Panasonic will introduce a 4K VariCam camcorder next year and aims to fill the void in the middle ground for mainstream 4K broadcasting, with switchers, palmcorders, field recorders and other 4K products. It will ship its first 4K production monitor in December.
“There are high-end cameras and some consumer cameras, but for TV production there isn’t much choice,” said Rob Tarrant, Panasonic’s European product manager, Broadcast and Pro AV (pictured). “It’s not just 4K cameras, but also having an efficient, effective workflow.”
Its 4K/2K/HD codec will be AVC-Ultra444, the latest extension of the AVC-Intra compression format widely used for HD recording. Exact bitrates aren’t yet known, as 12-bit 4:4:4 means it won’t just be four times AVC-Ultra 100 (which is 10-bit 4:2:2). Panasonic will have to balance data rates and picture quality. “That is why some people will say we are late to the market, but we’ve been studying the market to see how we can fulfil it,” he said.
The VariCam will use large-scale integration chip technology (LSI), support 4K shooting from 24p to 100/120p and use a newly developed Super35mm-size high sensitivity sensor offering wide dynamic range, extended colour space, and support for Log.
To support the high bit rates, Panasonic is also developing new Ultra P2 cards with a high speed PCIe interface (256GB initially) that will start shipping in conjunction with the 4K VariCam, which should be on show by IBC next year.
BT-4LH310 4K monitor
Panasonic’s new 31-inch 4096x2160-resolution LCD display is aimed at 4K/2K monitoring for studio or location use. The BT-4LH310 uses a 10-bit IPS panel offering a wide viewing angle and faithful reproduction of up to 1.07 billion colours. Besides 4K, the 4LH310 can portray up to four screens in 2K and HD resolutions.
The LCD monitor has multiple professional inputs (including 3G/HD-SDI, HDMI and DisplayPort, GPI, RS-232C and RS-485), true colour processing with a 3D look-up table with six-pole colour correction (including a LUT for each signal level), HD closed captioning via an SDI input, and should be eco friendly with its mercury-free LED backlight.
For location use, it has a tough aluminium frame, can operate on 28v DC as well as AC, has worldwide 59.94/50Hz compatibility and VESA screws for mounting, as well as a supplied stand.
For digital cinema, it supports the DCI-P3 colour space and a LUT upload function. It can also accurately display the ITU-R BT.709 colour space. Advanced assist features include a Y-Map display that makes it easy to confirm luminance level map, and a Zebra display. It has wide 178º vertical and horizontal viewing angles.
By David Fox