When i bought a demo Panasonic AF101 two weeks ago, and tweeted about it, i received an unexpected number of negative responses. Not that the responses were negative as-such, but were mainly providing me with links that showed me that i’d made the wrong choice. People were eager to point out that the AF101 sucks and that there are much better cameras on the market today. I had to endure watching crazy comparisons with Red and Sony F3 cameras (that cost 4 times the price of an AF101) and even with the Canon 5D and 7D, in order to learn that the Panasonic AF101 is probably even worse a camera than the 900 euro Panasonic GH2.
But thank you all, i knew all that the moment i bought this camera. Before i get into detail about the possible shortcomings, and explaining why i still went for this camera, let’s see what some shooters have found testing the AF101. I’ve included links to the discussions.
- bad handling of highlights, color channels burn out easily and give these parts a nasty yellow hue – link – link
- “plastic-looking” skintones when not correctly exposed (see the point above) – link – link
- noisy, and the noise is linearly distributed along the gamma curve; so: noise everywhere – link – link
- the BBC has tested this camera thoroughly and came to the conclusion that the sensor sucks with less than 1300 lines and a lot of distortion – link
- it has an old HVX type of sensor and not the new GH2 type generation; it is not suitable for taking stills or according to some, not even suitable for shooting HD video
- it is a commercial hype; a cheap DSLR in a videocam housing and the rest is a lot of marketing – link
- the affordable Panasonic GH2 is better than the much more expensive AF101 – link