Description image

Camera Test: Panasonic AF100 and Canon 5D Footage Side-by-Side

10.29.10 @ 9:24AM Tags : , , , ,

Here’s a brief clip comparing Panasonic’s AF100 (due in December) to the venerable Canon 5D Mark II. The AF100 sports an image that seems flatter and much more rock-solid than the 5D’s, which is more hit-or-miss. But of course the 5D has that (nearly) VistaVision-sized sensor, which has its benefits. There’s no grading on either camera’s footage, take a look:

The AF100 exhibits no aliasing or moire, but it’s hard to compare it to the depth-of-field to the 5D, chiefly because the AF100 footage is mostly shot with wide angle lenses (Canon 70-200 f/2.8 and Nikon 14-24 f/2.8) in bright sunlight. They recorded to a Nanoflash recorder at 280Mbs — the practice of recording to an external recorder will likely be standard operating procedure for serious productions with the AF100. Of course, the 5D shows off its ultra-shallow DOF, but it looks like it was shot on the “standard” preset (which is too saturated and too contrasty), and the telltale aliasing is quite offensive on a shot or two.

For anyone who’s going to complain about the AF100′s “small” sensor, let me just remind you that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — one of the best-looking digital features to date — was shot mostly on the Thompson VIPER FilmStream, which has a 2/3″ chip — several times smaller than the AF100′s Micro 4/3 sensor. I, too, would rather have a larger sensor (the camera would certainly be more appealing with an APS-C sensor), but the features it brings to the table as a real video camera are hard to ignore. And as with any camera, it has more to do with the craftsman using it than it does with the sensor size.

What did you think of this brief side-by-side test?


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 12 COMMENTS

  • Odd that they shot all of the action sequences on the AF100 and all of the non-action sequences on the 5D. Seems hard to really compare the two in that respect.

    Interesting comment about the image on the AF100 feeling more rock solid than the 5D. It’s something I noticed too.

    Would like to see an actual side by side. Would love to know more about these two cameras in performance testing.

  • I don’t know what’s all the fuzz about the sensor size. A Super 16mm frame is somewhat between a 2/3″ and a 4/3″ sensor. And there were so many great movies shot in this format, it was the indie’s choice (regarding costs) when making a movie.
    The AF-100 is a camera film makers used to dreamed about 5 to 10 years ago. People will make great movies with it. With and *without* external recorder! The company I rent my cameras from will have it for 70 € a day. That’s below their price for an EX1!
    People have become so spoiled when it comes to technical details. It’s an awesome camera. You can make great cinema-ready stuff with it. That we have already seen.
    Everything else is just gear’n’geek talk.

    • when talking about dreaming film makers I mean the young, aspiring independent ones with few money, of course.

      • That should be “fuss” not “fuzz”. Sorry, not my mother language :)

        • as my friend would say, “true dat” . I also agree andfor what it is and the price it’s amazingly more versatile than any other camera available.

  • How hard would it have been to set the two cameras up on the same shot? So frustrating not to see something more comparative. Still, the 100 basically looks great, looks like it holds detail in the high frequency areas of the image far better than the 5, as far as one can tell from a 720 Vimeo.

  • Outstanding – thanks for posting this!

  • OK. let me retract that – as you describe well in the write-up, what the heck? This wasn’t done as a test for us famished and inquisitive “film” people, but still, it would bave been great to see some shallower DOF with the AF100; the selectiions here make it impossible to judge that aspect….but nice to see something posted on this, and to see how nice the images look from both cameras, esp the AF100…not that the 5Dm2 looks bad! Completely agree about the pre-sets, not my cup of tea either.

  • Will the Panasonic “MOS” sensor exhibit the same rolling shutter as other CMOS based DSLRs?

  • A “side by side” test should have been literally that: same lens, same subject, same camera settings. This is far from that. Fail.

  • A “side by side” test should have been literally that: same lens, same subject, same camera settings. This falls short as a informative and conclusive test.