extrashot takes a look at the new Panasonic EVA1 – Will this be Steve’s new favourite?

All EVA1 footage shot in 4K with what we thought was close to a Cine’D’ look.

Unfortunately, following the release of the official launch videos, Panasonic have decided to prevent anyone using pictures from engineering examples of EVA1. Although we didn’t observe any of the issues apparent in the official videos, we can’t now bring you the images we captured. However, we thought that the video might still be of interest to those keen to see this highly anticipated camera.

Darren on our YouTube channel just asked:

Better than the URSA Mini Pro?

That’s a really good question… so here’s a long answer… !!!

The ergonomics of the EVA1 feel better, it’s smaller, lighter, the buttons are all well placed and the build quality (even on a pre-production model) was very impressive. I know it’s personal choice, but to me the EVA1 was easier to use, especially for a documentary type set-up.  Although the Blackmagic viewfinder is extra cost, it’s really very good and you’ll need to find an alternative solution for the EVA1.  (I’ve heard it rumoured that someone is working on modifying the BM viewfinder to work with the EVA1… which might be a good answer?)

The URSA MP will give you internal RAW while the EVA1 will only output RAW onto an external recorder sometime later after a firmware update… so if you need RAW now, it would have to be the URSA.

The elephant in the room is reliability… Blackmagic still need to work hard to rid themselves of an unfortunate reputation, while I’d have no worries using Panasonic gear on important paid jobs.  I should say that I haven’t heard of any problems with the URSA MP, so maybe that’s the camera that finally changes things for BM?

… and the biggest question of all is picture quality.  Ignoring RAW, both of these cameras produce lovely usable pictures straight of the box.  I was really impressed with the URSA MP but I’d have to say the EVA1 looks even better.  It’s a small difference, but the Varicam style colour science appears really nice to my eyes.  We only shot using what we thought was Cinestyle ‘D’, and it was super impressive – clean, sharp with great colours.  I also think the EVA1 handles highlights in a more pleasing way… a little more filmic, almost Alexa like on white skies.  Finally, (even with a disastrous launch video) we can already see that the Panasonic will be better than the URSA MP in low light.  It’s not just the Dual ISO thing, it’s also impressive noise reduction.

However, most of these picture differences can be smoothed out by shooting RAW and dealing in post… which the EVA1 can’t do internally.  The EVA1 is also going to be significantly more expensive especially when you also factor in a good viewfinder… so it’s not an easy decision.  In many ways it comes down to the sort of work you want to do with these cameras.  Do you have time to shoot and grade RAW or does stuff need to be shot quickly on affordable media?

For me… I think I’d go for EVA1… and maybe a GH5 for ‘B’ camera – what a great combo !!!

(I know…this would be an easier discussion if we could show you the pictures)

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