Panasonic Introduces The AG-AF100 "A Series" Micro Four Thirds Camcorder Featuring Full HD Progressive Recording And 24PsF 10 bit (enhanced 8 bit smoothing) 4:2:2 Camera Output Via SDI Terminal. As with the conventional model AG-AF100 Series, AG-AF100A Series can use a wide range of lenses including Micro Four Thirds compatible DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) lenses, 35mm DSLR lenses and Cinema lenses with appropriate lens mount adapters. In addition to the professional high quality PH mode (average approx. 21Mbps, maximum 24Mbps), AG-AF100A Series complies with the AVCHD ver. 2.0 (AVCHD Progressive) standard in its new PS mode (average approx. 25Mbps, maximum 28Mbps) for recording, playing and outputting (via HDMI only) Full-HD progressive (1080/59.94p, 1080/50p) images. The PS/PH modes support uncompressed 16 bit LPCM 2-channel audio recording. The AG-AF100A Series also features two-channel XLR audio input terminals for full uncompressed Audio recording and many other functions to meet the professional needs.
The AG-AF100A Series is now able to output HD signals with 10 bit 4:2:2 (enhanced 8 bit smoothing), quality via the camera's live output function and record onto the external devices, such as a P2 Recorder. The 10 bit signal is generated by smoothing process and is not a native 10 bit signal. The real benefit of it is that there is a smoother transition over the gradation of tones with in the frame of video. The SDI signal also carries a sync signal for the Rec Start/Stop with the AG-AF100A series trigger. Additionally the AG-AF100A Series is newly equipped with the clamored for expand focus assist function, which enlarges the center of the displayed image for greater ease in focusing. Also included is a 2.39:1 (cinema scope size) safety zone marker.
Starting with a Best in Class 4/3 MOS imager, this camera makes images that have that shallow depth of field for which customers have been clamoring. But unlike the DSLRs, Panasonic engineering know-how has resolved the aliasing and moir that has haunted the DSLR shooter. So the concept of bringing this camera to the market was based on what Panasonic heard and saw customers doing. They were purchasing DSLR cameras because they liked the look of the image, but then agonized over all of the workarounds that that had to go through to come out with a successful High Definition recording.
The terminology is that the sensor is 4/3 which means an inch and 1/3, which is obviously a little more cumbersome to say. This is the diagonal measurement and in this application, in spite of the fact that the imager is 4/3 in 4:3 aspects, it is still 4/3 in 16:9. The mount that the camera uses is a micro 4/3 mount which means that there is no mirror in the way like a typical DSLR, and thus the mounting is fairly shallow. You can take advantage of all of the adapters that have been made to adapt lenses to popular Micro 4/3 still cameras.
So there are two issues to come to understand here. The first is how close is the 4/3 imager is in size relationship to 35mm film. The 4/3 imager measures 32.5 across and 35mm fil (movie film, sprocket to sprocket) measures 35mm. In other words, very close. If someone wants to determine what the crop factor would be from a standard 35mm film lens, use .8 as your multiplier. If they want a crop factor for 35mm still lenses that crop factor would be 2X.
The second issue is which lenses can be used on the camera and the list is well, impressive. Currently the lenses that do not have adapters are the Canon EOS and Nikon AF lenses as these do not have external iris rings. Virtually every other lens has an adapter including, Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Minolta, Leica, and even PL mount lenses. Please keep in mind that when you do start to put larger lenses on the cameras you need to support the lens with rails and a matte box.
4/3 Best in Class MOS imager, with fast imager scanning which translates to low skew in picture quality with optical and low pass filters for elimination of aliasing and moire
Records 1080/60i/24P 30P(Native) and 1080/50i , 25P(Native), 720P/60 or 720P/50
Variable frame rates in 24P, 30P and 25P, in1080 up to 60P or 50 dependent on 60Hz or 50Hz mode
Uncompressed 4:2:2, 8 Bit HD-SDI output and HDMI output
Six Built-in Scene files, which of course the customer can customize, selectable from a menu rather than a scene file dial
Built-in gamma curves like HD Norm, HD Low and High, Cine-like D, Cine-like V, B.Stretch, with 4 selectable color matrices like Norm 1 and Norm 2, Fluorescent and Cinelike
Color Phase and Saturation, Pedestal and Detail image control
Exchangeable scene files, for instant/easy matching between multiple cameras
Syncro-scan shutter in Video Mode (1/24.0, dependent on frame rate, to 1/250; in Film Mode variable shutter angles from 1 to 360 degrees
Two card slots for relay recording which means with 2 32GB SDHC cards, 6 hours of record time and automatic clip spanning across the two cards
SDXC Card compatibility, 64GB cards means 12 hours of PH Mode, 48 hours in HG Mode
Downconverted standard-def composite output
HD Video and Full Audio monitoring during record and playback with high-quality audio preamps at the input
Audio outputs, both line level and headphones
Two professional XLR audio inputs, line/mic selectable with phantom power as menu selectable item with full manual audio level control and the ability to disable all Audio Gain
Uncompressed 48KHz 16 Bit audio recording capability in PH mode
High resolution LCD and Viewfinder
Timecode and timecode synchronizing for simple multiple-camera shoots via video out connection
Dynamic Range Stretch in all modes, and frame rates
Focus assist that can be used while recording, color on peaking and focus bar
Two sets of zebras that user can set for their style of shooting
Two manual black and white balance choices and preset White Balance at 3200 or 5600K
Waveform monitor and vectorscope, for more accurate monitoring of Broadcast Safe Levels
Spotmeter "marker" for instant feedback on key subject exposure value
Built-in optical neutral density filters, 2 stops, 4 stops and 6 stops
Black and White Recording Mode
Pre-record and an intervalometer function for up to 24 hours
Different aspect ratio markings in the viewfinder/LCD 90% "safety zone" against the 16:9 for making sure your framing will be visible on all TVs, and 2.35, 1.85, 14:9, and 4:3
High quality AVCCAM PH mode, full production codec, I frames B frames and P frames, also has HA Mode and HE Mode(note these last two are 1080i only)
Autofocus during record with the H-VS014140 Lumix Lenses, with face recognition technology
Marker ability to mark clips "good" or "no good"
Programmable User Buttons with options like Delete last clip, Focus Assist, Rec Check, Capture, ATW Lock and Shot Mark
Smart Battery interface, record times up to 4 hours with 5400mA battery
Metadata - assign user clip names to the clips that get shot
Wireless infrared remote controller
Professional Color bars and 1000Hz tone for communicating levels to the edit suite
Remote iris/stop/start control interfaces, standard communication protocol as with all Panasonic Professional camcorders
Professional Body Color, similar to other Panasonic Professional cameras like the VariCams
3-year AVCCAM warranty upon registration in PASS network