Panasonic AG-AF100 Micro Four Thirds Camcorder Key Features

Key Features
1. Equipped with a Four Thirds type image sensor and Micro Four Thirds lens mount.
2. Can shoot professional high quality video in PH mode with Full HD Variable Frame Rate function.
3. Has interfaces (HD SDI output / XLR input) and design required for professional production work.
Explanation of Key Features
1.  Equipped with a Four Thirds type image sensor and Micro Four Thirds lens mount.

[Four Thirds type MOS sensor]
It is equipped with a Four Thirds type MOS sensor for an imaging area* almost the same as that of 35mm film (motion picture). Use of film lenses allows easy recording of filmic tone video with a shallow depth of field.

*Effective imaging area is clipped to an aspect ratio of 16:9

[Micro Four Thirds lens mount]
Diversified Micro Four Thirds single-lens still camera lenses can be used for shooting video. The adapter mount allows 35mm film camera lenses or prime lenses to be attached to make possible a wide variety of visual expressiveness from each lens particular tone.

*Use of all lenses / adaptors is not guaranteed.

Approx. 21Mbps (average)
Maximum 24Mbps
The new AG-AF100 is no doubt a technical innovation for filmmakers, as well as an intriguing opportunity for Panasonic to cross-market its burgeoning line of lenses to a new platform.
Canon and Nikon have found great success with their DSLRs bounding their way into professional video production. While the cameras have certain limitations compared to camcorders, such as limited clip lengths and handlling issues, access to wide range of DSLR lenses has been enough to sway many a director.

Panasonic does not compete in the DSLR market, but they have a serious stake in their new Micro Four Thirds cameras (the format was jointly-created by Panasonic and Olympus last year). The new format has made a slow but steady inroad into the huge audience of camera owners that want an interchangeable lens system camera, but don't like the bulk of a traditional DSLR. It makes sense, then, that Panasonic is taking a page from Canon and Nikon, while putting its own unique spin on it. Rather than simply marketing its Micro Four Thirds still cameras as video production-ready, it has taken components from its still cameras and re-wrapped them in a camcorder body. This design alteration should alleviate some of the concerns many videographers have about using traditional cameras to record video.

There are only a few details about the new Panasonic AG-AF100. It has a 4/3-inch CMOS sensor, and records in 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, and 24p (native), as well as 720/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p (native), all in the AVCHD format at a 24Mbps bit rate. A 1080/60p option is noticeably absent, but it should be noted that these recording options are far more extensive than what Panasonic offered on any of its previous video-capable Micro Four Thirds cameras (like the DMC-GH1 and DMC-GF1).

To satisfy the needs of pro video users, the AG-AF100 HD-SDI output, HDMI, time code recording, and two XLRs inputs with phantom power. A key element to the AG-AF100's success will be how well the camcorder is capable of controlling depth of field—a priority for many professional videographers. Depth of field control is a strong point for most video-capble DSLRs due to their large lenses and sensors, so the AG-AF100 should be no different.

Other details are scarce. There's no price, as of yet, and the image above is merely a mock-up. The camcorder is part of the company's AVCCAM professional line, which means it uses AVCHD compression to record HD video. Panasonic does not expect the AG-AF100 to be available until the end of 2010.

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