The Panasonic AG AF 100 / 101 camera quick test

January 12, 2011

I had the chance to test the new Panasonic AG AF 100 / 101 camcorder for three days. It was a pre production model, which was 95% finished.

Sadly I only had the camera for three days and these three days were rainy days. The other issue was the glass. I only had the Zeiss 85 mm CP.2, which are 170 mm on a Panasonic AG AF 100 / 101 and the Panasonic kit lens (14-140 mm F4.0 – 5.6).

I will get the Panny in a few weeks again (I’ll have more lenses) and will shoot some better footage with it. All I can say: It’s a great camcorder. Improved rolling shutter, less moirè, professional inputs (XLR) and outputs (HD-SDI). All you need for shooting with a small team!

Here are my first impressions:

ISO:
I was very impressed using the camera in quite dark situations without any light source. I made some test shots outside in a forest and it was stunning to see what’s possible with this camcorder. ISO 2.000 is useable, all above is too grainy!

Rolling Shutter:
I shot some car scenes in my quick and dirty test film. It’s a big improvement compared to Video DSLR’s. I haven’t seen any rolling shutter in the footage, but I used only wide angles. If you are using a tele lens you can still the the rolling shutter issues. But it’s still better than any Video DSLR’s out right now.

Moirè:
The moirè is a big disadvantage when you are using an HDSLR. I read on Philip Blooms Blog about the Panasonic GH2, which has some quite good results in less moirè. I think Panasonic did a great job with their new camera generation. I shot a clip in my short test film at 0:47, where you can see a jeans. You can’t see any moirè on this frame!

Handling:
The Panasonic AG AF 100 / 101 isn’t a nice looking camera. It’s like a black swan! If you have used an HDSLR like a Canon 7D or Canon 5D Mark II you might be a litte bit disappointed! It has no magnesium body and hasn’t such an robust body like a DSLR. It’s a camcorder, not a stills camera. But if you are using it, it’s great to have so many features which we missed when using a DSLR camera for video! The AWB button in front of the camera is amazing, integrated ND filters, which you can easily switch on a knob, 180° shutter, XLR inputs and HD-SDI! Wow! Also the form factor of this camera is good, it’s not heavy and I used it on a Glidecam HD 2000 without any problems. Works pretty well!

Pro:

  • Professional inputs and outputs (HD-SDI, XLR)
  • Integrated ND filters
  • 50/60fps at 1080p
  • AWB button in front of the camera
  • Interchangeable lens mount (adapters for every mount available)
  • low prize!
  • 180° shutter, easier to use than an HDSLR
  • really lightweight
  • less rolling shutter
  • less moirè

Contra:

  • Built quality (plastic)
  • Viewfinder has a poor quality
  • Crop factor 2.0
  • it’s bigger than an HDSLR

A few pictures (click on the picture to get more information):

Thanks to Panasonic for the loan unit!

Music: James Newton Howard – There’s no monster

View Comments

6 Responses to “The Panasonic AG AF 100 / 101 camera quick test”

  1. james says:

    Wow, ISO 2000! I’m fairly certain it just has just SDI, not HD-SDI. Just a note.

  2. Sebastian Wiegärtner says:

    Hey James,
    it has Uncompressed 4:2:2, 8 Bit HD-SDI and HDMI output!

    Sebastian

  3. Tom says:

    I hear the Panny 14-140 lens is slow. Did you find that to be the case?
    Also, what lens adapter did you use to mount the Zeiss?

    Thanks

  4. […] also a Denz PL54-mount with integrated support system available for the Panasonic AG AF 101 / 100. I tested the camera recently, but didn’t have luck with the weather, so I will get it again to achieve better results with […]

  5. Roald says:

    Hi Sebastian

    Thanks for the nice review
    Not many reviewers mention the 2.0 crop factor which is very important info indeed!.

    As i love filming lightning (thunderstorms) i wondered iff the ag af100/101 can handle the rolling shutter which occures with lighntning so often using my canon 7d. You wrote the rolling shutter is an improvement to HDslr’s. Can you help me with some info in my case?

    Greetz Roald

  6. bekkari larbi says:

    coooooolllllll PANASONIC

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