Digital video production students at Collins College (Phoenix, AZ) are being exposed to high-quality, affordable HD acquisition techniques in several core classes that now feature the AG-AF100 large imager HD cinema camcorder as a teaching tool.
Beginning in the fall 2011 semester, film students working towards associate and bachelor’s degrees have had extensive hands-on experience with the Panasonic camcorder in their commercial production, advanced film production, and special cinema techniques instruction.
John Staub, instructor of film and television, is a veteran director of commercials and episodic television, and prior to joining the Collins College faculty taught commercial direction at UCLA.
“When I arrived at Collins, the students were working with tape-based gear in the classroom but were intrigued by HDSLRs,” Staub said. “The image quality was high, and they liked the immediacy of being able to look at their work right away.”
“I certainly wanted to introduce a tapeless component to instruction, but was disenchanted with the DSLRs’ chronic overheating and lack of audio controls,” he added. “I researched alternatives, was very impressed with the professional features of the AF100, and ultimately the department purchased the camcorder and accessories from EAR Professional Audio Video of Phoenix.”
Staub said that the AF100 holds up very well in a student environment. “The quality of the image the AF100 produces is so great that I’d put it up against virtually anything I see on television or at the movies,” Staub said. “The camcorder is durable, capable of being set-up and broken down quickly, affordable to run, expandable, and affords better immediate results than the previous generation of classroom gear: in short, it’s ideal in an educational setting. The audio is superb, and our students are learning how to operate a menu-driven product, with controls that professional cinematographers rely on: exposure, pedestal and detail, a vectorscope and waveform monitor, and much more.”
Given the AF100’s interchangeable lens mount, the students can make extensive use of a variety of sophisticated Nikon and Canon lenses. “The AF100 is definitely contributing to the pupils’ developing appreciation of the aesthetics of an image,” Staub said.