During ProVideo 2010 we got the news that Panasonic were launching the AG-AF101 FilmLike camcorder at Wild Screen in Bristol, which is a charity working globally to promote an appreciation of biodiversity and nature through the power of wildlife imagery. That said, 79 miles up in Coventry was the jewel in the crown of video shows ProVideo 2010 where a huge number of professional video producers and Panasonic dealers, H Preston Media, Creative Video and their main distributer Holdan Limited were all at the show hosted by the Institute of Videography.
No disrespect to Wild Screen but Panasonic must have had only two choices during October to launch the AF-101 at a big event in the UK and they chose a charity event over a major marketing coo, Pro Video 2010 which had all the correct people attending this decision does not make any sense.
We all know the camcorder is a production demo which is 75% working so there was no problem here and amazingly Panasonics General Manager of Broadcast AV Systems Europe, Mr Takashi Uchida attended ProVideo 2010 personally, a lovely, very polite man.
I was informed by a chap from Holdan that the SDI socket was 4:2:0 so I put my concerns to Mr Uchida, I told him that professionals would not be happy with the HD SDI outputing 4:2:0 and would prefer 4:2:2 as comes out of the HDMI socket, Mr Uchida took notes so I hope this can be added before we see production models in December, to be fair to Mr Uchida my Scottish accent may have confused the issue. I have since been informed that the SDI socket does indeed have 4:2:2 so that is good news for NanoFlash users.
I also told him that a lot of DPs were sitting on the sidelines waiting for the AF101 and to expect a large order from Preston Media and CVP, though a chap from Holdan told me that the first cameras were being individually checked before they leave the factory so European orders will be limited as first. Mr Uchida knew about HD Warrior which I was delighted to hear, we exchanged business cards and he went on his way.
I spoke to a Panasonic representative about the decision to launch the AF101 at Wild Screen and he told me that “The camcorder is only 75% ready and was not appropriate for public viewing”. I don’t agree with this so called “public viewing” no matter where you show the camera everyone is public and I would suggest more companies and DPs were attending ProVideo 2010 than attended Wild Screen.
My take on this is Panasonic were only to happy to show this camera off at IBC to all and sundry and made a very poor marketing decision to launch this camera at Wild Screen when ProVideo was on at the same time. Pro Video would have been boosted in attendance with the launch of the AF101 and more importantly the camera would have been seen by the correct audience. Preston’s alone had major interest during ProVideo 2010 and took pre orders for the AF101, I spoke to a lady at Holdan four weeks ago asking if the AF101 would be at the show and she told me that Panasonic had told her that “It was not available “.