Panasonic Introduces AG-AF100A Micro Four-Thirds Camera

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Panasonic has released the new AG-AF100A large imager HD cinema camcorder. Panasonic said the new model offers improvements and cost-efficiencies over its predecessor, the AG-AF100.

The newly-revised AF100A features 10-bit (enhanced 8-bit) 4:2:2 quality output for better gradation of tonal areas when recording onto external devices, such as a P2 HD recorder. The HD-SDI signal also carries a sync signal for the Rec Start/Stop with the AF100A trigger. Additionally, the AF100A is equipped with expanded focus assist, which enlarges the center of the displayed image for greater ease in focusing; and a 2.39:1 (cinema scope size) safety zone marker.

In addition to PH recording mode, the AF100A complies with AVCHD vers. 2.0 (AVCHD Progressive) with its new PS mode for recording, playing and outputting--via HDMI only--full HD progressive images. The PS/PH modes support uncompressed 16-bit LPCM two-channel audio recording, and features two-channel XLR audio input terminals for full uncompressed audio recording.

Like the AF100, the AF100A incorporates a 4/3-inch, 16:9 MOS imager (with an imaging area just slightly smaller than 35mm cinema film) that minimizes skew with fast imager scanning, and an optical low-pass filter for elimination of aliasing and moiré, Panasonic said.

Weighing 3.5 pounds without lens or battery, the AF100A also features Dynamic Range Stretch in all modes and frame rates; six built-in, customizable scene files; seven built-in gamma curves with four selectable color matrices; a built-in optical ND filter; adjustable shutter speed and Synchro-scan; and a high-resolution, variable angle color LCD monitor and tiltable viewfinder.

Additional standard professional interfaces include uncompressed HDMI out and USB 2.0. The AF100A records SMPTE timecode and is able to perform timecode synchronizing via the video output seeing timecode in, and has an internal down-converter facilitating output of SD (480/576) signals

The AG-AF100A is available at a suggested list price of $4595.The camcorder is packaged with a copy of the AF100 Book by Barry Green. Panasonic supports the AF100A with a three-year limited warranty upon registration of the camera with the PASS customer support program.