Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101 - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders

Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders
AVCHD for pro applications: AG-AC160, AC130 and other AVCCAM gear.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 13th, 2011, 04:13 PM   #31
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Monterey, California
Posts: 892
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

Quote:
The expectation for the camera was huge. Everyone thought they were getting away with the farm. Now people are finding out the camera is now not like the $20,000 that they had hoped but a $6000 camera.
That "expectation" was based on claims made by Panasonic and their "assigns" that the AF100 is a professional camera that offers the possibility of using quality prime cine lenses as well as optically superb still lenses in a variety of mounts. Also, that it offers multiple frame rates at 1080, a feature which no other affordable camera offers. The obvious implication was that the camera will deliver quality consistent with those lenses and with 1080.

Those of us who have used, owned and swear by Panasonic cameras were immediately fascinated and placed our orders. We were concerned about the codec from the outset, but were assured that Panasonic had somehow tweaked AVCHD and that the AF100 is vastly superior to other AVCHD cameras. We were also disappointed that it doesn't use P2 cards but were told it couldn't be done for the price - that should have been a dead giveaway.

Most of those I know wish Panasonic hadn't held their price ceiling at $6000. A little more R&D, and a little more initial feedback would have produced a better, albeit more expensive, camera. Unfortunately, the rush to market may have killed chances for a sequel.
Steve Rosen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2011, 04:28 PM   #32
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

Key to understanding this would be to understand how the R&D departments in Japan think and work. I don't mean this as derogatory, but as factual. Jan is a product manager and it is her job to promote the products to the hilt regardless of defects. She isn't a camera engineer, and it isn't her job to understand resolution charts and zone charts. Speaking from direct experience of a multitude of other companies product managers from companies all over, they often do not know the details of what they are talking about.

Occasionally some do, one in particular I could mention who used to work for one of the majors really did have a handle on things. But most often they don't. They know just enough to get by.

But as far as results are concerned, they are there in front of us. It does make me chuckle when people keep trying to pick holes in the charts. They tell the truth, good or bad, they don't care. Some may not care about the performance deficiencies. More power to them. I'm the first to say that cinematography and skills count first. Here's the thing though. I *do* care about these issues, because they can come back and bite you in the backside just when you are least expecting it. They can significantly reduce the resale value of your gear when something much better comes along by a rival company or an upgraded product line. This last point I think is quite important given how fast things are progressing.
Simon Wyndham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2011, 04:49 PM   #33
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 146
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

I've had this camera for a month and it's paid for itself. Any money I would get by selling it today would qualify as profit. That works for me.
Vince Gaffney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #34
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Monterey, California
Posts: 892
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

"They can significantly reduce the resale value of your gear when something much better comes along"

There's probably a high resale value for Yugos now, though.

Seriously, I don't care much for charts, but I do like a good image on the screen. My current camera (HPX500) has been undermined by charts, as has my old super16 Aaton, sitting alone and neglected in my closet. Both of those cameras are capable of stunning images.

However, at this point, getting started on a new documentary that will take over a year to shoot, I have to hope that the AF100 can overcome it's apparent handicaps and produce images that belie the charts.
Steve Rosen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2011, 08:32 PM   #35
New Boot
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 11
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

Even though I'm nowhere near the level of understanding these technical aspects of camera engineering as many of you guys, I understand most of what was discussed here.

I thought that the one advantage that the AF100 had was true 1080 overcranking, but basically the NXCAM super35 (FS-100) is superior in every aspect because the AF100's 1920x1080 @ 60p is really nothing more than 640 lines of resolution?

Will the 1280x720 @ 60p from FS-100 be just as good as the fake 1080 overcrank from the AF100?
Lawrence Kim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2011, 09:38 PM   #36
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,230
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

Lawrence,

I would not judge any camera based upon measured numbers alone. To give Panasonic some credit here, a lot of people are thrilled with the performance of their AF-100, many of which are very experienced in the industry.

To comment on a camera that is not even released yet (NXCAM) is not wise as there are many factors to a pleasing video image.

