Panasonic just dropped the mic at Cine Gear Expo 2017 with the new compact 5.7K Super 35mm AU-EVA1 Cinema Camera. This new camera is loaded and has some very high-end features that are just not found in a camera priced at under $8,000 US. No. That’s not a typo. Under $8,000 US. The camera ships this fall. Let’s take a closer look at the new EVA1.
Panasonic AU-EVA1 Cinema Camera Highlights
- 5.7K sensor
- Super 35mm-sized sensor
- 4K, UHD and HD at 60p
- 240 frames per second 2K and HD
- Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS)
- ND filter wheel in 2, 4, and 6 stops plus IR filter
- Dual Native ISO
- Under $8,000 US
The EVA1 uses an all new 5.7K Super 35mm sensor that down samples to 4K, UHD, 2K and even 720p. Having such a large sensor increases the amount of color 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 EVA1 has EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization). This is not the same as the GH5 that has in-body IS. The EVA1 will have a multi-axis electronic type. At this time no more information is available however this could be a very handy way to utilize that large 5.7K sensor to smooth out rough shots. The EF mount should support IS-compatible lenses as well but that wasn’t confirmed at today’s preview.
If you care about color space and bit depth then you are in for a treat with the new EVA1. Just like its little sister the GH5, the EVA1 sports a 10bit 4:2:2 All-I codec. It can record up to 4K at up to 60p and 2K or HD at up to 240fps to affordable SD cards.
I love to grade my footage, and with the camera’s V-Log and V-Gamut color space, getting the most out of the 10bit 4:2:2 codec is going to be a treat. The EVA1 will also import the higher end VariCam colorimetry making it a great for using as a specialty camera on drones and gimbals.
Dual Native ISO
A surprising addition is Dual Native ISO. This is found in the flagship VariCam line and it’s now in the more affordable EVA1. Bold move here from Panasonic to add this feature. Panasonic claims that Dual Native ISO extracts more information from the sensor without degrading the image.
The EVA1 can switch from a standard sensitivity to a high sensitivity without an increase in noise, or other artifacts. I personally haven’t shot with a VariCam but this feature looks incredibly useful if you could use fewer lights on set without sacrificing image quality by adding noise. The EVA1’s Dual Native ISO is currently being tested to determine final ISO specifications.
The EVA1 shares the color science form the VariCam family of cameras. This is a big deal if you want to match the cameras in post. Same goes with the GH5. Panasonic states that they want all their cameras to have similar color making them easier to work with and saving the user time in post. Obviously a GH5 isn’t going to have the complexity of the VariCam color but if if you have ever tried to match cameras from the same manufacturer they often just don’t match without a lot of tedious work.
The AU-EVA1 has another VariCam feature that is very interesting. It has an IR Cut filter that can to be swung out of the path to the sensor at the push of a button. Unique photographic effects and night vision imagery are possible with this control over infrared.
The camera has an HDMI and SDI output. In a future update the 5.7K RAW output from the sensor will be available to record to an external recorder.
The body is very light. Coming it at only 2.65-lbs (1.2kg, body-only)
One thing that is missing is an EVF. Panasonic says it’s decision to not have the viewfinder is because users don’t generally like or use them. By not having one it saves on cost, battery life and weight. The LCD is relocatable from a number of mounting points on the handle and body. I asked if the LCD would be a high bright however Panasonic wouldn’t confirm if that will be the case.
The EVA1 is a seriously loaded cinema camera that fits into the VariCam ecosystem very nicely. Not just with the big boys either: having similar color science on the affordable GH5 means hopefully a very simple time matching them in post. For GH5 users you might have just meet your new A-cam and VariCam users have a very capable gimbal and drone camera. Very impressive indeed.
The EVA1 will ship this fall for under $8,000 US (body only).
What do you think of this new release? Are you going to match it up with your GH5? Let’s talk in the comment section below.