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Panasonic AG AF100 / AF101
  • Hi Vitaliy,

    will there be a hack for the Pana AG AF 100/101? If yes, what could we expect?
    I hope very much, that you´ll have success with GH2 Stalin hack.

    BR Uli
  • 141 Replies sorted by
  • No.
    I wrote unpacker for AF100 firmware (it is quite simple, in fact).
    But I do not have any intention to work on AF100.
    If Panasonic will change his approach, introduce SDK, at least for pro cameras... :-).
    Problem is that some of Panasonic top managers are afraid that they won't save their positions during such change :-)
  • Thanks Vitaliy,

    I know all the arguments comparing the AR 100 vs the GH2. And I know some of the workarounds to get the GH2 to a professional handling level. But on set, with time pressure, the AF 100 has it´s place. So it could have been nice to have an improvement of the codec etc.

    BR Uli
  • >So it could have been nice to have an improvement of the codec etc.

    I know :-)
  • Uliman wrote:
    "I know some of the workarounds to get the GH2 to a professional handling level."

    Could you give us a brief list of these please?

  • Hi Vitaliy,

    Thanks for your hard work on the GH2 hack.

    Please reconsider hacking the AF100. Many of us bought the AF100 to get the video camera features (XLR, NDs, etc.), and would love higher bitrate and/or color space.

    I know Panasonic is a PITA, but think of it this way: you would be giving Panny the middle finger by improving the AF100, and you'd be helping a lot of filmmakers.

    You know if you don't try it, nobody else will, either. You're the only person who can do it.

    "Help us, Obi-Wan Vitaliy, you're our only hope" ;-)
  • I feel Panasonic will step up it's plans to improve the AF100 after the comparisons to the new Sony's have shown that they have better image quality and latitude. They can't sit still. The AF100 seems to be a better actual camera than the Sony FS100, but the Image Sensor is lacking compared to the Super35 sensor. Pany needs to use the newer GH2 sensor as a starting point it would seem and build on that. I really think they'd have a great cam if they step it up just a touch.
  • @AdR

    I am not interested in AF100, as I said.

    I really like Panasonic Pro Division reformed and large cameras must be forced to use Lumix platform.
    It'll bring cost down, features up and you'll have less incapable managers in a way.
  • Panny will come to AF100 owner rescue with a new camera, the AF100A and soon after AF100B :)
  • @AdR

    Actually, it's more of a middle finger to keep working on the GH2... as the AF-100 is basically just the same (or worse, probably) technology in a bigger box for 5x the price. This hack is really eye-opening in how much Panasonic is holding back. The GH2vk (or whatever) absolutely destroys the AF-100 in image quality... there is no comparison. Actually, the AF-100 never look good in the first place. It just looks like a HPX-'whatever' with shallow DOF... nothing really film-like or professional about the image at all (i.e. crappy sensor). For the price of the AF-100 ($5000), we should really be seeing a 2k semi-RAW codec 1-96fps camera. Don't let them fool you when they tell you "8-bit color was all we could afford for the price". It's bullshit. They're just trying to protect the "professional market tiers" they've created, that's all...
  • @bwhitz

    I don't think that this is inferior technilogy in any way. Just different.
    And it is very useful for many guys who really like it's performance.
  • @Vitaliy

    Well, not all of it. Just the sensor. I don't think the IQ is very good. It looks like it's from the GH1 era.

    And yes, I'm sure the AF-100 is a great functional camera on set and whatnot, I'm just mad that it wasn't much of an improvement from what we are seeing with DSLRs... just 5x more expensive. It could have been MUCH more for the same price, they just low-balled it. Could have easily had a 4:2:2 10-bit codec for the same price.
  • @Vitaliy

    I understand your position re AF100. As you continue with the GH2 hack, please reconsider. You could help a lot of filmmakers.

    Thanks for considering.
  • I actually like the look of the AF100 so long as you stay within it's strongest range. It may not be the best for a low available light type situation, but for films with controlled lighting it can give some great results. If they can step up the sensor i'm confident that it can be a great all around camera. I look forward to the update to see if they can catch Sony S35.
  • @Aria

    Panny isn't going to do a big rev on the AF100 anytime soon. Look at how they handled the HVX and DVX cameras. They will keep pushing what they see as the camera's strengths (like being able to use all kinds of glass, and having real vidcam controls) without making big revs. They'll change little things in software, and maybe add a button or two for convenience. (Like maybe having a dedicated switch for manual lenses, or when they added the audio warning for VFR.)

