I've owned two AF100's and had a love/hate with both. I LOVED the ergonomics of the camera. Sturdy handle I could just pick the thing up and hold it at my side and walk, lift it up and hold it simple enough, etc. Weight wasn't heavy, had internal ND's (huge plus), and the best feature by far for me which was insanely hard to give up was the red focus peaking. With peaking turned on and red focus turned on I never ever missed a shot. People probably think I'm nuts because I saw some folks post about it and hate it finding it unreliable but I never worried about focus when using that. Sad I can't get it on a C100 or C300, just peaking. The codec wasn't fantastic but it was OK, and the image was OK but nothing crazy. I got some great footage over the year+ I had one, but I had far more bad footage then good footage. The dynamic range was fairly low, the rolloff in the highlights wasn't great, the color of the camera wasn't my favorite, and the IQ overall in the sharpness/detail department left a lot to be desired. I have some very nice shots with it, and for the price you can buy one right now, it's a STEAL, but I want something better.
The C100 is close to being the AF100 I wish I had before. It's missing the HD-SDI, 60p, etc. but it has the image quality and internal ND's. The picture is so detailed and sharp. C300 is wonderful. Crazy sharp footage, a good step up in DR (when you're used to 9-10 stops going to 12 is pretty amazing), nice form factor, internal ND's, 60p, HD-SDI, HDMI, the genlock/tc when/if you need it, batteries that'll last all day, and ISO performance that's wonderful.
Price differences alone makes comparing them a little weird, but I see the C100 / C300 series as a means to have a quantum leap in IQ and a very noticeable bump in DR without giving up a lot of the ergonomic advantages the AF100 has. It totally depends on your needs, your current lens set, etc. I think the C100 hits a really good balance of features AND IQ. Yes it's missing HD-SDI, yes it's missing 60p (however you an shoot 60i and conform to 60p...did that on my first feature and it looks good...very comparable in resolution loss to 720p60 upresed to 1080p), LCD placement is stationary, EVF isn't as good as C300 but AF100's EVF wasn't anything to go crazy about, C-Log, 12 solid stops of DR (not 12 on paper and 11 usable or any of that garbage), and the codec is AVCHD but for a lot of us who aren't going to need to pull sliders all over the place...it'll hold up just fine. Canon pricing irks some, but they make solid products. The AF100 required a lot of research and digging to make sure you had good internal profile settings, and then very careful operation to nail your exposure otherwise you might come home disappointed, but Canon is known for being very forgiving on that end. Of course we should all strive to shoot well, expose well, etc. but at times you're moving quickly and mistakes happen. I like the fact I would have that extra headroom in the darks/lights and a much more pleasing rolloff.
People talk about the C100 / C300 as the perfect doc or event cam, but I see that advantage comparable to indie film. Yes you have more time even on an indie set to do things a bit more legit (most of the time), but I like the idea that my whole setup is fairly small, I can pick it up and move quickly...set my shot...and go. I don't want a 25lb monstrosity like I did last time...it was annoying. I think they're great indie film options as well.
The AF100 is no slouch...not at all, but today I would spend the extra dollars for the IQ / DR advantages...it's just too good to pass up.
Thread: Canon C100 Vs Panasonic AG-AF100
Results 11 to 18 of 18
11-25-2012 06:15 AM
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
- Chapel Hill, NC
11-25-2012 06:30 AM
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
- Jacksonville, FL
For the price of a C100, you're getting into FS700 territory. The 700 has SDI out, crazy slo-mo capability and the possibility of shooting 4K.
If the OP would switch from Panasonic to another brand, then he'd need to buy all new lenses anyway, be it Canon or Sony. Just something to consider.
I am in the same situation as the OP, as I am considering moving up from my FS100. The natural progression (price wise) is the C100 or FS700. Or the PMW200, or the JVC HM600. Or stay put and do nothing.
11-25-2012 06:42 AM
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
- Charlottesville, va
Also weighed the C100 vs. AF100. Decided to stick with the AF100 for the below reasons (which you can fit into your pro/con listing if you like)
- Budget. Shooting C100 wouldn't get me any more jobs or increase my day rate. While I've plenty of Leica-R and OM primes that would work on any system, I also frequently use zooms, and would have to buy 2-3 Canon zooms to cover the same range and quality of my Lumix zooms. In truth, this is the biggest issue... if I had all the requisite glass on hand, the body cost difference would be almost negligible to take advantage of their auto features.
- VFR. I shoot a fair amount of projects (including sports) with some amount of mild slow-motion, and having VFR and 60p available is a distinct plus. Not available on C100, AFAIK.
- System size. The C100 itself looks more compact, but throw a 70-200/2.8 zoom and it gets somewhat larger. So does your lens bag. With the AF, I can do 7-300mm (14-600 equiv) in four very good quality lenses that fit in one smallish shoulder bag. Being mostly a one-man band, that's huge (anti-pun intended).
- Sensor size. In truth, I wouldn't put this in the pro pr con categories... it's just a difference. For the way I work, I find it easier to hit focus and get tight details with the M43 sensor vs. S35 and definitely Full Frame. I shot night game sports highlights a few weeks bag with a rented, client-specified 5D3, and it was just a nightmare (no pre-record, shallow focus, huge honking cumbersome tele lenses... ick). S35 is of course far more manageable than full-frame, but M43 is even moreso. You can open your iris all the way up to .95 and still have perfectly useable DOF in uncontrolled shooting situations, while still having the benefit of .95 exposure. For this reason I'm not always so quick to pan the AF's low-light abilities, or suitability as an events camera.
