Panasonic has a basket of product announcements and upgrades for the Las Vegas show
Panasonic’s 100 years old this year. It has obviously been making digital video cameras for somewhat less than that but nevertheless it’s quite sobering to think that there even are century-old technology companies.
We’ll run through the major announcements here. They’re all significant in their own way.
AK-UC4000 Studio Camera
Studio cameras are becoming more capable as the future approaches us like a tornado. 4K and HDR are now a staple part of broadcasting’s future, as is slow motion.
The AK-UC4000 does all of these with 4.4K native resolution and 240 fps capability. (240 FPS capability will be introduced through a software upgrade in Autumn/Fall 2018).
The Panasonic AK-UC4000 Studio Camera
EVA1 2.0 Firmware upgrade
The EVA1 camera has just received what is these days considered to be an important accolade, which is that it’s been certified as a suitable video source for Netflix.
Meanwhile, the lightweight 5.7k camera has received an important update.
EVA 2.0 is a free firmware upgrade that allows recording with All I-Frame formats and raw data output at 5.7K. The timing of this is excellent because it means that both the EVA1 and the VariCam LT will be able to output to Atomos recorders that support ProRes Raw, and that this material will be editable in Final Cut Pro X with all the flexibility that comes with Raw and without the crushing data rates and processor overhead. It means, essentially, that you’ll be able to work with Raw footage from these cameras as easily as you work with “normal” video files.
AV-HLC100 Live Production Centre with NDI (Network Device Interface)
It’s a 1 ME switcher, remote camera controller with graphics overlay capability. It combines streaming/recording and an audio mixer function to act as the hub for a one-person live streaming operation. NDI support is significant because it will not only simplify cabling, but will allow easy integration with dozens of other NDI devices by third parties. (NDI is an openly available Video over IP protocol created by NewTek.)
The AV-HLC100 Livew Production Centre
VariCam LT version 6.0 firmware
This firmware upgrade allows the LT, which is at core a cinema camera, to operate as a live TV camera. It can also operate “as live”, recording “as live” to internal media. This new firmware represents an important new direction for the VariCam LT and it’s clear that a lot of work has gone into making it integrate deeply with the quite different demands of live TV production.
There’s nothing that’s going to stop the Earth on its axis here, but while there are no big headlines, these announcements show that Panasonic continues to innovate and to create thoughtfully designed products.
Panasonic's press release follows on the next page.