This is the chameleon of HD cameras. When you need top end HD acquisition for commercials or documentaries where dynamic range and the ability to grade in post is important, the Varicam is used in FILM REC mode. This is the same principle as shooting in RAW modes on RED or ARRI, also called a “flat pass” and is recorded in AVC INTRA 100 codec, giving you the best balance between quality and file size.
When you need to shoot an ENG style project where post grade may not be feasible due to cost or time restraints, the Varicam is used in VIDEO REC mode. Using the extensive menus, you can create a “baked in” look that will make colourists fear for their need in the business. Various Gamma curves can be chosen and Matrix and colour correction setups create graded looks which are just a switch away! Store these setups on SD card onboard and recall them with ease, even years later.
Either of these modes utilizes 1920×1080 pixels which is the resolution the editors will end up with after they bring your high res files from ARRI or RED into the edit system anyhow. All of this as well as various sytems like 24p, 23.98, 25p, 30p, 50i, and 60i at any frame rate between 2 and 60 frames per second.
Depth of field is always the argument I hear about the difference between the Varicam and the big format CMOS cameras. The Varicam produces the same “look” at f2.8 as the CMOS cameras produce at f8. That is the f-stop on big sensor cameras where the depth of field looks right to the viewer and is mostly used. I just do it with a lot less light on the Varicam! Now I’m saving you money too, it’s a no-brainer!
Oh and by the way, it’s also cheaper to rent than the other cameras.Comments (0)