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Panasonic AG-AF101 whats all the fuss?

Panasonic AG-AF101 whats all the fuss? post image

Well I guess there should be a fair amount of of fuss. When I first saw this camera I got very excited, as I’m sure you did if you are reading this. However, I slapped myself around my drooling chops, and reminded myself, that not long ago I invested in 5d kit and plenty of it, not forgetting the time invested trawling the internet looking at gizmos, videos, and add ons, that I needed to make my life complete.

After a fiddly start……… I’m used to the bigger broadcast cameras, I began to to love my 5d, finding new ways to make a days shooting better, my Jucied Link sorted out the sound issue, my monopod and viewfinder made for quicker shooting, my lighting technique changed, and my bad back improved.

I did start thinking of ways to get my grubby little cameramans mitts on one of these new cameras, and I stopped, my 5d does all that, well nearly.
I admit I haven’t actually used the Panasonic AG-AF101, but if I start chasing the shiney technology dream, I will end up skint and in a padded cell, which as a freelance cameraman, I’m not far off anyway!

So I’m sticking with my 5d and I’m thinking of adding another body to my kit,
but if anyone wanted me to do a shoot with one……….. please call :-)


Yep, I have now used the AF101, i used it on a small drama, a Bond spoof promo for LG, made by High-Gloss Productions, Director Sam Harvey, and what do I think?
Its Okaaaaayish, the pictures are impressive, and for the price hard to beat, but there are too many niggles for me.
The camera I hired was set up with a Nanoflash so I recorded to CF cards 4:2:2, a neat, but bonkers looking rig.
The camera shoots nice images and you can tweak around in the menus to get your desired look, flat, or more saturated 5d looking images, and all in between.

The lenses that I used were not great, the Lumix 14-140mm F4, but on the end of the lens F5.6. The angle of the lens is very useful, but its just too slow, and feels cheap. The 7-14mm F4 or F5.6 I can’t quite remember, is very, very wide, but does go a bit fish eye at 7mm, useful but slow. These are the lenses and not the camera, and with faster lenses I would have been happier.

Focusing the camera was my main problem, its near on impossible, if I hadn’t had my 17″ HD Panasonic monitor with me, I would have had no chance. I spent most of the day bugging the director “is it sharp” and staring at the monitor.
I just couldn’t tell, and the peaking is pretty useless.
This could have been due to the lens being wide open all the time, but I have my doubts.
So you would need to purchase an EVF to work with this camera.

Overall, I liked the image, the focusing was impossible, and the lenses I had were nasty, but for the price it aint bad.

Better lenses and a better viewfinder, and I think I would have been happy.
Its for sale, if your interested give me a call and I will put you in touch with the owner, he’s a cameraman, so its low hours an never been hired out, well only to me!

The camera on a Cinesaddle on the Hollywood dolly.