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    New Camera Choice Quandary
    #1
    Member cathstrat's Avatar
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    Hello,
    My used AF100 just bit the dust. I've only had it a year, spent $2500 on it and it broke -- sent it to Panasonic and it would cost $4600 to fix!! Yes, that's right. Needs a new cmos assembly.

    So, that said, I'm very reticent about doing "used" again. I've been burned but I need a new camera. I have a panasonic hmc150 as a back up right now but, not sufficient.

    I shoot mostly documentary style stuff -- much of it goes on the web, some of it is shown on large screens at events and such. I have stayed away from using HDSLRs because of ergonomics - I like the feel of a video camera for shooting video and having what I need on cam (like xlr inputs, nd filters, etc.)

    So Pansonic has kind of turned its back on the AF100 but there are still many good things about it - then there are the newer cameras like BMCC and Digital Bolex. There's pros and cons as I'm sure all of you know with both. Basically, I'm thinking the BMCC is out because even though the newer one as a M43 mount it can't use Lumix lenses and I have some pretty pricey ones that I'd rather not have to get rid of. I like that the BMagic has prores hq and raw though. Then the Digital Bolex -- it's only Raw which can mean mega storage issues. . . . then there's the AF100 and the FS100. Arggghh what to do. Very difficult decision.

    Please advise.

    cathy


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    #2
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    The Digital Bolex is my personal choice, but it wouldn't help with the Lumix lenses. Their first m4/3 mount will be a dumb mount like the BMCC. Shooting raw definitely takes a different level of commitment for storage and work flow.
    $4600 would get you a brand new AF100a with a warranty, and buy you an extended warranty too. Such are the economics of modern electronic manufacturing.
    AF100 is still a very nice practical camera.


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    The AF100 should still be under warranty, shouldn't it? It has a 3-year warranty if registered on the Panasonic PASS site, and I don't think even the very first AF100s are even two years old yet.

    Of course, if it wasn't registered on PASS, then it would only have a one-year warranty.

    If you've got a lot of lenses and stuff for the micro four thirds lens mount and want to continue using them, then another AF100 is about the only game in town...


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    #4
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    Yep 3year warranty, one thing I love about the af100!


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    #5
    Member cathstrat's Avatar
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    No warranty. The previous owner didn't purchase extra insurance - only had the year. I do have an HMC150 standby. The digital bolex looks awesome but, yeah, the workflow, the big files, not being able to use my Lumix lens -- although I'm sure I can sell it -- well, it will be kind of like starting over -- but perhaps it's time. I'm sure I'll get a good price for my Lumix 12-35. It's brand new!


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    #6
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    For documentary style work, I would go with the FS100 or Canon C100. The Canon is quite a bit more, but you don't need wonky adapters if you have Canon lenses which was the only thing I didn't like about the FS100 (everything else about the FS rocked). Also the C100 has built in ND filters.


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    #7
    Senior Member Darren Levine's Avatar
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    have you thought about an ex1r? for doc's i'd consider that quite a bit. i got many great years of use out of one. and i still miss having that all in one package.
    C100 / Aerial Shooter/Editor - NY/NJ

    My work, My equipment, My other whatnots...
    www.DarrenLevine.com


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    #8
    Senior Member maranfilms's Avatar
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    The g6 is an amazing little camera, However it may not be the form factor your looking for. I picked one up and fell in love with it very quickly. It's very rich in it's feature set, can take your pani glass, and it's tiny. Very easy to shoot stuff on the fly as most will think it's a little stills camera, image quality is excellent, very clean, much better than the gh2 or af100 in low light, better noise pattern that presents like micro grain, and even more important to me, it has way way way better looking highlights than the prior. I love it. If it only had live hdmi out, I would dump my gh2, but hey, they know just how to disable the features so it doesn't out sell the flagship model, the gh3. Which may be another good option, you know, now that I think about it, a G6, gh3 combo would be rather nice, A and B cam for under 2k, that accepts all your glass. might be worth looking into if you don't mind moving away from a traditional camcorder style body. And the best part, you don't really need any special rigging because your glass has OIS if memory serves, and in cam rack focus, facial tracking, constant focus.


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    #9
    Senior Member Michael Carter's Avatar
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    The G6 doesn't seem to fit the OP's needs. Unless you know of one with XLRs, ND, etc...

    I get exactly where she's coming from, I do tons of paying gigs where my AC-series Panasonic makes perfect sense and DSLRs just don't. (Yeah, I know a lot of people feel the audio's just fine... I really don't, personally.) if I have the time and people, I'll do 2-camera interviews with a 130 and a DSLR, but for lower budgets, it's the Panasonic.

    BMC - You'll need dual system sound, guaranteed. Still some serious problems with mic level audio switching around. No phantom. No meters. No space-remaining info and battery level is inaccurate. You'll need an external battery solution, too... 1080 proRes and 2.5K raw is nice, but IMHO, 2.5 isn't big enough for punch-ins to hide editing out "umms" and mumbles. If it were 4k, I might live with the audio hassles to have the reframe capability. 4k is still vaporware until BMC makes an announcement. You'll need SSDs and unless you have a great SSD budget, you'll need a DIT or several breaks to offload. (All that said, I'll get one within the next few months for green screen and for DSLR replacement... love that big raw frame for keys!)

    To me, BMC and Bolex are more like film shooting - run & gunners are doing nice work with the BMC - but is the Bolex even available yet?

    I'd say the Af100A is a good choice, buy it new and get 3 years coverage free - you've got all the other parts you need, right, batteries etc? It delivers a great image to an experienced user.


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    #10
    Resident Preditor mcgeedigital's Avatar
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    Canon C100.
    Matt Gottshalk - Director/ Dp/ and Emmy Award Winning Editor
    Producer, Digital Creative for the United States Postal Service


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