I do not own an AF-100 so I do not have a dog in this hunt, but I am quite surprised by these tests. This does sort of highlight the need for communication as advertised 1080p is not always 1080 lines of reslution which can be misleading. I am just surprised that his far into the HD era that Panasonic would release a camera which has no more resolution specs than their first 1/3" chip HD camera. Not much in the way of progress on the resolution front.

In the end, personal testing and first hand knowledge (even if it costs some money) is the only way to know which camera is best for your needs.
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2011, 11:33 PM   #37
Space Hipster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1,593
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence Kim View Post
I thought that the one advantage that the AF100 had was true 1080 overcranking, but basically the NXCAM super35 (FS-100) is superior in every aspect because the AF100's 1920x1080 @ 60p is really nothing more than 640 lines of resolution?
Will the 1280x720 @ 60p from FS-100 be just as good as the fake 1080 overcrank from the AF100?
Where did you get this info? We know next to nothing about the so-called FS100. We don't even know what it looks like, much less its resolution capabilities. Sony claims it'll do 1080/60P, but until it lands in our laps and we can shoot in that mode, it's all conjecture at this point.

If the AF100 suits your needs and you can make money on the investment, then it's a good camera.
Glen Vandermolen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2011, 03:14 AM   #38
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Belfast, UK
Posts: 4,121
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

Zone plates are demanding and they may not have been used here.

However, for people who are worried, the review is positive towards the camera. There are and will be other camera options for broadcast HD work.
Brian Drysdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2011, 04:59 AM   #39
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

Quote:
I would not judge any camera based upon measured numbers alone.
True, but I would expect a 1080p camera to deliver good resolution, especially when the company that makes it has gone to great pains to tell us that all the deficiencies of DSLRs have been overcome with it, when quite frankly they haven't. Forget the resolution numbers, the AF101 clearly suffers from horrendous aliasing issues, one of the main problems people have with DSLRs and the main problem that Panasonic told us that the 101 doesn't suffer from!
Simon Wyndham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2011, 05:26 AM   #40
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 356
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

7D has A LOT more aliasing than this camera and as I understand it it can resolve a somewhat similar number of lines right?

All of this got me thinking too. I'm selling my HPX171 for a higher resolution camera but judging from this topic here I'm inclined to reconsider.

The camera costs 5k so I can't really say that this is a surprise...!
Sanjin Svajger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2011, 05:30 AM   #41
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

The 7D suffers from rainbow moire, which the 101 doesn't.
Simon Wyndham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2011, 06:01 AM   #42
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Spain
Posts: 73
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

"Forget the resolution numbers, the AF101 clearly suffers from horrendous aliasing issues..."

Simon I think that's a little strong. It's certainly an improvement over the Canon DSLRs. I'm one of those that agree with you from a professional point of view, but from the perspective of you get what you pay for. Despite Alan's write-off of the 5D MKII for example (which I would never argue with his expertise and agree with) it has been used on BBC drama and situation comedy, I have seen it broadcast I can notice a slight softness but it was perfectly acceptable. I think as always the proof will be in the pudding with actual programme/filmaking examples.

Like I say professionals will use this cam on some interesting projects to a certain extent and then pass to the new craze and it will get broadcast whatever the reservations. It is just for me that there should be no surprises and whilst I have the utmost respect for Jan and Barry Green I have always taken some of their claims (or silences) in perspective as is the same for any other party close to a manufacturer (no offence meant and I will not comment further on that). All these kind of cameras are aimed at an extremely lucrative market probably much more so than broadcast sales: that of the independent no or low budget prosummer, not to say that they are not used by higher end professional and casting absolutely no aspersions on any one here. They are what they are.

