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An Exclusive Look at the​ ​New​ ​EVA-1​ ​from​ ​Panasonic

A nice fit​ between​ ​the​ ​Varicam​ ​and​ ​the​ ​GH5

On​ ​September​ ​14th,​ ​the​ ​new​ ​Super35​ ​EVA-1​ ​from​ ​Panasonic​ ​was​ ​presented​ ​for​ ​evaluation​ ​at the​ ​Academy​ ​of​ ​Motion​ ​Picture​ ​Arts​ ​and​ ​Sciences,​ ​along​ ​with​ ​three​ ​shorts​ ​in​ ​the​ ​lovely​ ​Linwood Dunn​ ​Theater​ ​to​ ​show​ ​off​ ​the​ ​images​ ​it​ ​can​ ​produce. I stopped by to see what they looked like.

My​ ​main​ ​camera​ ​is​ ​a​ ​Canon​ ​C100mkII​ ​and​ ​I’ve​ ​been​ ​eyeing​ ​this​ ​new​ ​Panasonic​ ​as​ ​a​ ​potential replacement​ ​since​ it was ​announced.​ ​I​ ​absolutely​ ​love​ ​the​ ​image​ ​I’ve​ ​been​ ​getting​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the Canon,​ ​especially​ ​after​ ​modifying​ ​some​ ​color​ ​and​ ​gamma​ ​settings,​ ​so​ ​I​ ​wasn’t​ ​in​ ​any​ ​hurry​ ​to switch​, ​but​ ​I​ ​might​ ​be​ ​now.​ ​This​ ​thing​ ​is​ ​pretty​ ​cool.

Right​ ​off​ ​the​ ​bat,​ ​it has​  ​14+​ ​stops​ ​of​ ​latitude​ ​that​ ​the​ ​films​ ​showed​ ​would​ ​seem​ ​to​ ​corroborate. If​ ​there’s​ ​one​ ​thing​ ​I​ ​want​ ​in​ ​a​ ​camera,​ ​it’s​ ​as​ ​much​ ​latitude​ ​as​ ​possible.​ ​I’ll​ ​take​ ​1080p​ ​if​ ​I’ve​ ​got a​ ​10bit​ ​4:2:2​ ​image​ ​with​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​dynamic​ ​range.​ ​This​ ​camera​ ​ticks​ ​both​ ​boxes.​ ​The​ ​cameras used​ ​to​ ​shoot​ ​the​ ​films​ ​were​ ​pre-production​ ​models,​ ​but​ ​you​ ​wouldn’t​ ​think​ ​it​ ​with​ ​how​ ​well​ ​the shorts​ ​came​ ​out.

In​ ​Elle​ ​Schneider’s​ ​film​ ​​Near​ ​to​ ​Superstition,​ ​​there’s​ ​a​ ​scene​ ​in​ ​which​ ​a​ ​character​ ​approaches​ ​a group​ ​of​ ​women​ ​sitting​ ​around​ ​a​ ​campfire​ ​(the​ ​only​ ​source​ ​of​ ​light)​ ​and​ ​in​ ​the​ ​wide,​ ​amazingly, you​ ​can​ ​see​ ​stars​ ​in​ ​the​ ​background.​ ​That’s​ ​the​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​sensitivity​ ​afforded​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Dual​ ​Native ISO​ ​in​ ​the​ ​EVA-1,​ ​coming​ ​in​ ​at​ ​800​ ​and​ ​2500.​ ​On​ ​top​ ​of​ ​that​ ​rather​ ​amazing​ ​feat,​ ​the​ ​fire rendered​ ​beautifully,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​something​ ​many​ ​cameras​ ​simply​ ​fail​ ​at.​ ​The​ ​ISO​ ​switching​ ​feature and​ ​great​ ​color​ ​space​ ​also​ ​made​ ​it​ ​easy​ ​for​ ​both​ ​Elle​ ​and​ ​Johnny​ ​Derango​ ​(director​ ​of​ ​the second​ ​film,​ ​​Radio​ ​88​)​ ​to​ ​shoot​ ​in​ ​caves,​ ​outside​ ​under​ ​streetlamps,​ ​and​ ​other​ ​traditionally difficult​ ​situations.

