Leaked document on Panasonic AG-AF100

This camera made it’s sneak debut at NAB this year and it looks damn exciting. Taking the very nice chip of the GH1 and enhancing it for video and adding all sorts of treats like HD-SDI output…XLR Jacks, proper viewfinder…BASICALLY it’s a proper video camera with a wicked chip in it. What we want is no rolling shutter and the loss of the nasty vertical lines in higher ISOs that the GH1 suffers from. It looks like it can take all sorts of lenses, check out the Zeiss PL Ultra Prime on the photo.

It records in AVCHD but the joy is with the HD-SDI out we can use an AJA KiPro box or nanoflash and record VERY high quality video.

Check out the specs below:

I have to say I am super excited about this. Not just for this camera for what it represents. Taking the chips out of the stills cameras and putting them into practical bodies. Canon, Sony, Nikon…who knows…All I can say is this. I WANT ONE!!!

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54 comments

  1. I agree. This is what we have been waiting for. Up until now I have just been renting 5D’s and 7D’s for shoots, but this changes everything. Sign me up for pre-order. I wonder though, will you be able to use cross lenses like Canon EOS and Nikon lenses? Probably have to wait for the right adapter to come out I suppose?

  2. This is what We’ve been needing.. all though… 1080/60p would have been nice. Especially for the price this will cost.

    and am I the only one who thinks it looks ugly?

  3. This is what we have been waiting for. If this happened a few years back i wonder whether the dslr’s would have taken off like they did. I hope this camera pushes the video camera market.

  4. This is a good reason not to become too attached to the current generation of HD video DSLR cameras. They’re great tools now – essentially because there is nothing like them available in any other form factor. The lessons learned with the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D, 550D, and other cameras must lead to more ergonomic cameras that are desperately needed to make our jobs easier! I love the 5DM2, but will gladly welcome the next generation of HD cameras.

  5. Hi Phil,

    A few questions for discussion:

    1) You said “It records in AVCHD but the joy is with the HD-SDI out we can use an AJA KiPro box or nanoflash and record VERY high quality video.”

    Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but can you elaborate on this? Does using the AJA KiPro enable higher quality video than the camera’s AVCHD without AJA KiPro (or nanoflash). What exactly is the benefit?

    2) You said that in order to use Canon’s eos lens one “will need an electronic iris control”. Does this exist at this time to your knowledge? Or do you suspect they will release something like this?

    3) In Panasonic’s description, they said two things that caught my attention: “designed for stable camera work” and “use the AG-AF100 to produce…other short productions”.

    Do you think they are referring to rolling shutter issues or anything when they say “stable”, as in not handheld? And “short productions”, could that be an allusion to overheating problems? I would want this camera for long-form documentary intended for broadcast. Do you think there is any reason this wouldn’t be an acceptable format for TV (such as PBS ITVS, etc)?

    4) I’m the guy that wrote you some time ago asking if the 5D or 7D could accomodate a c-mount lens. Any thoughts if this would be able to? And for that matter, can the GH1 take one–I was thinking about grabbing a GH1 and using it later as a b-cam.

    Sorry this turned into an epic comment.

  6. Do they take HVX’s as trades?…
    Where’s the 720/60P though!?!?! Hope they can sneak it in. 50P is cool and all, but I’m too used to 60P to 23.98P to give it up!
    Wicked exciting though, I agree! I’ve always liked the Panny ergonomics and menus.

    1. I’m pretty sure the 29.94p for 720 is a typo; it should be 59.94p, which is the appropriate NTSC variant of 60p. A framerate of 29.94 wouldn’t really make any sense, it’s not a framerate that (as far as I’m aware) is ever used elsewhere.

  7. it’s damn good, my only question: what would be the price of this camera?
    because if it’s twice the price of the dslr 7d and 5d , it’s not affordable for me… i prefer stay with the 7d…

      1. Sounds like an interesting piece of kit, but surely for the price the Red Scarlet would be a more viable option,certainly all the DSLR ‘problems’ will not be an issue- with shooting at upto 3k and 120fps at 2K, buck for buck i’d rather have a fixed lens Scarlet than the Panasonic.

  8. I understood it was $6000 price point and by christmas this year, and it will take Nikon lenses with adaptor.

    Of course Sony’s leaked “road map” 35mm camera is scheduled for a little later and probably a lot more money.