11-25-2012 12:15 PM
Wow!.. I honestly didn't expect these many replies in such short time. Thank you all for the valuable input!.. Allow me address individually as many replies as possible:
@Editman Sweden: It's not like I'm exactly unhappy with the AF100. But I'm not exactly happy either. To some kinds of works (corporate and specially events), the AF100 becomes a bit cumbersome, specially for a one man band like me. With hand held shoots, this becomes even more evident. It's heavy but it's not shoulder mounted... And most operations like zoom and focus are basically manual. Then the IQ is something I'm not very happy with, specially when lighting is not optimal. The 680 lines of resolution may also be related. I don't happen to have any EF lenses. I only have Micro 4/3 lenses and a pair of good F lenses from Nikon. So... That is something that will sure weigh in my final decision.
@Kinoks: You bring up a crucial issue, that I didn't mention in my initial post, because I didn't want to make it too long: I do have two AF100 but I only considered buying one C100. The other AF100 I intend to "switch" for a Canon XF305. Because 70% of my work is events and corporate, my goal is to have a 3 camera system with two Canon XF305 and one Canon C100 (or C300 if I had the money). This way I am equipped both for events and for narrative. In events I can have two XF305 capturing most of the footage and use the C100 for the most artistic shots. When shooting narrative, I'll use the inverse logic, using the C100 for most of the footage and use the XF305 only for general shots. Ok, you guessed... I don't see myself working for the big screen in the years to come.
Now that I clarified this, I think people can understand where I'm coming from with my idea of changing to a C100. I want a good large sensor "digital cinema" camera to complement one or two "events" camera.
@philiplipetz: It always pleases me to hear positive feedback from a new camera. Specially when I'm considering purchasing it. Thanks for sharing all the improvements that the pre-production model suffered. It's good to know the EVF, Iris and IQ have been improved. The future autofocus for STM lenses is wonderful news.
@Sfernald: Great! Please share some footage when you have a chance.
@MichaelTiemann: You have the advantage of already having lots of Canon L glass. I don't have it.
From what I heard, the new AG-AF100A won't have significant improvements over the AF100, specially considering how long Panasonic have been without releasing a successor for the AF100 or any new large sensor camera. The (only) 680 lines of resolution you mention is something that shows in the IQ. Not to say that the image is bad... It's actually good, untill you start comparing with the C100, amongst others.
You're absolutely correct: All Canon cameras should have their prices toned down one notch, including the XF305!.. I'm sure that even commercially, Canon would benefit from that because 80% of people who wish to buy Canon, are only prevented to do it by the disproportionate prices.
@KyleProhaska: I agree with you that the AF100 has great ergonomics and very solid too. When I look at the C100 handle, I can only see it breaking at the slightest carelessness... The red focus peaking is a great asset but quite frankly, I got used (or eye trained) to focus without the help of the peaking. I simply zoom in, focus, then zoom out. At least with my 14-140 Lumix Lens. But all you say regarding IQ and low/high light performances is something I have experienced first hand.
@Vanvideo: The thing is that I really don't like Sony. I don' buy Sony since my first Video-8 Handicam back in the 80s. I don't like the native image tone (too greenish), although that can always be twicked in post. But I also don't like the plastic look of the cameras. I like the design though... And the P5 looks great, although a bit of a copy of the RED One.
@mcbob: Regarding budget, I don't necessarily aim at using the cheapest possible gear that can get the job done. I know I'm not going to raise my day rate but, if I identify myself better with the better quality of the work, then it already justifies making the upgrade. In the long term it may increase demand for my work.
In my case, I rarely use VFR... And I can always work that in post, should I need to do slo mo for some job. But I don't need it in terms of shooting fast actions. I don't shoot sports.
Of courselenses can dramatically increase system size. But we're comparing bodies only. If I had the same lens to the AF100, then it always ends up being bigger. Regarding sensor size, I understand and can agree to some extent with what you're saying.
Last edited by Mikungfu; 11-25-2012 at 02:18 PM.Miguel
11-25-2012 01:25 PM
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
- Charlottesville, va
Yep, I don't aim for the absolute cheapest either (I could probably get by with the GH2 for 75% of things, in truth), but I have to be realistic in what my current work load can finance. Right now, I'm in the AF100/VG###/5D3/D800 budget group, and only one of those reliably works for my jobs and the way I work. ALMOST at the C100/FS700/etc level, but for what they're offering above what I already have, it's probably not a worthwhile business investment - I'll sit out a generation and hopefully have a little more budget for the next zowie-box. For anyone else, that decision may be completely different... ie, a shooter with established EOS lens kit, no need for VFR, no need for SDI, multiple clients already requesting Canonesque look, frequent C100 renter, etc. Maybe I'll become one of those guys some day.
I could use this paragraph to go on a screed about how I learned from experience that buying into more camera than I could afford with only hopes that it would bring more and bigger jobs is a surefire way to growth-sapping long-term debt, but... oh, wait...
11-25-2012 01:31 PM
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
Vs against Vs
11-25-2012 02:58 PM
@mcbob: Yep, I basically agree with your point of view. In fact, in this current economy, one needs to be very realistic about the market and how much the customers are willing to pay for quality. Much more expensive gear which provide only a small increment in quality, are at least a questionable investment, specially in this economy. However, in my case, I'm hoping to sell two AG AF101 + custom made flight cases (fit like a glove) + 5 Lumix Lenses (7-14, 14-140 (x2), 45-200 and 45mm Macro) and with that money, buy a C100 body (new), a XF305 (almost new) and if possible a used EF 24-105mm Canon L lens. I simply do not intend to spend any money... If I see that I don't manage to sell the AF101 for the price that I need, I simply won't sell them.
@Miko: Thanks for the link. Nice comparison!Miguel