In​ ​regards​ ​to​ ​that​ ​color​ ​space,​ ​it​ ​exceeds​ ​the​ ​BT2020​ ​allowing​ ​for​ ​HDR​ ​acquisition​ ​and​ ​as​ ​far​ ​as color​ ​looks​ ​essentially​ ​like​ ​the​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​Panasonic’s​ ​higher​ ​end​ ​line,​ ​making​ ​it​ ​a​ ​solid​ ​B-Cam choice​ ​for​ ​a​ ​Varicam​ ​shoot​ ​if​ ​need​ ​be.​ ​Or,​ ​if​ ​you​ ​simply​ ​just​ ​like​ ​Panasonic’s​ ​colors,​ ​this​ ​is​ ​right up​ ​your​ ​alley.​ ​I’ve​ ​never​ ​been​ ​their​ ​biggest​ ​fan,​ ​as​ ​being​ ​a​ ​first​ ​adopter​ ​of​ ​the​ ​AF100​ ​left​ ​a​ ​bad taste​ ​in​ ​my​ ​mouth,​ ​but​ ​the​ ​EVA-1​ ​is​ ​having​ ​me​ ​seriously​ ​reconsider​ ​that​ ​position​ ​with​ ​how​ ​good of​ ​an​ ​image​ ​it​ ​can​ ​produce​ ​in​ ​such​ ​a​ ​small​ ​package.​ ​It’s​ ​also​ ​got​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​features​ ​I​ ​seriously love,​ ​which​ ​I’ll​ ​get​ ​into​ ​here​ ​in​ ​a​ ​bit.

One​ ​thing​ ​I’d​ ​argue​ ​after​ ​seeing​ ​the​ ​unfiltered​ ​​Near​ ​to​ ​Superstition​ ​​right​ ​behind​ ​the ProMist-heavy​ ​​Radio​ ​88,​ ​​is​ ​that​ ​this​ ​camera’s​ ​image​ ​wants​ ​to​ ​be​ ​softened​ ​up​ ​a​ ​bit.​ ​The​ ​recent popularization​ ​of​ ​vintage​ ​glass​ ​and​ ​diffusion​ ​won’t​ ​stop​ ​with​ ​the​ ​EVA-1.​ ​That​ ​being​ ​said,​ ​there are​ ​plenty​ ​of​ ​situations​ ​where​ ​you’ll​ ​want​ ​to​ ​shoot​ ​clean,​ ​and​ ​in​ ​that​ ​case​ ​you’ll​ ​be​ ​well​ ​served here​ ​as​ ​the​ ​picture​ ​is​ ​tack​ ​sharp​ ​but​ ​not​ ​in​ ​a​ ​“video”​ ​way.

Some​ ​features​ ​I​ ​immediately​ ​liked​ ​were​ ​the​ ​focus​ ​and​ ​horizon​ ​assistants,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​the​ ​three built-in​ ​ND​ ​filters​ ​rated​ ​at​ ​0.6,​ ​1.2​ ​and​ ​1.8.​ ​In​ ​regards​ ​to​ ​the​ ​assistants,​ ​Panasonic​ ​has developed​ ​a​ ​new​ ​way​ ​to​ ​judge​ ​focus​ ​by​ ​placing​ ​green​ ​squares​ ​over​ ​the​ ​areas​ ​of​ ​the​ ​image​ ​that are​ ​in​ ​focus​ ​that​ ​get​ ​larger​ ​as​ ​that​ ​area​ ​becomes​ ​sharper.​ ​This​ ​works​ ​well​ ​in​ ​most​ ​of​ ​the situations​ ​we​ ​tried​ ​it​ ​in,​ ​but​ ​didn’t​ ​really​ ​work​ ​in​ ​very​ ​dark​ ​scenes​ ​as​ ​it​ ​would​ ​appear​ ​to​ ​be contrast-based,​ ​so​ ​there​ ​is​ ​that.​ ​The​ ​room​ ​we​ ​were​ ​in​ ​was​ ​pretty​ ​dark​ ​already,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​had​ ​to​ ​point the​ ​lens​ ​at​ ​some​ ​duvetyne​ ​in​ ​the​ ​shadows​ ​for​ ​it​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​working,​ ​so​ ​take​ ​that​ ​as​ ​you​ ​will.​ ​The camera​ ​includes​ ​traditional​ ​focus​ ​peaking​ ​as​ ​well.

