Panasonic Unveils AG-AF100A Large-Imager HD Cinema Camcorder
Panasonic has released the new AG-AF100A large imager HD cinema camcorder, which the company says offers significant improvements and cost-efficiencies over its predecessor, the company’s groundbreaking AG-AF100.
The newly-revised AF100A features 10 bit (enhanced 8 bit) 4:2:2 quality output for better gradation of tonal areas when recording onto external devices, such as a P2 HD recorder. The HD-SDI signal also carries a sync signal for the Rec Start/Stop with the AF100A trigger. Additionally, the AF100A is equipped with the expanded focus assist function, which enlarges the center of the displayed image for greater ease in focusing; and a 2.39:1 (cinema scope size) safety zone marker.
In addition to the high quality PH recording mode (average approx. 21Mbps, maximum 24Mbps), the AF100A complies with the AVCHD ver. 2.0 (AVCHD Progressive) standard with its new PS mode (average approx. 25Mbps, maximum 28Mbps) for recording, playing and outputting (via HDMI only) Full-HD progressive (1080/59.94p, 1080/50p) images. The PS/PH modes support uncompressed 16-bit LPCM 2-channel audio recording. The AF100A also features two-channel XLR audio input terminals for full uncompressed audio recording, and many other functions.
The AF100A builds on the legacy of the AF100, which features film-like shallow depth of field and the wider field of view of a large imager, with the flexibility and cost advantages of an expansive line of professional quality, industry-standard micro 4/3-inch lenses, filters, and adapters. The AF100 redefined large sensor professional acquisition with its superior video handling, native 1080/24p recording, variable frame rates, and sophisticated audio capabilities. Like the AF100, the AF100A incorporates a large 4/3-inch, 16:9 MOS imager (with an imaging area just slightly smaller than 35mm cinema film) that minimizes skew with fast imager scanning, and an optical low pass filter for elimination of aliasing and moiré.
Weighing only 3.5 pounds (without lens or battery), the AF100A includes 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 color matrices; a built-in optical ND filter; adjustable shutter speed and Synchro-scan function; and a high-resolution, variable angle color LCD monitor and tiltable viewfinder.
Additional standard professional interfaces include uncompressed HDMI out and USB 2.0. The AF100A records SMPTE timecode and is able to perform timecode synchronizing via the video output seeing timecode in, and has an internal down-converter facilitating output of SD (480/576) signals
The AG-AF100A is available at a suggested list price of $4595.00.The camcorder is packaged with a copy of the highly-regarded AF100 Book by Barry Green. Panasonic supports the AF100A with a three-year limited warranty (one year plus two extra years upon registration) upon registration of the camera with the PASS customer support program.