Thursday, September 30, 2010

Panasonic AG AF101: DSLR killer?

The amount of noise regarding the subject of "VDSLR is dead" has surprised me. And then I caught up with this announcement from Panasonic, made at IBC:

Panasonic AG AF101


What are the issues with DSLR video? Moire (because of OLP Filters made for stills), aliasing, and obvious audio limitations. This announcement foretells a future of many real video cameras, with the same or even better imagers, better quality (Panasonic is only the first) and with all the bells and whistles you have to ether add (like extra boxes for decent sound,) or have to work around on DSLRs.

Not surprised that a manufacturer has paid attention to the market and responded in this way. There will certianly be DSLRs in the future, but I wouldn't look for XLR ins/outs any time soon!

The AF-101 is officially listed at $4,995. In a year from now you can get it for a street price of $4500 or even less. This is way cheaper as the original DVX or HVX200 was. For that you get a camera with XLR, phantom power, ND-Filters, SDI, full HD HDMI out for monitoring (while recording), Zebras, viewfinder, andwhatnot.

Here's a comparison--

$1500 for a 5D body
+BeachTek DXA SLR $400
+three ND filters $300
+Black Magic HDMI to SDI converter $500
+Viewfinder/Loupe $300
+Full HD HDMI out (priceless)

Almost $3000 – and you come not close to the features of a AF-100. And if you want to add a RedRock micro rig, you can plus this up $1000-2500 depending on how many features you'd like to add. Or you can buy the AF-101 and get:

Focus in red Assist – while recording
Line/Mic selectable
Variable frame rates in 20 steps,
P2/AVCCAM Metadata
Two card slots
Professional image controls
Filmlike Cinegamma gamma curves
Color-matched with other Panasonic professional cameras, such as the VariCams

Continuous recording capacity of over 12 hours in economy mode, and continuous recording of six hours in best-quality mode on a single card . . . and on and on.

Here's an interesting first look at the AF-101:
Gizmag on AG AF101

This ought to be the first of a wave of comparible video products based on video productions built around a sensor. And then there is the Red Scarlet, but that's another discussion altogether.

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