View Full Version : AC130: Ac130

05-03-2013, 12:12 PM
Hello dear all AC130 user,
I wanna hear what you mean about the following:
Around a Year ago Panasonic introduce the AG-AC160/130, They call it brother models.
Both Cams offer 1080i50 (or 60) at best.
Miyagi-San told us in his blog:
Using the professional-grade PH mode at 24Mbps allows users to capture top-level high definition images. Additionally, the cameras include SD recording ability, perfect for users who want to begin using the camera immediately in their SD workflow, while preparing their equipment for upgrade to HD.

The 160 offer additional functions like over- and undercranking 50/60Hz switching, SDI output... I do not need this features, therefore I bought the AC130
Than Panasonic offer the free 1080p50/60 upgrade. But not for the AC130. This makes the gap between both models much wider.
From my point of view, Panasonic should offer an upgrade to 1080p50 (or in 60Hz countries 1080p60). This would be fair. Otherwise we AC130 user stuck on the 1080i50/60. Nowaday any cheap pocket cam offer progressive recording. And the high priced professional cam not?
What is your oppinion?
Best regards
PS: Sorry, my english is not the best - I'm living in Austria...

05-03-2013, 03:39 PM
Well, unfortunately, the situation is that you bought the less-expensive product, and it just doesn't do as many things as the more expensive product does. I asked Panasonic if they would be offering 1080/60p for the AC130 and they said no, the AC130 is not capable of it.

On the plus side, it still does everything that you bought it for, and remains just as useable as the day you bought it.

05-09-2013, 12:59 PM
Hello Barry,
I agree with you in some points. At the time I have done my decission what model to buy, both models offer the same basic recording modes. I have no need for over and undercranking, nor SDI out. And there was NO information available that Pana would upgrade just the AC160 later on. The only thing was a rumor that the so called "brother Cam's" will get an upgrade in several month or so. There was a article in a magazine describing this. That's why I have choosen to buy the AC130. Meanwhile I know it was a wrong information. Bad luck.
Nevertheless, from my point of view, I feel the Pana decission a bit unfair. If they want, I'm sure, they can do the upgrade. The situation now is marketing. The gap between both Cam's is now wider, so they sell more AC160...
It will be OK, if Pana will offer the upgrade with a little fee (like the focus upgrade).
I do mostly dancing videos and for the quick moving dancers 50p (or in your country 60p), I'm sure you agree, will be the better choice.

Thank you for understanding my feeling.

05-23-2013, 02:01 PM
Hi Barry,

I think you are being a little "rough" here :-)

Actually, im in the same situation as "Excalibur".
When i bought my camera, i was told by a Panasonic representative, that the 130 would recieve the same firmware upgrade as the 160, so i could shoot 1080 / 50p eventually.
And since i didnt need the other functionality that differs the 160 from the 130, the choice of the 130 was also obvious to me.

What i notice in your reply is that you are saying Panasonic said "it was not Capable of doing it.".

I have in writing from a panasonic rep, that the 130 is very well capable of recording this format, but it's a marketing decision to differentiate the two models like that.

Are you sure, that the version of "not being capable" is correct?

Anyhow, i strongly support that 130 users could pay a fee for getting this format working on a 130 - Hey - this format is on 50$ cameras.
When these two models were released, none of them were able to record this format - so it could NOT have been a diffentiator from the beginning, meaning - No buyers could say that it was the reason they bought the 160 instead of the 130, as i see it.

So to be honest - i think it's a very lame decision from Panasonic.

Best regards,

05-23-2013, 04:59 PM
Well, I don't mean to be "rough", I'm just trying to lay out the facts. I know that you'd rather have a free 1080/60p upgrade, but -- it just isn't gonna happen.

First, nobody from Panasonic, that I know of, ever said that the AC130 would get a 60p upgrade. And when I asked them about it at NAB last year, I was told that it was not possible to do it. There are differences in the cameras, and that's just the way it turned out. Now, could I have been lied to? Maybe, but I would think that highly unlikely. I think it's more a case of that whoever told you that the 130 would receive the upgrade, was just wrong. And in retrospect, they've been proven wrong.

Second, the idea of the AC160 getting an upgrade was never a rumor, it was flat-out promised on the official blog of the Director of Pro Video at Panasonic, here (http://panasonicprovideo.tumblr.com/post/12865225944/3-brothers-update), on November 16 of 2011. It says, and I quote:
We are now working hard to make this feature available for the AC160 through a free firmware upgrade by next spring. Those of you who expect to need to shoot in Full HD Progressive in the future can go ahead and purchase an AC160 today without worry.

Right there, they said it would be available for the AC160. And nowhere does it mention the AC130, and never have they ever said that the AC130 would be able to do it, and when I pressed them about it they said it was not possible.

Finally, regarding this:

When these two models were released, none of them were able to record this format - so it could NOT have been a diffentiator from the beginning, meaning - No buyers could say that it was the reason they bought the 160 instead of the 130, as i see it.
That goes back to the point -- you bought a 130 because it did what you needed, right? If you bought it expecting it to add 60p, then that was a mistake on your part, because it didn't offer it. So presumably, the camera had the features you needed at the time you bought it. And it still does. Nothing has changed, your 130 presumably still does exactly what it did when you bought it.

