NAB is upon is, that time of year when we get to read about all the cameras and gear on offer in the very near future.
See link here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVC-Intra
See the Panasonic Blog here / Great resource – http://panasonicprovideo.tumblr.com/
I’m a long time Panny user having started off with a DVX100 in 2003 then an HMC40 in 2009 and just recently a GH2. Sony has never really had anything that tickled my fancy and I’ve gone down the Cannon 7D route and not really enjoyed the picture she put out.
The P2 cameras seemed attractive to me but the cost of the cards was a major turn off. We’ve see that SD cards on the GH2 in 2012 can record high 180Mbps bitrates right! So we’re left with the HMC40, the the newer AG130 / AG160 and AF100. The AF100 seems to be nice but Sony’s FS100 has got a better sensor although somewhat funky ergonomics. The AG’s seem to be fine but not really cutting edge. With the 5D mk3, Nikon’s new offering and now Sony’s FS700 I think Panny are behind in the race. GH2 hacked is great I have one but for run and gun and for overall stability you’d be pretty ballsy to use a hacked GH2 on a major shoot. Also, charging for updates to the AF100 wow, that’s gong to not sit well with a number of folks. They have the codec AVC Ultra just wondering what they’ve been doing with it!! ???
Ok so what do I like: Micro P2 card, finally you can use your high end SD cards with a P2 camera up to 50Mbps. That’s kool and may cause some folks like myself to reconsider the P2 line again. (why needs the full AVC100 codec all the time) They are working on a 4k Varicam too and don’t forget as someone commented on DVXuser, the Panny Varicam was the boss for many years.
So this is just my take on Panny and don’t forget the hacked GH2, the best $800 DSLR period! Also, it’s not just that Panny are a little behind, it’s other companies are innovating at one hell of a rate, case in point – Blackmagic Raw camera – http://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/blackmagic-cinema-camera-lets-take-it-from-the-top/ and wow look at the dynamic range of the vimeo footage holy *^*^*^. More on design here – http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/design/
I think that even though Panasonic appear to be lacking they’ll come back in the near future with the AVC ultra codec.