• A 4/3 type Image Sensor with Digital Still Camera Technology
• Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount
• Extended Recording in AVCHD High-Quality PH Mode
• Multi HD Format and Multi Frame Rate
*1: As of April 2010. (based on our investigation)
The AG-AF100 series is the first professional HD camera recorder to adopt the Micro Four Thirds standards. These standards were announced in 2008 as an extension of the Four Thirds standards for DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras. Panasonic and some other manufactures have already released a number of digital cameras and interchangeable lenses based on the Micro Fourth Thirds standards.
The "Four Thirds" name is derived from the 4/3-type (approx. 17.3 mm x 13 mm/ approx. 0.68 inches x 0.51 inches) image sensor. The size of the image sensor, the standardized lens mount developed for it, and interchangeable lenses designed exclusively for digital cameras form the core of the Four Thirds standards. These standards were established to offer an optimal solution for digital cameras, breaking loose the confines of film camera standards. In establishing the Micro Four Thirds standards, the flange back distance (the distance from the lens mount surface to the image sensor) was reduced by about half and the mount diameter was made about 6 mm (0.24 inches) smaller than that of the Four Thirds mount. The image sensor size is the same as that of the 4/3 type used in the Four Thirds standard. The Micro Four Thirds standards have made it possible to reduce the size and weight of cameras and lenses, and to achieve greater interchangeability of lenses together with video recording capability.
*1: As of November 2010 (based on a Panasonic survey).
The 4/3-type MOS image sensor in the AG-AF100 series has about the same imaging area* as that of 35mm cinema film. The depth of field and the focal range are also close to those of film cameras. With the AG-AF100 series, you can record beautiful, shallow depth of field, film-like images.
The MOS sensor has two control lines as compared to the three lines required by a conventional CMOS sensor, thus providing a larger light receiving area. This has achieved a high level of sensitivity rivaling that of a CCD sensor. Extensive noise reduction measures are also employed, such as embedded photodiodes isolated from noise sources and low-voltage operation. By guiding more light to the pixels, the AG-AF100 series achieves a wide dynamic range and detailed gradation with minimal blocked shadows or blown highlights in high-contrast scenes, for true-to-life textures and rich colors.
* The effective imaging area is trimmed to a 16:9 aspect ratio.
The AG-AF100 series& optical low-pass filter is optimized for HD motion images and reduces the aliasing noise that often occurs in motion images captured by an image sensor with a high pixel density. In addition, the MOS image sensor is scanned at a high speed in order to minimize skew distortion.
The AG-AF100 series is equipped with a high-performance 18-bit digital signal processor (DSP) for image processing. Optimized for HD video recording, the DSP handles various image rendering processes, such as dynamic range stretch (DRS), gamma, 12-axis independent color correction* and detail enhancement, as well as conversion to HD/SD video formats - all with exceptional precision and high image quality.
*12-axis independent color correction can&t be controlled manually by a customer.
The AG-AF100 series has an internal neutral density (ND) filter that is essential for video recording. The dedicated dial on the camera body lets you adjust the setting in three steps (1/4ND, 1/16ND, and 1/64ND) with any type of lenses.
DRS recognizes the average brightness of highlight and shadow areas and then automatically adjusts the aperture and uses knee control to suppress blocking in the shadow areas. In scenes with mixed dark and light areas, DRS automatically provides a wider dynamic range with minimal blown highlights and blocked shadows.
Drawing on technologies developed for the VariCam, Panasonic has equipped the AG-AF100 series with advanced gamma functions that address seven different shooting scenarios and enhance your creative abilities. This includes the cinelike gamma, which produces the characteristic warm tone of film recordings.
• Color setting with matrix table: Norm 1, Norm 2, Fluo and Cine-Like.
• Adjustable H detail level, V detail level, detail coring and skin detail.
• Adjustable chroma level, chroma phase and master pedestal.
• Adjustable color temp: 2400K to 9900K (preset 3200K/5600K).
• Knee point settings: Auto, Low, Mid and High.
• Adjustable auto-iris level.
The AG-AF100 series uses the AVCHD recording format and also supports the high-image-quality PH mode. AVCHD complies with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 High Profile, the latest motion picture compression technology. Boasting a compression efficiency that is more than twice that of the MPEG-2 system (such as HDV), this advanced video file format delivers superb image quality and low data rates. The PH mode was developed for AVCCAM by Panasonic exclusively for high-quality professional video production. This mode boasts a maximum AVCHD bit rate of 24 Mbps (average: 21 Mbps) and records 1920 x 1080 full-HD images.
