A Closer Look at the Panasonic EVA1 Prototype

We caught up with Luc at IBC 2017 to see how the Panasonic EVA1 is coming along ahead of its release later this month.

The release date for the Panasonic EVA1 is approaching soon, and many are anxiously expecting more information about the camera. At Cinegear 2017 we had a chance to chat to Luc about the EVA1, but back then Panasonic only had mockups on display. IBC 2017 saw the showcase of working prototypes, and Luc was kind enough to run us through some of the features.

Dual Native ISO

One of the biggest selling points of the Panasonic EVA1 is its Dual Native ISO settings. This means that the camera sensor offers two levels at which it can achieve its optimum performance in colour, contrast, dynamic range and noise. Both the 800 and the 2500 ISO settings will give you Native ISO performance, and you can of course add gain at any of those stages, going up to a total of 25,000 ISO. You can change Native ISO through the menu, but there is also a dedicated switch on the camera body to quickly change settings.

Panasonic EVA1 Codecs

Currently the Panasonic EVA1 supports a Long GOP codec, although an upcoming firmware update will also add an All-INTRA option. In any case, the EVA1 will be capable of 4K 422 10 Bit at 100 or 150Mbps.

The Panasonic EVA1 will record true 4K resolution thanks to its 5.7K sensor, similarly to how cameras with a 2.8K sensor record true 2K. Depending on the required frame rates, the camera will offer three different modes.

  • 4K up to 60p using the 5.7K to capture a Super 35mm area of the sensor.
  • 2K up to 120p by “mixing” pixel information, turning the sensor into essentially a 2.8K imager. This will also be in Super 35mm.
  • 4/3 mode crops the sensor to slightly larger than the Micro Four-Thirds standard at 19mm, but allows you to use a combined pixel information of 2.2K to record 2K up to 240p.

Menus & Gamma Curves

Luc also demonstrated navigating though the menu structure of the Panasonic EVA1 thanks to the touchscreen LCD. Unlike the Panasonic Varicam LT, the EVA1 does not support importing of LUTS. It does, however, offer an on-board Rec.709 display assist to facilitate shooting in flatter picture profiles.

We also saw the various gamma curves that the camera offers, including video Rec.709, as well as the high dynamic range HLG.

Additionally, Luc showed us the removable IR filter, which is accessed via a regular filter wheel just like an ND filter, making it a handy tool for documentary filmmaking when the need arises to shoot at night.

In terms of output, the HDMI port on the Panasonic EVA1 is capable of sending 4K 422 10 Bit up to 60p, making it easy to pair up with something like an Atomos recorder.

Luc also showcased the EIS (Electronic Image Stabilizer) on the Panasonic EVA1. Much like stabilising footage with software in post, the EVA1 is capable of applying an image crop of around 15% to compensate for camera shake in camera.

The Panasonic EVA1 is currently around 90% ready, but will be fully-developed and ready to ship by the end of October. The recommended retail price is €7,290, and you can pre-order it from the links below.

Will the Panasonic EVA1 dominate the entry-level cinema camera segment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Steven Charles Ching Reply
Steven Charles Ching October 6, 2017

Johnny Junior

Johnny Junior Reply
Johnny Junior October 6, 2017

Prolly going to have to get this one

Johnny Junior Reply
Johnny Junior October 6, 2017

Prolly going to have to get this one

Generated Lyfe Skeme Reply
Generated Lyfe Skeme October 6, 2017

Rob

Reply
Deniz Arslan October 6, 2017

Nobody ever spoke about how much you can push the
ISO. What will be usable? 6400, 8000… or better stay at 2500. Did Panasonic ever made a statement about that?

Luuk de Kok Reply
Luuk de Kok October 8, 2017

I Used the Panasonic Varicam LT quite a few times now and it has the same dual ISO system as this one.
If you set the Native ISO sensitivity to 5000, it’s really clean! i did some shots on 12800 and they were acceptable, but i think you shouldn’t go over 8000.

 Dave Kratz Reply
Dave Kratz October 8, 2017

Correct me if I am wrong, but the EVA-1 does NOT have the same ‘dual native’ ISO system as the Varicam LT. It has a completely different sensor that has a ‘dual native’ ISO of 800 and 2500.

Since their marketing isn’t getting specific about what ISOs are clean, I’m imagining that super low light isn’t a strong selling point of this camera.

Could that mean that it isn’t really useable at 8,000 ISO? Probably.

I’m sure there are advantages to having a native ISO of 2500 for dynamic range, but I fail to see how this feature offers a clear advantage over Canon’s sensor technology. In lower light situations there is naturally less variation in brightness anyway, and I wonder if the 2500 ISO setting is truly equal to the 800 ISO setting in dynamic range – we’ll need some real tests to see… but Panasonic has been slow to show off the camer’s footafe. I wonder why??

 Dave Kratz Reply
Dave Kratz October 6, 2017

The luster seems to be fading on this a bit more with each new release of information… 4k, 10-bit @ only 150mbps?? That makes this a broadcast ready camera? I don’t think that footage will hold up very well in post. The GH5 has better specs.

Also, 240fps windowed to a micro 4:3 crop??? What’s the point? You don’t even get the benefit of the MFT lenses because they’ve fixed it with a Canon EF mount…

I think I’m looking more and more closely at the Canon c200…

Reply
Deniz Arslan October 7, 2017

400mbps intern is coming beginning of 2018. meanwhile there is 10bit raw out for external recorders. Also in 50/60 fps. 120 fps is without any crop. 240 fps i see more as an extra. So after the update Eva1 will have the much better and versatile camera spec wise.

