Slow motion filming test

This is a single shot taken on 26th March 2015 at the International Centre for Birds of Prey, Newent, Gloucestershire.  This Steller’s sea eagle was having an interesting time in a robust wind.

The Panasonic AG AF101 isn’t a camera for a wildlife cameraman.  It was introduced a few years ago as an answer to the increasing use of SLRs for video production.  SLRs aren’t particularly user friendly when it comes to ‘on the go’ video work.  The AG AF101 has most of the functions of a full-blown professional video camera. It falls short in certain respects, but I have come to like it for certain types of work when you have time to set things up.

As a wildlife cameraman camera the Panasonic AG AF101 is not that easy to use, but the ability to shoot 50 fps straight to a fast SD card is handy.  It is not a broadcast camera, though it has been qualified as such: I certainly wouldn’t want to use it for broadcast work.  The firmware has been bumped up to allow this one to record at about 36 Mb per second to its internal cards.  Recording to something like an Atomos Samurai can produce some lovely images, but I do find the camera grainy in dark areas under almost all circumstances.  It is always set to 1080 25p with an F6 filmic gamma curve.

I have only ever used the camera with Lumix zooms, which to be fair are crackingly sharp.  The 14-140 is what was used on the shot below.  The huge disadvantage of this lens is that it has continuous focussing, making pulling focus a bit of a lottery at times, and even the mechanism itself is not the finest work of engineering smoothness.  All that said, I have filmed hours of footage at the ICBP, and this is just one of the shots.  Oh – the viewfinder leaves a lot to be desired… but don’t they all!