Sample comparison: When a flash causes large contrast differences and reduces depth perception, HDV shows considerable block noise, while AVCHD in PH mode minimizes break-up.
* When two 64-GB SDXC Memory Cards are used. The maximum continuous recording time is 12 hours regardless of the recording mode.
The PH mode supports uncompressed 16-bit LPCM 2-channel digital audio recording for high-quality sound in addition to Dolby Digital 2-channel audio. The HA/HE mode employs Dolby Digital 2-channel audio recording only.
The AVCHD PH mode is compatible with multiple HD formats, such as 1080/60i, 1080/30p, 1080/24p and 720/60p. Additionally, the AG-AF100 series lets you select 60 Hz or 50 Hz to support HD systems used around the world. (For details, see the video format table on the right page.)
* Actual recording is at 60 Hz = 59.94 Hz, 30 Hz = 29.97 Hz, and 24 Hz = 23.98 Hz, respectively.
The AG-AF100 series has inherited and further advanced the acclaimed functions of the VariCam that is widely used in producing movies, TV programs and TV commercials. The new Variable Frame Rate (VFR) function* supports full-HD (1920 x 1080) progressive mode. Armed with a 20-step undercrank (lower frame rate)/overcrank (higher frame rate) function, the AG-AF100 series is capable of producing cinematic images such as a 1/2.5x slow-motion effect and 2x fast-motion effect when played in 24p mode.
* Cannot be played in 1080/60p, 50p mode. 720p VFR not supported. Class 6 or higher SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Card is required for VFR recording.
Normal cinematic shooting (at 24 fps, 25 fps or 30 fps) refers to the same rate as used in film cameras. The AG-AF100 series can record in 24 fps. 25 fps and 30 fps are the standard frame rates used in the production of TV commercials, music clips and video software.
Lower-speed shooting (at under 22 fps*) lets you attain a fast-motion effect. This technique can be combined with a warp-speed effect to give special emphasis to flowing water, fast-moving clouds, etc.
* When the standard speed is 24 fps in 59.94 Hz mode. For a standard speed of 25 fps in 50 Hz mode, anything under 24 fps will be undercranked.
Higher-speed shooting (at over 25 fps*) produces slow-motion effects. This is especially effective for high-action scenes like car chases or crashes, or to create a dramatic impact in a scene.
* When the standard speed is 24 fps in 59.94 Hz mode. For a standard speed of 25 fps in 50 Hz mode, anything over 26 fps will be overcranked.
The AG-AF100 series supports the new SDXC Memory Card. The SDXC Memory Card is a next-generation large-capacity data storage device with upgraded versions of the file system (FAT) and physical specifications of the SDHC Memory Card. Thanks to a large storage capacity, which exceeds the 32 GB limit of the SDHC Memory Card, the SDXC Memory Card can handle large data volumes of 48 GB or 64 GB. It also boasts a high maximum data transfer speed of 22 MB/s* and a wide operating temperature range of -25° to 85°C (-13°F to 185°F). The AG-AF100 series can also use the SDHC and SD Memory Cards. * The data transfer speed varies depending on the operating system of the SD-compatible devices. The indicated rate was measured at a maximum specification point specified by Panasonic.
The AG-AF100 series has two memory card slots. The active slot for recording can be switched, and the internal relay recording function enables continuous recording by automatically changing the recording card media. By using two SDXC Memory Cards, the AG-AF100 series can record up to 12 hours in PH mode or 48 hours in HE mode*. Video clips can be copied between cards mounted in the two slots.
*When two 64-GB SDXC Memory Cards are used. The maximum continuous recording time is 12 hours regardless of the recording mode. A Class 4 or higher SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Card is required for recording in PH or HA mode. For other recording modes, use a Class 2 or higher SDXC/SDHC/SD Memory Card. (The use of a Panasonic SDXC Memory Card is recommended.)
The built-in SMPTE time-code generator lets you select the Drop Frame/Non-Drop Frame and Free Run/Rec Run modes and preset. User bits are also provided.
Connecting two cameras with a TC preset in/out (video out) connector allows the slave camera, to synchronize with the master camera*.
