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AF100 still viable? Anyone still shooting with it?

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Been looking for an affordable camera with an interchangable lens mount and XLR inputs. Seeing myself doing a lot of doc type work in the future and I don't want to stick to DSLRs anymore. Is the AF100 still worth it? They can be had for under $1,000. Any help appreciated!

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

It's a practical camera with great user egos and is still a good value, IMHO.  Clean, not great, image.  

Caveats:  It's a larger footprint camera.  For some doc subjects/situations these can be a problem as it "looks" like a pro camera and people behave around it as such...and authority figures react to it as such. Getting a shakedown from some local security guard while traveling is never fun.

The highlights roll off like a video camera.  It doesn't have that film gamma curve.  You can compensate by manually adjusting your knee settings and that'll help.

For the type of doc stuff I'm involved in, using consumer mirrorless cameras has been really great and I wouldn't switch back to a "real" camera, (even though I'd really appreciate the XLR/ND/ergos) --but only because my stuff has been and continues to be a rather specific style/technique.

If I was doing more in-town-corporate stuff right now I think I'd do what you're doing.  Buy a used one of these and work it like crazy.  For only 1K-ish, it's not a risky investment.

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9 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

It's a practical camera with great user egos and is still a good value, IMHO.  Clean, not great, image.  

Caveats:  It's a larger footprint camera.  For some doc subjects/situations these can be a problem as it "looks" like a pro camera and people behave around it as such...and authority figures react to it as such. Getting a shakedown from some local security guard while traveling is never fun.

The highlights roll off like a video camera.  It doesn't have that film gamma curve.  You can compensate by manually adjusting your knee settings and that'll help.

For the type of doc stuff I'm involved in, using consumer mirrorless cameras has been really great and I wouldn't switch back to a "real" camera, (even though I'd really appreciate the XLR/ND/ergos) --but only because my stuff has been and continues to be a rather specific style/technique.

If I was doing more in-town-corporate stuff right now I think I'd do what you're doing.  Buy a used one of these and work it like crazy.  For only 1K-ish, it's not a risky investment.

Yeah it's mainly the ergos I'm after. I have a GH3 and GH2 I use if I want to be discrete, but audio is becoming more important for me and not having to carry around another piece of gear is something I'm looking forward to. Also built in NDs.

I feel like I could bump the image quality in post too. I'd have to mess around with one some more. Thanks!

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

It simply doesn't have a ''nice'' image. Going with a used Sony FS100 (main compititor) will give you a much nicer image with much better lowlight performance, An F3+Ninja2 will be above and beyond both... But depends on budget. 

No today I would not buy or shoot an AF100. If I need a camcorder for cheap, FS100, F3, C100 MKI, GH4+YAGH (all used) are all better options. 

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27 minutes ago, Ebrahim Saadawi said:

It simply doesn't have a ''nice'' image. Going with a used Sony FS100 (main compititor) will give you a much nicer image with much better lowlight performance, An F3+Ninja2 will be above and beyond both... But depends on budget. 

No today I would not buy or shoot an AF100. If I need a camcorder for cheap, FS100, F3, C100 MKI, GH4+YAGH (all used) are all better options. 

FS100 lacking NDs is a little annoying for me personally. Trying to avoid that. Image is nice though. Another reason I'm looking into the AF100 is because I'm invested in M43 a little bit. C100 doesn't have slo mo options which is something I need, and F3 + lenses would be a little out of budget. Plus media.

Just gauging to see what people use. Thanks for the input!

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Exc'uding the FS100 just forthe lack of ND filters is not smart IMHO i'd much much rather the better image quality (fs100) than NDs, plus the e mount is so versatile you can buy and use very cheap lenses, just a better camera. Anyhow these are your only two options at that price point and both arw good.

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It's not like it's the worst image ever, but it's hard to justify it when there's others that are better. Even a GH2 is still better, image wise.

That said, for your criteria listed, it probably is the best option at the moment. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

chNot a good option really. keeo shooting on your gh2 + recorder until you can afford at least an FS100 + cheap nikkor primes like a 24mm ais and 50mm/85mm ais, or a general purpose stabilized Siny 18-200mm kit lens if that's your way. From first hand experiebce, the first option of af100 + native mft lenses is way below the second option which gives a s35 aesthetic, much better DR/Roll-off (much more filmic vs screaming video) and insanely better lowlight performance. Only af100 upsides are NDs and SDI out, other than that the fs100 is just better. It offers the audio, the s35 1080p image, insane battery life, very good evf/loup, unlimited recording, small files, lowlight performance, focus/exposure aids, ability to go FF in the future with a SB, In-camera excellent, sharp slowmotion. 