In​ ​the​ ​image​ ​above​ ​you​ ​can​ ​also​ ​see​ ​two​ ​yellow​ ​lines​ ​on​ ​either​ ​side​ ​of​ ​the​ ​image:​ ​that’s​ ​your horizon​ ​assist.​ ​As​ ​you​ ​tilt​ ​the​ ​camera,​ ​the​ ​vertical​ ​lines​ ​extend​ ​in​ ​either​ ​direction​ ​showing​ ​you​ which​ ​way​ ​you’re​ ​angled.​ ​I​ ​shoot​ ​handheld​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​and​ ​on​ ​my​ ​Canon​ ​I​ ​have​ ​the​ ​middle-frame​ ​line overlay​ ​up​ ​on​ ​my​ ​image​ ​at​ ​all​ ​times​ ​and​ ​have​ ​to​ ​judge​ ​it​ ​against​ ​something​ ​in​ ​the​ ​frame,​ ​so​ ​this is​ ​a​ ​big​ ​plus​ ​for​ ​me.​ ​I​ ​also​ ​love​ ​the​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​all​ ​the​ ​information​ ​is​​ ​outside​ ​​of​ ​the​ ​image​ ​on​ ​your monitor.​ ​Nothing​ ​is​ ​more​ ​annoying​ ​than​ ​having​ ​to​ ​clear​ ​your​ ​display​ ​just​ ​to​ ​see​ ​what’s​ ​going​ ​on.

Another​ ​feature​ ​I​ ​love​ ​is​ ​the​ ​“home”​ ​button.​ ​Aside​ ​from​ ​simply​ ​bringing​ ​you​ ​back​ ​to​ ​the​ ​main screen,​ ​a​ ​second​ ​press​ ​shows​ ​you​ ​an​ ​Arri-esque​ ​information​ ​panel,​ ​the​ ​settings​ ​of​ ​which​ ​you can​ ​modify​ ​by​ ​simply​ ​touching​ ​the​ ​screen.​ ​Very​ ​nice,​ ​and​ ​very​ ​handy​ ​in​ ​the​ ​field.​ ​The​ ​rest​ ​of​ ​the menus​ ​are​ ​similar​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Varicam​ ​line.

Now,​ ​you​ ​may​ ​notice​ ​that​ ​there’s​ ​no​ ​viewfinder.​ ​This​ ​may​ ​or​ ​may​ ​not​ ​bother​ ​you,​ ​but​ ​after​ ​the initial​ ​shock​ ​I​ ​had​ ​to​ ​admit​ ​that​ ​I​ ​almost​ ​never​ ​use​ ​the​ ​one​ ​on​ ​my​ ​Canon​, ​so​ ​it​ ​wouldn’t​ ​be​ ​that big​ ​of​ ​a​ ​deal.​ ​Your​ ​preferences​ ​will​ ​obviously​ ​dictate​ ​how​ ​that​ ​affects​ ​you.​ ​The​ ​placement​ ​of​ ​the LCD​ ​is​ ​really​ ​nice,​ ​however,​ ​being​ ​located​ ​right​ ​around​ ​where​ ​it​ ​is​ ​on​ ​a​ ​C300.​ ​It​ ​also​ ​comes​ ​with its​’ ​own​ ​sun​ ​shade,​ ​an​ ​accessory​ ​I’ve​ ​wished​ ​existed​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Canon​ ​for​ ​years.​ ​I​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​shoot around​ ​waist-height​ ​when​ ​running​ ​and​ ​gunning,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​screen​ ​is​ ​in​ ​prime​ ​position​ ​for​ ​that​ ​type of​ ​shooting.​ ​At​ ​just​ ​a​ ​hair​ ​over​ ​4.5lbs​ ​with​ ​a​ ​battery​ ​and​ ​lens,​ ​it’s​ ​light​ ​but​ ​feels​ ​substantial enough,​ ​and​ ​along​ ​with​ ​the​ ​ergonomic​ ​side-handle​ ​allows​ ​for​ ​very​ ​comfortable​ ​handheld operation​ ​in​ ​that​ ​position.​ ​The​ ​handle​ ​itself​ ​has​ ​2​ ​of​ ​the​ ​9​ ​user-assignable​ ​buttons​ ​both conveniently​ ​placed​ ​by​ ​where​ ​your​ ​fingers​ ​rest,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​a​ ​fingerwheel​ ​in​ ​the​ ​index-finger position​ ​as​ ​one​ ​would​ ​expect.

