BBC Scotland conditionally approve the Panasonic AF101 for HD Production

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments



At last week’s BBC DoP Day or ‘Big Sensor Day’, there were presentations from DP Adam Suschitsky about the shooting of Upstairs Downstairs, from BBC Scotland about their use of the Panasonic AF101 and Soho post guru Dave Klafkowski on the use of the Canon 5D MkII in broadcast and why you shouldn’t use it.

The audio clip is Dave Klafkowski’s presentation which had the aid of a Powerpoint and some slides. You will also hear some Q&A and interjections from Andy Quested who heads the BBC HD Technical Department.

Well, well, well from right under my nose BBC Scotland have not only been playing with the AF101 but now decide it’s acceptable for HD programming using an external recorder like a NanoFlash, despite the non complimentary findings by the BBCs HD technical Guru Alan Roberts. One caveat is that you must not assume the AF101 is suitable for all HD programming and ask the BBC first before using it.

My thanks to HD Magazine for this info

Alan Roberts conclusion on the AF101 (©BBC HD)

2.7 Conclusion
This camera does not perform particularly well at HD. Clean resolution is limited to about 1210×680 by the presence of high-amplitude spatial aliasing. This is a little disappointing from a camera with a large-format sensor, and indicates that optical low-pass filtering is either absent or inadequate, and that the scaling from the resolution of the sensor down to 1920×1080 has not been done in the best way.
Noise levels are rather high, even though the pixel size is that of a conventional 3 sensor 1⁄2” camera. Sensitivity is also similar to that of a 1⁄2” camera.
If this camera is to be used for HDTV shooting, then it should be clearly understood that it’s only advantage over smaller-format cameras is the smaller depth of field. However, to achieve a smaller depth of field in this camera, relative to, say, a 1⁄2” camera, then the lens must be opened by at least 1.5 stops; using an F/2.8 lens on this camera, wide open, will give the same depth of field as on a 1⁄2” camera with a lens opened to
F/1.6. This camera will not necessarily always deliver short depth of field, large aperture lenses must be used to achieve that.

Listen here…

Dave Chambers of BBC Scotland reports of their test of the new Panasonic AF101 camcorder

BBC Big Sensor Day – AF101 by MM Pubs

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

2 comments on this post

  1. jiri vrozina says:

    Excellent NON bias article-as always on this site.Thanks for that


  2. Tudor says:

    Another blind ally doh! Mind you I’m not surprised as I have seen little good footage from this camera to date back to the drawing board and wait for the next ‘game changer’

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