3 days with the Panasonic AG-AF100

I will be updating this blog as I play with it and get to grips with it. It’s a funny looking camera and certainly looks better proportioned with a nice PL lens on it rather than still lenses but I am not interested in how sexy it looks. I care how well it performs in the following areas.

Low light

Moire

Aliasing

Rolling Shutter

Resolution

I will do as much testing as I can, unfortunately the timing is not ideal as I have a shoot tomorrow so I won’t get a chance to do anything with it. But first impressions are good. I have shot a little footage at 3200 ISO and it looks pretty damn good! Great to have features on the camera that I miss SOOOOO much on my DSLRs.

Great to have a 4 setting ND filter wheel. Great to have a really good quality waveform, XLR inputs, zebras, headphone jack (!), the list goes on and on…stuff I struggle with not having on my DSLRs.

First thing I did, despite my hideous jet lag was a quick and dirty low light test. In the devastation that used to be my kitchen I set the camera to 3200 ISO, stuck a Leica M mount Voigtlander 50mm 1.1 with Fotodiox adaptor (costs around $900 for the lens, an amazing lens), used a box of matches and a fat cuban cigar (smoking is bad, only lit it for the piece…mostly!) Unfortunately I have found out that it was ISO 2000, the 3200 ISO just said it was on this pre-production camera…have to wait to Japan to see it now.

One thing I noticed straight off is if you are serious about your filmmaking you will need to invest in a Nanoflash, Ki-Pro type device. 24mbs AVCHD is fine for most things but you simply are not getting the best out of the camera. The HD-SDI of the camera may only be 8-bit but with a nice I-Frame codec you will get a much better image out of it…this camera with a higher bit rate using an external recorder will be much more powerful.

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