Panasonic announce a pro camcorder for Micro Four Thirds which appears to bring all the features videographers need

Written by Gary on April 12th, 2010

The Micro Four Thirds camera system has taken the still photography world by storm, and the Panasonic GH-1 HD video camera is the ONLY dSLR-like camera that can continuously autofocus during HD video, but as good as this camera is, it lacks a number of features which professional videographers really want.

Enter the newly announced Panasonic AG-AF100 AVCCAM HD professional camcorder which will shake up the whole video industry by introducing a professional level tool, with a Micro Four Thirds sensor size (4x larger than a RED Scarlet video camera and much larger than most HD video camcorders), and with the ability to use industry standard Micro Four Thirds lenses, and via adapters almost any lens ever made. They say it is scheduled to ship by end of 2010, no pricing yet although it is said to be ~$US6000, so you can bet it will be MUCH cheaper than a RED Scarlet.

No wonder Kodak, Fuji, Sanyo and Sigma have decided to join forces with Panasonic and Olympus in extending this incredible new photography system.

The features which are driving excitement amongst the videographers and which have been announced here include:

  • Micro Four Thirds 16:9 MOS sensor for shallow depth of field and high image quality
  • Micro Four Thirds lens mount
  • uses advanced professional AVC/ H.264 Hi Profile AVCHD codec compatible with a wide range of editing tools and affordable players
  • records 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) in AVCHD’s highest-quality PH mode (maximum 24Mbps). Ready for global production standards, the camcorder is 60Hz and 50Hz switchable. (GH-1 AVCHD modes only records 1080/60i,50i, 720/60p,50p and at only 17mbps data).
  • built-in ND filtering
  • dramatically reduced video aliasing
  • HD-SDI out and HDMI – now you will not be limited to AVCHD compression but can record uncompressed video via an external recording device – now that is awesome!
  • time code recording
  • built-in stereo microphone
  • two XLR mic inputs with +48V Phantom power capability
  • 48kHz / 16 bit two channel digital audio recording, support for LPCM/Dolby AC3
  • dual SDXC memory card slots (can use SDHC cards as well) so that 2x 64Gb SDXC cards will allow 12 hours recording at maximum 24mbps video rate in PH mode

I presume it will not have a power zoom, but then I would imagine most professionals wouldn’t use that feature anyway.


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