Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

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.


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.

8 thoughts on “Early conclusions on the Panasonic AF101

  1. Philip, Really interesting to see your experience with this camera. On a rather different note, what bracket are you using to hold the microphone? And what mic is it? Thanks for all your hard work.

  2. ok thanks.. I thought that the 504HD was just the head (which I have on order). The actual legs look very small and compact in your first shot. It almost looks like the manfrotto hihat ?

  3. Hi Rich I got this at ProVideo 2010 secondhand for £60 I added the Manfrotto head myself it’s a great tool for low angle and worktop shots.
    The legs do not have any name or badge I am afraid.

  4. Thank you for your fantastic reviews ! I learned a lot about the AF101 with your website. Many reselers told me the autofocus was too slow and the depth of field to accurate to use this camera for News or speed shootings… They advice to prefer an EX1 or a CANON XF300 instead of this camera…

    What is your feeling ?

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