Feedback on the use AF101.
For those who have not followed, so I had the chance to go to Osaka a few days to test the camera AG-AF101 Panasonic.
For me, the AF101 is a beautiful response to the flood of photocam, SLR DSLR video and other (call it what you want). Again this is Panasonic innovates and takes everyone by offering short the first affordable professional camera with a large sensor. Everyone expects Canon for over a year on this field, Sony just introduced its F3 seems promising but positioned considerably more expensive. I hope to talk soon vousen.
Users of these new tools for turning since the arrival of the Canon 5D MkII, I draw like most of you found that it's nice to have a camera that produces such beautiful HD video but the ergonomics for the operator remains mysterious look totally impractical without Accessories maximum ! So yes, let's be honest, it pleases us all to play mechanic and add all the accessories more exotic than the others to make them a little more functional boxes. Shoulder butt, matte box, follow focus, monitors, External audio recorder, all these crafts ultimately make us carry tools that look more like a Christmas tree covered in fairy lights to a camera. Yes because for the moment there is nothing better to shoot a camera. And if we look at developments since the first film cameras it always comes back the same needs in terms of ergonomics. So yes there is the competition side of penis to know who has the biggest, and, the most impressive "gear", mounting rewarding that will make him a new Robocop, Batman ou inspecteur gadget. All that excites us but still, is not a non-purpose ?
I left my side with a shoulder full RedRock Micro to see what it could do ... and ben, this is heavy, bulky and in the end I only kept the famous handle 2 rods all mounted on a monopod and hop ! Anyway, seen effreiné pace of test day and that there was at that final 2 feet to share in 6 …
In the end, l’AF 101 it is almost as if we had taken one of our boxes Photocam, that he had grafted a viewfinder, big XLR jacks for sound, a handful, a swiveling LCD screen, support for attaching a gun and positioned micro buttons to make any functional as possible.
So yes as we have already mentioned here is not the sexiest look of the earth. But it is quite logical that we find ourselves with this type of design chosen for considering the design of this camera criteria. In the end I prefer the functionality of the tool not look you ?
Back to what interests us, I've already said I took my foot with the AF101, the camera is born, it is a complete product, well thought out and the final positioning is relevant. Some are already moaning about the price of the item, but for me it is consistent, the case should be released in 4000ht real selling price which is actually not that expensive when compared to a camera like the EX1 for example, or a 5D mkII with a minimum.
XLR inputs are a real plus on this camera compared with DSLR housings, need to go with a digital audio recorder autonomous, Panasonic engineers have worked us on the audio portion, quality preamps such. A stupid but find a good old knob to adjust the audio level remains a most obvious thing not to mention the famous headphone jack absent all photocams market. The other key point about this part is that the audio AF101 can record audio in linear PCM uncompressed 48khz. Laissant le choix de l’AC3 pour ceux qui auraient besoin de faire l’économie d’une bonne prise de son 😉 et ce en plus des 24 mb / s codec image priori.
Codec et SDI
SDI output is also a super important thing, and I will return to this story codec.
As stated by Barry Green on one of our sales engineers work with the problem is that in the minds of most of us the quality of a codec via the "bitrate" famous megabits is measured by second. AVC HD codec is a codec to a newer generation than the Mpeg 2 eg used in EX1 / EX3. So yes it is not a wonder but in the end it is certainly more 4 :2 :0 saddens me that the H264 AVC HD itself. So yes this famous SDI is part of things calls on Photocam to record a better codec but also able to make a quality monitoring.
Some prestigious broadcasters such as the BBC requires toured image with a codec to 50mb / s, it is quite succinct as qualitative criteria but I find this is to tell you that this one does not really value the quality of the codec. When you know that ARTE flatly refused use of long gop codec that are considered barely acceptable in a film as well as archive images and should not represent more than 30% the total duration of. However, I understand that we may be in need of better for advanced post.
Filippo Chiesa has its share of comparative tests with Nano Flash design converge to 100mb / s Mpeg2 iFrame. I think it will soon present its tests but when I write these lines, ie in the plane back I'm not sure he could do). From my side I did 2 or 3 lined with HPG20 AVC Intra Plans (10 bits 4 :2 :2 100MB / sec.
