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Old July 9th, 2012, 11:07 AM   #16
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Re: AF100 successor?

I WANT the footage to look like video! I gave up wasting time trying to make video look like something it isn't long ago. That obsession ate into my profits.

The focal length issue is a different matter - unless you shoot a lot of telephoto I guess, in which case presumably you win ;-)
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Old July 9th, 2012, 05:56 PM   #17
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Re: AF100 successor?

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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
Who cares if a more expensive camera is "declared better"? There is no standard distribution. More than one camera can be great even if a more expensive one comes along and is "declared better". The "inferior" camera can still be a great camera as well ........
True to a point, but you seem to be assuming that all the advantages of such of the FS100 are solely related to straightforward image quality.

That's not the case. Think of what's been said about sensitivity for example. (About 3 whole stops.) That doesn't just mean better quality in low light, it can mean being able to use smaller apertures for MORE dof when circumstances demand it. You may buy such a camera primarily for shallow depth of field, but a less sensitive camera like the AF100 may force that (via a wide aperture} even on occasions when a small aperture may be more suitable. Higher sensitivity gives flexibility - not just better performance in low light.

Then there are the lens issues. Also fantastic slow motion in the case of the FS700, and 4k "future-proofing" should help it hold a resale value better even if no personal interest.

I would also expect to get a matte box for any camera of this type, and even the FS700/AF100 are likely to need extra NDs to fine tune aperture control. That makes it totally unnecessary to buy separate NDs for every lens. One FS100 owner I know has a vari-ND to use with the zoom lens, and matte box and fixed NDs to use with primes. Most of the latter he'd have got even with an AF100 or FS700.

"Film look" and "video look" can mean a lot of different things, but I suspect what John may be referring to is an "edginess" or artificial sharpening (detail correction). In extreme cases it can look like lines drawn to outline objects. Point is that the more intrinsic resolution the camera has, the less artificial enhancement it needs. A camera with good resolution and low detail level just looks "natural" - lower native resolution means the detail level needs to be turned up with resulting "edginess". Or dare I say "video look"?

And that's why the lower resolution of the AF100 matters. It needs higher levels of detail enhancement ("video-look") or just looks soft.

And I fully agree with Johns comments about lenses, focal lengths, etc.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 07:21 PM   #18
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Re: AF100 successor?

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Far as the glass goes, MFT is a format that can accept anything via an adapter - a big plus. However that plus is fairly well negated by the effective halving of the lens's focal length. Meaning that $2,151.69 Canon 14mm lens you just bought from Amazon is now effectively a 28 mm lens. Ouch.

So while the format may accept every piece of glass, the reality is that shooters on that format invariably goto very fast, very wide glass - all very expensive and a lot of which won't fit on other mounts.

I thought that this argument would be clarified by now.

Sure, if you compare (still) full frame glassas your benchmark. But there isn't any video camera that shoots video as it's primary function that uses this glass with out cropping the FOV as well.

Your S35 sensor cameras also crop their FOV when using still glass.

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Old July 9th, 2012, 08:33 PM   #19
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Re: AF100 successor?

"Your S35 sensor cameras also crop their FOV when using still glass."

Yup, but by a factor of 50% less then MFT.

That $2,000 14mm wide angle is a 28mm on a AF100, and 21mm on a Sony NEX mount. That 50% means a lot, both in DoF and light sensitivity. That largely accounts for the need (generally speaking) for faster, wider lens on MFT cameras.

Note I'm not saying one is inherently better then another (a lot of MFT uses choice the mount exactly because the larger DoF), but there are marked differences between sensor sizes....

And yes, even more of a difference between MFT and FF sensors.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 08:27 AM   #20
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Re: AF100 successor?

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True to a point, but you seem to be assuming that all the advantages of such of the FS100 are solely related to straightforward image quality....
That's summarily untrue.

