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CLEMSON, S.C.—As I write this, Clemson Tigers football has secured a spot in the 2016 CFP championship slated for Jan. 11. We went into the New Year’s Eve Orange Bowl against Oklahoma ranked #1, with a 13-0 season, having won our 15th Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. This season, the video production team has seen a bumper crop of thrilling action captured on Panasonic’s VariCam HS.

Clemson University’s Athletic Department utilized Panaonic’s VariCam HS for entire football season.ON THE FIELD
Last summer, we added the VariCam High Speed camera/recorder to our large fleet of Panasonic cameras and recorders, and it was our primary acquisition tool throughout the football season. We relied on it for dual, simultaneous recording of high frame rate 240 fps and 1080p/59.94 video footage with 24-bit/48 kHz LPCM audio. Prior to our investment in the VariCam HS, we would have needed two different camera/recorders to get that job done.

Our packages can be seen on our athletics site,, and are also used for highlight/banquet videos. Off the football field, we utilize the VariCam HS in our production studio for green screen interviews with our athletes. And as the gridiron action winds down, we’re getting ready to use the camera/recorder for basketball coverage.

The VariCam HS system includes the AU-VREC1G recording module, AUV23HS1G 2/3 type HD camera head, AU-VCVF1G OLED viewfinder, and AUVSHL1G shoulder pad/tripod mount. It uses three newly-developed, 1920x1080p MOS imagers with 14 stops of latitude. It offers a choice of recording formats: Apple ProRes 4444 and ProRes 422 and Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA family of advanced video codecs, and features a range of high-quality recording choices including AVCIntra Class100 (recording as 1080/24p, 25, 30p, 50 or 60p with VFR up to 240p), AVC-Intra Class200 (up to 30p/60i) and 12-bit sampled AVC-Intra Class4:4:4 (up to 30p). Among the VariCam HS’ key features are real-time high frame rate and off-speed recording to 240fps in 1080p (using AVCIntra Class100), plus the ability to ramp/change frame rates during record.

I’ve shot much of the football coverage and enjoy shooting with the VariCam HS. It’s a camera with some heft, which I prefer for ENG-style shooting on the field. We have plenty of Panasonic’s new expressP2 cards for high frame rate recording (above 60 fps). Each 256 GB expressP2 card can record about 32 minutes of 240p 1080p video, and we have more than enough space to record the maximum amount of slo-motion, while at the same time capturing the game in realtime on a microP2 card. The chief asset of the VariCam HS has been its ability to simultaneously capture 1080p game action along with gorgeous super slo-mo.

The recorder is easy to understand, the quick menus on the screen are very useful; beyond that, custom menus are easy to set-up and navigate intuitively. While we haven’t yet, we anticipate taking advantage of the VariCam HS’ unique modular design—with the ability to separate the recorder from the camera head via an extension cable—and put it on a jib, further tapping into the versatility of the system.

Rick Bagby is assistant athletics director– video and technology, Clemson University Athletics Department. He can be reached

For additional information, contact Panasonic at 877-803-8492 or visit