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SONY NEX FS 100 35mm Digital Video Camera [Updated]

28 Mar
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/21372344]

This camera is a logical progression of the EX1 finally bringing the advantages of shooting video on a dSLR, to where it belongs, a video camera. Watch the video (if you haven’t already), he does a really good sell. A big feature for me, 1080 50p/60p! Removable lenses, great form, all the right buttons, XLR audio inputs, are all fantastic too but I do have some criticism. On the Sony uk site they state that it features a “all-pixel scan mode” which they claim has “less colour aliasing, jaggedness and rolling shutter than regular DSLR cameras”. Comparing it to a still camera isn’t much of a comparison, and they do say less, which is hardly scientific. I would love to see one of these without a CMOS sensor, they belong in still cameras. A return to CCD (or something similar) would mean an end to the rolling shutter effect. I’m so over it, seeing strobes split your scene in half, walls turning to jelly, motion tracking failing miserably, etc.

Another gripe would be using AVC HD and then transcoding it all to ProRES, sounds time consuming. One thing I really like about the EX1 is that you can edit the footage without transcoding (although I do for grading or compositing, but then it’s only the shots I need and not an entire shoot). I’d also like to see how it performs with lots of random movement (eg water, crowds, etc), the AVC HD codec (essentially h264, but correct me if I’m wrong) gets its efficiency by encoding the movement of pixels between keyframes, this extra computing is why its next to impossible to edit hence the transcoding to ProRES. To note though it is encoding at 24Mb/s which relatively high for AVC HD (ex1 is 35Mb/s however it’s based on a version of mpeg 2 so it needs the extra bandwidth) so Id imagine the quality would be very similar if not better in most situations, however unpredictable movement could turn to custard. As damning as all this sounds, it looks like a great camera. It wont be the first choice for a mid to high end budget, but I expect to see these frequent Sunset on a regular basis, esp for music vids (unless NZ on Air ups the funding). I’d love to replace the EX1 with one of these but first I’d have to see the price point and have some hands on experience.

See more details here; http://www.sony.co.uk/biz/content/id/1237480587665?en_GB= If you find any other news/reviews please let me know,
Z.

Update: 

Had a bit of a play with one of these in the weekend. It really does feel like an EX1/EX3 in a different box. The menus are pretty much the same although the icons where a bit clearer. Has the same look and feel, histograms, peaking, zebras, OSD etc. The picture profiles are more or less the same although it just has PP1, PP2 etc and no STD1 etc presents. Not sure if the camera was configured in the way it was shipped but there was a couple gotacha’s when it came to setup. Check to make sure AGC (auto gain control) is switched off. I didn’t notice it at first until I was checking light levels and noticed things getting brighter and darker, also the gain selection switch wasn’t working. This can be changed using a button on the side of the camera labelled gain. I was looking in the menu system. Also the camera was set up with Cinegamma on by default (ie Picture profile was set to PP1), as this was a greenscreen shoot that was going to go through a lot of post work it’s best to set this to a standard gamma curve, might not look as good on the day but whoever is doing your post work will thank you for doing it (I went through and set up a custom profile however it looked just the same as selecting “off” in the picture profile menu).  The lens looks stunning however focus and zoom rings suck, they’re more like the old canon XL1 lens controls, ie electronic, not physically moving the internals. The image quality is outstanding, seemed to be very little if not no noise even on a high gain, in saying that the monitor was small, so we went for zero gain anyway, I would hate to find out that there was in fact a lot of noise.  I’d really need to spend a few hours with this camera to get to really know it, however if your familiar with the EX1/EX3 I wouldn’t be afraid to hire it for your next production. Unfortunately I don’t have any of the footage from the camera as I was only giving technical / lighting advice during the setup, so I can’t comment on the quality of the footage esp when using it in a composting pipeline. If you’ve got any experiences please share.

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2 Comments

Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Cool Toys

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “SONY NEX FS 100 35mm Digital Video Camera [Updated]

  1. Zane Egginton

    April 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Check out http://crews.tv/blog/2011/03/22/sony-fs-100-enters/ for a good write up, more pics and links.

     
  2. Rob Pirie

    April 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Very interested in the camera , nice clip but too much light / dark and pull focus for me (over cooked effects) . I would like to see more low light and bokeh effect with some faster action to show the cameras abilities at both ends of the scale. Still very impressed .I have a vast amount of Canon L series lenes and I am avid DSLR user. Do you have some shots using these.

     

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