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Anyone know when the VariCam first became available?

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Noah Kadner
Anyone know when the VariCam first became available?
on Apr 22, 2008 at 4:22:33 pm

I'm writing a story about HD video cameras. Anyone know when the VariCam first hit the market?

-Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color. Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook
http://www.callboxlive.com



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Leo Ticheli
Re: Anyone know when the VariCam first became available?
on Apr 22, 2008 at 10:17:13 pm

I believe it was in 2003; I'll check to make sure. Could be in 2002. I don't think it was called VariCam initially, but" 27V Electronic Cinema Camera." Or something close to that. Panasonic quickly discovered how popular the variable frame-rate feature was and started calling it the VariCam.

We took delivery of one of the first, if not the first, VariCam in the Southeast; it was, and still is, a fabulous camera. Ergonomic, reliable, and producing beautiful pictures; it really changed the business in a profound way, easily rivaling film for most jobs.

About a year or two ago we bought our second VariCam, the "H" model, and if I had a good reason to continue with tape-based acquisition, VariCam would be my choice, but we've moved on. I think Panasonic still has my ages-old interview about the VariCam on their web site.

Let me know if I can be of further help.

Best regards,

Leo






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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: Anyone know when the VariCam first became available?
on Apr 22, 2008 at 10:32:07 pm

Hi,

The very first group to AJ-HDC27s did not have variable frame and were sold to NASA. That was in early 2001 or late 2000. I was living in LA at the time, the Varicam in it variable frame rate version was introduced in 2001 and we basically had people look at us as though we had a screw loose, but then they quickly caught the idea.

They started to become popular toward the end of 2002 as more edit systems started to work with 720P. 2003 was a tuning year for the Varicam, more knew how to deal with the overcrank and undercrank, and 2004, well Noah you were there in our booth at NAB 2004 when Apple introcued 1394 and ingest to a native DVCPRO HD timeline, this last piece seemed to seal Varicams future. Editing HD on an FCP system as easily as if it were DV.

Sure is a fun business,

Jan

Jan Crittenden Livingston
Product Manager, HPX500, HVX200, DVX100
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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gary adcock
Re: Anyone know when the VariCam first became available?
on Apr 23, 2008 at 1:43:28 pm

[Jan Crittenden Livingston] "They started to become popular toward the end of 2002 as more edit systems started to work with 720P. 2003 was a tuning year for the Varicam, more knew how to deal with the overcrank and undercrank,"

Jan,
you were not in the room for it, but Jan 2004 was my "HD on a Laptop" demo with Jeff Merritt at the Macworld FCPUG meeting, that was one of the very first demos of uncompressed 720p24 HD editing on a mac laptop (a 1Ghz powerbook G4 with 1 gig ram and 2 Lacie FW 800 drives), months before Apple and Panasonic showed the 1200a and a FW based workflow.

Little did any of us at that time think that we would have evolved into the ease of use and portability we now have daily with HD production and acquisition tools.

For that I add my thanks to Panasonic and you for your efforts.


gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Inside look at the IoHD




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Ernie Santella
Re: Anyone know when the VariCam first became available?
on Apr 22, 2008 at 10:34:29 pm

I shot with an early one in January of 2003, so it very well could have been 2002.

Ernie Santella
Santella Film/Video Productions
http://www.santellaproductions.com


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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: Anyone know when the VariCam first became available?
on Apr 23, 2008 at 1:54:07 pm

I know the dates of the release of the Varicam to be correct as I lived in LA for only a very short time frame. I moved to NJ in January of 2002 and it was already out and cranking. Now Gary's got me rethinking the rest though, could it have been 2003 that the 1394 interface for DVCPRO HD was working? Noah, when did we sucker you onto the Apple stage area in our booth, wasn't that the same year you met Monica?

All the best,

Jan

Jan Crittenden Livingston
Product Manager, HPX500, HVX200, DVX100
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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Noah Kadner
Re: Anyone know when the VariCam first became available?
on Apr 23, 2008 at 6:00:10 pm

Jan-

Ha- yes of course I could never forget. :) That was 2004. You can even view the original post that started the love here:

http://forums.creativecow.net/archivethread/120/564253

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color. Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook
http://www.callboxlive.com



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Steve Mahrer
Re: Anyone know when the VariCam first became available?
on Apr 30, 2008 at 7:06:48 pm

Noah et al:

The AJ-HDC27A (NASA test camera (720p 29.97 / 59.94 only) camera was 2001, that evolved into the 27V (most frame rates available) in 2002, I was part of a documentary shoot called El Sueno in Cuba in 2002 and we used 27V cameras. The 27F all frame rates 1-60p and Film Rec gamma came in 2003?... That then became the 27H about three years ago.

The FCP / IEEE1394 came later, we used to have hardware based frame rate converters before the FRC module in FCP.

At NAB 2008, we announed our P2 VariCams, so the VariCam family lives on an grows!

Cheers!

Steve Mahrer - Panasonic




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Jesse Rosen
Re: Anyone know when the VariCam first became available?
on May 8, 2008 at 12:34:30 am

Hi Steve,

We had a 27V in late 2001, actually. I know because I remember putting the doubler on a long lens and shooting the World Trade Center out the window from my office. As far as I know the only one that was in use before ours was a prototype that was lent to David Niles.




--
Jesse Rosen
Director of Technical Development
Abel Cine Tech, Inc.
http://www.bustedskull.com


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