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Suggestions for an AF100/101 successor or replacement
  • I would like to start a topic on a potential successor or replacement for the Panasonic AF 100/101.

    My m43 engagement began with a GH1 which did not quite satisfy my expectations for stability and picture quality. Now I own a GH2 which is a significant improvement. Unfortunately I have to shoot 25p which we all know is only second best. The other well known issues are noise, dynamic range and picture styles. Despite these shortcomings I have invested in several m43 lenses which I am quite happy with. What I particularly like about m43 is the smaller sensor. It is large enough for shallow DOF esthetics but it gives me deep DOF if I need it, which actually is more often the case than with shallow DOF.

    What's lacking is a serious professional camcorder with a m43 mount, something that can compete with the Sony FS100 and 700. Who knows whether and when Black Magic will come out with a m43 cinema camera. I am sure that Panasonic has the technology for a professional m43 camera and I am pretty sure that there is a large enough market for it. Instead all Panasonic offers is the lackluster AF100. Therefor I would like to start a thread with suggestions for a better camcorder offer for m43 film folks. If not Panasonic, maybe Olympus will cash in on it.

  • 4 Replies sorted by
  • I have to agree with everything you have said. I still have 6 x GH1 which I use for many productions in the commercial world. These cameras have made tens of thousands of dollars for me so I purchased the AF100 to use for audio interviews etc.. The menu system on the AF100 is the worst I have ever seen and the controls are far from useful. The M43 is a brilliant format as you can adapt nearly any lens to your camera with a cheap adaptor and get a very nice DOF.. Panasonic need to look at a Canon C300 style camera with at least 50mbps 4:2:2 codec. This would give all M43 users a camera that can be used commercially. All I want is an M43 video camera with a serious codec or ability to output uncompressed to hardware unit.

  • Based on gossip and rumor, the AF lime may be dropped. I'm guessing that for the foreseeable future, the GH3 is gonna be the replacement...but who knows.

  • @truestory Have you tried recording the AF100's HDMI/SDI outputs on an external recorder? It puts out uncompressed 8-it 4:2:2 color. I recently developed a daylight Scene File for the AF100 to match the GH2 and GH1, and to my eyes, it looks much better than the default. Here's a link to some comparison shots:

  • Panasonic will probably misinterpret the market and EOL the AF line or come out with a hobbled successor. Nonetheless I would like to list a few things that would make me continue using the m43 format and lenses as my camera of choice. If neither Panasonic nor a third party manufacturer will deliver a camera worthy of all the nice m43 lenses I will have to change ship and by a larger format camera. I hope Panasonic or someone else will realize the market potential - quickly.

    Must have features for a professional m43 camcorder: 4:2:2 10 bit AVCintro100 or open firmware minimum of 12 stops dynamic range, better 14 stops flat picture styles for grading low noise up to ISO 3200 focus peaking and 1:1 during recording EX tele feature (could compensate for lack of longer range zoom lens. global shutter auto-correction of distortion, CAs and vignetting on m43 lenses, but no sharpening! time code lots of Fn buttons heavy duty, tight locking m43 mount small form factor suitable for handheld shooting without a rig mounting points for additional gear

    nice to have features: in-body lens stabilization for non m43 lenses 4-channel audio 4K ready via SDI out battery adapter using non-panasonic batteries (Lots of people have sony batteries, so why not make the transition easier for them.)

    not needed: To save costs I could do without a viewfinder and buy a third party viewfinder instead. So a high res all direction LCD would be good enough.

    missing lens for documentary shooting: The m43 chip size is perfect for documentary shooting, what is missing is a documentary style lens that allows for filming wide and tight, in bright and low light and without having to swap lenses and thus risking to miss a shot. So what's needed is a large zoom range - fast aperture OIS cine zoom, something like a 2.0/12-60, or better 12-90, even for a price of < 2000 EUR. The lens should have very low breathing and the autofocus should be without hunting or pumping. Image stabilization is a must if the body does not provide this feature. The lens would need a step-less aperture ring. A constant aperture would not be so important, if the largest aperture on the wide end would be 2.0 and 2.8 at the longer end. Then one can still set the aperture to 2.8 and have a constant zoom if needed.