Friday, August 12, 2011

The Panasonic AF100

The Panasonic AF100.  Think of it as an updated HVX that also allows for interchangeable lenses.  Sounds sexy, right?

Priced at around 5k (including a Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 on B&H to get things started), it's in the same ballpark as the HVX and is a solid choice for new camera buyers contemplating a rig in that price range.  The image quality is comparable to the 5D, but it's built like a traditional prosumer camera if you're not into the ergonomics of DSLRs.

So when debating the AF100 vs DSLRs which should you go for?  If you ask me it comes down to three factors: glass, level of action, and shooting style.  If you've got a DSLR with good glass, you're probably OK to stick with the DSLR.  You've also got the open option to use those lenses you've invested in with an AF100 rental.  The AF100 will blow away DSLRs with kit lenses.  If you're shooting fast-paced action, the AF100 will have less trouble with aliasing.  However, I've seen several mountain bike and skate videos that turned out fine when shot on a DSLR.  For most people the deciding factor will be shooting style.  Both camera systems will record beautiful images and allow for a variety of experimentation.  Take into consideration your own preferences in regards to camera mounting, traveling, weight, and of course - price.  Personally, I still side with DSLRs for ownership, but that's based on my own shooting style.  I need a more versatile system to keep up with my ever-on-the-go lifestyle.  Given the choice between the two for a short narrative, I may have to go with the AF100.  Keep in mind that no camera is the best choice for every situation.

If you want to see a more technical comparison check out Zacuto's 2011 Camera Shootout.  For now, take a look at the video below to get a glimpse of the AF-100 in action.

From The Inside Out - Stevie Smith from SecondBase Films on Vimeo.


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