Jump to content



Photo

Panasonic VariCam


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Mike Germond SOC

Mike Germond SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 468 posts
  • Orlando Steadicam LLC

Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:17 PM

The Panasonic VariCam may be playing a large part in my career very soon. I'm curious what I should be prepared for. Here's what I'm working with:

-Flyer LE (SD Monitor, arm tested to 25lbs)
-Terry West power distro box for multiple P-Taps and multiple XLR4's
-BFD/SLD100
-Coss Video Transmitter

My main concerns are weight and necessity of a down converter.

Anything else to look out for?
  • 0

#2 Brian Freesh

Brian Freesh

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 922 posts
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:01 PM

That's 25lbs camera weight right? Not total weight on the arm?

I've put 25lbs of camera on my 2nd gen Flyer just to prove I could (there's a picture floating around here somewhere with an LT on my rig), but I will never operate with more than a 20lb camera set-up for fear of over-stressing the gimbal (unless I replace with a beefier gimbal!). You're not gonna win the insurance claim on that either, being over the official weight of the rig it would be your fault the rig broke (hopefully not all over the actor!). In your concerns about weight, keep that in mind.

I'm quite certain you can put a Varicam on your rig within a 20lb set-up, but I imagine it'll be fairly stripped down.

You should see the looks I get from the guys at Tiffen when I tell them what I've put on my rig!

Brian |-)~
  • 0

#3 Ramon Engle

Ramon Engle

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 506 posts
  • Atlanta

Posted 13 November 2009 - 12:48 AM

Yes its beefy once you load it up with all the bells and whisltes but there is a bonus! You don't need a low mode cage. You can invoke the Scan Reverse and invert the image and just flip the sled upside down. It's quick and easy. Just make sure you know the proper menu sequence to get to the Scan Reverse.

Ramon
  • 0

#4 Jess Haas SOC

Jess Haas SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1145 posts
  • Culver City, CA

Posted 13 November 2009 - 12:56 AM

I did once use a Varicam that didn't have the scan reverse function. It was the oldest varicam of many that the company owned and someone later told me that it was purchased gray market so that may have had something to do with it. Yes it was actually a varicam and not some other model it just seemed to have a slightly different firmware. Every other varicam I have ever run into has had it, so im not sure how common ones without it are but they do exist.

~Jess
  • 0

#5 chris fawcett

chris fawcett

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1016 posts
  • Europe

Posted 13 November 2009 - 04:13 AM

Mike,

Keeping the camera close to the Flyer stage is good. A custom plate like this will help with balance and also reduce weight.

All the best,

Chris
  • 0

#6 Mike Germond SOC

Mike Germond SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 468 posts
  • Orlando Steadicam LLC

Posted 13 November 2009 - 11:53 AM

Thanks for the response,

That 25lbs figure is Camera Weight. I figured it out by gaff taping a 25lb dumbbell to the dovetail plate. My arm flew it with no sagging all the way tuned up.

It's not going to be "Cinema'ed out" from what I've seen. The company owns 4-5 of them and a few other HVX500's as well.

Chris, how would one go about getting one of those plates or having one made?

Thanks,
Mike
  • 0

#7 chris fawcett

chris fawcett

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1016 posts
  • Europe

Posted 13 November 2009 - 12:13 PM

Chris, how would one go about getting one of those plates or having one made?

Just present the camera to a machinist to measure up the spacings, and show that picture. That's a line of 3/8-16 holes along there. It's an easy job (when you know what you are doing). If you are expecting to work a lot with that camera/rig combination, I really recommend it.

All the best,

Chris
  • 0

#8 Brandon Thompson

Brandon Thompson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 77 posts

Posted 13 November 2009 - 01:48 PM

Mike,
I have never flown the varicam on my flyer, but did fly the hdx900. I agree that the flyer arm can handle 23-25lbs. I also agree that it is alot of stress on the gimbal, and also i felt some flex in the post. I lost the viewfinder, carried a bfd/m-one, and a vid tx. I would into the downconverter for the varicam. I'm on a show now with the varicam, not steadi, and we have to have downconverter for the sd vid tx. Good luck,
Brandon
  • 0

#9 Mike Germond SOC

Mike Germond SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 468 posts
  • Orlando Steadicam LLC

Posted 13 November 2009 - 01:52 PM

Looks like it's about that time to finally invest in the RedByte. Anyone know if there are dealers local to Florida? Or if not, who's the best person to contact?