  9. For those of you grousing about the price, this is a full featured professional video camera, that is targeted at people like Philip who were sticking 35mm adaptors (some of which cost as much as your DSLR) onto professional video cameras to achieve shallow DOF. A lot of these people switched to the DSLRs because they were smaller and easier with a great image…not necessarily because they were cheaper.

  10. I think the latest news said the HDSDI output is 4:2:0 and not 4:2:2.
    I hope it s a mistake…
    This kind of output would be totally useless with nanoflash

  11. This is exciting, but for some of us the price isn’t, this is what make Canon’s DSLR’s amazing. Dont get me wrong all qualities of a video camera except with DSLR chip WOW! I cant wait for Canon’s, hopefully its not to hard on the bank! I own a 7D and for the price I cant complain about the quality at all. This is exciting news, I wonder if these cameras will still be able to take pictures for those of us who are photographers this is where the canon DSLRs shine. Lol what if these start a new revolution then maybe all the zacuto and cinevate DSLR rigs will become cheaper ;P lol

      1. Yeah, I too was anxious for the Scarlet – still am. I have an HMC150 and want to upgrade. The AF100 looks pretty sweet and fits my price range, especially with an HMC150 and nice extras to throw in.

      2. That’s stuff of nonsense, with the success of the REDOne and unbelievable investment in the company both the Scarlet and Epic cameras will appear, eventually. Yes the manufacturing base has shifted with good reason, but keeping the production within the US will ensure a more efficient roll out when they finally arrive. Quite simply you will not find the image quality of the Scarlet or Epic for that price anywhere and I very much doubt the CMOS options from Canon will produce anywhere near 3K resolution and Sony won’t jeapordize their cinealta stock.

  12. I posted this on cinema 5D when i first heard about this camera:

    HDSLR with all its problems and shortcomings changed everything.
    I started in the business 23 years ago shooting film and video.
    I always believed that you could make the flat video look deeper while lighting it just like you would film,
    I made everything I could to make video more cinematic by working wide open with ton of ND in front of the lens,primes,35″ adapters but still was never happy,
    The closest I got was with my Panasonic Varicam that felt like super 16” to me, the 720P was a bit softer then the F900 1080 (still too video due to it’s super sharpness) and the Varicam colors were very film like.
    I almost fainted when I saw the 5D video for the first time and was one of the first in line to get it.
    Since then I tested it capabilities and workflow extensively before convincing my clients to use it (sync is their biggest drawback still) and been watching amazing things all of you are doing with it
    This camera reminds me why I got into shooting in the first place. Suddenly after years I stopped shooting just for work and started going out shooting for fun while testing my new small rig.

    Now when I see things like this: http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/st … &surfModel

    …And since you know there are more full sensor cameras coming from other companies soon I get filled with hope, finally we get the tools we always wanted and they are affordable too.

    The future is bright and it all started with a still camera, just like the beginning of film.
    Happy shooting, the future is bright

  13. Love the Idea and it is no doubt excellent for the industry – however there’s a certain appeal about the portability / flexibility and subtlety of a DSLR-style body ( especially when shooting on the down low ).

    Looking forward to seeing the results of this cam – and am intrigued by it.

    Wonder how much people would pay for a 3D / 5Dmk3 SLR body that shoots 2K prores 4444 + improved rolling shutter with an HD hdmi out (or hd-sdi out) and 2 XLR inputs with phantom power….

  14. From what I have heard, Canon’s video body will be 16K.
    No lens adapters, No EOS allowed, all new lenses.
    Total package over 20k easy.

    Rumors, don’t quote me.

    oh and one last thing….
    it’s coming soon.

  15. Here’s what I don’t understand and find very annoying: Manufacturers make a great camera, but then you have to go out and buy another product such as the nanoFlash, in order to get the full benefit of the camera.

    Why don’t they bloody build the contraption so that you don’t have to lug around another piece of hardware. I’ll gladly pay the extra thousand bucks.

    While they’re at it, kindly include an LCD screen on the camera that you can actually use for focusing. Is that too much to ask?

    As I’ve stated before, this is like buying a car, but the tires must be purchased as an accessory.

    OK, rant over.

    1. A built-in high bitrate recorder (like the nanoflash) would probably add $3K or $4K to the price of the camcorder. Not $1k. And a hires monitor big enough to focus your cam would also add lots of $$$$.

