So much is being made from crop factors and confusion as to what the best sensor size is and fields of view and blah blah blah….
Enough. Let's cut to the chase. This post is broken up into 3 parts.
1. Sensor Sizes
2. Current Cinema Comparison
3. What does it all mean? - Summary
1. Sensor Sizes
Lets take a quick look at the 4/3 sensor.
As you can see, above a standard the micro 4/3's sensor right next to a 35mm print of film. Size is almost identical to Panavision 35mm movie film! Check out this photo comparing sensor sizes.
The AF100 sensor is slightly different than the standard 4/3s sensor as it is designed for 16x9 capture. With film at 22x16mm, and the AF100 at an expected 18.9x10.63mm the AF100 is very close and will have similar characteristics and behaviors to 35mm movie film.
This means that with the AF100, you are essentially getting the same field of view/depth of field as a modern movie camera! This is great and truly revolutionary at this price point. Using the micro4/3's system, you can use almost any lens, even expensive cinema primes! You don't have to use cinema lenses either as SLR or most any general still camera lens works on the AF100.
There are other formats of film and different sensor sizes that give different fields of view with the same lenses. Other formats include Super35, which is common in film today, as well as digital cameras with varying sized sensors. Many compare and confuse 135 film with 35mm movie film (Panavision). 135film is often called "full-frame" but is only a format used in 35mm still (photography) cameras with one exception. One exception to this is the Canon 5D MarkII which can shoot video with it's 135film sized sensor. Here is a great chart showing the much of the information on different sized negatives/sensors.
2. Current Cinema Comparison
In 2009, of the top 25 films according to box office:
8 shot Super35
1 shot Digital Camera
3 shot Panavision 35mm standard
7 shot a mix of digital and 35mm or S35
4 were digital movies (pixar, etc.)
The 3 films shot in primarily Panavision (same sensor size as AF100):
In 2008, of the top 25 films according to box office:
1 shot Digital Camera
8 shot Super35
6 shot Panavision 35mm
5 shot a mix of digital and 35mm or S35
5 were digital movies (pixar, etc.)
3 of the films shot in primarily Panavision (same sensor size as AF100):
The Dark Knight
Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull
What is it that we all want? It is to match modern cinema, right? We want the same thing that blockbusters are filmed on! Does the AF100 get us anywhere close to this? The simple answer, yes.
What this shows is that if you watch movies such as THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR TREK, and INGLORIOUS BASTARDS, you will get a good idea of the field of view of a AF100, and a good read on the general depth of field possibilities with the camera. You can even use the same lenses that they shot these movies on! Doing more study, some common movies that used standard 35mm film (Panavision): Spiderman, XMen, Braveheart, Last Samurai, The Island, Star Wars IV & V, Sixth Sense & M. Night movies, Momento, Shawshank Redemption, A Beautiful Mind, Tombstone.
As you can see, the 35mm film format is and has been over the decades the standard for movie quality. Matching 35mm film quality is great! Don't think for a second that using a similar sized sensor to 35mm film is not good enough. It has been and will be for years to come.
3. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
- For the ENG, event, 1/3CCD camera owner:
The AF100 is a camera that may suit a specialty use for you. If you've been wanting to add shallow DoF to your shooting, this camera is the cheapest and best video camera to do so. This camera also gives excellent low light capability beyond your current camera. It lacks some features that you may be accustom to, such as servo zoom, autofocus, auto iris. But on the flipside it can offer a more cinematic look for shoots, interviews, commercials and such. Whether the AF100 is a good fit for you depends entirely on the content you commonly shoot and whether the AF100's artistic flavor can fit in budget demands.
Be aware that this is a Rolling Shutter CMOS camera, so expect CMOS issues such as some skew under telephoto fast panning, flash banding issues, and helicopter type situations causing jello-type effects.
- For the the indy and aspiring filmmaker:
This camera is exactly what you have been waiting for. It has the controllable depth of field, general characteristics of 35mm film, and it's a full service camera! Professional audio in, designed with focus pulling in mind, variable frame rates, good low light, warm & rich Panasonic colors, camera image controls to beat the band... Everything you want in a camera for your film is here. And it's cheap. And it can take whatever lenses you deem best for your movie.
Have a nice good drink to celebrate because your 35mm film digital and affordable equivalent now exists in the AF100.
- For the HD DSLR/photographer/35mm adapter User
For you, a shallow depth of field camera is nothing new. When looking into whether the AF100 is right for you from either a stills photograph background, or if you have been shooting video with your Nikon/Canon/Lumix/35mm adapter camera, there are some things you need to know.
