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DP Stephen Berke Fields Narrative, Corporate and Commercial Projects with Panasonic VariCam LT Cinema Camera

PLSN Staff • Projection Connection News • June 12, 2019


NEWARK, NJ – San Francisco-based cinematographer/colorist Stephen Berke has designated the Panasonic VariCam LT as the “A” camera on a gamut of projects ranging from narrative to corporate/commercial to music videos.

More details from Panasonic (

Notably, Berke used his VariCam LT as Director of Photography for an award-winning short film, “Snaggletooth,” that had its New York premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Recent corporate/commercial work shot on the VariCam LT has included spots for San Jose’s M8trix Casino, as well as projects for Google, Adobe and Genentech.

Berke is the DP for two additional short films, “The Interview” (currently showing on the festival circuit and Best in Show winner at the 2019 Albany Film Fest) and “The Shepherds of Cat Island,” a 10-minute single-take, premiering soon.

“I love the VariCam’s color science, its organic look and more saturated palette,” Berke said. “And I firmly believe that dual native ISOs should be a standard feature on any cinema camera.”

The DP relied on his go-to VariCam LT asset—its dual native 800/5000 ISO-throughout the “Snaggletooth” shoot last year. “We spent four days on location in an historic San Francisco Victorian mansion,” Berke recounted. “The home was immaculately restored, which significantly impacted how much gear we could bring in. The LT was ideal for a project that strictly required a smaller, unobtrusive package and lower light levels.”

On the short shoot and other assignments, Berke typically shoots at ISO5000 dialed back to 3000/2500 in low light. “That’s a sweet spot for me, allowing me to use fast lenses and achieve plenty of sensitivity. The noise at those levels is perfectly acceptable,” he said.

“Even if an assignment is finished in 1080p, I mostly shoot in 4K (recording internally at 4K DCI 4:2:2), affording the client the option to reframe/recompose in post,” Berke added. His lens choices frequently include Fujinon and Tokina zooms, and Cooke Primes.

For more information on DP Stephen Berke, visit To view the “Snaggletooth trailer, see

About the VariCam LT

The VariCam LT camcorder inherits the same super 35mm sensor and superb imaging capabilities that distinguish the award-winning VariCam 35, but with significant reductions in size,

weight and price. Incorporating this identical imaging “DNA” in a more compact rendition, the ariCam LT delivers 14+ stops of dynamic range with V-Log, and the esteemed cinematic VariCam image quality and color science, as well as the VariCam 35’s breakout innovation, dual native

ISOs of 800/5000. Weighing just under six pounds and having superior capability to similar sized cameras, the VariCam LT is the ideal camera for handheld, SteadiCam, jib, crane, drone, gimbal and overall cinema verité work. The VariCam LT offers a host of new features including an

EF lens mount, hot swappable batteries, IR shooting capability, a 23.98 PsF output, cinema style file naming, and image presets such as scene files.

For more information about Panasonic cinema cameras, visit, or contact Panasonic at 877-803-8492.


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