      Your car analogy doesn’t work: tires ARE included when you buy a car, but you can laso buy better, high-performance tires.

      Think before you rant !

      Rant over.

      😉

  16. This is very exciting news! And, if it lives up to hype will truly be the next DVX camera that will revolutionize everything once again.

    If it lives up to the hype…

  17. How does/will this product get past the rolling shutter issues, if it’s effectively a GH1 in a video housing, and would the GH1 t13 hack be able to be used on this, if this is only going to offer 25mbit?

  18. I personally think this is great. While I was mildly interested with it at NAB – since then I’ve become more and more enamored with these types of solutions (Sony option). Specifically with ability for longer record times and monitoring connections (as Philip would say, “…a proper video camera.”). Formats and bit depth haven’t stopped most of us from shooting on these options and AVCHD doesn’t concern me terribly as I’ve become use to the transcoding to a ProRes or DNxHD format for post anyway. AND, HD-SDI is 4:2:2 color space (in terms of specs) so having a real HD-SDI output is HUGE! This opens up options from not only recording and monitoring, but syncing and live switching cameras for other production needs. Can’t wait to see the landscape at NAB next year!

  19. JayDee, I have a feeling that if you ran Apple there’d be no such thing as an iPhone or an iPad. “Oh, we can’t have an HD screen on this little thing. And the ability to edit is just not possible on a phone. Stop ranting, people, and be realistic.”

    You are willing to accept the unacceptable from high tech companies.

    I do not accept that a camera is sold for $5,000 to $6,000, but I have to spend thousands more to get it to work at its maximum capability.

    Does it tell you something that companies like Panasonic are losing millions of dollars? I love the brand and many of their products, but consumers need to be more demanding and products should do what they claim to do.

  20. So is this really going to kill the Canon DSLR video stint?

    We have a proper video camera that can take 35mm lenses and shoots 1080/24p…looks to be the future

  21. Canon is probably going to build one too, while it is going to compete with their XHL HD which they already did with 5d with HD functions but cause people are more going for the HDSLR and their Canon EF lenses. They probably would build a more dedicated for video camera with ef mount.

    Not sure if the one in July be released be that cause the rumor is it got a flip screen which would fit more into a dedicated video camera plus it would not be fitting if they would release a 60d cause the 7d and 550d is already in a big competition with each other.

  22. I’ve always been happy with Panny’s pro-video offerings. I’m even impressed with the new consumer-grade TM700. And my company was one of the first to fully adopt the HVX200 and P2 in 2005.

    But I have to say that one thing that really annoys me no end is the plethora of rolling-shutter usage in pro cameras. No doubt the AF100 is absolutely going to have a rolling shutter because it’s using a single CMOS/Still-camera imaging chip, not the typical 3-CCD a traditional video camera uses.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Holy Grail of indie filmmakers like us has always been film-like DOF from video cameras which is the sole reason companies like RedRock and Letus even exist. And nobody can dispute how gorgeous Canon DSLR video is. But for me the rolling-shutter issue is a non-starter. Why?

    Since when is it acceptable to have image skew during even a slow pan or worse, when following a fast-moving subject? Why would I use a camera with “jello-vision” for any sort of non-static action?

    If all you shoot is talking heads, nature/panoramas or things that just don’t move much then any rolling-shutter camera will do the trick. Most likely why Panasonic specifically says, “…stable camera work…” in this brochure.

    I like Panny stuff and I’m sure both the AF100 and the new model from Sony will be a huge hit both with DSLR shooters and those – just like me – who’ve held-off getting into DSLR’s specifically because we want “real” camera controls and features.

    But honestly, if all the AF100 is doing is putting a rolling-shutter-based imager into a traditional pro-video form-factor then I’ll stick with the HPX170/500/2700 and a Letus adapter and get all my gorgeous motion sans image skew rather than try and fight it with the AF100.

    Panny was just inches away from the “perfect” pro-level, digital cinematography camera and missed it. Obviously Sony’s entry into this market will have to fight this issue to since all they’re doing is using the ALPHA still-camera imager, but maybe they’ll find a technological way around the rolling shutter.

    One can only hope.

    1. Regarding rolling shutter… I think the statement in the release says it all: “Designed for stable camera work” — which is definitely a euphemism for “there is still a rolling shutter problem with this chip”

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