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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.

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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.

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Timecode input/output is via a BNC connector. It also has Genlock In via BNC as well.

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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:

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hit the Menu button then Rec Settings:

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Then enter the TC menu:

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From there, if connecting an external timecode source, set Free/Rec Run to Record Run

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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.

 

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It was a loaner from Panasonic to the DP, who has something of a social media following.

A BTS video has been posted to his site, but it would likely only be of interest to camera gearheads.

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Thanks Scott, we have 4 LT's at the ABC here in Sydney AU. The Shooters seem very happy with them. If you look on the right hand side(Pic 3) there is a small door with a USB port. Its meant for a Panasonic dongle that enables WiFi access to various functions and I think live pics. We are ordering some so i'll report back later. We have made our own mounts for the Camera mic and use Ambient V-Lock boxes for the SR receivers. The Tentacle Sync boxes fit nicely on those too. Having easy access to the menus via the monitor is really good but the positioning of all relevant inputs/outputs on the side is even better!

Its also handy for keeping the sand off my 816 ;))

Cheers,

Steve Ravich

ABC TV

Sydney AU

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Over here where I live "Shortland Street" (NZ's longest running tv series) recently switched over from their old old cameras to using 3x Varicams.

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On 7/28/2016 at 8:26 PM, sarcanon said:

So I thought I would pass along a report of my experiences.

Great information, sarcanon.

Like Philip, I've not encountered this one yet, but I'm sure it's in my future. Before I encounter any new camera, I always download the manual and place it on my desktop. I then print out the audio pages, to go along with me to the location, compiled with ANY other notes regarding the audio components.....so thanks!

Incidentally, my fav DP had the first Varicam in Florida. He loved it dearly. He would often reluctantly give 'deals' to those producers interested in foisting some tiny menu driven camera on him, avoiding the fight to use those models.

Maybe this one will be just as loved...

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Has Panasonic finally let go of that weirdo sync aspect of the old Varicams where everything was really 29.97 no matter what you called the frame rate, thus using Lockits meant you were always crossjamming?  IE is 23.98 now really 23.98?

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