The Panasonic AF100 is a versatile camera that can capture HD at frame rates up to 60fps. The Micro 4/3 format allows for the use of many different cine and stills lenses through various adapters. But how can you use it for ENG-style shooting?
AbelCine originally developed the HDx2 B4/PL Optical Adapter for the Phantom Flex and v640. On those cameras, the HDx2 allows a B4-mount 2/3” lens to cover the 1920×1080 area of the sensor. On the AF100, a B4-mount lens in combination with the HDx2 will cover the camera’s entire sensor, yielding a similar field of view as when the lens is used on a standard 2/3” camera, but now showing the depth of field characteristics of the 4/3 format.
We used a Hot Rod Tuner Kit to attach the HDx2, which also supports the lens properly and allows additional mounting off lightweight 15mm rods. We then used the rods to mount an arm for the Cineroid EVF and a Zacuto Anton Bauer battery plate, which powered the camera, viewfinder and the zoom servo on any ENG-style B4-mount lens (the Abel custom cable also attaches to the camera for record/stop control from the lens handgrip). The result is a camera setup which is quite small, very lightweight, balances comfortably on the shoulder (the adjustable EVF really helps in finding your personal sweet spot), uses any of the excellent and plentiful 2/3” lenses out on the market – all while giving 4/3 depth of field. Since the camera would be handheld using the lens’s servo handgrip, the AF100’s removable handgrip can be replaced with accessories such as a nanoFlash recorder, which can then be powered by the accessory battery. All this is possible at a price that’s surprisingly low compared to similarly-featured 2/3” camera systems.
Take a look at the video to see just how sleek the complete AF100 ENG Kit turned out.
To see some demo footage I shot with this kit, check out my follow-up blog.