Panasonic Releases 2 New 4K Professional Camcorders

Two new Panasonic models are currently scheduled for release in the Spring of 2016: the UX Premium Model AG-UX180, with a 1-inch (effective size) MOS sensor, optical 20x zoom and UHD 60p recording capability; and the UX Standard Model AG-UX90, featuring a 1-inch (effective size) MOS sensor, optical 15x zoom and UHD 30p recording.

“With an increasing demand for 4K video content, Panasonic is introducing the UX series to make 4K acquisition even more accessible to video professionals,” said Steven Cooperman, Senior Product Manager, Panasonic System Communication Company. “UX camcorders will provide high-mobility shooting and workflow equivalent to our existing professional integrated-lens handhelds.”

ag-ux180_ux90

The UX series will support recording up to 4K (4096×2160, 24p only) and UHD (3840×2160). (The AVCCAM series allowed recording up to FHD/1920×1080.) UX camcorders will use the SD Memory Card1 as recording media. The UX Premium Model AG-UX180 supports, in addition to 4K and UHD, dual codec recording (UHD *2/FHD), IR recording in low light, and 3G SDI/HDMI2.0 output. The UX camcorders’ 1-inch (effective size) MOS sensor ensures sensitivity equivalent to that of conventional handheld cameras. Variable frame rate (VFR) recording functionality (2-60 fps) is planned in FHD mode.

The availability of these new UX models later this year will bring the company’s line-up of professional 4K cameras to five, including the flagship VariCam 35 and VariCam LT cinema cameras for HDR production in 4K resolution, and the AG-DVX200 4K, 4/3″ large-sensor camcorder.

new-panasonic-4k-camcorders

Australian pricing for both models has yet to be announced, availability is expected late October.

Download the PDF for full specification & product details here.

*1: Video-shooting at 100Mbps or higher requires an SD Card compatible with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3).
*2: Excludes UHD 60p, 4K

 

“Deep Seeded” shoot using the Black Magic Cinema Camera

 

“Deep Seeded” shoot using the Black Magic Cinema Camera

I recently had the pleasure of shooting with a talented crew for a short film called “Deep Seeded” staring  Rain Fuller and Tim Ross and directed by Nick Bufallo.

For the shoot we got our hands on the Red MX, a full set of Zeiss primes and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.  Aaron Farrugia  (DOP) and Kitty May shot  A camera using the Red MX and Sarah Turner and myself shot on the Blackmagic Cinema camera.

Over the last month of using the BMCC I have tried many configurations that would overcome some of the cameras limitations. I came up with my own configuration using multiple manufacturers’ accessories for handheld and tripod for this particular shoot.

Due to the form factor of the camera – similar to a HDSLR – it has no room for built in ND’s so the options are a Matte Box or an ND fader.  

The Matte Box is from Wondlan and has 4×4 and 4x 5.65 filter trays which can have two in at one time and are rotatable. This was very handy as at times we had extreme light fluctuations so we stacked ND 1.6 and 1.3 Schneider filters together. The ND fader we used was an INCA pro and covers 2-8 stops. We found this great for the run and gun shots.

For the hand held rig I used a pair of carbon fibre 15mm rails 45cm long with Manfrotto Sympla handles and shoulder pad. This fit perfectly in the Petrol carry bag PDRB-3 and packed down quickly without having to pull everything apart. Even though I had this handheld rig I still found it easy enough to remove from the rig to shoot without it when necessary.

A limitation to the BMCC that potential customers brought up on forums was the lack of a  removable battery which limited  running time to 1.5 hours.  Personally I have always used a V Lock system on my Canon 5d MK 111 and used the same one on the BMCC and found this a good way to get over this hurdle. The Wondlan battery base plate and rail mount is a great power solution with two 12v ports… one to power the camera via D-Tap and the other to power the SDI to HDMI converter. It also has a 5v to power a 5 inch monitor like the Marshall and 7.2v if you want to use a Canon DSLR instead of the BMCC. Off a standard size V-Lock and the camera running most of the time I got around 4+ hrs powering camera, SDI-HDMI converter and monitor. For run and gun shots without the rig I knew I had at least one hour of shooting before I needed to return it to the rig.

The BMCC has HD-SDI out and this is a professional standard for broadcast monitors.  So to use a HDMI monitor like the 5 inch Marshall, I used the Black Magic SDI to HDMI battery converter. It also has a SDI split to go out to a director’s monitor.

The Marshall 5 inch monitor was a god send in the bright conditions as the touch screen on the BMCC is very reflective and is hard to see. I also put a Hoodman  7” hood over the BMCC hood to further reduce the glare. The 5 inch Marshall was used by the 1st AC for pulling focus and has focus assist and peaking. Under normal conditions the BMCC monitor is perfectly fine.

After getting over the BMCC limitations and finding the right kit for the camera I found it enjoyable and very easy to use. The final 2.5k raw files looked amazing and once graded will be incredibly pleasing.  Having 13 stops of dynamic range, 2.5 K raw, 1080 Pro Res (HQ) and Da Vinci Resolve (full version) shipping free with the camera (RRP $1085) is amazing. I would recommend this camera to anyone wanting to shoot high quality film but to be aware that you need more than just the camera to get underway. Also look out for a new range of BMCC specific rigs coming soon to John Barry.

Joshua Papp