Panasonic has recently launched a new web-based Varicam35 simulator so you can learn its functions and operations ahead of any hands-on time with the camera. The simulator is available in three versions: VariCam 35 4K cinema camera/recorder, VariCam 35 with Codex V-RAW recorder, or VariCam HS high-speed camera/recorder.
VariCam35: Practice Makes Perfect
You can access the simulators for all three camera configurations here: http://pro-av.panasonic.net/en/varicam/vcs/index.html
From the outset, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the Varicam35 for an Arri Alexa. After all, it does bear a striking resemblance to it—in how your key camera settings and status information are presented to you, as well as the layout of the controls. This is certainly not a criticism—the fact of the matter is that it works very well and appears completely intuitive to anyone familiar with the Alexa, which will be a large percentage of DPs using the Varicam35.
If you take the time to dig a little deeper into the camera menu settings you’ll find that the simulator is more than skin deep, you can see exactly what settings you can change, and exactly what presets are present.
There’s nothing like getting hands on with a camera. In my experience the first thing I gravitate towards on a brand new camera is the menu system, it’s the window to the heart and soul of the camera, it speaks of possibilities and limitations… everything comes out.
I’ve often wondered why more manufacturers don’t make simulators like this.
Panasonic have bared all in this simulator and it’s clear that they have nothing to hide. In fact, they have a lot to be proud of with the Varicam35, as it already appears to be a very capable camera system.
That leaves just one question: why not take it for a test drive yourself? It is well worth a go!