What is true is that I find built-in ND filters that take no storage space and require no assembly to be "better" than adding vari-NDs that can freeze onto lenses, can inadvertently strip threads or fumbling with matte boxes and filters and further increasing the cost and setup time. The argument that the AF100 is a poor camera because the more expensive FS100 is "better" is specious at best, intellectually dishonest at worst.

IMHO, this thread is far off topic. I hope Panasonic's balanced appreciation for important functional capability from built-in ND filters to sturdy handles continues in whatever large sensor package they come up with next.

Last edited by Les Wilson; July 10th, 2012 at 02:48 PM.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 03:35 PM   #21
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Re: AF100 successor?

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That's summarily untrue.

What is true is that I find built-in ND filters that take no storage space and require no assembly to be "better" than adding vari-NDs ..........
And where did I ever say the FS100s lack of in-built NDs was not a disadvantage? If you read back in this thread you'll see I make exactly that point myself, right back at post no 4 - "The one undeniable advantage the AF100 does have is inbuilt ND filters, but in terms of image quality the FS100 is a clear winner". You'll also see I said the same a year ago in the thread about Nigel Coopers review.

What I don't think is that inbuilt NDs are the only thing that matters. Not when balanced against all the other factors.

You may have misunderstood the point I was trying to make. That the higher IQ of the FS100 (and 700) is not the only positive in it's favour - the lens factors and better sensitivity are also positives in the FS100s favour, contributing versatility rather than sheer quality.
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IMHO, this thread is far off topic.
Maybe that's best left to Ian to judge, it's his thread. It does seem there is a lot of confusion over lens issues and sensor size, I hope Ian is finding the discussion useful....?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gottshalk
I thought that this argument would be clarified by now. ...............

Your S35 sensor cameras also crop their FOV when using still glass.
John's pretty well answered it, but yes, use glass designed for full frame on a video camera and there will be a crop with s35. Do the same with 4/3 and there will be twice as much cropping! And what about glass designed for other DSLRs with APS-C size sensors? They match s35 pretty well - but crop about 1.4 when used on a 4/3 camera.

The focal length and aperture of a lens are physical attributes. What varies with sensor size is the angle of view. So if a given focal length gives an angle of view (say) of 90 with full frame it will give about 64 with s35, but only 45 with 4/3.

That's apart from the point that designed for 4/3 glass just can't be used with bigger sensors, the image won't then cover the entire sensor. That's why I'd be extremely reluctant to spend a lot of money on building a collection of 4/3 glass - if Panasonic do go down the s35 route and you decide to upgrade from the AF100, all the 4/3 glass becomes useless.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vincent
Note I'm not saying one is inherently better then another (a lot of MFT uses choice the mount exactly because the larger DoF), but there are marked differences between sensor sizes....
I'm happy to stick my neck out and say s35 is inherently better. At the same aperture it gives an f stops equivalent shallower dof - and it's always possible to increase dof (by stopping down), it's normally making it shallow enough that is the challenge. (Hence the whole current liking for DSLR video.) OK, stopping down as a dof control is only an option if the light levels are high enough relative to the sensitivity of the camera. That's why the 3 stop advantage of the FS100/700 is so significant. It's not just for low light capability, also for dof flexibility.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 08:24 AM   #22
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Re: AF100 successor?

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I hope Ian is finding the discussion useful....?
Well it's certainly useful in the sense that it has shown me that there is a lot more that I need to take into account before making a decision.

My plan now is to find somewhere to rent the AF100 and the FS100 for a day and borrow some lenses from a friend. I can then see for myself whether the issues raised here are going to affect my choice of camera based on my typical applications.

I have decided against the FS700 on the basis of price. It's clear from what I've read here and elsewhere that the FS700 is the best of the three cameras by a long way, but that extra couple of grand will, for me, be better spent on a decent lens and accessories, which I'd need for the FS700 as well, of course. (I am taking into account things like a new hard case, batteries, remote controller etc, maybe even another matte box). I don't actually have a hard budget limit on this as the business is doing very well and is cash rich, but I might struggle to justify that level of expenditure over and above the base price for the FS700 for the kind of work I typically do.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 08:54 AM   #23
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Re: AF100 successor?

