April 06, 2011

Birger adapts AF101 to Canon lenses

Birger Engineering is launching a new lens adapter at NAB that allows Canon EF-mount lenses to be fitted to Panasonic's AG-AF100/AF101 camcorder.

It will ship in May and allows users to have automatic and manual control of focus, iris and image stabilization with a variety of EF-mount lenses. Continuous (video-style) auto-focus will be supported on most Canon L-series lenses. Power is provided by the camera for most lenses. Image stabilization is supported on IS lenses, and this can be turned on or off from the lens.

The adapter will cost about £475 ($700 in the US), and optional cinema-style remote control will also be available. Birger also makes a Canon EF mount adapter for the Red One.

The move to large sensor camcorders was started by Canon with the full 35mm frame 5D Mark II, followed by smaller APS-C (Super 35mm sized) models like the EOS 7D. Their success has sold thousands of EF-mount lenses to video users.

Unfortunately, they are still essentially stills cameras, which is why there has been so much interest in the AF100/AF101 (as well as Sony's new Super 35mm camcorders, such as the PMW-F3 and FS100), which offers a full range of video controls.

"This new unit will give producers access to so many more lens options; we believe this will have massive benefits for their creativity," said Erik Widding, CEO of Birger Engineering.

"We think that this is what the industry has been waiting for," added Allan Leonhardsen of Holdan UK, the adapter's European distributor. "While [Panasonic's own] Lumix lenses are very strong optically, obviously the range can't yet match Canon's - after all they have been developing EF mount products since 1987. The Birger adapter opens the way for AF101 users to a far greater choice of lenses."

Holdan has also just been appointed as an official distributor for Panasonic's range of P2 products, including camcorders, drives, decks and media.

"As the distributor of our AVCCAM range, Holdan has already helped Panasonic increase our share of the market and deliver excellent service to the professional community," commented Adrian Clark, General Manager UK & Ireland at Panasonic AV Systems Europe. "Holdan's skills in logistics, marketing and customer support also make them ideally placed to help us drive demand for our P2 technology. This new appointment reflects the hard work that Holdan has put in to earn a reputation as a true value added distributor."

"Panasonic's P2 system is class leading with robust build quality and excellent all round performance, backed up with a mature, efficient workflow. We are delighted to represent a brand such as P2 that has been adopted by broadcasters across the world. We are looking forward to working with the channel to give P2 an even higher profile in the UK market," said Leonhardsen.

Other broadcast products Holdan distributes include: Grass Valley, Datavideo, Sonnet Technologies, HP, Apace and Blackmagic Design.

By David Fox

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