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Old August 15th, 2012, 06:11 AM   #1
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The New Panasonic AC-90

Hi Guys

Panasonic are releasing it's new AC-90 camera which to me looks very much like a much upgraded HMC40...release price seems to be just over the $2200 mark so it will appeal to owners of HMC40's who might appreciate the extra goodies it has!!

Panasonic Announces New Stylish AVCCAM Camera Recorder AG-AC90 - Professional Camera Solutions | Panasonic Business

Chris
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Old August 15th, 2012, 06:17 AM   #2
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Re: The New Panasonic AC-90

Some pictures too...

CVP blog & more Archives Panasonic Announce New AG-AC90 AVCCAM Camcorder

(Actually, I missed the tiny hyperlinks in the Panasonic article).

Interesting idea. It looks like the HMC40 brought up to a similar standard as the AC130/160. Maybe intended for use as a B-cam in the same way that Sony have the PMW100 to their other XDcam ranges.

If only it had manual ND filters!
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Old August 15th, 2012, 06:23 AM   #3
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Re: The New Panasonic AC-90

If it shoots 1080p50 AVCHD2 video at 28Mbps with the same clarity as my tiny TM900 does then it should be very strong contender in its chosen price sector. Nice one Panny!
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Old August 15th, 2012, 07:40 AM   #4
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Re: The New Panasonic AC-90

Looks like a 2D version of the 3D camcorder HDC-Z10000.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 07:58 AM   #5
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Re: The New Panasonic AC-90

Hi Mike

I actually dumped my AC-130's BECAUSE of the ND Filters!! The cameras when used for run 'n gun only set the aperture and not the shutter speed on autoiris so if a cloud passes over during an outdoor wedding you have to change ND's which causes a flash on the footage...sometimes during a shoot I was switching ND's in and out every few seconds ...no issue with interviews but when you are on a stedicam going into shade and sun it just becomes a total pain... Both the HMC40 and 80 and this new one allow seamless exposure from bright sun to deep shade without any ND switching needed. The camera actually have an auto ND filter than comes in when it's needed. I would suspect that this new one would also be destined for run 'n gun style shoots

Andy, the 40 spec on chips is 1/4.1" and this new one is 1/4.7" so I think that is a slightly larger chip...the lens is also faster and bigger diameter than the 40 lens (40 has a 43mm filter and the 90 has a 49mm filter)

Chris
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Old August 15th, 2012, 08:36 AM   #6
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Re: The New Panasonic AC-90

Hey Chris, perhaps you meant this but just to be clear, a 1/4.1" sensor is larger than a 1/4.7" sensor.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 08:56 AM   #7
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Re: The New Panasonic AC-90

Thanks Michael

My fractions are terrible!! a 1/4.1 chip is 4mm and a 1/4.7 chip is 3.8mm ..I had it back to front!! I wonder why they put in smaller chips???

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Old August 15th, 2012, 10:53 AM   #8
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Re: The New Panasonic AC-90

I really like that there are 3 manual rings. Focus, zoom & iris. Nice Panasonic! I really hope they're not too much fly-by-wire, loss of sensitivity / accuracy, shared servo motors & un-repeatable pulls.

But no toggle switch for gain & whitebalance?!? How is that missing when you get the three ring circus right?!? *sigh* I know it is a small camera, but it looks like there is space available to have included them.

I'm interested to see how the pull out LCD performs.

1/4.7" chips seems like a downer. Why so small? To keep the cost & lens down? I wonder how much noisier they'll be to 1/4" chips or 1/3" chips in low light.

Quote:
effective pixel count of 2,190,000 pixels
Anybody know what does "effective" mean? 1920x1080 =2,073,600 so are these slightly higher than full raster 1080? Is each chip slightly higher than 1920x1080?

Or do you get 2,190,000 when you add the pixels from each 3 MOS together. (2,190,000 / 3 = 730,000 this is lower than 1280x720 which is 921,600)

Or is it interpolation w/ rotated pixels business going on?
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Old August 15th, 2012, 02:56 PM   #9
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Re: The New Panasonic AC-90

I don't understand someone selling their AC130 because it had selectable ND filters? Don't agree with it!

The XF100/105, and PMW100 don't have selectable ND filters either, right? I consider that a flaw not a feature. That said, the AC-90 seems less flawed overall due to having the 3 lens rings, full raster 3 chips, nano-anti-flare coating and 5-axis stabilization. Having 3 chips and no bayer filter should make it closer to the AC130/160 than the XF100/105 PMW100 are to their respective larger siblings, and at a much lower price point.

The AC160A is a camera that interests me except for it's size. The AC-90 should have improved low light compared to my TM900 due to larger sized photo-sites, and less spoiling due to flare. The questions about the AC-90 are:

How many iris shutter blades? I think bokeh on the AC-90 will not be good due to very deep depth of field. really sharp yes, everything in focus always, not a professional look.

How many stops of sensitivity? This is the flaw of the TM900, limited dynamic range. This should be improved from having fewer, larger photo sites. The smaller 1/4.5 chips is disappointing.

What control and choices will we have with the AC-90 in regards to gamma curves and knee settings, another weakness of the TM900?

The fact of the TM900 is it can have great images, or they can be spoiled due to flare, iris blades, lack of dynamic range and sensitivity and poor bokeh. The challenge of the AC-90 will be to improve on the TM900 weaknesses, while protecting the strengths.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 05:48 PM   #10
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Re: The New Panasonic AC-90

Very interesting. I was all set to replace my two Sony V1U's I use for Wedding and Event videography with the Panasonic AC130 until all of the issues came to light with the autofocus.

I just bought a Canon XA10 to test it and if all goes well have planned on getting at least one more and maybe two. Now this AC-90 intrigues me because looking at the picture it appears to have a lot of manual controls where the Canon XA10 does not.

I will be following this camera closely when it is released.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 06:12 PM   #11
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Re: The New Panasonic AC-90

Hi Tom

It does have ND's but they are auto-switchable and no manual ND's ...Trust me, there was a lot more wrong with the 130's than just the iris range ..autofocus was already mentioned and a whole lot more..it just wasn't a good camera for run 'n gun shoots that's all. I don't mind a couple of manual ND's but to have to have 4 filters and end end constantly switching them in and out was just crazy!

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Old August 16th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #12
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Re: The New Panasonic AC-90

That's the way it was (switching manual ND filters) on my EX1 and that's how it still is on my PMW350. The case to be made is for larger sensors that capture more stops of dynamic range. My TM900 has (or is said to have) the automatic ND switching, but for bright outdoor lighting, it needs a darker ND option. That's what I dislike most, having to carry a screw-on ND to keep the shutter speed low enough for fluid motion. Also the smaller yet 1/4.7 sensor will have to get feedback on. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how good the images are from the AC-90.
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