Here’s a quick side-by-side candle-lit comparison of the Sony PMW-F3, Panasonic AG-AF100, and the venerable Canon 5D MKII DSLR. The test footage was shot by Dennis Ersöz. This video clip very neatly shows how the native sensitivity of each camera compares, and also how clean the gain/ISO is at high levels. Watch below.
It seems pretty clear that the Sony F3 performs better in each of these tests. Seeing how clean it is at high-gain is amazing. Of course, that all comes at a price…the F3 is an $13,300 camera, while the AF100 is around $4,800, and the 5D MKII is around $2,500. Note that all prices are without lens…the $18,000 F3 package with included lenses is actually a pretty sweet deal if you don’t already own glass for it.
UPDATE: Dennis has also posted a quick latitude comparison. Latitude is the ability of a given camera/sensor/format to retain highlight information as it approaches and exceeds the clipping point. In this comparison, it looks like Dennis exposed each camera appropriately for the scene, and then bumped the amount of light from his Kinoflo to overexpose the footage in steps. Watch below.