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Panasonic – RED One for the consumer?

Panasonic’s announcement of the AG-AF100 M4:3 (Four-Thirds) camcorder cannot be underestimated – whilst the M4:3 cameras produced have been offering HD-quality video in a flexible format for a couple of years now, the launch of a dedicated “large sensor” camcorder into the prosumer market promises a real threat to the RED system from below – itself already a threat to the really high-end equipment.

Panasonic’s offering will not be “cheap”, but it will undoubtedly be affordable, and will offer access to some excellent glass via the Four-Thirds system – some of the lenses available from Olympus and Panasonic are exceptional, such as the 7-14mm F4.

RED’s trick of using essentially DSLR sensors in a dedicated system has already transformed video production. Whilst the Four-Thirds sensor is half the size of a full-frame 35mm model (a format derived from cinematography), it still offers real benefits in pixel density, resolution, sensitivity and depth of field compared to the “fractional” sizes previously employed.

Since the AG-AF100 is derived from Panasonic’s M4:3 cameras, it may offer a selection of aspect ratios as well, though it’s not mentioned in the release.

Press release follows:
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