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I got a chance to work with the Panasonic Varicam LT last week, and saw that no one has yet posted any information about it. So I thought I would pass along a report of my experiences. All in all, no surprises with this well appointed cinema camera. I don't know how similar to or different from its bigger brother (Varicam) it is, not having worked with one. It support four channels of audio input. It has an XLR-5F for a stereo mic in on Inputs 1 & 2. It has two more mono XLR jacks for inputs 3 and 4. All four inputs can be recorded simultaneously, with 48V phantom power available in each. Internal recording is 24-bit 48KHz. Input levels are controlled via menus. Timecode input/output is via a BNC connector. It also has Genlock In via BNC as well. Configuration of timecode via the menus is straightforward. However, before you start, one gotcha to aware of before you attempt configure timecode is to make certain the camera is NOT in Variable Frame Rate mode and that a static Frame Rate has been set. When the Varicam is in VFR mode, timecode will be locked in Record Run mode, and it will not except an external timecode signal. Learned this the hard way when I couldn't figure why it wouldn't accept jamming from my Ambient LockIt. From the home screen: hit the Menu button then Rec Settings: Then enter the TC menu: From there, if connecting an external timecode source, set Free/Rec Run to Record Run and set the TC In/Out Sel menu to TC In. I could not detect any fan noise at all, though admittedly I never got closer than a meter away while rolling and none of our takes ever exceeded five or six minutes at a time. In case you would like to consult the manual directly, here are links to the PDF and HTML versions. That's about it. Beats working with any Red camera, hands down.
I mentioned the Panasonic Lumix GH2 in the Alexa thread, and a number of other sound people chimed in about being happy GH2 owners as well, so I thought it deserved its own thread. It says a lot to me that so many sound people are buying a camera with a sub-mini 2.5mm audio input. It was a big metal leap for me to convince myself to buy a camera with such a tiny audio input, but I'm glad I did. This camera is a lot smaller than most HDSLR's, and the video image is just as good, and in many respects, far better than even the steepest competition. The only thing that I've grown not to like is the 2x crop factor. Someday I'd love to bump up to a full-sized sensor. But for the time being, the Lumix GH2 is a fantastic little camera. The still images it takes look amazing on it as well. I'd also like to point out to the good folks at Remote Audio that their sweet Location Pro Adapt-a-Pak products currently do not include any 2.5mm adapters. In the near future, as cameras shrink down in size, I think we're going to see this input more and more.