This past weekend I was in a mine training center in Prosperity, PA with MetaMedia shooting a scenario video. Dave, the producer, decided he wanted it shot on the AF100. We hired Bruce from Visual Edge to shoot and I played associate producer and production assistant. It was a good chance to step back and learn. So learn I did.
Before I get into my opinion on the AF100 I want to put out a quick disclaimer. I played with this camera for minutes and I LOVE my 7D. I also believe that a great camera operator/creative DP can make up for disadvantages of a camera. Ok, that should help keep the peace with AF100 lovers.
Audio audio audio. It makes life easier to have two XLR inputs, manual gain, and meters to monitor while shooting. It would be awesome to some how view the meters from the H4n on the Marshall monitor but don’t see that happening. I thought the viewfinder was a little tricky to focus with but the flip out screen is amazingly sharp. I think after shooting with the viewfinder a little bit it would be fine. I like the top handle too and offers mounting options for accessories. To shoot handheld you will definitely need some kind of rig and most likely a bigger mounting plate than the one used for a HDSLR. A built in ND and ease of finding manual controls is another thing I really like about it. (Here comes the but part)
But, there are some things I didn’t like. First, which a lot of people have talked about is the 2/3 crop sensor. For those that don’t know, this basically means it is very hard to get a wide shot. The other thing I question is it shooting AVCHD files. They market it as a pro camera but that is far from a pro codec. Bruce had it rigged with a Nano Flash so I am looking forward to seeing the quality difference between the two.
It was a fun shoot and I enjoyed learning about a new camera, especially one that a lot of people have been talking about. Along with learning about a new camera I learned some new techniques and different things to think about next time I shoot. Ways to move my camera, people and lights. It is beneficial to watch a seasoned professional work with a crew and I am glad I had the chance to be a part of it. Growing is such a huge part of this industry and although I believe the best thing to do is go out and shoot, it may be a good idea to sit back and watch every now and then.