Just a few days ago we got information on the new Canon C200, a 4K video camera with a number of interesting features including internal raw recording. While people were scoping the new Canon camera and talking about how it fit into the market with BlackMagic and Sony products, there was no mention of Panasonic for good reason – they didn't offer a feature-rich 4K capable camera, with interchangeable lenses, around the $7,500 mark. But coming this fall, that's going to change with the AU-EVA1.
So let me break down what's supposedly going to be awesome about this camera (there's no production footage or final cameras in the field just yet, so this is based on the specs and commentary provided by Panasonic).
All New 5.7K Sensor
Yep. This might seem unnecessary, but Panasonic has implemented a 5.7K Sensor so that the footage natively starts at a higher resolution, and when resolved to 4K or even 1080p, the final image will be finer and more accurate. They aren't just trimming the edges of the frame, but using the entirety of the sensor to resolve a 4K image from a 5.7K sensor. Very interesting. A 5.7K RAW output won't be available upon release, but at a later date it is planned to come in the form of a firmware update.
- 4K up to 60p
- 2K up to 240fps
- 10-bit 4:2:2
- Up to 400Mbps
- Records all of this to SDXC cards!
There is Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) inside the camera body itself, providing stabilizing for lenses. Speaking of lenses, the EVA1 is going to come out with an EF mount. The camera looks prime for run and gun style shooting with a top handle, LCD, and weighing only 2.6 lbs. The handgrip can be removed so that the camera can fit onto jibs, gimbals, and other mounts easily, so that's cool too.
Something I'm most excited about is the implementation of Dual Native ISO, something utilized on Panasonic's higher end cameras like the Varicam. This should mean that the EVA1 will perform great in low light situations. Another feature pulled from the Varicam lineup is V-Log and V-Gamut. This will give users color profile options for a wider dynamic range.
There's no EVF, so outdoor shooters will likely need a loupe or eyepiece to really see their image well. What outdoor filmmakers will be excited to see however, are the integrated ND filters in 2, 4, and 6 stops.
Varicam users will likely feel at home with this system, since they seem to share a lot of features. The EVA1 would be a great B-camera on a Varicam shoot where it might be easier to rig or mount a smaller, lighter camera in various places. It's definitely a step up from a GH4, with things like ND, XLR inputs, and an EF mount. If someone thought the DVX200 looked cool but they weren't interested in a fixed-lens system, then this would be perfect for them.
People shopping for cameras between $5,000 and $10,000 should consider the latest from Panasonic, as the robust codec, affordable media and variety of recording formats make it a versatile choice. Whether you're excited for it or not, it's great to see more competition in this part of the market.