Panasonic have been delighted with their first large sensor camera the AF100 series, it has caught the imagination of many disgruntled DPs who for many reasons did not play ball with the DSLR. The price has been the major factor for many DPs dipping their toes in the water only to be pleasantly surprised with the results.
The draw back with the AF100 series is the deliberate throttling back of many features that could have taken it to mega stardom but this years NAB 2011 has given us a glimpse into the future with Panasonic’s thinking and the road ahead.
The new Panasonic AG-HPX250 P2 camcorder is not only a vast improvement in style for Panasonic but features to match…10bit, 4:2:2 with P2 AVC-Intra recording, this will set Panasonic well amongst the pigeons and once again give Sony a good run for it’s money.
If Panasonic turn their attention into producing a 10bit, 4:2:2 version of the AF100 series even dare I say it with P2 to give us AVC-Intra recording it would satisfy the broadcasters and even at about £6K price steal the market place from Sony a second time.
All manufacturers need to address the viewfinders in these cameras and either give us payed options or vastly improve on todays “NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE VIEWFINDERS”.
It’s incredible that over the last 2 months we have seen about 5 EVFs appear on the marketplace and what amazed me was Panasonic having a demo AF101 at BVE with a Cineroid EVF a sure sign that even they are not happy with their own EVF.
The next hottest EVF to appear is from Zacuto and by all accounts this will be the de-facto EVF for the AF100 series of camcorders but we don’t see any until the beginning of May. Another enhancement would be a servo zoom and the inclusion of a zoom lens, the same as Sony giving the Panasonic a second string to it’s bow.
Will Panasonic have the balls to update the AF100 series…YES…Sony have put their cards firmly on the table with the F3 and FS100 which was Sony’s attempt at a Panasonic spoiler but if we get a 10bit, 4:2:2, AVC-intra P2 AF200 series camcorder it will take the market by storm.
Many DPs are now changing over to AF100 cameras and are becoming familiar with the camera and it’s menu system, the AF101 (UK) is a good starter but I think Panasonic have caught a glimpse of being top dog with this camcorder and don’t intend to let go with version two of this amazing large sensor camera.