    One thing you can be sure of, they will not implement Vitaliy's hacks for improved data rates. They have to protect their high-end cameras.
  • As far as higher bitrates go, if I had spent $5000 on an AF100 I would buy an external recorder like the HyperDeck Shuttle or a Atomos Ninja and record nice uncompressed or low compressed footage, it seems like a no-brainer to me.
  • @ AdR, I disagree with the notion that Pany won't update the AF100. It would seem to me that they do realize that they have a problem with the Sony S35 cams showing so well. All they'd have to do to beat the FS100 is bump up the sensor, which IMO would mean using the GH2 Sensor, which I think is superior. They don't have to change the camera body of the AF100 cuz it's already better than the FS100 ie. ND filter and I/O etc. If they can improve the image quality and latitude just a bit more the AF100 would be a great cam.

    Also how can they sit by and let the GH2 have a better picture than the AF100? They must correct that situation.
  • @Aria

    We can agree to disagree. In my opinion, Panasonic does not see that they "must correct the situation." They will continue selling the AF100 and the GH2 as is. Maybe a year or two from now, they may introduce an AF100A, but they will market the current build like crazy before then. Look back at how long it took them to introduce an A-rev to the DVX or the HVX.

    Panny thinks they have Sony beat, because the AF100 has better imaging, better 24P and can interchange with almost any lens made. Look at their ads; that's how they pitch the camera.

    Panasonic has a different agenda than the user. Panny wants to sell a lot of cameras without investing more money, while protecting their high-end camera line. Users want the best features at the lowest price. These two agendas conflict. Panasonic won't change until they absolutely have to.

    Which is why I'd rather put my trust in Vitaliy than in Panasonic to improve the AF100.
  • @AdR, perhaps you're right about Pany having an air of confidence or lack of concern over Sony, but so far the reviews have all gone for the Sony S35 cams and I see that they've got more new cams coming. The A77 and the VG20 will likely push the price/performance ratio even higher and bring a lot of people over to Sony. Look at how popular the HX9V and 100V are becoming in terms of what they provide for the money. My guess is that both the A77 and VG20 will offer similar or better performance with more functionality and better low light than the HX point and shoots. If they do, then they leapfrog Pany and Canon IMO. Sony would rule the IQ and frame rate race at a great price point.
  • I think it is a mix bag. If I am not mistaken Pany is offering the 14-140 with the AF-100 now. You can interpret that they are under pressure from someone, my guess it is Sony Fs-100 or even after the first rush (many of the video guys that want the traditional form factor and functionality of traditional video cameras) the move they expected from the dslr crowd is not materializing. Pany aimed very low in terms of pure image quality with the Af-100 compared to the DSLR. Yes, compared to the Canons they did solve the moire/aliasing and In terms of functionality it is much better, but they underestimated the importance of image quality for this market.

    When you see the dslr showing more DR (In the case of the gh2 even better resolution) than a camera costing many times more people are not going to flock to the Af-100. They did not see that this crowd first priority is image quality. That the dslr crowd have been prepared for all type of workaround for the image quality first and foremost. Even their own offering the gh2 seems at least for me having a better IQ even before the hack.

    For me the Sony fs-100 is not much better and I was disappointed when it was clear that it had only 8 bit output. But at least it has one very strong point in its low light image quality that can sway people from the dslr. In fact they are both trying to have a product that just about give a little better image quality than the dslr Canon standard without cannibalizing their high-end line. Since the release of the video dslr perception on price performance has change a lot. I will never pay 5 times more to get the same or a little superior image IQ and I think lot of people feel the same. The days of the 8bit should be numbered by now and I hope that they both fail. Be it because of the hacked gh2 (viva Vitaliy) or future Canon and Nikon dslr. Don't expect the Sony VG20 or A77 to have 24p for example.
  • @bwhitz
    >Well, not all of it. Just the sensor. I don't think the IQ is very good. It looks like it's from the GH1 era.

    And yes, I'm sure the AF-100 is a great functional camera on set and whatnot, I'm just mad that it wasn't much of an improvement from what we are seeing with DSLRs... just 5x more expensive.< right +1
  • I think Pany has big problems with Sony. The FS100 outputs 4:2:2 and timecode over HDMI. Frame rates: 1080/60p, 1080/30p, 1080/24p. Camera capture: 60fps, 30fps, 15fps, 8fps, 4fps, 2fps, 1fps.