Do not get me too but I think share a specific use or you need a beefier codec whatsoever for fiction or special effects such, the rest, PH AVC HD mode is really convincing. We all presented our images on a screen 6m basic projection and we can not say that we have embarrassed compression, ni nous, nor Panasonic engineers. Nevertheless, I think we'd better grab an external recorder or from the time we will need to grind the images during calibration pushed by example.
I spent 2 days in total in the company of the AF101 and the separation was difficult, I wanted to make it more !
I enjoyed the compactness of the camera, this cube shape makes it very handy and I think the prop will feast.
After playing with my mechanic RedRock Micro I finally chose an assembly that allowed me to take it a bit like a medium sized photo. This is what I like for example the Sony EX1 & EX3 failing shoulder and being too heavy if he enlisted the services of a pretty pebbles the AF101 as well qu'utilisable may still be accessorised with leisure. Having made sure that the 2 handles the top and the side are removable will allow to make more cubic to customize.
Sight and display
The quality of LCD screen is definitely on the rise, little or no viewing angle, the display is accurate as you can set the desired information displayed superimposed on the image. The Tilt mode is present which is handy, Barry pointed out that we should be able to fulfill the entire screen to choose, good idea I think.
The viewfinder that specific property is a little less convincing. It remains effective but lacks a bit of magnification. The protective glass is flush with the rubber eyecup is inconvenient for eyeglass wearers as Vincenç who rightly pointed out. We were all unanimous on the fact that the positioning of the viewfinder so camcorder stepmother was not great, why not a flexible viewfinder that can move at your leisure like big cameras like RED One or ARRI Alexa ? These are small details that do not prevent them from taking pleasure in using the AF101.
For all of us it was great splayfooted, what a treat to be able to change perspectives on a small camcorder so, what a treat not having to leave its filters when you need to go fast to have the choice to work with a very short depth of field if you feel like it even in bright light. The 4 ND filters rotary here is one thing that is still great practice. Optical side I had just brought my collection my old Asahi Pentax 50mm f :1,4 . My buddy Richard lent me a Leica 45mm macro f :2,8 micro 4/3 19mm and a Leica R f :2,8.
We provided 2 Zeiss CP2 series micro mount 4/3, des zoom Olympus 4/3 14/35mm constant aperture f :2 which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful light that I met recently and allows the adapter via the engine control point and diaph from the housing of the camera. Mechanically micro mount 4/3 must bear the weight of a lens that can weigh up to 1kg, after it will go through rods and support. What struck me is that the optical Panasonic Lumix range for a super G are effective because they have all been "corrected" by the internal processing of the camera inherited undoubtedly pro range and the famous "Circuit CAC "which makes a superb job vignetting correction, chromatic aberrations etc... Thus the 14/140 which is not necessarily dream because of its slippery opening f :4/5,8 while being a good optical quality has spent more time than I would have imagined grafted onto the camera. Are no doubts electronics box communicates with the optical and it did a good job all that. The result is so stunning that I took the game to run more with the optical Lumix with Zeiss Prime, I must say that it is also the management saw the speed autofocus shooting has given me a bit of comfort. To give you an example drawings turned in room tea ceremony were shot with the CP2 50 and 28mm except the timelapse is shot with the Lumix 14mm f :2,8. Most of the rest was shot with the 14/140 the 7/14, le fameux Olympus 14/35 f :2 which is a killer but still listening 2000 euros and even the new 14mm pancake small f :2,5 which gives a pretty funny look ... big camera but small pebbles, it will not please everyone, it's not super rewarding but what it works well !
The big thing is that this camera is the ability to slow motion. The AF101 will deserve to wear the Varicam label so it is a treat. We can turn to 1080p60 thereby making pretty things when you reread it to 24i / s. This is a real novelty for camera price offer such a function.
Low Light :
It is simply that Panasonic released better long, to HPX range from the very high 2100 / 2700 / 3000 / 3700 et la HPX 371 small cameras or P2 AVC Cam are not references on the subject, it usually swished quickly and the noise is not very good.
Here even if the internal post-treatment remains visible is really good and 1600 iso are very usable. I warn viewing images on a computer screen that is often unflattering. But in the projection room in Osaka it was very good including the BTLH 2550.
Let's talk about details that are less positive, I said that these criticisms were said designers of the camera they noted for future development. The thing that annoyed me is the position of the record button. One is located near the base of the viewfinder, the other is above the handle. It has all we missed a small rec button on the bottom of the optical frame. I insisted on it so they decided to mark Pampuri button, (I'm kidding of course) Unfortunately it is too late the case is in my opinion already in production and final adjustments will only software.