Get the camera that will work for the work you do now. Buying cameras with thoughts of "growing into" or "resale value" is always - ALWAYS a losing game.

No AF100 successor has been announced or will arrive at any time convenient to any projects you currently have in the pipe.

The FS700 is not in the same league as the AF100 because the FS700 costs 3x as much.

The FS100 is barely in the same league because is costs 2x as much.

If you plan to shoot a lot of 120-240fps slo-mo, then the FS700 is the most cost-effective choice (because the next step up is mega-bucks REDs).

If you already have a lot of good stills lenses that you'd rather not have doubled in their equivalent field of view, the FS100 is a more sensible choice.

I chose the AF100 because I was upgrading from a GH2 and I like m43. The lenses are more compact, less expensive, great quality, and it's at a sweet spot (for me) of controllable DOF and exposure - you don't necessarily have to stop down to get useable focus depth. I also tried the FS100 and thought it was ergonomically retarded - the AF is perfectly useable handheld, rigless (although I do currently have a homemade simple ~$50 grip-and-shoulder improvement compact enough to keep on constantly), and is a more complete solution out-of-the-box. You can add a very compact HD-SDI recorder (a secure interface the FS100 doesn't even have) and have well-integrated high bitrate 4:2:2 recording, still for less total cost than the FS.

Imagewise, it's a wash. I've seen (and shot) lots of good and bad AF footage, and lots of good and bad FS footage. You can coax great stuff from either platform easily enough. I tend not to shoot in coal mines, so for the extra cost, the FS100 didn't hold many extra benefits.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 01:58 PM   #24
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Re: AF100 successor?

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The FS700 is not in the same league as the AF100 because the FS700 costs 3x as much.

The FS100 is barely in the same league because is costs 2x as much.
I don't know where you got those price comparisons, but they don't bear any resemblance to anything I've seen anywhere. At a main UK dealer (don't know if I'm allowed to mention names?), the prices of the AF101, FS100 and FS700 are respectively 3,495, 3,695, and 5,295. (All prices excl lens and VAT.)

The FS100 is NOT 2x the cost of the AF101 - it's less than 6% more!

The FS700 is NOT 3x the cost of the AF101- it's just 50% more!

The US B&H price differences are comparable - what makes you think the FS100/700 are so much more?
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Old July 11th, 2012, 02:34 PM   #25
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Re: AF100 successor?

From B&H

FS700 - $7999
FS100 - $4999
AF100 - $4295 w/ $500 rebate

So yep, guess I made a few mistakes, because my head was registering the prices of the FS700 and FS100 with kit lenses (~$1000 more each), and Texas Media Systems' ~$3195 price on the AF100.

Naturally, since the prospective buyer isn't in the US, these prices don't really matter - not sure what best buys in the UK will be. On a quick search, I see CVP has demo AF's available at a good discount.

...but of course it all comes down to personal preference. I decided the AF suited me better. You decided the FS suited you better. The OP's notion to rent and test each for his own needs is clearly wise and well considered.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #26
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Re: AF100 successor?

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.........not sure what best buys in the UK will be. On a quick search, I see CVP has demo AF's available at a good discount.
It was actually CVP I was referring to with the price of 3,495 - and they are saying that is discounted from 4,485. As far as I can see they don't have anything demo or cheaper? Interesting to note that the LIST price of FS100 is a lot CHEAPER than the AF101 (4,105) - though it's discounted a lot less and hence ends up a bit dearer.
Quote:
...but of course it all comes down to personal preference. I decided the AF suited me better. You decided the FS suited you better.
I've actually gone a completely different route and recently got a PMW320. Again, it's horses for courses, and a completely different type of horse - but it suits me far better than any of these large format cameras.

