Test charts and sample footage only tell you so much. When the rubber hits the road, the real test of a camera is how it delivers on a paying gig. In this regard, I have been able to conduct a rather unusual test: shooting very similar projects, first with the 5D Mark II, and then with the AF100.
The first example is a commercial that I shot on the Canon 5D Mk II for a local construction company.
It was so successful that this year, I was hired to shoot a follow-up commercial. This time, I used the Panasonic AF100. The client specifically requested a similar script, a similar structure to the spot, and the same on-camera speaker. Although the original location was no longer available, I used a similar setting for the on-camera presentation.
The next example is a web video I did for a local upscale restaurant. In this one, shot on the 5D Mark II, the General Manager talks about the restaurant’s ambiance.
Here’s another video, shot in the same restaurant (although from a different angle), also featuring the manager. This time he discusses wine. A couple of the b-roll shots were from an earlier 5D shoot, but 90% of this was shot on the AF100. Although I missed the 5D’s shallow depth of field and wide-angle capability (especially in the small, dark wine cellar) I reveled in the AF100’s slow-motion ability and ease of use.
Obviously, these are not flashy, high-budget projects: I was a one-man-band for the AF100 shoot, and only had the assistance of an audio operator for the 5D shoot. In both cases, I used minimal lighting, and simple editing. Light color grading was accomplished with Colorista II.
Nevertheless, for all intents and purposes, this is as close to an apples-to-apples comparison as you can get without shooting side-by-side cameras.
Take a look, and leave a comment to let me know what you think!