The​ ​top​ ​of​ ​the​ ​camera​ ​is​ ​completely​ ​flat​ ​after​ ​removing​ ​the​ ​top-handle​ ​and​ ​has​ ​numerous screw​ ​holes​ ​open​ ​for​ ​you​ ​to​ ​attach​ ​any​ ​number​ ​of​ ​accessories.​ ​Zacuto​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the​ ​brand partner​ ​of​ ​choice​ ​in​ ​this​ ​case​ ​with​ ​their​ ​Gratical​ ​and​ ​other​ ​accessories​ ​intended​ ​to​ ​take advantage​ ​of​ ​those​ ​mounting​ ​points​ ​on​ ​display​ ​next​ ​to​ ​the​ ​cameras.

Blissfully,​ ​the​ ​camera​ ​shoots​ ​to​ ​simple​ ​SDXC​ ​or​ ​SDHC​ ​cards​ ​in​ ​MOV​ ​or​ ​AVCHD,​ ​using​ ​the​ ​5.7K sensor​ ​to​ ​deliver​ ​4K,​ ​UHD,​ ​2K,​ ​1080p​ ​or​ ​720p​ ​and​ ​can​ ​do​ ​so​ ​to​ ​one​ ​or​ ​two​ ​cards simultaneously.​ ​In​ ​almost​ ​every​ ​case​ ​you’re​ ​getting​ ​your​ ​image​ ​in​ ​10bit​ ​4:2:2.​ ​Frame​ ​rates​ ​span from​ ​23.98​ ​(and​ ​24!)​ ​all​ ​the​ ​way​ ​up​ ​to​ ​a​ ​very​ ​respectable​ ​240p​ ​in​ ​2K.​ ​As​ ​someone​ ​who​ ​would probably​ ​shoot​ ​2K​ ​most​ ​of​ ​the​ ​time​ ​anyway,​ ​that’s​ ​fantastic.​ ​A​ ​128GB​ ​card​ ​will​ ​get​ ​you​ ​a​ ​little under​ ​two​ ​hours​ ​of​ ​recording​ ​time​ ​in​ ​most​ ​formats,​ ​unless​ ​you​ ​shoot​ ​something​ ​like​ ​422Intra 400M​ ​4K​ ​(40​ ​minutes)​ ​or​ ​AVCHD​ ​720p​ ​(35​ ​hours).​ ​If​ ​you’re​ ​shooting​ ​a​ ​doc​ ​or​ ​something​ ​and 1080p​ ​works​ ​just​ ​fine,​ ​you​ ​can​ ​shoot​ ​for​ ​11,​ ​12,​ ​or​ ​17​ ​hours​ ​on​ ​that​ ​same​ ​128GB​ ​card depending​ ​on​ ​what​ ​flavor​ ​of​ ​AVCHD​ ​you​ ​choose.​ ​Everything​ ​else​ ​comes​ ​in​ ​MOV.

If​ ​you’re​ ​in​ ​the​ ​latter​ ​situation​ ​you​ ​will​ ​either​ ​need​ ​a​ ​separate​ ​power​ ​solution​ ​or​ ​a​ ​handful​ ​of batteries​ ​as​ ​the​ ​largest​ ​brick​ ​they​ ​offer​ ​lasts​ ​for​ ​a​ ​relatively​ ​respectable​ ​5.5​ ​hours,​ ​whereas​ ​the bundled​ ​one​ ​clocks​ ​in​ ​at​ ​almost​ ​3​ ​and​ ​a​ ​half.

Overall​ ​this​ ​camera​ ​looks​ ​great.​ ​It​ ​nicely​ ​fits​ ​in​ ​between​ ​the​ ​Varicam​ ​and​ ​the​ ​introductory-level GH5,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​being​ ​a​ ​solid​ ​contender​ ​to​ ​Canon’s​ ​C200​ ​and​ ​Sony’s​ ​FS5.​ ​Well​ ​done,​ ​Panny.


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Kenny McMillan is the founder and director of OWL BOT Digital Cinema located in West LA. His work spans the Internet from Vimeo to YouTube netting dozens of views. He previously worked as an events…

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Jamie LeJeune
Jamie LeJeune

Thank you for the detailed review. Just a minor thing, but it’s worth saying that BT2020 has no inherent bearing or connection to HDR. A camera can capture in the BT2020 color space yet not be suitable for HDR mastering if the camera sensor doesn’t have enough dynamic range. Conversely, cameras that only capture REC709 color can have enough dynamic range for HDR mastering (the original BMD Cinema Camera is an example). HDR and color gamut are two distinct things. On the display side the same is true. So, for example, the 2017 iMac has a wide color gamut display,… Read more »

Eduardo

I was wondering what is the latest out of getting 5.7k raw out of the camera? Is it 10bit, 12bit or 16bit raw? Thanks