You only get a feel for any camcorder when you use it for real in a live paying situation. The last two days have given me a clearer insight while using the AF101 and the best news is that it’s thumbs up all round.
I was slightly apprehensive using a new camera that I had used for less than a week on a job for a major client, admittedly we were filming updates to a DVD that was shot last year but fortunately the updates were to be self contained within their own DVD. Knowing Panasonic of old their “look” or colour matrix does not look anything like Sony’s, the first DVD was made using a Sony EX-3.
What did I learn…Firstly not to use the 7mm wide angle when filming people, it distorts then too much unless they are centre of frame. When switching from non electronic lenses to Lumix lenses to remember to switch off the autofocus. As usual the autofocus (AF) hunts when you least want it to…I used it more with the 7-14mm lens as it’s very hard to see focus. Tip…Set up your shot with the AF on check your VF that it’s sharp then switch off the AF.
I used the AF with the 14-140mm Lumix when I was manually zooming back from tight to wide as it tracked the subject quite well, unfortunately I don’t have the confidence yet to pull focus even using the Cineroid VF for such a long shot plus these lenses don’t lend themselves to pull focus due to the smaller diameter of the lens itself. You can be one and a half turns of the lens which is impossible to do manually.
The picture on my Sony 740 looked cracking and was commented by the client, then back at base the tell tail 37″ viewing…amazing is the best words to describe it, fantastic solid colours with the odd shot at 9dB and not a trace of noise.
The AF101 excels in every way, solid punchy pictures, sharp as a tac and with the odd NOKTON lens shot for that Hollywood shallow depth of field and best of all it’s not a heavy camera to use so you dont feel as tired or sore after a days shoot and a client who is very happy with the new look.