12 February 2011

PANASONIC AG-AF101

Check out my latest camera that I'll be using for the majority of Fingercuff work. It's the Panasonic AG-AF101, a micro 4/3inch camcorder that's optimised for HD. Basically imagine if a DSLR and a standard video camera had sex, this is the weird looking love child that'd be born.
Panasonic AG-AF101 with Cimko MT 100-300mm
I've been using old school manual 35mm lenses for a while now (on a ridiculously heavy rig of a Sony Z1 with a Redrock lens adaptor) so I'm used to the shallow depth of field that everyone wants these days. I can't say I've ever been tempted to buy a Canon 5D Mark II or 7D, I know they're incredibly cheap and the sensors are huge but I think to make them properly usable as an everyday camera you really need to spend thousands more on shoulder rigs and monitors and separate audio records etc. For me the AF101 has everything I need as it's a proper video camera with XLR inputs, ND filters etc.

I think the shallow depth of field thing has gone so extreme that what people call the "film look" is actually more of a "DSLR look". Some of my favourite films have very little bokeh, for instance The Thing utilises deep focus. These days everyone seems to shoot everything at f/1.8 with crazy blur, so I think knowing when to use shallow focus is really important.

I'm planning on shooting my next short film on the AF101 around April/May so it'll have a good workout, but before that I'll be posting some test footage soon so keep your glazzies peeled. Viddy well droogs!

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