But I can well see maybe needing a "B" camera later, and can well see that one of the less expensive large format cameras may then have other benefits as well- hence my interest.

If I had to get one now, I think it would have to be the FS700. I have compared AF100 footage directly against my PMW320 and frankly there was no comparison in terms of resolution when seen on a 42" 1920x1080 TV - the PMW320 actually still looked more detailed in 720p mode than the AF100 did in 1080p! (Looking at Adam Wilts charts that shouldn't be a surprise.) Obviously if you want shallow depth of field the 320 loses out. The FS100s I've seen do seem far better technically than the AF100 but I do acknowledge they are not without fault - the lack of NDs being the most obvious.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 05:47 PM   #27
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Re: AF100 successor?

Here's that demo model deal:
Ex-Demo Panasonic AG-AF101 Full HD solid state AVCHD camcorder with micro 4/3 inch sensor (body only) - 100% as new with full warranty

I bought my own AF used from a fellow that used to fly it around in remote helicopters in the Panamanian jungles, and it's holding together nicely, so a sample that was pawed slightly in the showroom of a camera shop shouldn't be too badly munged. It's an option if that's the road the OP decides to travel.

There's no need to argue that the AF isn't the sharpest tack of the bunch - my GH2 bests it, as of course any EXCAM would (I still love the EX1). The appeal to me was more the total package, that I could grab one sparsely rigged camera and a single small sling pouch and essentially have everything I needed to shoot a wide variety of situations without a lot of fumbling and futzing. Plenty of things I'd prefer to see improved or changed, but that camera doesn't exist and hasn't been announced.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 11:18 PM   #28
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Re: AF100 successor?

I tried both and to me ( like Adam Wilt) the image
quality was not 'a wash'. It was pretty clear which one
looked better. Of course as has been noted, no built
in ND really sucks.....but I wanted that better looking
image. So I went with the FS100. You do not need a
variable ND for each lens. You buy ONE good variable
ND like the Heliopan in the largest size you can, and
then buy step rings for each lens. Then you get the xume
adapters that allow you to just snap the variable ND on and
off each lens....put one on each lenses step adapter and
you can just snap the ND filter on and off lenses at will.
People who own the AF100 seem to play up the difficulty
in not having ND and play down the image quality difference.
I will not play down the fact that no built in ND DOES suck but
you can work around it if you want the absolute best in image
quality. To me, that's what it is all about.

That being said, the AF 100 is a good camera and has some nice
features like NDs, HD-SDI, and waveform. You can't really
lose either way in my opinion.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 07:03 AM   #29
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Re: AF100 successor?

I forgot about the lack of HD-SDI and Waveform on the FS-100. Good point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
...You do not need a variable ND for each lens. You buy ONE good variable ND like the Heliopan ...
Just to be clear, in context, the reference I made (see below) to a variable ND per lens was precisely worded that one per lens was needed in order to make an FS-100 functionally equivalent to a body that has "always on ND" (e.g built-in ND) such as the AF100 or FS700, F3, etc. In context, the discussion was about equalizing features in order to compare costs.

Additionally, no matter the mechanism, in addition to the operational issues, adding glass, on the lens brings IQ issues such as dust, vignetting and in some cases softening all of which works against the little extra IQ improvement you are buying in the FS100. And as much an improvement snap-ons may be over threaded, the alternatives (even one per lens) are not as nice operationally as built-in.

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... Add $300 for a decent quality vari ND filter on every lens on the FS-100 to have the equivalent function of always on ND...
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Old July 12th, 2012, 09:33 AM   #30
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Re: AF100 successor?

Even the concept of clipping on a ~$300 Vari-ND and hoping it doesn't get smacked, jarred, fumbled during a quick lens change, or otherwise surreptitiously plunked into the river or dashed upon rocks in a crackling shatter makes me slightly nervous.

I'll gladly take that internal ND in exchange for a few less lines resolved, thanks.
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