Media Arts buys 30 Panasonic 4K cameras | Department of Media Arts
July 12, 2016

Media Arts buys 30 Panasonic 4K cameras

Eugene Martin demonstrates how to use one of the new Panasonic cameras.NEWARK, N.J. ( UNT's Department of Media Arts has purchased 30 Panasonic AG-DVX200 4K large-sensor 4/3" handheld camcorders that will be used in undergraduate and graduate classes including narrative, news, documentary and entertainment acquisition techniques, as well as for news production at ntTV. The department also bought a VariCam LT 4K cinema camcorder for advanced narrative film classes.

The Department of Media Arts has an enrollment of 1200 full-time undergraduate media arts students and 50 graduate students; UNT is one of the nation's largest public universities with 37,000 students.

The award-winning ntTV, one of the top student-run cable television stations in the U.S., is on Charter Communications channel 192 and FiOS from Frontier channel 46, and has won Lone Star Emmy Awards every year since 2005.

The DVX200s were immediately put into use for a summer class in Film Styles, in which 20 students each produce five short films shot in 4K.

Eugene Martin, Media Arts chair, explained the department has been using Panasonic camcorders since 2009, when AG-HVX200 P2 handhelds and AG-HPX500 P2 shoulder-mounts were implemented for intermediate, advanced, and graduate Master of Fine Arts students. "We have been steadfast fans of the cameras' reliability and workflow," Martin said. "Over time, the department's advanced students transitioned from film to large sensor digital cinema cameras, and now to the VariCam LT. With the deployment of a new 196T server across 75 workstations, we can now work on 4K across all of our production classes. The timing was right for us to migrate to the new DVX200 and the Varicam LT."

"The HVX200s were aging out and we were certainly interested in 4K production," Martin added. "Having done fairly extensive research, we demoed the DVX200 and -- in a rare display of academic consensus -- every member of the department said, 'I can teach this camera really well.'" Martin cited the DVX200's Leica Dicomar 4K zoom lens, professional XLR audio inputs, ease of use, ability to operate handheld or on a tripod, and affordability as compelling features. "But the larger import of the DVX200, as an ideal storytelling tool, is that it can advance us as a department," he said. "We are already designing curricula to work with the camera, such as a new class in multi-cam production."

"UNT is a public university, and the DVX200 is an asset that helps us level the playing field for our students," he continued. "When the parent of a prospective film student asks me about extra costs, I'm in the position to say, 'A 64gig SD card should run him/her for about $40.' We're confident the DVX200s are going to help our students get to the story in an easier way."

Martin said students will be able to easily transition from the DVX200 to the VariCam LT. Participants in the 2017 two-semester advanced cinema class will be using the VariCam LT to shoot eight narrative shorts. He envisions most student production being in 4K, while work for ntTV would continue in HD for the time being. Editing is performed in both Adobe Creative Suite and Avid Media Composer. The department recently installed a ProMax scalable 4K workflow/storage server.

  • About the AG-DVX200
    • The DVX200 is the first in a new generation of large sensor, multi-format professional camcorders capable of capturing 4K/UHD, HD and SD, including cinematic DCI 4K 4096x2160.
    • The camcorder is optimized for 4K/HD production, with stunning bokeh effects and a V-Log L curve (measured at 12 stops) emulating the natural grey-scale rendition of the VariCam 35.
    • The DVX200PJ incorporates a newly-developed 4/3" large-format MOS sensor with high sensitivity of F11, and offers variable frame rate recording from 2fps to 120fps in 1080p mode, enhancing the camcorder's utility in sports and VFX production.
    • The handheld 4K camcorder offers an array of professional features including a newly-designed Leica Dicomar 4K F2.8~F4.5 zoom lens (4K/24p: 29.5 mm ~ 384.9 mm, HD: 28 mm ~ 365.3mm, 35 mm equivalent) with shallow depth-of-field, time-code in/out, 3G HD-SDI and HDMI 2.0 (4K) video outs (4:2:2 10-bit video), dual XLR audio inputs, and 10 programmable user buttons.
  • About the VariCam LT
    • The VariCam LT camcorder inherits the same super 35mm sensor and superb imaging capabilities that distinguish the award-winning VariCam 35, but with significant reductions in size, weight and price.
    • Incorporating this identical imaging "DNA" in a more compact rendition, the VariCam LT delivers 14+ stops of dynamic range with V-Log, and the esteemed cinematic VariCam image quality and color science, as well as the VariCam 35's breakout innovation, dual native ISOs of 800/5000.
    • Weighing just under six pounds and having superior capability to similar sized cameras, the VariCam LT is the ideal camera for handheld, SteadiCam, jib, crane, drone, gimbal and overall cinema verité work.
    • The VariCam LT offers a host of new features including an EF lens mount, hot swappable batteries, IR shooting capability, a 23.98 PsF output, cinema style file naming, and image presets such as scene files.