*After synchronization, each camera&s time-code runs separately and not be guaranteed to match precisely.
A frame can be captured from HD video as a still image equivalent to two megapixels (1920 x 1080).
* Still images cannot be captured during motion image recording or in Pre-rec mode.
Camera settings for recording operation can be saved as metadata in a clip file. By loading a clip file, the saved settings can be immediately applied.
• Clip thumbnail display: You can preview a clip and also quickly delete a clip from the thumbnail list displayed on the LCD monitor.
• Interval Rec: Records one frame at a time in set intervals (1 sec, 10 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min). Only in 1080/24p and 25p mode. Audio recording not possible.
• Pre-rec: While in standby mode, you can continuously store, and subsequently record, up to approx. 3 seconds. This helps to ensure that you always get the shot you want.
• Shot mark: Allows convenient OK or NG marking, and can be added to each clip during or after recording.
• Index: Scenes can be marked with up to 100 index flags per clip.
• Rec check: You can check the end of the most recently recorded clip with one-touch ease.
• Last clip delete: Only the most recently recorded clip is deleted with this one-touch function, adding practical convenience to everyday operation. It can be assigned as a User button function if desired.
The AG-AF100 series features switchable FILM CAM and VIDEO CAM modes. In FILM CAM mode, the variable frame rate can be used. In addition, the synchro scan and shutter can be indicated and set with the opening angle, instead of seconds, while the sensitivity can be indicated and set in ISO, instead of dB. This makes operation easier for users who are familiar with film camera operation.
Using the newly provided function knob (cursor key), you can select a desired area in the frame and set it as a target zone for focusing, iris adjustment and YGET (brightness measurement). This new function facilitates the recording of images in which the subject is not in the center of the frame. In addition to the above three modes, there are two other modes: simultaneous focusing/iris adjustment and simultaneous focusing/YGET. You can select and set any of these five modes.
The AG-AF100 series is equipped with an HD focus assist function. The focus bar indicates the focus level and the focus-in-red display shows the focus area. These two display functions help you to focus more smoothly. A face detection function is also provided, and area auto focus and area auto iris are possible.
The sensitivity can be set between ISO 200 and ISO 3200 (in FILM CAM mode), or the gain can be adjusted between 18 dB and -6 dB (in VIDEO CAM mode). The 3-position (L, M, H) gain switch can be assigned with three desired settings for quick switching. The negative gain (-3 dB, -6 dB) is effective for reducing sensitivity and reducing noise.
The shutter speed can be set from a slow 1/2 sec to a fast 1/2000 sec in VIDEO CAM mode. The AG-AF100 series is also equipped with a synchro scan function to allow setting from 10° to 360° in 0.5° steps (including 172.8°) in FILM CAM mode. When combined with the variable frame rate, this function enables detailed settings for a blurred or time-lapse effect.
The AG-AF100 series has waveform and vectorscope display functions as well. A single touch of the WFM key displays the waveform or vectors of the captured video signal on the LCD monitor.
The large, high-quality viewfinder (11.43 mm (0.45 inches), approx. 1,226,000-dot equivalent [852 x 480 x 3 (RGB)]) can be tilted up to a 90° angle. The variable angle color monitor features a color LCD panel (87.63 mm (3.45 inches), approx. 921,000 dots [1920 x 480]) with an aspect ratio of 16:9, and facilitates low-angle/high-angle shooting, viewing and menu setting.
Three user buttons are provided for one-touch operation of frequently used functions. Two buttons are located on the control panel, and one button is placed at the upper part of the grip handle. Each button can be assigned with any of the following 14 functions.
The AG-AF100 series is equipped with a next-generation HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) output terminal for digital transferring of high-quality HD video and audio signals.
* A separately purchased cable may be required for connecting the AG-AF100 series to a professional monitor via HDMI.
The HD/SD SDI output terminal can output HD signals, including 1080/24Psf, or down-converted SD video signals (selectable from the menu). The terminal also supports Auto Rec to enable backup recording in link with Rec Start/Stop when a Panasonic recorder equipped with the same function, such as the AG-HPG20, is used. Embedded audio is also supported.
*The 24PsF output recording is only possible on the AJ-HPM200 or other third party recorders which support 24PsF input.
