Panasonic announces the new AG-AF100A!

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AV.Watch (translation here) reports that Panasonic will release the new AG-AF100A on November 15th. New features include 10-bit HD output via SDI port, 18Mps data rate, Full 1080/60p recording, new focus assist and 16bit LPCM audio. This sounds more like a nicely upgraded AG-AF100 rather than a complete new camera. Here is the press release:

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Panasonic Introduces The AG-AF100A Series Micro Four Thirds Camera Recorder Featuring Full HD Progressive Recording And 10 Bit 4:2:2 Camera Live Output Via SDI Terminal

Osaka, Japan (November 5th, 2012) — Panasonic Corporation will release the new AG-AF100A Series Memory Card Camera Recorder in November 2012.

The AG-AF100A Series is the professional HD camera recorder with a Micro Four Thirds mount. As with the conventional model AG-AF100 Series, AG-AF100A Series can use a wide range of lenses* including Micro Four Thirds compatible DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) lenses and Cinema lenses with a mount adapter. AG-AF100A Series also features two-channel XLR audio input terminals and more functions to meet the professional needs.

In addition to the professional high quality PH mode (average approx. 21Mbps, maximum 24Mbps), AG-AF100A Series complies with the AVCHD ver. 2.0 (AVCHD Progressive) standard in its new PS mode (average approx. 25Mbps, maximum 28Mbps) for recording, playing and outputting (via HDMI only) Full-HD progressive (1080/59.94p, 1080/50p) images. The PS/PH modes support uncompressed 16 bit LPCM 2-channel audio recording.

The AG-AF100A Series can newly output HD signals with 10 bit 4:2:2 quality via the camera’s live output function and record onto the external devices, such as P2 Recorder, compatible with 10 bit high quality recording through SDI. P2 Recorder also syncs Rec Start/Stop with the AG-AF100A series trigger.

The AG-AF100A Series is newly equipped with the expand focus assist function, which enlarges the center of the displayed image, and 2.39:1 (cinema scope size) safety zone marker.

The AG-AF100A Series will be available in November 2012 at an open price in Japan.

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  • Only 28Mbps…? and no super high frame rate in full HD like FS700? I think I’ll pass :) GH3 is still my first choice!

    • Wow this camera looks really underspec’d now.

  • homer

    What sensor is this? The gh3?

  • Anonymous

    Panasonic where are your marketing department! come on!

  • Anonymous

    Does it use the same sensor? Same OLPF?

  • Heat Legend

    >The AG-AF100A Series will be available in November 2012 at an open price in Japan.

    What does that even mean? lel.

  • Gabe

    I heard some broadcast network (e.g BBC) require a minimum 50mbps footage…

    • Timccr

      I think you mean most networks not some networks.

    • After editing You allways render final movie to whatever format and can choose any bitrate/codec

  • Ah so “reports” of the death of the AF series were incorrect :-]

  • Andrew

    Hell, i’ll make an assertion: What is this, tuned up AF100’s that haven’t been selling well?!

    I don’t really care honestly.

  • Isn’t the critical difference this bit……The AG-AF100A Series can newly output HD signals with 10 bit 4:2:2 quality via the camera’s live output function and record onto the external devices, such as P2 Recorder, compatible with 10 bit high quality recording through SDI…….Not that I want one!

    • Art

      And F5 can do 16-bit RAW output to the external recorder. This camera would be much cheaper, but it still isn’t going to sell much. There is black magic camera that does 12-bit RAW. There is also F700 that does 240 fps in 1080p.

      The competition is too tough for this Pana to sell.

  • croco

    And the GH-3…?
    A tuned up GH-2 LOST that, waht makes
    GH-2 fine?

    pumpupmygh3 pumpup…. boyracercam

    • Heat Legend

      Best post I’v ever seen on 43rumors

  • Anonymous

    10bit 4:2:2 output…. ooooooh! Bring it!

    But what does this mean:

    “its new PS mode (average approx. 25Mbps, maximum 28Mbps) for recording, playing and outputting (via HDMI only)…”

    No internal recording of 1080/50p/60p? Or 50p/60p internally + HDMI (but not SDI)…. So does HDMI output 10bit?

    So many questions…. hurry up 15th Nov!

  • José Carlos

    C’mon… really, Panasonic?!

    This is exactly what the firmware gives us for $250 with the 10bit addition, so there’s no real reason to see this upgraded version as a real player in the pro camera field.

    The outdated sensor is the same, sadly, which means you can get way better IQ with the new GH3 and even the GH2, because a little over 800 lines of resolution is not really 1080p, is just a glorified 720p, and the same goes for the poor DR and its low/high light performance.

    If Panasonic wants to win the market of low budget videographers it must develop an AG-AF with a better sensor, must like the GH3 one but video optimized, or else it can’t be seen as an actual real option to other great cameras out there right now.

  • BlackSpot

    Great that they use old sensor! GH3 sensor appears like shit at the moment, with moire and crappy Sonyish/videoish look. ;) Lets hope that price is reasonable (with HD-SDI recorder).

