Panasonic AG-AF101 User Review (20mins)

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[xr_video id=”d5ea7a1cb8284daf8356191586b769b1″ size=”md”]

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions


Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

AF101 update firmware for SDXC cards

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On the back of the official AF100 firmware update (available here at Panasonic), it appears unofficial high bit rates and 1080/60p are coming to the AF100 in the form of a Vitaliy Kiselev hack.

When asked of the hack was doable, Vitaliy replied “definitely”.

Panasonic have released an update for the AF100, which means Vitaliy has downloaded the firmware and analysed it.

He says it is unencrypted, and shares a similar CPU with the GH2 (MN103)

He also reveals that the firmware source code contains a good deal of information about what the functions do, in the form of debug messages, comments and assertion messages, making it easier for Vitaliy to find his way and to give testers some useful experiments to try out.

More updates at DVXUser here

An interesting aside here, is that Vitaliy Kiselev shares a platform at DVXUser with the Panasonic AF100’s US product planner Jan Crittenden Livingston. They will most probably be totally at odds over this.

Although what Vitaliy is not illegal, and the Russian hacker takes great pains to stay on the right side of the law, I hardly think Panasonic will welcome the hack with open arms!

What would you like to see from an AF100/AF101 hack? 10bit 4-2-2, higher bit rates, 1080/60p in a non-standards compliant AVC-H.264 spec? Let Vitaliy know over at the link above.

What does the Panasonic official AF100 firmware update fix?

The official update is extremely minor. What it does allow is for people to download the entire AF100 firmware in a ZIP file over the internet, unencrypted – which is why Vitaliy is able to begin his analysis and hacking of the firmware.

According to Panasonic the update fixes a system error with the camera when it communicates with Panasonic’s SD Card File Recovery software on a computer.

“The system error occasionally occurred on the camera side (AG-AF100 series) when SD Card File Recovery Software on the computer which is connected to the camera by USB cable was executed with SDXC card inserted in the camera.”

My thanks to

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Some stills from the AF101 Review plus a new Zeiss alternative to the Nokton lens

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On the last stretch now just some fine tuning and the AF101 review will be finished. It’s no mean task filming and editing these reviews it’s a mini production in it’s own right but I would not do it if I did not enjoy it.

This is me being filmed by my son Scott showing me using the Glidetrack HD with the AF101. This camera is a perfect weight for using with a tracking slider like the Glidetrack HD, made up here in Scotland.

This is a still picture from the AF101 using the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f0.95 lens, now I have some fresh information on this lens, I phoned our supplier today who told me that Cosina the company who make the Nokton lens cannot  keep up with world wide demand for this lens and unless you have a pre order in with them he is not looking to see anymore Nokton lenses before the end of February.

I was rather taken aback by this news and decided to look into an alternative, amazingly for the same money as the Voigtlander lens you can get a Zeiss ZM f2 35mm lens which is almost the best glass money can buy, you also need to add the cost of a Voigtlander M bayonet to mFT adapter. I should get this lens today (Friday) so I will show you the results on the review.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Last days filming for the AF101 Video Review

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Today sees the last of the filming for the AF101 Video Review, I decided to film my Aunt Isabel making a chicken stirfry who kindly put up with the all the production hassle. Once again I am using my trusty heat free 5600K LED lights, there is a window facing Isabel so I decided on a 1000W bounce (behind my head) a 500W from the front, side and a backlight plus one LED on the camera itself.

The camera LED (Ianiro Minima 50W) has a home made diffuser using velcro to dampen the intensity of the LEDs, only today I noticed how heavy the camera light is on batteries as I had to use 2 sets of 6 AA Duracell’s I would prefer the option to use a Sony Li-ion battery with this light.  I was using my trusty Sony 740 field monitor just to make sure my white balances were spot on.

Two items of kit I will bring to your attention, firstly the Rycote mini jammer which is not only practical but looks the business as well, secondly the Manfrotto Hydrostatic arm used to hold the LED light in place, I love this arm as you have the ability to position the LED light from the right, left or the middle depending on what you are filming.

My lad, Scott was also filming with a Sony 550 (MC50 without the pro badge and the decent mic) for behind the scene footage, this should be a nice informative section for the AF101 Video Review.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

BVE 2011 Earls Court, London 15-17 February 2011

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For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Lens update for the AF101

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While filming two projects recently I realise the importance of choosing the correct lens, if you are looking to achieve an extreme shallow depth of field (SDoF) then look no further than the Nokton by Voigtlander, this has become my defacto lens for interviews and general SDoF shots.

f0.95 is the key to this lens as I discovered that even an f2.8 lens is not as good at giving you a SDoF in a smaller room. This gives us a dilemma as very few lenses go below f2.8 and if they do they pile on the price.

