Hello. I use the Panasonic HPX-170 for my work. I am want to be able to achieve DOF and up to last week was sold on a 35MM adapter, specifically the new Red Rock M3. Last week, I was introduced to the AF-100. I record various things, from commercials, sports, corporate, interviews etc. I don’t own any lenses currently, so this would be a new journey in DOF. From a simplicity point it seems the AF-100 is that direction, less setup time, larger image sensor, the ability to run & gun, which I do quite a bit of. The P2 approach is better recording medium in my opinion and am happy with it's image. In seeing many of the examples online of what the AF-100 produces, it is very nice and probably not much noticeable difference to HPX-170's image, other then the obvious DOF. Any thoughts if purchasing a DOF adapter is a better approach being that I have the P2 gear or if investing into the AF-100 is better option?
I'm not sure anyone would say that the adapter is BETTER than a true big sensor camera. But it maybe cheaper and fit into your post better. You have listed most of the negatives, setup, size and weight so they are not suited for run and gun. But they also eat up light, at least a stop.
With the AF100 a lot of the problems of DSLR are gone, you have a real video camera. The down side to these cameras is that if you are really wanting shallow DOF you have to start investing in fast lenses (but that can also be rented on an as needed bases) The AF100 is definitely the wave of things to come. But if you start getting the lenses that everyone it drooling over you are looking at a 20K camera but the camera with the stock 17-140mm (I maybe wrong on the exact mm) would be a great run and gun lenses (not fast enough for some work or real shallow dof, but then you rent Ziess or Olympus Primes to do more cinematic shoots that you normally use your adapter on.
The AF-100 is a whole new ball-game in that we've finally got a professional video camera that can shoot shallow DOF images at a very affordable price.
CONS of Using a DOF Adatper Rig
- 1.5 - 2 stops of light loss
- Not as sharp an image as a large-sensor camera
- Huge difference in size and weight makes a DOF adapter much more awkward to use
- You have to be careful to make sure the back-focus is set correctly or sharpness suffers
- P2 Cards cost a lot more than good quality SDHC cards
CONS of Using the AF-100
- It costs more than many DOF adapters
- You have to get used to a new work-flow to process AVCCAM video shot on SDHC cards ( especially if you edit with the Mac )
...I would keep in mind that the AF-100 is NOT an ENG camera, so you will likely want to hang on to your HPX-170 for quick "run'n'gun" style shoots. ( I own a HMC-150 with uses the same memory cards and batteries )
Why don't you get a Canon D60 or Panasonic GH2, a few fast primes and use the DSLR for those scenes that require shallow depth of field, and use your video camera for the rest of your work? You don't have to "change" over to a large sensor if you already own a decent video camera. Use it as a supplement to your work.