In addition to the internal high-performance stereo microphone, the AG-AF100 series comes equipped with two-channel XLR audio input terminals with a 48 V phantom power supply. Each channel can be selected from the internal microphone, external microphone or line input. Large, easy-to-use level dials are also provided.
The AG-AF100 series has an internal down-converter so that it can output SD (480/576) signals from SDI, HDMI or VIDEO OUT. The 16:9/4:3 aspect conversion mode can be selected from three types (side crop, letterbox, squeeze).
* Side crop output cannot be selected when an SDI/HDMI output terminal is used.
The LCD monitor and viewfinder can display a safety zone marker of 90%, 4:3, 14:9, 1.85:1, 2:1 or 2.35:1, or a 3x3 grid similar to the one in a digital SLR camera.
• Grip: The large grip is easy to hold and is also detachable. The grip allows comfortable use in any shooting situation.
• Handle: The large handle is designed for professional use. It has a shoe adaptor and threaded holes for mounting various peripheral accessories. The handle is also detachable.
• Sensor marker/measuring hook: This makes it easy to measure the distance from the subject.
• Scene file: Saves six sets of camera settings and allows for a quick change of settings.
• Mode check: Displays a list of the camera settings on the viewfinder and monitor.
• Zebra: Select any two levels from among 50% to 105%, in 5% steps.
• Color bar: Outputs a color bar signal.
• Remote terminal: Enables remote operation of iris, focus, Rec Start/Stop and index functions.
• USB 2.0: Type mini-B USB port for connection of a PC in DEVICE mode.
• Tally lamps: Provided on the unit&s front and rear.
Viewing Software for AVCHD files (download free*1)
AVCCAM Viewer for Windows® PC/Mac*2 makes it easy to preview AVCCAM files. Files can be played from an SD Memory Card, Blu-ray Disc, or hard disk, and saved to a PC (hard disk) from an SD Memory Card or Blu-ray Disc. Files can also be copied to an SD Memory Card or Blu-ray Disc*2 or deleted and meta data can be displayed and input.
[for Windows PC] • CPU: Intel® Core™2 Duo (2.4 GHz or faster) • OS: Microsoft® Windows7 (32bit), Windows Vista® (32bit), Windows XP SP3 (32bit) • RAM: 1GB or more (2GB or more recommended)
[for Mac] • CPU: Intel® Core™2 Duo 2.6 GHz or faster • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.4 (Tiger) • RAM: 1 GB or more (2 GB or more recommended)
*1: AVCCAM Viewer software can be downloaded for free from the following Panasonic website. PASS registration is required. For details, please visit the following website and click on "Support and Downloading Information."
*2: Copying and playing data on Blu-ray Discs (BD-RE Ver 3.0) are not supported by Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger). Do not insert a disc [DVD (AVCHD)] produced with the provided HD Writer 2.5E software into a device that does not support the AVCHD standard. If it is inserted into such a device, the disc may not eject. Also, do not play the disc with a device that does not support the AVCHD standard.
HD Content File Restore Software (supplied with CD-ROM*1)
AVCCAM Restorer software can also be used to restore files that were damaged, for example, by a power interruption during recording.
[for Windows PC] • Intel® Core™2 Duo 2.4 GHz or higher CPU is recommended. • OS: Microsoft Windows7 (32bit), Windows Vista (32bit), Windows XP SP3 (32bit) • RAM: 1GB or more (2GB or more recommended)
[for Mac] • CPU: Intel® Core™ Duo 2.0 GHz or faster (including compatible CPU) • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.4 (Tiger)
• RAM: 1 GB or more (2 GB or more recommended)
*1: AVCCAM Restorer is included in the supplied CD-ROM. This software can also be downloaded free. For details, please visit the following website and click on "Support and Downloading Information."
File Recovery Software (download free*1) This application recovers accidentally deleted video data on an SD Memory Card recorded by an AVCCAM camera recorder.
[for Windows PC] • Intel® Pentium III 1.0 GHz or higher CPU ( PC/AT PC) is recommended. • OS: Microsoft Windows7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP3 • RAM: 1GB or more (2GB or more recommended)
[for Mac] • CPU: Intel® Core™ Duo 2.0 GHz or faster (including compatible CPU) • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.4 (Tiger) • RAM: 1 GB or more (2 GB or more recommended)
*1: AVCCAM SD Card File Recovery can be downloaded for free from the following Panasonic website.