EL Zone for VariCam
Panasonic Teams Up with Renowned Cinematographer Ed Lachman ASC to Deliver First Exposure Map Tool for VariCam Cinema Cameras
New EL Zone System Uses Stop Values in 15 Delineated Steps for Precise Image Control
Whether shooting a movie, capturing a worship service or producing a live event such as a concert or sporting event, cinematographers are tasked with the challenge of delivering exceptional image quality in all aspects of filming to keep audiences engaged. To assist in the shooting process and to provide even more precise exposure control, Panasonic has released a new exposure map tool “EL Zone” as part of its VariCam firmware version 9.0 update.
The new EL Zone exposure map tool was created by cinematographer Ed Lachman, ASC, who is well known for his work on award-winning films including “Erin Brockovich,” “Far from Heaven” and “Carol.” This new system offers 15 delineated steps that helps map out the cameras full exposure range.
In EL Zone, for example, 18% gray shows up as gray. Complete over exposure shows up as white (no detail remains) and full under exposure shows up as black (no detail remains). With the tool, setting skin tones for light or dark skin is in + - ½ to 1 Stop increments above and below 18% gray. And simply assigning EL Zone to a camera user button allows the exposure map tool to be turn on or off.
This advanced exposure tool is now available for the VariCam LT and VariCam 35 4K HDR cinema cameras. EL Zone can be used in the following color modes: V-Log, V-709 and V-Look (V-Looks on LT only). With the free upgrade, cinematographers will have more flexibility to correct problematic shots, match shots to others and achieve highly stylized or cinematic looks in post-production.
EL Zone (Off)
Exposure Map (False Color)
EL Zone (On)
“VariCam users now have a powerful tool that shows them the precise exposure levels of different areas in their frame, allowing them to see exactly where under or overexposure is occurring. It’s like having a light meter in your VariCam that shows you readings in all areas of the frame mapped out on the image,” said Bergeron.
In addition to the EL Zone exposure map, other firmware updates include added anamorphic de-squeeze aspect ratios 1.8x and 1.5x and an in-camera custom aspect ratio frame marker generator that dials in just about any aspect ratio. In addition, the update improves the prefixed fixed frame markers making them easier to see.