It is true that the AC160 got an additional feature, for free. Why? I don't know. They've never really done that before. And they charge AF100 users $250 to add the same feature to an AF100.

Would it be a nice gesture for them to make it available to the 130 (and AF100) users for free? Sure, everyone loves free stuff, that'd be Christmas morning and everything. But it isn't going to happen, and the notion that they're now getting "punished" for giving something free to their AC160 customers just kind of reinforces the whole notion of "no good deed goes unpunished", doesn't it?

Frankly I think their whole attitude towards firmware has got to change, and should have changed long ago. I think today's customer expects firmware updates with new features, and they should consider doing that. But as of right now, they don't, except for two rare circumstances, and both were telegraphed before they did it: the flash band correction update on the HPX300, and the 1080/60p on the AC160. In both cases they promised it months before it was made available. Other than that, adding features by firmware just isn't something this company has ever traditionally done to their pro video cameras, and expecting them to will only lead to disappointment.

05-24-2013, 10:57 AM
Hi Barry,
I'm going with Dennis. I bought the AC130 on March 23rd, 2012. And there was nothing to hear about the upgrade. If this info was released on November 2011 for next spring, my dealer (it's a big one in Germany) should know this. But not. Is it possible you mean November 2012? Because in Miyagi-San's blog from September 2011 you can read only from "brother" models and they offer the SAME recording modes, nothing about 1080p.
And it's clear that the people at NAB say there are differences inside the cam's. But I'm sure it's not the truth. Because the production must be easy and as cheap as possible. The differences in models is done just by software (except the SDI BNC). I was working for Years in a development Lab and therefore I know what's going on. I remember many Years ago Panasonic launch the NV-DX100 in Europe with no recording back function (due to import tax). I have asked Panasonic to add the recording function (nice feature for mastertapes) and they say it's not possible due to Hardware (PCB) differences. The international version with this feature was the NV-DX110. A few month later a floppy was available from Switzerland with just a new software. Just upgrade the DX100 and you have a DX110 with the record function! No hardware change necessary!

So I'm sure to upgrade just the AC160 is ONLY marketing. As you can see, the AC130 users are willing to pay a fee for the upgrade. The AF100 users get the 1080p for a fee, why not the AC130 users?

If you look back to the focus problem, there was enought pressure from the users, so Panasonic offer an upgrade with a fee!
But it seems that there are to less AC130 users in the universe to be powerful enough to let Panasonic rethink the decission...:cry:


05-24-2013, 01:29 PM
I pointed to the blog post that announced it. And that was November 2011. The firmware upgrade itself was released in mid-2012. So if you bought one in March of 2012, then it was already known and established that there would be a firmware upgrade for the 160, and not for the 130. That was clearly stated in the blog post of November 2011.

As to whether it's truly possible, or not, to upgrade the 130: I don't know. Neither do you, or anyone else outside the Panasonic factory. Those are the only people who actually know. And I was told by them that it's not possible. But I also know that they're always looking for ways to get more revenue, so perhaps if people were willing to pay for the firmware update, maybe it would be possible, I don't know. They did that for the AF100, so maybe they could do it for the 130.

The whole thing reminds me about the episode of "The Office" where Jim has to decide whether to give everyone a tiny raise, or give the sales staff a modest raise. He decides to give it to the sales staff, and (predictably) all hell breaks loose. Frankly I think they've handled this whole thing rather poorly -- it makes no sense to me that the AC160 gets a firmware update for free, but the exact same firmware update for my AF100 would cost me $250.

If you really want it and would pay for it, maybe they could or would offer it (if it's possible). But be prepared to pay $250 for it, not $50, because that's what they charge for the same thing on the AF100.

As far as I've been told, it isn't possible anyway.

06-23-2013, 10:56 AM
Hi Barry,

thank you for your kind explanation. I was searching back and found an e-mail written on Monday, 19th of March 2012. I was asking the best Video-Cam Newspaper "Videoaktiv Digital" if there will be an upgrade in the near future for the AC130/160 to 50p and the answer was NO. Therefore my decission was to order the AC130. And now I know I'm sitting on the wrong horse.
And YES I'm willing to pay $250 or so for the upgrade. And I'm not alone wanting this. In German Threads you can read that some others want the same and are also willing to pay for it.
So please, if you hear anything please let me know! Possibly Panasonic will change his marketing sight to satisfy many AC130 users.

Kindest regards


03-17-2014, 03:33 PM
To Barry:
I have done a deep research. I have now both official Service Manuals (one for the AC-160 and one for the AC-130). In the Service Manuals you can see that both Cams use the same PCB's and on each PCB are the same IC and LSI. In other words both Cam's are from the hardware side same! Therefore it is just a marketing decission from Panasonic to mane an Upgrade just for the 160 only. It's a shame, but a fact.
With such decissions I'm sure, user overthink their decission to buy next time a Panasonic product.
That'a all for now
Kindest regads