I just got into Las Vegas for NAB and within minutes of arriving I came across this ad (pictured above) from Panasonic.
The brand is teasing a new cinema camera at NAB this year, which seems like it could be a long awaited AF100 replacement. Apparently the camera will be formally previewed at Cinegear in June, but I would guess that we might see some more details on this camera roll out over the next few days as NAB kicks into full gear.
All we know for now is that this is a new camera aimed at the cinema market, and that it is both “small and light” while offering “low cost media and workflow”. These reasons would lead me to believe it is in fact an AF100 replacement (or at least a camera targeted at the same market), as opposed to another iteration of the Varicam lineup.
For years there has been a huge gap in Panasonic’s lineup between the GH-line of mirrorless cameras and their higher end Varicam offerings. While they have released some impressive fixed lens camcorders in recent years such as the DVX200, they have not had an answer to cameras like the Canon C100 MK II or Sony FS5. If this is in fact an AF100 replacement, there might be a lot more competition in the market.
This is good news even if you aren’t a Panasonic shooter, as more competition often drives down prices of similar cameras by other manufacturers. Not to mention, if the camera offers some unique bells and whistles above and beyond what Panasonic’s competitors are currently offering, we might start to see even more innovation on mid-range/affordable cinema cameras across the board.
Be sure to check back soon for more updates from NAB!