I say "won't cost that much" because the Japanese price of the AG-AF100 converted to just under $US10,000, which is a heck of a lot more than what it'll really cost when it goes on sale in the US on December 27: $US4995.
It's the first mirrorless camcorder that can use interchangeable lenses, so if you already own one of Panasonic's micro four thirds cameras, you'll have another device to stick those lenses on. [BusinessWire via Engadget]
SECAUCUS, N.J.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Panasonic Solutions Company today announced that the AG-AF100, the industry's first professional micro 4/3-inch video camcorder optimised for high-definition video recording, will start shipping on December 27th at a suggested list price of $US4,995. Highly anticipated since its introduction at NAB earlier this year, the AF100 is poised to set new benchmarks in digital cinematography.
"The design of the AF100's best-in-class 4/3-inch sensor affords depth of field and field of view similar to that of 35mm movie cameras in a more affordable camera body"
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 a growing line of professional quality, industry-standard micro 4/3-inch lenses, filters, and adapters. The full HD 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 design of the AF100's best-in-class 4/3-inch sensor affords depth of field and field of view similar to that of 35mm movie cameras in a more affordable camera body," said Jan Crittenden Livingston, Product Line Business Manager, Panasonic Solutions Company. "What's more, Panasonic engineering ingenuity has resolved the aliasing and moiré that has haunted the DSLR shooter. Indeed, the proof of concept of the AF100 was based on what we heard from and saw customers doing: purchasing DSLR cameras because they liked the look of the image, but then agonized over all of the workarounds required to come out with an acceptable high definition recording."
The AF100 incorporates a large 4/3-inch,16:9 MOS imager that minimizes skew with fast imager scanning, and incorporates low pass filters for elimination of aliasing and moiré. Additionally, it has a built-in optical ND filter. The camcorder records 1080 at 60i, 50i, 30P, 25P (Native) and 24P (Native), and 720 at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p native,in AVCHD's highest-quality PH mode (maximum 24Mbps). The AF100 also records in AVCCAM's HA (17 Mbps) and HE (6Mbps) modes, 1080i only. Ready for global production standards, the camcorder is 60Hz and 50Hz switchable. Equipped with an interchangeable micro 4/3-inch lens mount, the AF100 can utilise an array of low-cost, widely-available still camera lenses as well as film-style lenses with fixed focal lengths and primes.
Variable frame rates are available in 1080p, selectable in 20 steps from 12p to 60p at 60Hz and 20 steps from 12p to 50p at 50Hz. Standard professional interfaces include uncompressed 4:2:2, 8 Bit HD-SDI out; HDMI out; and USB 2.0. It records SMPTE timecode and is able to perform timecode synchronizing via the video output seeing timecode in. It has a built-in stereo microphone and features two mic/line, switchable XLR inputs with +48V Phantom Power capability. The camera can record 48-kHz/16-bit two-channel digital audio recording (in PH mode only) and supports LPCM/Dolby-AC3 in any of the modes.
This newest Panasonic AVCCAM camcorder is the first to enjoy the benefits of advanced SDXC media card compatibility in addition to existing SDHC card support. SDXC is the newest SD memory card specification that supports memory capacities above 32GB and up to 2TB. With two SD slots for continuous recording, the AF100 can record up to 12 hours on two 64GB SDXC cards in PH mode, with automatic clip spanning across the two cards.
Weighing only 3.5 pounds (without lens or battery), the AF100 is packed with high-end features including Dynamic Range Stretch in all modes and frame rates; six built-in, customizable scene files that are exchangeable for quick and easy matching between multiple cameras; seven built-in gamma curves with four selectable colour matrices; Syncro-scan shutter; and a high-resolution LCD and viewfinder.
It also offers a focus assist that can be used while recording, which is color-on peaking and a focus bar; two sets of adjustable zebras; two manual black and white balance choices, and preset White Balance at 3200K, 5600K or variable; a waveform monitor and vectorscope for more accurate monitoring of broadcast safe levels. Other essential features include pre-record; an intervalometer function that can be set for up to 24 hours, programmable User Buttons; a Smart Battery interface for recording up to four hours with a 5400mA battery; metadata recording; and a wireless infrared remote controller.
Panasonic will support the AF100 with a three-year limited warranty (one year plus two extra years upon registration).