Panasonic Connect, the business-to-business arm of Panasonic Group, recently introduced a 4K PL-mount “studio camera for live cinematic video with shallow depth of field.”

The model AK-PLV100GSJ 4K professional cinema camera, presented here for curious 4K tech videophiles, is equipped with a 5.7K Super 35 sensor and PL mount. The new camera is basically the studio version of the company’s popular (in cinema-equipment circles) VariCam with greater IP systems control needed for next-level in-studio productions.

The camera is slated for release in the first quarter of 2023. Pricing was not disclosed. The camera is intended to produce high-quality video content for streaming platforms, while also enabling the capture of cinematic-quality sports broadcasts, and news segments.

With the advent of cameras like the AK-PLV100GSJ broadcast-based productions like live sports, news and music performances captured using larger sensors and high-resolution cameras with PL mounts will appear much more cinematic.

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Among the system benefits is the ability to easily switch capture frame rates to a Cinematic 24p/30p on a standard broadcast 60p system. It also includes V-LOG output for wide dynamic range and rich color gamut, along with Dual Native ISO for high quality low-light reproduction.

The AK-PLV100GSJ is described as “a fully-enabled system camera,” compatible with the the AK-HCU250 and AK-UCU600 camera control units, and therefore a companion to existing B4 mount camera systems.

“To capture cinematic video, simply swap the existing camera head with the AK-PLV100GSJ. The camera also leverages Panasonic’s expertise IP-based live production. It outputs 12G-SDI signals from the camera head and can interface with return, control and other communications directly, or through ST 2110 when used without a CCU,” the announcement said.

The feature combination enables the AK-PLV100GSJ to provide flexibility and control to media professionals without sacrificing production quality.

The system is also future ready to support production studios upgrading to more connected, IP-based workflows. For starters, the camera will feature SMPTE2110 compatibility. This will enable more streamlined connection to the KAIROS IT/IP platform, which gives professionals unlimited control to deliver rich content to multiple screens and streams, the company said.

SMPTE ST2110 is a suite of standards from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) enabling sending digital media over an IP network. The standard suite is said to stress quality and flexibility over bandwidth efficiency.

SMPTE ST2110 input/output is possible directly from the AK-PLV100GSJ camera head without connecting to a CCU, enabling IP-based live production with just the camera, doing away with the need for complicated systems.

Panasonic said “this 4K studio camera from Panasonic is equipped with a 5.7K Super 35 mm sensor and PL mount, inheriting the design concept of our VariCam camera, allowing for powerfully expressive live cinematic video closer to creator’s intention with a shallow depth of field.”

The camera head is said to be fully compatible with equipment in Panasonic’s 2/3-inch studio-camera system. Replacing the existing camera head with the AK-PLV100GSJ will enable cinematic video with the existing CCU (AK-UCU600 or AK-HCU250).

A portion of the AK-PLV100GSJ specs, source: Panasonic

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By Greg Tarr

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