Got a production Panasonic AF-101, hurrah and shooting with Sony F3k for first time today

On December the 23rd my production Panasonic AF-101 arrived. The first proper video camera I have bought since my EX3! It’s one of the first in the country and all I have done so far is open the box and check it out. I haven’t shot anything with it yet but that will come. It’s a great camera and the reason I bought it was simply shooting with the pre-production models was such a pleasure it was a no brainer and at that price point for a video camera with those features a steal. Check out my previous blogs to see my thoughts on it.

Coincidentally I have the Sony F3K for a few days, it arrived the same day. A pricier camera and not targeted as direct compeititon to the AF101, they are keeping their summer released NXCAM for that but I will do a little side by side next week before I hand it back.

I haven’t shot anything properly with it as it’s been family time but today I will making a little short with my beautiful sister. She has complained that I have done shorts with my mum and my dad but not her, so this is her turn. She was widely regarded as the face of UK Cosmopolitan magazine in the 90s and not my normal subject for my shorts as she is far too beautiful! But she is insistent so today I will be filming her with the the F3 and the two kit lenses they supplied to me, the 85mm and 50mm T2 PL.

My sister

It’s shame I don’t have anything wider than a 50mm (i didn’t get the 35mm), but I will cope. I will just adjust my shooting to compensate for the lack of anything wider than the 50mm (remember this is an S35 chip so it’s not like a 50mm full frame, this is a cinema 50mm).

I don’t know how final these lenses are. The image out of them from what I have seen so far is pretty damn good, it’s just a shame they don’t have the long focus rotation of other PLs I have used or have the focus markings of the even the cheaper PLs like the Zeiss CP.2. Below is a picture of the MTF Services micro four thirds PL adaptor I have just got for my AF-101, so I will try them out on that camera too.

The lenses aren’t as super silky smooth as I would like either, but as before i have no idea how finished these lenses are so the production models could be a lot better!

Not many focus markings...

Proper focus marks on Zeiss CP.2

50mm and 85mm
Will be using my Kessler Crane slider
Tripod am using is the new Vinten vision blue
Mum and Dad have had their turn!

The camera feels a hell of a lot more substantial that the AF-101 and with the PL lens on looks a beefy beast. It’s lucky i still have an EX3 as I was not supplied any media or battery charger. Could have been a short test! I love the SxS format used, but as I have mentioned before it’s a real shame we are limited to the 35mb/s internally on this camera and the overcrank is only 720p…

So, this evening I will be shooting with it using entirely practical lights to see how well it copes low light wise. Should be fun.. stay tuned for more!