Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

So what does the future in video production hold for 2011, firstly without the need for a crystal ball the vat is going up from 17.5% to 20%, now I for one think this will make vat a lot easier to calculate and lets be honest those of you who are vat registered don’t care as you can claim it back.

The future seems to be Large Sensor, Shallow Depth of Field (SDoF) as nothing is taking the video world by storm like the new SDoF cameras from Panasonic and Sony.

SONY…We do know about the Sony NXCAM Super 35mm semi pro camcorder, this needs a serious bit of design work done to it before the summer as the above design is terrible, not to mention top heavy. I do not think Sony have done themselves any favours by showing this bread bin design least of all some early specs 24 fps for USA and 25 fps for UK.

Panasonic…They have just brought out the AF101 a 4.3″ sensor taking micro Four Third (mFT) lenses. My prediction for 2011 is not a new model but some faster lenses developed especially for the AF101 camcorder. Up till now we have seen mFT lenses that have been produced for the domestic DSLR market and there will be a growing market place for faster mFT lenses to satisfy the professional AF101 user.

We will also see a lot of third party AF101 add on’s like matte boxes, hand held rigs and even a new range of cheaper Prime lenses that wont break the bank.

Canon…This must be the year of the 4:2:2, 50Mbs FilmLike camcorder from Canon it’s the last piece of the shallow depth of field (SDoF) jigsaw still waiting to happen. Canon took the broadcast market by storm during 2010 with the XF305 and with their knowledge of the DSLR and Pro Video surly we must see a Super 35mm Canon camcorder that takes 35mm Canon mount lenses.

JVC…Looking back at JVCs track record does not inspire a FilmLike camcorder but stranger things have happened. JVC need a large sensor camcorder sooner rather than later if they are to keep up with Sony & Panasonic. They are a very capable company if a wee bit like Cinderella, last to attend the ball.

There is no doubt the world of video has gone large sensor-SDoF and everyone wants to join the party, Panasonic have been very astute with the pricing of the AF101 at just under £4000, pre sales from Preston’s and CVP alone are very encouraging and the third party sales for adapters testifies the growing band of video producers looking for that holy grail SDoF look in a smaller package fit for purpose.

Back to Sony…Sony have just brought out the new F3, due for January 2011 shipping, but not as popular as the AF101 if sales are anything to go by plus the need for expensive prime lenses, 35Mbs SxS, 4:2:0 and the £12K asking price. The Sony is a great camcorder and Philip Bloom is testing one as I blog but the lack of 3rd party adapters is a major turn off though MTF are in the process of producing a Nikon adapter for early 2011.

Lastly we cant predict the future without a mention of RED DIGITAL CINEMA, who are producing an Epic light and so I am aware a Scarlet. I do think RED have an upward struggle to compete with Sony and Panasonic and the fact that Jim also mentioned a significant price increase to Scarlet, a camera thats not in major production yet and has a fixed 8x lens !

The clear winner of the SDoF large sensor camera during early 2011 is by far the Panasonic AF101, it ticks all the boxes, a mountain of 3rd party adapters and lenses and the price of £4K has set this camera into 2011 with it’s head held high and a fantastic sales curve that can only get bigger.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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