Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28
  1. Collapse Details
    Owners Input / Experiences
    #1
    Default
    I am heavily considering a Varicam LT purchase and wanted to get some thoughts on the camera from current or previous owners of not only the image quality but also user experience. Doing a quick browse here in the forums it seems the LT owners arenít very active so I thought it was worth a shot to start a new thread.

    Just for reference, I am coming from a Sony FS7 and the other camera on my radar is (of course) the Arri Amira but for twice the money I am not sure you get twice the results. If anyone has experience with both and can provide feedback on both that would be great too.
    Jeremey
    --
    "That's just my opinion...I could be wrong"


    Reply With Quote
     

  2. Collapse Details
    #2
    Default
    Image quality is incredible. Color reproduction is great, with differentiation between even the slightest changes in value and saturation in a scene. And yes da skin tones. There are reviews/tests out there that show that stuff, but also the footage just looks beautiful in my subjective experience. The camera is very sharp, 4k, 2k, and 1080p all. I can't imagine needing something sharper. The image just feels so robust.

    User experience has also been fantastic. I've done small crew short film and pilot projects and corporate video with it mainly on dolly and sticks, as well as some 8 hr days with the panasonic shoulder support. It' s just solid all around. If you look for reviews you'll see the same notes about "slow reboot time" and "no physical audio dials," which to me are eye-rolling small. If you change frame rates / resolution yes it needs to do a software restart, and yes it takes something like 15s, but who cares? Picture is back sooner so you can start finding your frame and getting set, and then you blink and the camera is ready to record. You will find comments "time is money," and "seconds count on set." I just think it's kind of silly. Like why did you need to switch back and forth from 24 to 120p 10 times in an hour? Seems like a planning issue and not a varicam one.

    And similar with the audio dials. If you're recording audio into the camera, just program one of your user buttons to bring up audio levels, they will pop right up on the control panel and you use the buttons to level up and down. So audio control is 1 button press to display, and 1 button press to adjust. 1 extra press. I think it's a pretty minor gripe seeing as how REDs and ALEXAs don't have any audio control (or inputs) whatsoever until you add attachments.

    I've been shooting with it about 10 months and have never had any bugs, overheating, or media problems. It's a workhorse.


    Reply With Quote
     

  3. Collapse Details
    #3
    Default
    It’s great to hear from an owner; I was beginning to worry but I guess when you get up to certain level / cost of camera the user base gets smaller and of that group a lot probably don’t frequent the forums.

    The reboot times for changes did concern me; I shoot a fair amount of docu-style so I have to work on the fly. Also, how do you find the crop for slo-mo? This is one area the FS7 spoils you...the full frame slo-mo.
    Jeremey
    --
    "That's just my opinion...I could be wrong"


    Reply With Quote
     

  4. Collapse Details
    #4
    Default
    Here's a short sample clip. 240 fps crop, 2k-LT codec. It's an uncorrected clip that I just threw a V-log to Panasonic 709 LUT on.

    One huge asterisk: this was shot with an absolutely vile canon kit (backup) lens due to circumstances on the day. It's still sharp but I have to assume it would have come out nicer shooting with a proper lens.



    Honestly I don't do much overcrank above 60fps. But I've been satisfied with the few shots done in 120/240 crop. If you do a lot of work in 4k 120fps, this obviously isn't the tool. I was a little hesitant when I was buying having that thought "what if I need x," but I realized I shoot extreme slow mo (120+) so rarely that I could easily rent a camera if some project called for that. And I've needed the 120+ stuff precisely once in 10 months, but that's just me of course.


    Reply With Quote
     

  5. Collapse Details
    #5
    Default
    I do a fair bit of over-crank myself; most of it does fall at 60fps but some goes up to 180 (FS7 max). The quality looks good on the Varicam LT (as expected) but I am more concerned about a 20mm becoming a 40mm due to crop...sometimes getting those wide shots are tough enough, you know?


    Reply With Quote
     

  6. Collapse Details
    #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    385
    Default
    I've tested the Amira and Varicam LT side by side with the same lens and I'd say it is a matter of taste which image you prefer. The main difference in the image is that the LT offers higher resolution and better low light capability, that the Amira shoots better slow-motion internally and that the LT crops the sensor in HFR. If you add an O7Q to the LT and shoot HFR in raw, then the image will be much better than recording HFR internally in the LT. A setup with LT+O7Q is not ideal for documentary work (raw is so much data and it's a more heavy and cumbersome setup), but my guess is that it's still lighter than an Amira. I think (I'm not sure though) that the Shogun Inferno can record the LT HFR raw output transformed to ProRes, which will reduce the amount of data but still probably give you a better image than the compressed HFR LT-codec. The Inferno will not record the 4K 60p or 2K 200-240p raw AFAIK since it has only one SSD drive. Since the LT already can record in ProRes it would have been lovely if that choice was available internally in the camera for HFR, but unfortunately it is not.

    Regarding the boot up times for changing the codec, resolution and such, for me it's not a big deal. My experience is that many cameras have more or less complicated menus to dig through when those settings are being applied, so it takes time anyway. On the LT doing those changes is quite simple. If there was a button for changing user setups, that would've been great, but for some reason many cameras don't seem to have that.

    Regarding the audio I never record more than two channels at the same time internally (if it's a bigger production then there's someone recording audio separately anyway). This means that I can record input 3 to channels 1 and 3 and input 4 to channels 2 and 4, and set different volumes for the inputs. Then you can have a lower input back-up if for some reason the audio is distorted.

    Here's a test between different cameras, Amira and LT included:
    https://www.agdok.de/de_DE/cameratest
    Last edited by Milan O.; 03-07-2018 at 02:05 PM.


    Reply With Quote
     

  7. Collapse Details
    #7
    Default
    Thank you very much for the link. It appears their conclusion is much like the one you summarized above which is: the Varicam LT is pretty darn close to the Amira in every way except HFR and if you need above ISO 1600 the Varicam LT is better. Ugh! Tough choice for twice the money
    Jeremey
    --
    "That's just my opinion...I could be wrong"


    Reply With Quote
     

  8. Collapse Details
    #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    6,648
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by digitalinnovations View Post
    Thank you very much for the link. It appears their conclusion is much like the one you summarized above which is: the Varicam LT is pretty darn close to the Amira in every way except HFR and if you need above ISO 1600 the Varicam LT is better. Ugh! Tough choice for twice the money
    And VariCam offers true 4K instead of uprezzing.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


    Reply With Quote
     

  9. Collapse Details
    #9
    Default
    I don't mean to sidetrack the topic, but Milan or Mitch, could you elaborate on a bit of info in that link: "Footage shot at 200fps can be improved by exporting from the Panasonic P2 viewer." I haven't used p2 viewer much and am not familiar with its ins and outs.


    Reply With Quote
     

  10. Collapse Details
    #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Holllywood, California
    Posts
    117
    Default
    Hi, I just wanted to chime in on Amira vs Varicam. The Arri sensor is like a dinosaur compared to the Varicam. The colors captured feel more vivid and dimensional from Panasonic and the Dual ISO is really a game changer. The sensor texture/grain structure from the LT is beautiful, and the images are in a way different league from the Sony which most people agree has crappy skin tones.

    If people are saying changing frame rates and rebooting is the weakest point of the camera. Keep in mind I can change frame rates and reboot faster than I can swap lenses, mattebox and realign follow focus. And I've yet to have someone complain about that kind of production change. I can't imagine anybody getting really upset about HFR switching.

    It's kind of a silly point for me at least.

    Hope you get an LT, you'll love it!


    Reply With Quote
     

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •