Skip to main content

Panasonic Varicam Captures 'Strange Days on Planet Earth'

The National Geographic series, "Strange Days on Planet Earth" was shot using the Panasonic Varicam HD cinema cameras.

A Panasonic Varicam AJ-HDC27 was used to capture the series about unusual mysteries in natural history and replicates film-based image acquisition, including 24-frame progressive scan images and time-lapse recording. The camera also comes with CineGamma software.

Five Varicam cameras were used to film land and underwater locations such in Nigeria, Alaska, St. Thomas, Trinidad and Hong Kong.

"Varicam really pushes color in unconventional ways--the underwater video looks better than 16 mm and we got extremely beautiful imagery on land," said Mark Shelley, executive producer, Sea Studios Foundation, who produced four one-hour episodes.

Macro photography and microscopy lenses were used to cover natural history production.

Director of photography (DP) Erich Roland said that "high-definition raises the bar for the DP" and because everything gets "big" he said that he has to be careful with the composition and the lighting within the frame.