Panasonic is shipping its AG-AF100 4/3-inch high-def camcorder. The device boasts film-like shallow depth-of-field and the wider field of view of a large imager, as well as the cost advantages of industry-standard micro 4/3-inch lenses, filters, and adapters. Camcorder also includes native 1080/24p recording, variable frame rates, pro audio capabilities and compatibility with SDHC and SDXC media. It lists for $4,995.

“The design of the AF100’s advanced, custom-designed 4/3-inch sensor affords depth of field and field of view similar to that of 35mm movie cameras in a more affordable camera,” said Panasonic’s Jan Crittenden Livingston. She added that Panasonic has resolved the aliasing and moiré that has previously haunted DSLR shooters.

The AF100 features switchable Film Cam and Video Cam modes, with VFR operable in Film Cam. The camcorder has a wide ISO gain setting range that allows sensitivity to be set between ISO 200 and ISO 3200 (in Film Cam), or gain adjusted between 18dB and 6dB (in Video Cam). It offers a focus assist that can be used while recording.

“The AF100 was based on what we heard from and saw customers doing: purchasing DSLR cameras because they liked the look of the image, but then agonizing over all of the workarounds required to achieve an acceptable high definition recording,” said Crittenden Livingston.

The unit weighs 3.5 pounds without lens or battery.