First look at Varicam Pure 4K raw footage

Written by David Shapton

Oona MengesVariCam Pure: transcendent luminosity not often associated with the Houses of Parliament

The VariCam Pure turned heads when it was announced ahead of IBC last year and now, having seen some of the first footage from it, you can see exactly why.

Well this is interesting and frustrating in equal measures. It's interesting because the VariCam Pure camera from Panasonic is quite unique, not least in its ability to shoot with a native sensitivity of 5000 ISO. It's frustrating because unless you have an extremely good monitor you won't be able to appreciate the level of detail and the dynamic range in this clip. (Although if you download it and turn your brightness up, you will at least get an impression of how good it is).

A few weeks back, I went to a presentation by four users of VariCams at the Dolby Theatre in London's Soho Square. There we were treated to some samples of the filmmakers' work, including a piece by Oona Menges, which grabbed my attention because it was sharp but incredibly intimate. There was a sort of transcendent luminosity to it which I put down partly to the scenes themselves - a mixture of sunset-hour shots by the South Bank of the Thames and night-time street scenes.

I'm not often tempted to use a pretentious-sounding phrase like "transcendent luminosity" but in this case it's appropriate and I think it's something to do with the fact that the camera can so effortlessly capture 4K footage in very low light, almost without even having to try.

The VariCam Pure is a VariCam 35 at the front with a Codex backend, a feature that extends to Codex's own DI workflow. This is a great combination because you get raw 4K at up to 120fps with an easy-to-handle workflow that's well understood in the industry.

Have a look at the clip. If you have time, download it at the highest quality. And turn the brightness up. It won't give you true HDR but you'll miss a lot if you don't watch it at a suitable brightness.

Here's the link: VariCam Pure 4K Uncompressed Raw footage 120 fps

Tags: Production

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