Field of view changes from what you are used to because of the size of the 4/3s chip. Take a look at this site http://www.abelcine.com/fov/. Now, things may look very dismal to you because of the AF100's 4/3s sensor. You are used to 35mm stills field of view, and AF100 has essentially half the field of view that you are used to! Your 50mm will look more like a 100mm when used on an AF100. If you have a large investment in 35mm stills lenses, this may seem like a huge step down.
However, you must remember that if you look at Panavision 35mm movie film size as the standard, the AF100 matches that! If you want film-like video, this is the full featured video camera that will do that for you. The AF100 eliminates or solves all the DSLR issues of moire, aliasing, line-skipping, poor video codecs and bitrates, uncontrollable audio, and impractical or non-existent video monitoring. It adds variable frame rates, internal ND filters, gamma/color settings, focus assists, view finder & LCD and much much more. These things are extremely valuable when filming!
With all these things in mind, the AF100 might not be what you are looking for in a camera. You maybe better satisfied with your video DSLR, or maybe getting a DSLR and using your current lenses is a better affordable fit for you. That is totally fine, different tools for different users.
4. CLOSING BONUS
In summary, using good cinematography, the AF100 will shoot very movie like, never-before-seen image quality for the $$$! It will definitely shoot more "film like" than any other video camera under $10k.
Below is a link to a short video released by Panasonic explaining "crop factor".
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10-30-2010 10:21 PM
Last edited by TheReverend; 11-02-2010 at 02:10 PM.
10-30-2010 10:37 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
thank you now please sticky this so all these noobs can stop pestering about that
10-30-2010 10:44 PM
10-30-2010 11:34 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
yes though I must say dark knight also used some 65mm but i think only on the panaromic landscape city shots, or something along those lines.
10-31-2010 01:19 AM
The real question about crop factor comes down to having a frame of reference. The confusion comes in because the current frame of reference, for the HD-DSLRs, is the full frame 35mm still. This really is not relevant to video and the 35mm motion picture frame size. I feel that I am very lucky in that I came up shooting film, and the focal length to field of view reference that I have developed is based on 16mm film. For 16mm film to 35mm field of view conversion the "Crop" factor is -2X, approximately. In other words to achieve the same field of view that you get, with a given focal length in 16mm, in 35mm you would use a lens with twice the focal length. I frequently used a 10mm - 100mm and a 12mm - 120mm zoom lenses on 16mm and had no problems. This would correlate to using lenses from 20mm to 50mm and 24mm to 60mm in 35mm film. These focal lengths would also be comparable to what you would use with a camera like the AF-100. There are plenty of lenses available from 20mm up that are plenty fast enough for most shooting situations that can be adapted to use with the AF-100. Focal lengths below 20mm are really for specialty use, especially if you are doing fictional narrative films, and, if needed, could be rented instead of purchased."The enemy of art is the absence of limitations"
"To me the great hope is... people that normally wouldn't be making movies will make them and suddenly some little fat girl in Ohio will be the new Mozart and will make a beautiful film using her father's camera-corder and the "Professionalism" of movie making will be destroyed forever and it will finally become an art form."
-Francis Ford Coppola.
10-31-2010 04:03 AM
This is a very informational post. I still have a clarification about lenses though. I bought a Canon 7D a while ago and have a couple EOS primes, as well as the Tokina 11-16mm zoom. These are not cine lenses, they're 35mm digital still lenses - if I use them with the AF100 I'd be getting roughly a 1.6x magnification (assuming 4/3 sensor is about as big as APS-C), right?
10-31-2010 05:17 AM
http://www.abelcine.com/fov/. this will give you an idea of how the Field of View differs. Your lenses will be less wide than when using with your APS-C camera.
The key is, this is not horrible!!! You will still be getting nearly identical FoV and Depth of field characteristics of movie cinema with the AF100! Just know it will be different than your past experience with shooting.
10-31-2010 06:14 AM
aps-c is slightly closer to s34 than micro 4/3 so they already used to it
The problem with m4/3 is it is harder and more expensive to get a fast wide field of view
10-31-2010 06:18 AM
remember that because we shoot and/or crop to different aspect ratios (16x9, 1:2.35, 1:1.85, 1:2.39) that the important dimension
when comparing is width not height
Three Perf Academy 35mm is 22mm x 12mm
Four Perf Academy 35mm is 22mm x 16mm
Three Perf Super 35mm is 24.89mm x 14mm
Four Perf Super 35mm is 24.89 x 18.66mm
7d and t2i
22.3mm x 14.9mm
GH1, micro 4/3
official 17.3mm x 13mm
suspected for 16x9 is 18.9x10.22mm
Still Photography Film
Full Frame Still Film is 36mm x 24mm
Digital Full Frame DSLR
36mm x 24mm
12.5mm x 7.5mm