We enjoy the high-end options Sony F35, Arri Alexa, Amira or RED, but we also provide clients a level of camera for their projects that gave film-like results without the price-tag. We knew that unless the creative called for it, we didn’t want to shoot on DSLR. DSLR’s served a purpose and have some nice depth of field capabilities, but we didn’t want to be restricted to shooting on them and having to find solutions to the shortfalls that they have over a bespoke Digital 35mm camera. Our challenge was to find a cost effective camera that woudn’t break clients banks, but deliver results.
We liked the new Sony PMW F3 with it’s functionality, CMOS Sensor and PL lens mount. We attended the launch of the camera in December 2010 and were impressed by the build quality and by the short film by Australian director, Jason Wingrove.
We also looked at the recently launched Panasonic AF-102, also known as the AF-100 or AF-101 depending which country you happen to be in (they are the same camera). It was designed to give the depth of field that you can achieve with DSLR’s such as the Canon 5 and 7D’s but add to it the functionality and picture quality that video shooters are used to having in a professional camera. We think they managed this perfectly. It gives a beautiful crisp image quality that you would expect to find on a higher-end camera. It has ease of use that allows us to spend more time concentrating on the image and performance part of the shoot we’re on, rather than worrying about potential moire and aliasing as you would with a DSLR.
It shoots fully dialable 1080p slow-motion in-camera and offers a fantastic range of digital recording and lens options. We invested in the best Olympus and Voigtlander glass which make shooting an absolute dream.
It was the best choice for us at the time, and we are really enjoying client feedback on the images it delivers, and their pleasure over the lessened impact on the overall budget.
Barry Green of DVXuser.com gave his opinion on the Panasonic at 2010’s IBC and a three way shoot out by Philip Bloom between the Panasonic AF-102, Sony PMW F3 and the newer Sony FS-100 which was launched to go head to head with the AF-100 series.