Only today I was quizzed again about the perfect zoom for the AF101 but sadly as yet this illusive creature does not exist so if Panasonic are reading this we are looking for the following…

A micro Four Third (mFT) zoom lens that has an f1.4 or less from wide to tight.

Range from 12-45mm and have IOS built in.

That would be a cracking lens for the AF101 so I throw it out to the boys in Japan…GO MAKE ONE…PLEASE.

Got this lens last week it’s a 45mm Leica Prime Lens made for Panasonic now this lens is a fantastically sharp lens as you can see from my pictures below.

I love macro photography and this lens does it for me as you get an angle of view equivalent to a 90mm lens due to the 2x crop. The f2.8 is a lot better than the majority of Panasonic mFT lenses but as I said above f1.4 or less would be preferable.

I am editing one of my corporate jobs this week but I hope to have my AF101 video review up for the weekend.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Coming soon the Video Review of the Panasonic AF101

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Having worked with the AF101 for the last 2 weeks I am finally putting together a Video Review. It was only recently that I discovered that Panasonic in their own wisdom do not provide any external power sockets to power a NanoFlash etc. The Af101 has every other output and bolt holes but that may come with the next version.

The camera grows on you the more you use it and it’s far from an easy option in fact I would consider it a thinking mans camcorder, you have to think about your next shot and decide how you are going to light it and what lens to use. I hope to have my Video Review available as soon as possible.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Another days filming with the AF101

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Today shoot was over in Kilsyth just outside Glasgow, this time I was filming for the NHS. This is a series of films to help people with learning disabilities helping them to understand various NHS procedures, todays being Bowel Screening, hence the letter through the door to the left of me.

Shot one : The letter arrives…this was a generic letter so the address details were wrong and it was preferable that the address was not shown, fine, time for the Nokton 25mm f0.95 lens.

These type of shots are what the AF101 was made for, an extreme shallow depth of field so I could pick out the NHS logo but not see the address on the letter window, fantastic, better still it’s such a powerful opening shot coming through the door and your eye is drawn to the NHS Scotland logo, this could never have been done with my Sony 2/3″ PMW-350.

Here is another fine example of a powerful SDoF shot, our actor/patient is going to post his results off to the NHS so using the Nokton’s fantastic SDoF I focus on the vase of flowers and let the actor pass through shot.

I knew after using the AF101 for the first time last week that this camera was going to open new opportunities for my style of filming but the camera has also taken me back to basics and I am now thinking about my shots and framing more than I would with a 18x ENG style lens. I am taking a lot more care to film various angles because I don’t have the luxury of being able to change shots half way through as you do with a zoom lens. A zoom can make you sloppy “getting 2-3 different framed shots in the one take” when sometimes it would have been better to leave well alone.

I am not producing “24-25P films” instead I am producing my usual 720 50P video footage with the added bonus of the odd SDoF shot thrown in, I actually like the fact that I have to think “Lens” all the time and angles of view, it keeps you on your toes and should inevitably lead to a better end product for the client.

One other thing I must mention is the Bebob “FOXI”, this is the first Panasonic camera that I have actually used a “FOXI” with and it’s a dream. A “FOXI” allows you to pull focus as you have not only control over the focus but the iris as well. It makes using my 14-140mm lens a dream. NOTE : The “FOXI” is only works with electronic lenses like the Lumix and has no effect on manual lenses like the Nokton.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Looks like Apple are abandoning the FCP ship

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It is rumoured that it’s not only Steve Jobbs that’s sick but Apple as a company are looking at abandoning Xsan and Final Cut Server, this will be a substantial blow to Final Cut Users as most pro houses including the BBC use Xserve in a daily basis.

THE STORY as reported by MAC RUMOURS

“Apple’s early November announcement that it will discontinue its Xserve line of rackmountable servers at the end of this month has caused turmoil among the product’s fans, while Steve Jobs has suggested that poor sales were the reason for the decision. But in a follow-up report today, Hardmac claims that the Xserve discontinuation may only be the beginning of a move by Apple to pare down its storage- and server-focused offerings.

According to our sources, the discontinuation of the Xserve by Apple would be only the beginning of an overhaul, which would lead to the disappearance of some professional-orented activities.
Xsan and Final Cut server could be among the programs being discontinued, as Apple’s management would be wondering whether to continue to develop and support them in the future.

Looking even further down the line, the report claims that Apple could opt to do away with its Mac OS X Server releases entirely, although the company is still expected to release a server version of Mac OS X Lion later this year.”

Once again we are hearing nothing but negativity all based round Final Cut Pro…will we ever see a 64bit version ? I think the tide has turned for FCP and too many people are now abandoning Final Cut in favour of Premiere Pro.

I must admit that so far I have stuck with FCP-7 but things are now in place within my own edit suite to allow a smooth transition across to Premiere Pro if needs must !

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

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