Codex Production Suite is available on Mac Pro and MacBook Pro as well as Codex’s S and XL-Series Vault.
Today’s complex productions crave simplicity wherever possible. From on-set colour management with ACES, to grading, transcoding and review, to archiving to tape, Codex Production Suite has all the tools you need to securely manage your data. Whether you’re a DIT, data wrangler or post facility, it makes it easy to get the right files and information to whoever needs them as quickly as possible, with the power of the Codex File System delivering whatever files you need in whatever format you require.
And Codex Transfer Drives are the ideal mechanism for securely moving critical data from on-set to near-set, or from location to post.
One unified, simple workflow that ties everything together.
CODEX + PANASONIC WORKFLOW
Codex products you may wish to review:
Click on View Gallery and browse the V-RAW Recorder
Panasonic VariCam Pure
Panasonic VariCam Pure
VariCam Pure with shoulder mount
Rear of VariCam Pure
Capture Drive 2.0 [1TB]
Codex Capture Drive 2.0 Dock
Codex Capture Drive 2.0 Dock
Capture Drive 2.0 [2TB]
CAPTURED ON CODEX
Codex is proud to support so many productions, from blockbuster Academy Award winners to independent movies. All Captured on Codex - the indispensable technology of choice.