    If the FS100 had ND filter it would be a slam dunk. It has nearly the same IQ as the F3 for the most part and that's great at that price point. Now if they somehow add 60p and 24p to the A77 and VG20 it's a wrap for 2012. Sony wins! The reason I think they'll add 60p/24p is what they did with the HX9v. How can they have a P&S with that and not they're more expensive units?
  • The Af-100 also output 4.2.2 and in more professional way through hdsdi. In fact the Af-100 is much more Camera than the FS100 (e.g built in ND etc). What it is lacking is in terms of pure image quality. They just need to fire the guys from the video division and take the guys from the lumix division to develop a native 2k/3k sensor with better DR and low light and give 10 bit and they would have a bomb of a camera. I am like VK on this, I hope it fails and the management/marketing division are replaced so that we can see true advancement. Look at what the hack gh2 is doing, putting to shame a five time bigger and costlier camera from the same company.

    I would be stoked if Sony put out VG20 and A77 with just 24p. Seeing what they did with the FS-100, striping it of everything so as to differentiate it from the F3. They took out almost everything practical and functional about the video camera form and functionality form factor with the excuse that it was for the dslr crowd and then they say hey it is the F3 sensor in it. They forget to mention no 10 bit, lower dr, etc. I would have saved and bought it even with its lack of functionality if it had at least the base f3 image quality, not asking for slog etc but no built nd, no hdsdi, form factor, built quality . I can compromise on one thing but not both image quality and functionality.

    I don't know what the new Apsc sensor from Sony will give for video. If ever it is very good and get rid of the moire/aliasing etc, I bet the Nikon version of it will be better for videographers as they will include at least 24p .
  • The FS100 image quality is almost identical to that of the F3 from everything i've seen and read. The camera functionality isn't the same and clearly the lowest between it and the AF100. In fact I really think highly of the AF100 for that reason. As I mentioned if they can improve the IQ they'd have a winner. However right now the FS100 has more DR, IQ and a passable level of functionality as a camera given what you get with the image. It's close enough to an F3 in terms of image that I don't see how I could pass it up if I had the money.

    I'm pretty positive that VG20 and A77 will have 1080/60p at the least and possibly 24p. Sony might just leave the 24p off, but who knows, maybe the pressure from buyers who have complained about the lack of 24p will motivate them to finally include it.
  • When you see the banding in sky or on any fine gradient on large uniform color surface, then you tell me how just this little 2 bit from 8 to 10bit make a world of difference. For sure you will need an external recorder, but they are very affordable, more so for someone buying an f3. Two stop of DR is also huge in my view.

    This is why I will never buy the af-100 or Sony Fs-100. In today’s world a 8bit camera (non broadcast) for more than $ 5000 is not good enough. I know that some people will say, hey it use to cost in the tens of thousands, I say it was then, now we are now. More so that Sony for example has the NX5U for about $ 4000 with 10 bit hdsdi output. If you look at the Sonyalpharumors latest prediction which has been very accurate the A77 it only has 1080 30p output. So they can do 12fps 24 megapixel capture but they won’t give you 1080 24p. Because they are not the king and they want to compete with Nikon and Canon in the photography market and are prepared to give all type of innovation etc. But in the video world something as basic as 24p, they can’t. With this amount of processing power I am sure that even some limited (buffer, card or time) 2K raw output would be possible.

    The episode of Panasonic representative on another forum was comical. She repeatedly said that it would cost many thousand more to implement a 10 bit codec or 10 bit hdsdi output to the Af-100. The ass likers (As you will see in all of my post, I don’t like to use some crude words but I can’t help this time) were saying to the other posters that it would cost more than 10 thousand etc… Then four month later Panasonic release the HPX250 with its 10 bit codec and output for about the same list price than the Af-100. I mean the complete camera with a lens.
  • >She repeatedly said that it would cost many thousand more to implement a 10 bit codec or 10 bit hdsdi output to the Af-100.

    From hardware standpoint it'll cost about $2.
    Pro division, from economical standpoint, is better to be completely closed, and moved to Lumix platform in next year or two. Remains must form broadcast division and specialize in high cost, small sensor cameras.