There are a lot of big names in the cinema camera game, with fresh brands like Blackmagic Design cropping up to compete with the big boys on a regular basis. Even so, there are still a few giants within the industry, and Panasonic has been taking steps to solidify its position in this category over the last few years. this Renaissance started with the high-end Varicam models, but now the brand is turning its attention to the indie film market with a much more affordable option – the AU-EVA1, which was announced in early June at the 2017 Cine Gear Expo in LA.
At a glance: The Panasonic AU-EVA1
Here's what you need to know. The Panasonic AU-EVA1 is a lightweight Super 35mm camera with an EF mount and all the trimmings cinematographers need to create gorgeous footage. The sensor alone is worth delving into – an all-new 5.7K beast that can downsample to standard 4K, UHD and so on, all the way down to 720p. There are all sorts of benefits to this, with News Shooter explaining that: "Having such a large sensor increases the amount of colour information and results in a finer, more accurate image. We have seen this in action on other cameras and it's a proven way to deliver a more detailed image overall as well as increase the camera's sensitivity. A real win-win here."
The Panasonic AU-EVA1 is a lightweight Super 35mm camera with an EF mount and all the trimmings.
Not only can this sensor capture 5.7K at normal speeds, it's also got the ability to record in 4K at 60 frames per second, and at 2K at up to 240 frames per second. It's not all about the video though, the AU-EVA1 also features dual balanced XLR inputs, making it an all-in-one powerhouse for productions of all shapes and sizes.
Another standout feature is the camera's price. Although we haven't heard the final word on what this will be in New Zealand, the US price is set at below $8,000, which works out to just under NZ$11,000. Considering the incredible image quality and wealth of features that come bundled with the AU-EVA1, this is a real bargain price that places the camera firmly in line with similar models like the also recently announced Canon C200.
Designed for run-and-gun cinematography
One of the most exciting aspects of the AU-EVA1 is that Panasonic has clearly designed the camera with its users in mind. Whether that's a low-budget film DOP or a one-man-band documentarian, the 1.2kg weight makes it easy for single operators to get the most out of the camera without having to sacrifice quality for ease-of-use. If you're taking things even further with a Steadicam or gimbal, the in-built Electronic Image Stabilisation ensures action shots remain smooth and steady.
The EF mount also means that users can retain the flexibility of any existing DSLR lenses. While PL lenses may be the benchmark for film, it often isn't realistic for lower budget projects to access a full set of them, so EF provides an affordable alternative.
Finally, there's dual native ISO, a feature the AU-EVA1 shares with the higher-end Varicams. If the AU-EVA1 ends up anywhere near as fantastic in low-light scenarios as its more expensive cousins, there'll be a lot of very happy DOPs out there – especially on indie projects where there isn't much in way of a lighting budget.
For more information on the new Panasonic AU-EVA1 and everything else production-related, contact DVT today.
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