I was also considering the c200 but after testing it I definitely will wait for the Eva1 release. It didn’t have a very good feeling about the c200 and the limited recording options. But I guess everybody should try themselves.

 Dave Kratz Reply
Dave Kratz October 7, 2017

Yes, but the 50/60fps is only 150mbps… and it isn’t 10bit in 4k either. With the C200 the 4k raw 10bit is 1,000mbps… so if I’m planning on shooting b-roll in 60p that sounds like the better option.

I’m also concerned about the battery life on the EVA1 – stated at only 1 hour per battery, which is probably why they give you 2 and a dual position charger. You can always go external, but then it’s another system, chargers, weight, etc.

If I’m going to be shooting in raw on the EVA1, I’d have to pay an extra ~$1,000 for a external recorders, drives, batteries, etc. So that makes the camera decidedly less ergonomic than the c200 where all of that can be done internally.

 Dave Kratz Reply
Dave Kratz October 7, 2017

Additionally, the raw output is only 10bit! And from what I can gather it only records 2 channels of audio compared to the c200’s 4-channels of audio.

To me, a lot of the hype over the EVA-1 is just marketing and they’re selling a high-priced camera with a lot of old-hat tricks.

Oh, and there is no Dual Pixel Auto Focus… that is a feature of the C200 that is outright amazing.

Reply
Deniz Arslan October 7, 2017

I just checked out the specs again to be sure: http://business.panasonic.co.uk/professional-camera/sites/default/nfsfiles/professional-camera-2014/technical_downloads/AU-EVA1_PRE4P_E4_EU_v2.1.pdf

50/60fps after update will be 10bit with 200mbps. The output (hdmi&sdi) up to 50/60fps is raw 10bit. I didn’t find anything about 120/240 in this specs paper.

The battery included gives you 3h 20min and there a 2 different battery types you can use. The biggest gives you more the 5h. And there are a lot 3rd party options. The included c200 battery is around 2h and I would have to buy at least one bigger battery (4h) and it costs around 400-450 euros.

I would also need 2 256gb cfast cards to record 1 hour of raw footage wich is minimum for me. This is another 800euros. And not talking about storage for backup…

And after testing the c200: monitor is crap (unusable in daylight), viewfinder is like a 7inch monitor 7meters away – not useable. I was really testing the autofocus and it was not that good as expected. For a srtraight interview situation yes, no problem. Moving handheld camera I didn’t feel confident to the point where I put on my manual focusing lenses. In my case I would to have to buy at least one Canon l lens because I don’t own one, also don’t like them very much for shooting video. Another at least 1000 euros for the slow f4 kit lens. Low light performance also a dissapointment. It was the first time since I used the black magic production camera that I saw clear fixed pattern noise. I thought bm has a patent on that. :)

BUT: really great colors. Really nice filmic picture if treated right.

I did my calculation and for me, shogun inferno owner, Eva1 will be much less money and with the recorder I will get more out of the Eva. The monitor will als suck. On both I will have to use an external one and/or external viewfinder.

Recording 400mbps 10bit internally on “cheap” sd cards in the future is great. I think I also prefer the stabilisation over the AF. My favorite lenses don’t have stabilisation and are not AF capeable anyway. And the last thing: I was at the Eva1 roadshow and had it in my hands already. Compared to the the Eva1 the c200 really feels chunky in hand. But this is just my individual perception.

BUT: lets see what the Eva really is capeable of in terms of picture quality and in lowlight. Nobody can tell. The released footage from the pre production model had a lot of problems.

Sorry for this long post. But I feel a big releave after writing down my thoughts on this topic after keeping them for myself since weeks now… :)

 Dave Kratz Reply
Dave Kratz October 7, 2017

“50/60fps after update will be 10bit with 200mbps.” Check the specs! That is in 2k – NOT 4k! 4k 50/60 is 8bit 4:2:0 ONLY!

I’ve had my hands on a c200, and don’t think there is anything clunky about it.

Also, everything I’ve read and all the reviews I have seen say the battery is only good for 1 hour. Yes, there are other batteries available and their price points are a little lower than the BPA-60 batteries from Canon… but it sounds like the EVA consumes A LOT more power than the c200.

I’ve used the DPAF on the c200 with proper Canon lenses, it’s dead on.

Reply
Deniz Arslan October 7, 2017

Yes true, my mistake. 4K 50/60fps 10bit is only external hdmi output. That’s a downer indeed. The battery life is what I took from Panasonic specs. The clunky feeling is directly compared to the Eva and as I wrote it’s just an individual perspective. Don’t take me too serious on that.

I am also very unsure about the Eva1. I was very close buying a c200. But after shooting with it it was clear for me to wait for the Eva and give it also a test before making a decision.

Reply
paolo baroni October 7, 2017

yes but aren’t you tired of this buy now features in the future?? aka gh5 codec 6 months later…..

Reply
paolo baroni October 7, 2017

yes micro4/3 crop on ff lenses means u can go on 10.5mm fisheye top…..this means u will never have a proper wide angle with cropping….this plus ef mount will kill eva1

Reply
Alexander Torro October 7, 2017

Is one of the scene file options “EVA look 1” or EVALOOK 2 as a scene file preset like on the Varicam Lt?? Only on the LT..its v look 1 or v look 2? So, do we get this cine curve EVA LOOK?

Carlos Angella Reply
Carlos Angella October 8, 2017

I pay 6.000 € + Tax the EVA1 here in Spain. The best price I saw around. I am waiting for it