08.24.2011 10:50 AM
Producer Praises Panasonic AG-AF100 HD Cameras
James Stevens

NASHVILLE—Just as Panasonic revolutionized the production and broadcast industries with the introduction of its P2 solid-state recording and media, the company is once again changing the game with the introduction of the AG-AF100 large imager HD cinema camera.

I'm tremendously enthusiastic about Panasonic pro video equipment, and have supported the operation of my independent production company with the company's AG-AF100, HVX200A P2 HD handheld, and the venerable DVX100 digital camcorder, I found that I was among the first customers for the AF100, once it became available late last year.

TAKING CREATIVITY TO THE MAX

Shortly after my purchase of the camcorder, it was placed in the spotlight when I used it to shoot footage and produce the graphics package for the Texaco Country Showdown—the nation's largest and longest-running country music talent search.

During the national finals—held in Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium—my colleagues and I used the AF100 to shoot interviews with the competing regional winners. Beyond the AF100's signature capacity to capture a film-like shallow depth of field, several of the camcorder's features proved notable on this and subsequent shoots. The ability to use focus as a creative tool results in amazing shots. Variable frame rates, available in 1080p, and selectable in 20 steps from 12p to 60p, are also essential to my work producing both music-centric video programs and motion graphics.

As I'm located in "Music City," I work on a variety of production assignments in the country music industry and have used Panasonic equipment on projects for ABC, CBS, GAC, CMT, MTV, GMC and other networks. And I also use the AF100 to produce video, motion graphics and animation projects that are distributed worldwide.

While I certainly enjoy video production, my true passion is in motion graphics, and I use the AF100 extensively in this area. My approach is rather avant-garde, as I use the camcorder to shoot live footage vs. doing all the graphics work on the computer. I've found that incorporating video footage as a practical visual element can lead to a more amplified, in-depth motion graphics experience.

I've now begun to share my experience with the next-generation of visual artists and filmmakers as an instructor of motion graphics courses at Middle Tennessee State University. My AF100 has even made it to the classroom, where students use the camcorder to shoot various seemingly insignificant objects that form the foundation for gorgeous motion graphic sequences.

As an early adopter, I can say from experience that the AF100 HD camcorder is truly a transformational product. While some may claim that the camcorder doesn't supplant HDLSRs in video production, it is definitely a superior alternative. I appreciate knowing that the essential production features that I have come to know and rely on in other Panasonic cameras are available on the AF100.

James Stevens is a regional Emmy Award winner and has been producing motion graphics for more than a decade. He may be contacted at jamesstevens.com.

For additional information, contact Panasonic at 877-803-8492 or visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.



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