What is interesting however from Alan's document is the mystery of exactly how this camera downconverts its megapixel cmos chip to 1920 x 1080. An effective OLPF is quite a cheap item to implement relatively and it maybe suggests that the AF101 does not indeed have one (or an electronic implementation), achieving its image through AD and DSP processing. There is no requirement as in a DSLR to compromise between still megapixel and video HD formats and so this makes it doubly strange, but we may never know. Maybe firmware can be brought to improve this situation or maybe an OLPF solution can be updated or modified to it. Who knows? I just don't think it's worth getting either too defensive or too judgmental when we know that whatever is said about it can be so much for the price. I think it's trying very hard and has some great features that people are asking for.
John Mercer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2011, 06:45 AM   #43
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

Quote:
Simon I think that's a little strong.
It isn't strong at all. The zone plate that Alan showed clearly shows almost entirely aliasing from around halfway out. That is not a good result at all, and is fully worthy of the word "horrendous".

Quote:
I'm one of those that agree with you from a professional point of view, but from the perspective of you get what you pay for.
Yes true, but the point I have been stating over and over is that the camera isn't what Panasonic are claiming it is. By all means sell it as a 720p camera (even though it can't even meet that resolution), but to claim it is a full 1080p camera is false on all fronts. I don't care if projected film at the cinema is only effectively equivalent of 800 lines (is it the same for digital projection? I doubt it), the fact is that these days cameras like the EX series reproduce around 1000TVL with virtually no aliasing issues.

There are always going to be problems using a single chip design, but with the 101 it is actually completely baffling how such poor performance is being achieved. By all rights, given the numbers involved it should be capable of making a really good resolution. But it doesn't, and to be totally honest I don't think it has anything at all to do with it being a lower budget camera.

Quote:
as is the same for any other party close to a manufacturer (no offence meant and I will not comment further on that).
If that is indirectly aimed at me, no offense taken, butI can assure you that while a few years ago I used to be in close contact with Sony, I never gave any concessions to them (witness the issue with the V1 that I found). I am and always have been totally independent with no bias either way. I have always said things as I have found them, which is why a lot of people don't like it when I speak out.

Quote:
What is interesting however from Alan's document is the mystery of exactly how this camera downconverts its megapixel cmos chip to 1920 x 1080.
I agree with David Heath's analysis which suggests that the camera is upconverting, not downconverting, and makes much more sense.
Simon Wyndham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2011, 07:09 AM   #44
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Spain
Posts: 73
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

If that is indirectly aimed at me, no offense taken, butI can assure you that while a few years ago I used to be in close contact with Sony

Not at all Simon! I was not even aware of any association you had. I don't agree it is 'horrendous'. A mobile phone image is usually 'horrendous' to me, so it's probably just question of our relative superlatives.

I agree with David Heath's analysis which suggests that the camera is upconverting, not downconverting, and makes much more sense.

I note that Alan Roberts says definitely not, I don't know but can it be fixed that is the question, whatever it's doing?

the fact is that these days cameras like the EX series reproduce around 1000TVL with virtually no aliasing issues.


I think resolution is made into far too the major issue sometimes. I think there are many many other considerations. If I have a say, I personally would rather use our much maligned HPX500 anyday than an EX1, that is not to say that the image from the EX1 is not much sharper it is but the use of broadcast 2/3" lenses and the look is one I prefer. However I totally agree with your implication that video cameras with roughly matched chip rasters to their formats are far more suitable and ussually produce a much sharper and alias free image. It's about physics obviously and again personally I don't care for and am not looking for shallow depth of field.

Off topic: Can anyone tell me how to quote rather than reply from the last post?
John Mercer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2011, 07:24 AM   #45
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Re: Alan Roberts BBC report on the AF101

John,

On the Quotes question I don't think you can do this anymore. Chris disabled it for the very last post in a thread as there was a run of lots of threads with needless, boring repetition/quoting a while back I think - I'm not a Mod on here so this is just my hunch. We've all seen forums where excessive re-quoting becomes very tedious/destroys the discussion! The last but one post and above retain the Quote button.

However, I agree in your reply to Simon it might have been very useful/easier (not tedious at all) - but the way you've written your post is just fine.

OK, back to this interesting technical/marketing/product positioning etc. discussion!
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:35 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network