Panasonic’s flagship Micro 4/3 camera, the AF101 has racked up its first professional broadcast production: an Al Jazeera-commissioned documentary shot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The documentary, which tells the story of a group of women attempting to rebuild their lives after years of conflict in the DRC, was produced by Fiona Lloyd-Davies of Studio 9 films.
The Congo’s challenging landscape meant that the crew needed a rugged, hardwearing camera. “With no tape mechanism and no moving parts, the AF101 worked faultlessly in all conditions, delivering excellent results,” Lloyd-Davies explained. “This is a beautiful part of the world and I wanted a camera that could do it justice. Not only did the 101 bring out the vivid colours of the people and their environment, but its four thirds chip allowed me to adjust the depth of field to great effect.”
Al Jazeera’s production team had followed the development of the AF101 and were big fans of the camera’s features – with the exception of its native AVCHD recording format, which didn’t meet with their technical requirements. Not to be deterred, Lloyd-Davies mounted a nanoFlash recorder on to the camera. This allowed her to record MXF files to CompactFlash cards (for broadcast) and AVCHD to SD cards (so she had a high-res backup copy of her footage).
Lloyd-Davies and her AF101 will be heading back to the Congo in May to shoot more footage..
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