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AF100a Lumix G X Vario lenses and 10 bit SDI out.

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Frank Smith
AF100a Lumix G X Vario lenses and 10 bit SDI out.
on Mar 31, 2013 at 5:17:41 pm

I have 2 questions... the first relates to the out. I always see this "The AG-AF100A Series can output high-quality HD signals, including 1080/24PsF, with 10 bit* 4:2:2 quality via the camera’s live output function". The footnote: "*10 bit signal is generated by smoothing process. It is not a native 10 bit signal." WHAT does this mean? Are they saying that this simulated 10 bit output is ONLY available in the 24PsF format? I'm looking at this camera to record on an Atomos Samurai, and want to get better quality then the AVCHD format can deliver. Any experience with this or other external recorders?

And the second question has to do with lenses. There are some new ones available in the Lumix line such as the: "LUMIX® G X VARIO 35-100mm / F2.8 " The 2.8 catches MY eye... as the standard 12-140 lens is waaaay too slow for me. My question is.. Has anyone actually used this line of lenses with the af100 or 100a? Do all the functions work? I only see this lens being advertised as being used with the GH series of camera.

Frank Smith
Franklin Video, Inc.
Frank@FranklinVideo.com
http://www.FranklinVideo.com


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Erik Naso
Re: AF100a Lumix G X Vario lenses and 10 bit SDI out.
on Apr 2, 2013 at 3:33:30 pm

The new AF-100a 10 bit isn't really 10 bit and I like you cant figure out what exactly it is. I have read that it's dithered but again. What does that mean? I haven't seen any footage from the new camera yet. I think it's safe to assume that the SDI out will be better than the original AF-100 but not true 10 bit. That would be amazing if it was.

I have both of the new Vario G X lenses. The 12-35 and the 35-100. These make the AF-100 a new camera. OIS is very good for handheld and the constant 2.8 makes re-framing a breeze. They are very sharp and light. With these two lenses your basically set. I tested them out. Here are a couple of samples from both lenses.

This is the 12-35 on the AF-100.
http://eriknaso.com/lumix-12-35-g-x-vario-f2-8-ois-lens-review/

This is both lenses on the new GH3. I used the 35-100 a lot on this piece.
http://eriknaso.com/2013/03/02/my-gh3-has-arrived/

Blog http://www.eriknaso.com
My Vimeo Page http://vimeo.com/user626030
Follow me on Twitter @ErikNaso


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: AF100a Lumix G X Vario lenses and 10 bit SDI out.
on Apr 7, 2013 at 5:26:40 am

The fact is that whether or not the SDI out is real 10 bit is almost irrelevant when you're trying to just best the internal AVCHD codec. Even standard uncompressed 8bit being recorded at a high bit rate will yield much better results than any sub 30mbit compression. Take for example the bit rate hacks of the GH2. All it does is increase the bit rate, not the bit depth, but the difference that it makes is night and day.

While the "10 bit" of the AF100A may not be real 10 bit, the fact is that the results will just plain out be better when recorded out of the SDI. I agree that real 10 bit out would have been amazing, but that does not mean that you can't make some fantastic images with

As for the lenses, I think that Erik's videos show that both lenses could be really great performers. Honestly though, I'm pretty excited to see what will happen with the MFT Speedbooster when it hits.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
Adobe Production Premium CS6, Avid Symphony 6, Final Cut Pro Studio 3
The College of William and Mary


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Bill Bruner
Re: AF100a Lumix G X Vario lenses and 10 bit SDI out.
on Apr 7, 2013 at 2:13:28 pm

Frank - I admire Erik's work, the 12-35 is a fabulous lens, and I am a big fan of micro 4/3 (I have all three GH cameras), but why not buy or rent an F3 if you want true 10 bit 4:2:2 output? And S-Log is so much better than AVCHD, you probably won't need the Atomos :)

With the F5 coming out, the F3 is really coming down in price. You can get one for $7950 used on eBay or $642 for 5 days at lensrentals.

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Erik Naso
Re: AF100a Lumix G X Vario lenses and 10 bit SDI out.
on Apr 7, 2013 at 3:55:01 pm

The Speed Booster is crazy! A used F3 is a good plan for higher quality all around image. Thats a nice camera but ergonomics are bad and it's a heavier than an AF-100. Add a PL mount to it & a cine lenses and you wont want to handhold it with out a good rig. On a tripod it's great! IQ is great. Heck now I want one!!

Blog http://www.eriknaso.com
My Vimeo Page http://vimeo.com/user626030
Follow me on Twitter @ErikNaso


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: AF100a Lumix G X Vario lenses and 10 bit SDI out.
on Apr 7, 2013 at 4:09:28 pm

Also keep in mind the F3 internal recording is 35mbit 4:2:0. The need for an external recorder is not lost even with an F3. I was on a shoot two weeks ago with an F3 recording to Samurai for this very reason. So even a used F3 is not ready to shoot at the codec quality that you are looking for without a similar type of investment that you would otherwise be doing for the AF100a.

Still though, I agree with Erik. The AF100 is an excellent camera that is an extremely capable performer with the right light, the right recorder and of course, the right glass.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
AJA IoXT
Adobe Production Premium CS6, Avid Symphony 6, Final Cut Pro Studio 3
The College of William and Mary


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Frank Smith
Re: AF100a Lumix G X Vario lenses and 10 bit SDI out.
on Apr 7, 2013 at 4:36:14 pm

So what do you think of the two lenses I am looking at as being able to pretty much cover what I might need for a documentary? I'm hoping that the 2.8 aperture in this format should give me decent shallow depth of field. Heck... after an HPX370s 1/3" chip.. shooting from across the street wide open to get decent shallow depth of field.. this should be FANTASTIC!

Frank Smith
Franklin Video, Inc.
Frank@FranklinVideo.com
http://www.FranklinVideo.com


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Frank Smith
Re: AF100a Lumix G X Vario lenses and 10 bit SDI out.
on Apr 7, 2013 at 4:31:43 pm

Thanks for the input... I hadn't considered the F3 for various reasons... firstly because it says "Sony" on it... and I've ALWAYS thought that Sony cameras were a bit "harsh". Back in the day, I had Ikegami HL55s... and it seems that today, Panasonic has kind of taken the place of the warmer more filmy look that Ikegami used to have (incidentally... did Ikegami just fall off a cliff?)
That being said... I realize that with all the modern Color Grading tools we all have available... we can make any decent format look just about any way we'd like.
The thing is... I already have 2 Panasonic HPX 370s... so another Panasonic camera will immediately have more or less the same controls, and the scene setups will be almost the same as well. So, with this option I would have much less issues matching the footage as best as possible when having sources from multiple cameras.
Also... I see this as a Stop-Gap measure anyhow. I'm hoping that Panasonic will get their 4k crap together pretty soon and then I could move in that direction when they're ready. I know several people who jumped into Red and other 4K cameras as soon as they were available, and most of them simply are NOT using the 4K output at all... some wishing that they had just waited.
Today... I can get a brand new af100a body for about $2500. So, camera, 2 lenses, and the recorder all for about $6K... Even if I only get $3k back I would have spent $3k for a year or more of a decent shallow depth of field alternative... so, if I go that way, and I only get 1/2 my money back... who cares, it simply wouldn't cost much AND.... I could even just keep it as a spare system, and get rid of an old HVX200 I have sitting around collecting dust.
NAB opens tomorrow... which is why I've held off this long. I want to see if Panasonic has any word on what they might be doing with their so called 4k Varicam.

Frank Smith
Franklin Video, Inc.
Frank@FranklinVideo.com
http://www.FranklinVideo.com


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