  • Panasonic should leave this form-factor in the past where it belongs.

  • peevee

    “18Mps data rate”

    What is “Mps”? ;)

  • Dugo

    Funny, but this “new one” looks exactly like the old one, doesn’t it though? Nice try on the part of Panasonic, but I doubt they will sell a total of 5 copies of this AF100A worldwide.

    Frankly, I cannot bring myself trusting Sony. I would never deal with Canon or Red, so that will leave either Panasonic or perhaps Blackmagic Design and their BCC. Oh yeah, and I trust GoPro and Cineform — in fact, how can you go wrong with the Hero3 Black Ed. for only $399?

    Re. Panny, I am sure they will bring out something small and great and 4K and AVC-Ultra capable next April at NAB. But probably not before that. This AG-AF100A is dead in the water, as it has a low-end sensor no quite sufficient even for true Full-HD recordings, let alone 2K or 4K. And by the time you add an extra cost, extra weight, extra battery, extra headache external recorder to the camera, you wish you had bought their AG-HPX250 camcorder in the first place, since with that one you can record 4:2:2 chroma and 10-bit color at 100Mbit/sec intraframe.

    Panasonic would have been wise to WITHDRAW the AF100 and not claim that this AF100A is any sort of an improved version over the old, left-behind-the-times one.

    • It’s a big NO on this ‘new’ AF100A. It’s not an evolving apparatus. BMCC certainly is.

      John Brawley, who helped design the BMCC, is probably the best person to push for active m43 on the BMCC. In his blog he states he has several Lumix lenses but prefers the EF BMCC because of available wide angle lenses. I don’t see many (any?) manual wide angle zooms (11-16, 12-35, etc.) with aperture ring for the BMCC. Although it seems BM should be able to make m43 active as it is for EF, m43 has ‘focus by wire’ whereas EF doesn’t. Perhaps that’s a stickler.

  • tttulio

    What a waste of R&D, well, actually doesn’t look like they spent much R&D on that.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Looks more like some old junk what they found lying in corners slapped together…

      Especially those “professional” bitrates are bad jokes when compared to GH3.
      They must be counting on everyone to use external recorder.

  • tunny

    In the month that Sony brings out the F5 and F55 this is little better than a bad joke. Many were hoping for a totally new large format camcorder from Panasonic – not a minor revamp of what is basically a GH2 in a big box.

    The 10 bit output is unlikely to make a lot of difference as the basic camera sensor has a noise level such the extra two bits will only better define the noise!

    Most disappointing part of it is that it now looks even less likely we’ll see a AF100 replacement with proper video chip any time soon. And 4/3 is looking less and less desirable with all the super 35 cameras coming along.

  • Pat

    I’ve shot on the af100 for a year, and frankly this makes me feel better, only because its so little improvement that I dont have the urge to buy the new one. Seriously, this seems like a firmware update. In fact, most of these features are available with the paid firmware update, save the 10-bit sdi out…which is the only thing i want anyway.

  • I really wanted a better sensor. Too many pixels on the old one, not enough color either. Sigh… sigh sigh…

  • Why are people complaining so much? lol. This isn’t a “new” camera.. More like a 0.5 update to the existing camera hence the same name with the A behind it.. Similar to what Nikon does with some of their cameras.. D300 was replaced by the D300s however the D300s wasn’t for people who already had a D30. Same with the D3s the D3s wasn’t the new D3 it was just the exact same D3 with better performance out of the same camera. The D4 was the update to the D3 not the D3s and so will the D300 be to the D300 not the D300s (if it ever comes out, it’s been forever). Nikon have stated this themselves but I won’t go look for it.

    This could be good or bad news.. 1. Panasonic might be making this “improved” AF100 to try and sell as many as they can before the kill it.. OR 2. They could be trying to keep people interested in the AF100 type cameras for a proper update in the future.. Who knows which one it is, we can only speculate.

  • Dave

    I’m kinda with Pat on this one… when I first saw the post my heart sank a little since my AF100 is only 6 mos. old – and if this had been a significant upgrade I would have felt like at least considering the purchase.

    This seems more like Panasonic trying to get all the mileage they possibly can out of an existing design. I have my doubts as to whether the marketplace will react much to this though – since as others have mentioned it’s a pretty underwhelming “update” compared to new cameras from other manufacturers.

    Hopefully it portends a real new camera coming eventually. I still think an AF200 or whatever with better highlight handling and a slightly tweaked form factor would sell well for under $5k

  • Preston Davis

    Wow! What alot of af100 bashing. Lets not forget the compition in this price rangs has no ND filters and an idoitic lcd placement plus a pretty weak and flimsy for factor of its own. The af100 with the Samurai improves lowlight and highlight handling (only with the dynxhd codec, not much with prores). I think the update adresse to big ssues: 10 bit nowhere else available in it’s price range and EXPANDED FOCUS. Of course the cam should have had that from the start!

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