Panasonic VariCam Firmware Updates, AG-UMR20 Compact Field Recorder and AG-UCK20 4K Camera Head

Following up on free firmware upgrades for the VariCam 35, HS, LT, and Pure cinema cameras, Panasonic’s new $2,395 AG-UMR20 compact field recorder and $1,995 AG-UCK20 4K camera head offers advanced IP controls as well as remote controls and 4K acquisition. The AG-UMR20 compact field recorder can be connected to the AG-UCK20 4K camera head via optional cables at 3 meters or 20 meters in length. It houses dual slots for low-cost SD card storage. Capable of up to UHD (3840 x 2160 at up to 29.97p/25p) and FHD (1920 x 1080 up to 59.94p/50p) resolutions, it’s also equipped with a 3G-SDI input and out in addition to HDMI interface. Targeted at the business sector as well as the remote imaging needs of video productions, the AVCHD recorder will also backup FHD files when used with other 3G-SDI cameras for those invested in Panasonic HD camera solutions. 

At 1.2 lbs. and dimension of 3.78" x 2.07" x 5.24", the Panasonic AG-UMR20 also has four 3mm threads for mounting and accessories. A few of the internal options include Relay Recording and hot-swappable live card switching for uninterrupted video capture. There are also IP streaming and remote control capabilities from PCs, tablets and more advanced IP decoders. Remote functions include start/stop, zoom/focus/iris, FTP transfer, and a dedicated IP web user interface for camera and recorder monitoring and configurations. The AG-UMR20 is capable of simultaneous output of up to three systems. It’s also compatible with the Panasonic PTZ lines of security and other remote-control cameras for those familiar with those control platforms. The touch-panel monitor with twelve customizable user buttons and 3.5" color LCD monitor display also has waveform monitor and vectorscope display, time stamp, TC/UB capture, color bar signal, and continuous playback of clips for presentations and other needs. An AC power supply is included, and it also operates on battery power or DC 12V.

Covering a range of 29.5mm to 612mm in 35mm equivalence, the 20x AG-UCK20 camera head zoom lens has OIS optical image stabilization that can also utilize electronic image stabilization in HD capture to detect and correct for motion blur and rolling motions on five different axes. There are also digital crop zooms with brightness compensation and an i.Zoom Intelligent Zoom feature which will enable a 30x zoom by cropping to the HD format, or 22x in 4K. With  1/4, 1/16, and 1/64 filtration, the optical ND filter can be switched on and off manually. There are also features like IR Infrared mode, Focus Assist, Pre Rec, built-in microphone, Scan Reverse mode for ceiling mounted heads, Slow Shutter and Synchro Scan, Dynamic Range Stretch, gain, a variable mode white balance, and several image presets, including detail, skin tone detail, color temperature, and chroma level/phase. 

In addition, Panasonic announced free firmware upgrades for their VariCam cinema lines of cameras this last June 19th that upgraded the lines respectively to Ver. 7.5 for the VariCam 35/HS, Ver. 5.5 for the VariCam LT, and Ver. 7.5 for the VariCam Pure. The Panasonic VariCam LT gained a new High Speed menu mode for 240p RAW Cinema DNG output in 2K (2048 x 1080) or HD (1920 x 1080), as well as faster software reboot startup. The VariCam 35, VariCam HS and VariCam LT received a REC Check for tail slate making, and the VariCam Pure as well as the other three camera models all also now have an expanded frame rate range in High Speed mode for a full variable frame rate range of 1—240 fps. Anamoprhic Desqueeze has been added to video playback for widescreen previews, and a horizontal desqueeze of 1.3x or 2.0x can be run through  SDI Out or VF SDI for monitors. Finally, all Varicam cinema cameras can apply grading data to clips. 

Find the firmware downloads here. Find out more about Panasonic’s VariCam line here.

Additional features the firmware upgrades include:

• RDD18 (camera metadata, including clip name) on MON output

• INFRA mode (wireless network setting)

• Support WM50MC (for China) and PLANEX GW-900D (for Japan)

• USER CLIP NAME TYPE3 on OSD is off as default (VariCam 35, HS & LT)

• Deleted CPS password system (VariCam 35 & HS)

• Fixed card remain time bug of AVCLongG at 23.98p (VariCam 35, HS & LT)

• Supports Canon EF 24-105mm F4 L-series USM lens (VariCam LT only)

• Fixed Valid Frame Flag bug on RAW output (VariCam LT only)

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