Panasonic Offers AG-AF100 Pro Micro Four Thirds Camcorder

Stephen Yagielowicz

In a bold move being called a game-changer, Panasonic is offering its professional AVCCAM HD camcorder, the AG-AF100, in the Micro Four Thirds format; optimized for high-definition video recording.

The company claims that its new AG-AF100 will set a new benchmark for digital cinematography.

The company claims that its new AG-AF100 will set a new benchmark for digital cinematography.

“Targeted at the video and film production communities, the AF100 delivers the shallow depth of field and wider field of view of a large imager, with the flexibility and cost advantages of use with a growing line of professional quality, industry standard micro 4/3-inch lenses, filters, and adapters,” states a company rep. “The full 1080 and 720 production camera offers superior video handling, native 1080/24p recording, variable frame rates, professional audio capabilities, and compatibility with SDHC and SDXC media.”

The AF100 uses a Micro Four Thirds image sensor that provides a similar depth of field and field of view to that of 35mm movie cameras, in a less expensive camera body. Equipped with an interchangeable lens mount, its use of the Micro Four Thirds system allows the AF100 to utilize a variety of inexpensive and readily available still and film-style lenses from various manufacturers.

“Designed in consultation with the filmmaking community, the AF100 eclipses the video performance of other cameras in this price range,” Panasonic VP Joe Facchini says. “Ideal for film schools and independent filmmakers, this affordable, digital cinematography camera employs an advanced professional AVC/H.264 Hi Profile AVCHD codec compatible with a wide range of editing tools and affordable players.”

The AG-AF100’s 4/3-inch, 16:9 MOS imager records 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) in AVCHD’s highest-quality PH mode (maximum 24Mbps); and being 60Hz and 50Hz switchable, is ready for global productions.

The AG-AF100 features built-in ND filtering and reduced video aliasing. Standard professional interfaces such as HD-SDI out, HDMI, time code recording, a built-in stereo microphone and USB 2.0 ports, along with two XLR inputs with +48V Phantom Power, 48-kHz/16-bit two-channel digital audio and support for LPCM/Dolby-AC3 are included.

Enjoying the benefits of advanced SDXC media card compatibility for up to 2TB in storage for extended recording, the AG-AF100 also supports standard SDHC cards. For example, using two SD slots, the AF100 can record up to 12 hours on two 64GB SDXC cards when in PH mode.

The AG-AF100 streets for around $4500 — with a range of packages and popular options being available to extend the tool’s usefulness for those seeking to upgrade their image quality without breaking the bank — and is a very serious option for producers who are already investing in Four Thirds imaging equipment.