Af100-224x119Here'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?