Of course for the price, the camera is not all that perfect, compared to a modern a7s or BM or Gh4 it has only HD res and lower DR no LOG, is big and heavier, lcd can't be seen above your eye level, quite confusing ergonomics and too many buttons crammed alongside each others on the left panel, but for an HD large sensor camcorder that makes your life easy in terms of audio and battery and time limits it's certainly a current extremely hot bargain. 

AF100, the image really isn't nice at all, just too distinctly video with low DR, horrible lowlight, mft DOF aesthetic, yellow nasty highlights, just hated the files every single edit. Fs100? Still holds up 100% in today's standards. A lovely image. 

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I wouldn't pay a thousand bucks for an AF100. But if you could find one for $500? & are very budget constrained? Then it could make sense. Would pair nicely with a dirt cheap GH1/GH2 as well!

 

Depends on a person's needs as to if an AF100 would still make sense.

 

But if you have a larger budget you should look at an F3 / FS700 / LS300 / FS5 / etc (listed in increasing order of costs).

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It has timecode sync, which makes it a professional camera. Image quality seems okay. I see it on a lot of low budget documentary tv and high end corporate. I tried to rent my C100 and 5D raw out, but no one took them seriously, preference was toward hvx200 and dramatically toward AF100 because of timecode sync. Image seems fine to me, ergonomics good.

That said, plural eyes has improved a lot. Seems like a decent camera to me if you have the lenses for it. If not, Canon and Sony offer up a lot of good doc cameras. C100/C300 are fantastic. F3 isn't bad, just big and deceptively more expensive due to need for adapting lenses and annoying menu system. In some respects the F3 is technically better.

C300 is the best last generation documentary camera going, but hasn't fallen in price. C100 has the same image, but not pro–no timecode sync for dual system sound.

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Hey, Bought my AF100 a few mounts ago.
Just finished rigging it. And just got a used Atomos Samurai (not the blade version).

The AF100 is a tricky camera. It is easy to use, but you have to master the settings to get the best image out of it. I cannon recommend enough the AF100 book.

The package I got was AF100 + Panasonic 7-14/4 + Panasonic 14-140/4-5.6 + 2 batteries and a dead cheap SD Card (which is now stuck in the SD slot) for 1300€

The best thing about this camera is that it is ready to shoot run & gun. No need for external power, recorders or rig for handheld stuff.

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Years ago I had the AF100 - the built in ND's as mentioned plus the ergo's far trump the Sony FS100 - I can't imagine dragging that rectangle brick around.  I prefer the skin tones from the Panny vs. the Sony as well.  With the 60p firmware update both will do 1080p60 and the Panny has some very cool over/under crank options and you can shoot 1 FPS timelapse with it.  Obviously the Sony has the advantage in low light but IMO that's it.  Maybe dynamic range also.  The AF100 was a great camera and I got some amazing shots with it.

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I hate the af100 with a passion :)

I sold it about 2 months after buying it.

It is sad, cause the DVX100 then the HVX200 were on fire for Panasonic.  And then they missed the boat, and at this point, the Canon 5d started to build up steam, and later the fs100 and fs700 and f3 from sony, and then the Canon C300 and that pretty much knocked panasonic out of the indie filmmaker game.

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On 6/18/2016 at 11:38 PM, Shield3 said:

Years ago I had the AF100 - the built in ND's as mentioned plus the ergo's far trump the Sony FS100 - I can't imagine dragging that rectangle brick around.  I prefer the skin tones from the Panny vs. the Sony as well.  With the 60p firmware update both will do 1080p60 and the Panny has some very cool over/under crank options and you can shoot 1 FPS timelapse with it.  Obviously the Sony has the advantage in low light but IMO that's it.  Maybe dynamic range also.  The AF100 was a great camera and I got some amazing shots with it.

Is there a way to get the 60p update ? Mine doesn"t and it's not on sale anymore...

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I have access to both from work so I'm probably just going to do some projects with each and see how it goes. Haven't been on the forums in a while and posting this topic has helped me out a lot so thank you everyone.

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On 20.6.2016 at 3:00 AM, TheRenaissanceMan said:

The AF100 with an external recorder was the a-camera on The Raid: Redemption, an absolutely kick ass movie I don't recall a single person critiquing for its visuals.

Learn your way around it and you'll be fine.

 

Hey Renaissance Man,

Thanks for mentioning that.  This infomation lead me to some inspiring BTS footage.

This is the high quality stuff this awesome forum is about! Greatly appreciated. Also enjoyed @Justin Bacle´s post about

the Lomo anamorphic lens and his footage in the anamorphic section.

I think it is awesome, once a certain level of IQ is reached (GH2,3,4 G6/7, AF100 levels)

it comes to ergonomy and the pure joy of shooting and lighting and creating stuff it is causing.

By the way, you and me have been typing about profiles for G6 and your GH3. Would like to see some of your stuff you

shot with it in Natural profile, if that is possible. I posted a link of my G6 test footage back then.

cheers

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