Panasonic assured us that the cameras we had available were finalized 95%. Assistance in development for displaying a red outline around the net area is not always effective in some super low light conditions.
The suggestions that have been made for the future we talked a better recorder of course with a higher bitrate to reassure big broadcasters like the BBC. A double recorder P2 / AVC intra + SD / AVC HD was mentioned. The price of P2 may seem daunting but for those who seek high quality recording. Leave the choice to the user seems to me in any case a very good idea. Could be used for example to doc SDCard and reporting and P2 for fiction etc.. Why not a more upscale version ? An example AF201 ?
Provisional conclusions on the pre-production model
Many of you asks me about the operating environment of such a camera, au final, I find this camera very versatile. Except for some application or some of you will regret a motorized zoom with a handful can be considered all. Documentary, reportage, fiction, pub, clip, capture concerts etc..
As the DVX 100 had become the queen of short film for a time, la HVX 200 I also think the AF101 will be a hit in this area.
In conclusion, the AG-AF101 is a camera that will no doubt be a real hit with many users, it will come to compete with DSLR but also allow those who do not want to hear because of rotation with a camera not to spend large sensor and enable them to achieve a more cinematic image. Young filmmakers will rush over, this is in my opinion those like me who are waiting for Scarlett certainly breaking the bank for AF101. In the end it has everything one dreams except maybe this story codec but for now do not bother.
An extraordinary experience
I'm just on cloud not only the small team was quickly found and we had a pleasant stay. We 2 Philip Bloom stars with us and Barry Green are two of them 2 largest web community facilitators on this topic.
Philip Church, Vincenç Acensio quickly and I have woven a beautiful complicity, this is probably our roots "Latin" that brought us together and I think we will be asked to do other things in the future. Philip Bloom and Barry Green are great professionals, passionate and I also liked to meet “and vrai”.
I think this is a strong sign for users like us that Panasonic starts to do this kind of operation, this is a first that should be welcomed.
That such a large company that is part of 5 largest manufacturers of electronic equipment in the world looks so close to its users via our little blogs, our value to our suggestions for the evolution of the material is in my opinion a proof of respect for all those who work with their products, I guess it is done elsewhere, but have been at the heart of this adventure will remain etched in my memory, Once again thank you to them, and thank you for your interest in all this.
Some will inevitably say that you can not be objective by being invited to spend 4 days at the expense of the princess to the other side of the world mumuse still camera with the prototype. Think again, none of us made any concessions on what we had to say and they all listened, all noted, even when we were not soft or we were gone far in delusions suggestion development of products. Engineers, Business, Head of Design, développeur software, they were all eager to critical, and this is why I take my hat. But also for the quality of care.
Striking anecdote, le « Papa » de l’AF 101 was with us last night for it or touching evening we celebrated worthily the end of this trip, engineer, in discussion we thanked him for the upset and give him new ways of thinking, so much so that 1am he told us he was already absorbed by the design of a new camera “in his head” while we were more concerned with understanding the instructions karaoke machines, et plutôt à discuter de savoir si on préférait le saké chaud ou froid 😉 …
I met an amazing team, generous and passionate people. These people from a culture so different from ours based on respect for traditions and is all about innovation touched me deep. How not to move when the big boss of Panasonic broadcast world asks us excuse to take us much time on our jobs of professional time. Anyway I liked this approach, I loved these people and I do not get tired of you to share it here because I think this is rare and precious that I just live.
My deepest thanks go to :
My companions Image, Philip Bloom, Barry Green, Philip Church, Vincenç Asensio, Alexander Mayer.
Panasonic Broadcast Team France André Métérian, Guilhem Krier & Luc Barra responsible for Pansonic AF101 for Europe
Special dedication to Laurent Roussel, Romain Chollet, Christophe Descloux, Nicolas Guinebretiere ...
Carmen Mendoza Panasonic Europe initiatrice ce projet (big up néné !)
Richard Lyon studient Photo Digital, who follows me in all my delusions since the beginning.
Special thanks to the entire team of Japanese Panasonic :
Hideo (Harry) Yonenaga
Neil (Noriaki) Ugo
Sorry if I forgot.