World's First* to Adopt Micro Four Thirds
The AG-AF100 series is the first professional HD camera recorder to adopt the Micro Four Thirds standards. These standards were announced in 2008 as an extension of the Four Thirds standards for DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras. Panasonic and some other manufactures have already released a number of digital cameras and interchangeable lenses based on the Micro Fourth Thirds standards.The "Four Thirds" name is derived from the 4/3-type (approx. 17.3 mm x 13 mm/ approx. 0.68 inches x 0.51 inches) image sensor. The size of the image sensor, the standardized lens mount developed for it, and interchangeable lenses designed exclusively for digital cameras form the core of the Four Thirds standards. These standards were established to offer an optimal solution for digital cameras, breaking loose the confines of film camera standards. In establishing the Micro Four Thirds standards, the flange back distance (the distance from the lens mount surface to the image sensor) was reduced by about half and the mount diameter was made about 6 mm (0.24 inches) smaller than that of the Four Thirds mount. The image sensor size is the same as that of the 4/3 type used in the Four Thirds standard. The Micro Four Thirds standards have made it possible to reduce the size and weight of cameras and lenses, and to achieve greater interchangeability of lenses together with video recording capability.
*1: As of November 2010 (based on a Panasonic survey).
4/3-type MOS Image Sensor
The 4/3-type MOS image sensor in the AG-AF100 series has about the same imaging area* as that of 35mm cinema film. The depth of field and the focal range are also close to those of film cameras. With the AG-AF100 series, you can record beautiful, shallow depth of field, film-like images.The MOS sensor has two control lines as compared to the three lines required by a conventional CMOS sensor, thus providing a larger light receiving area. This has achieved a high level of sensitivity rivaling that of a CCD sensor. Extensive noise reduction measures are also employed, such as embedded photodiodes isolated from noise sources and low-voltage operation. By guiding more light to the pixels, the AG-AF100 series achieves a wide dynamic range and detailed gradation with minimal blocked shadows or blown highlights in high-contrast scenes, for true-to-life textures and rich colors.
* The effective imaging area is trimmed to a 16:9 aspect ratio.
A Low-Pass Filter for High-Quality HD Motion Images
The AG-AF100 series' optical low-pass filter is optimized for HD motion images and reduces the aliasing noise that often occurs in motion images captured by an image sensor with a high pixel density. In addition, the MOS image sensor is scanned at a high speed in order to minimize skew distortion.
High-Performance 18-bit DSP
The AG-AF100 series is equipped with a high-performance 18-bit digital signal processor (DSP) for image processing. Optimized for HD video recording, the DSP handles various image rendering processes, such as dynamic range stretch (DRS), gamma, 12-axis independent color correction* and detail enhancement, as well as conversion to HD/SD video formats - all with exceptional precision and high image quality.
*12-axis independent color correction can't be controlled manually by a customer.
Internal Optical ND Filter
The AG-AF100 series has an internal neutral density (ND) filter that is essential for video recording. The dedicated dial on the camera body lets you adjust the setting in three steps (1/4ND, 1/16ND, and 1/64ND) with any type of lenses.
Dynamic Range Stretch Function
DRS recognizes the average brightness of highlight and shadow areas and then automatically adjusts the aperture and uses knee control to suppress blocking in the shadow areas. In scenes with mixed dark and light areas, DRS automatically provides a wider dynamic range with minimal blown highlights and blocked shadows.
-Mode Gamma for Richer Gradation
Drawing on technologies developed for the VariCam, Panasonic has equipped the AG-AF100 series with advanced gamma functions that address seven different shooting scenarios and enhance your creative abilities. This includes the cinelike gamma, which produces the characteristic warm tone of film recordings.