Thanks for all the tips
  • 0

#10 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 13 November 2009 - 03:26 PM

Call Perry Drogo at TECADS, 949-597-1053. He's the US rep and can tell you who is a dealer in FL.
  • 0

#11 Kevin Andrews SOC

Kevin Andrews SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 348 posts
  • Denver CO

Posted 13 November 2009 - 04:47 PM

Mike, from my experience, the Varicams have sd monitor out connections on the side like most large eng cameras. There are some menu settings that need to be checked in the camera to make the sd signal color.
  • 0

#12 Mike Germond SOC

Mike Germond SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 468 posts
  • Orlando Steadicam LLC

Posted 13 November 2009 - 09:01 PM

While it's a good time to finally get the RedByte, it sounds like the prod company already has their own downconverter (AJA). I've touched base with operators in the area to confirm it..

Unfortunately, not many features in the area that would require it either..
  • 0

#13 RonBaldwin

RonBaldwin

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2351 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:21 AM

I am flying this camera on an episodic tv show now. The ports are assignable and as mentioned the image easily flips for low mode. I don't use a down converter so there's a small frame delay.

I know little about the camera except that it belongs on a reporters shoulder and not on a tv set. The one I'm using is the newer model with the cards. With primes it's really small and light. With the wide zoom (Zeiss 6 to 24mm) in steadi-mode it's fairly long and my best guess about 30 lbs -- this is with the camwave, idx pwr cube, clock-it box, preston motor, clip on matte box, quick release plate and rods for lens support. Yes, lens support! ...the lens mount is a bit wonky allowing the focus motor to push the lens up/down -- so we have to fly with rods. Panavision made this dumb-ass rod mount that won't stop the rods from spinning and a dandy counter-intuitive "quick" release plate that we all love to fight with on the set in front of everyone (buy a rubber mallet and lisagav).

rb
  • 0

#14 Mike Germond SOC

Mike Germond SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 468 posts
  • Orlando Steadicam LLC

Posted 14 November 2009 - 12:01 PM

I believe they only have the ENG zoom lenses, but I plan on flying bare using sled power with only a BFD and Coss Transmitter. I have 15mm aluminum rods for my dovetail, but no means of lens support. I'll have to ask the guys around here that have flown this package what they thought about it. I had the same issue with the lens motor tweaking the lens on the 5D with Canon's 70mm-200mm.

Here's what it boils down to:
Varicam - 10.8lbs
BFD - 2lbs
Coss Transmitter - >1lb
Zoom Lens - ~5-6lbs

So on paper, it's still within my rigs capacity with 2 IDX batteries on board. I could see how it might get heavier quickly though..
  • 0

#15 Aaron Medick SOC

Aaron Medick SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 174 posts
  • NYC

Posted 14 November 2009 - 11:27 PM

Find out about sound. if you are getting wireless sound find out what the sound guys plans are. talk to him/her directly. Some guys show up with light recievers and attachment gear. Others show up with heavy cables and machined hard mounts.

I probably don't have to mention this, but Don't even consider teathered sound.

Double check on the analog signal. I know the new panasonics have a VBS setting, but I feel like the older varicams(tape) needed a external down converter. I see that you have AJA, but every pound counts so better to know before you show up.

Have lots of charged batteries and a charging station setup close.
  • 0




SkyDreams

Teradek

GPI Pro Systems

rebotnix Technologies

PLC - Bartech

Omnishot Systems

Engineered Cinema Solutions

Boland Communications

Paralinx LLC

IDX

Ritter Battery

BOXX

Wireless Video Systems

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

PLC Electronics Solutions

Varizoom Follow Focus

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS