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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS100 CineAlta
An interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorder using E-Mount lenses.


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Old April 4th, 2011, 04:57 AM   #16
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
I understand that it isn't coming with ND filters. I was just putting Piotr's message to Sony
a little more strongly. In my case, the lack of ND filters is THE reason that I am not going
to buy it. If it had them, I'd have already preordered one......even if I had to pay the
money up front. And yes, I understand the AF100 is out, but for other reasons, I
don't want that camera either.
I dont see any issue with attaching a fader ND to a lens on this cam just like a 5D.

Its exciting!!!
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Old April 4th, 2011, 10:20 AM   #17
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

Apologies. Aliasing is a non-issue. It's an editing problem with PP CS4.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 07:37 PM   #18
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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I dont see any issue with attaching a fader ND to a lens on this cam just like a 5D.
Is the lack of built-in ND filters actually a problem? On a small sensor camera (e.g. EX1/EX3) diffraction limiting confines us to use apertures wider than f/5.6 (preferably wider), so with a constant shutter angle one needs NDs. The Super-35 sized sensor will allow a much wider range of apertures without diffraction degradation and I suggest a single ND (on/off) will cope with most lighting conditions. Sure one will have a set of NDs, as I do now. Let's look at the actual parameters.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 09:05 PM   #19
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

My observations...YMMV

1) Body to body, the AF100 is $1000 cheaper and has both ND filters and SDI out. The savings goes a long way to paying for the Gemini.

2) Arguably the MFT lens mount, as a non-proprietary one, with more lens availability/compatibility/adoption is another positive of the AF100 over the proprietary e-mount on Sony cameras.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 09:32 PM   #20
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

With both cameras, the Gemini is total overkill. The nanoFlash fits perfectly with both because neither camera can output anything other than 8bit 422.

The E-mount is not so proprietary because of the Alpha adapter which provides for full electronic control of Alpha lenses. Compare Alpha lenses from Sony and Sony/Zeiss to 4/3 lenses and the Alpha system is the winner.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 10:08 PM   #21
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Originally Posted by Serena Steuart View Post
Is the lack of built-in ND filters actually a problem? On a small sensor camera (e.g. EX1/EX3) diffraction limiting confines us to use apertures BIGGER than f/5, so with a constant shutter angle one needs NDs. The Super-35 sized sensor will allow a much wider range of apertures without diffraction degradation and I suggest a single ND (on/off) will cope with most lighting conditions.
Diffraction limiting is the case with the 18-55 or 18-200 lens when the aperture is more open than f/4 at Wide and f/6.3 at Tele. Or, smaller than f/16 at Wide or f/22 at Tele.

However, once you read tests of these lenses, you'll want to not close down more than f/11 to f/16.

So you generally need to stay in a range of f/5.6 to f/11 with f/8 being the "sweet spot."

Get out your lightmeter and set minimum ISO with a shutter-speed of 1/55. Measure light on a really bright day.

Now see how many stops of light need to be removed to get to f/4 to f/5.6 for a shallow DOF. If it is more than 5 stops, a Vario-ND will work because of image quality loss that sets in.

Now calculate how many stops of light need to be removed to get to f/11 to f/16 for a deep DOF. A Vario-ND will work, BUT as light falls you may have to remove it because it's minimum reduction is 2-stops. Now, you may need to use a 1-stop ND filter.

Thus, for every lens filter size you use, you need: a 1-stop ND, a Vario ND (2 to 5-stops), and a 6-stop ND. With snow you may need 8- and 9-stop ND filters.

Moreover, with a prime lens such as the 16mm F2.8 or an F2 or F1.4 -- to get a shallow DOF you need a monster ND filter.


In low light with a big chip and a slow lens (F5.6) you may have only a few inches of DOF! To get the aperture to f/8 you may need 4- or 5-stops of gain (+30dB) AND/OR additional light.

PS1: A big chip gives you the option to CONTROL DOF. Everyone seems to forget that with the shutter-speed at 1/50th or 1/60th and a 15 to 17 stop range of real world lighting to cope to with, getting a SPECIFIC DOF (by setting the aperture) requires the use of a huge range of ND filters (bright light) or a 3 to 5-stops of gain (dim light).

Once you choose a DOF -- the only thing left under your CONTROL is the amount of light entering the camera or the gain setting.

Bottom-line what one thinks they know from shooting with tiny or small chip camcorders is moot. You'll need to call on your experience shooting 35mm slides -- not negative -- film with a still camera.

PS2: Once you use non E-mount or A-mount lenses and use "adaptors" -- you encounter HOW you'll control aperture for focusing and shooting. So things become more complicated than shooting with a still camera.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 10:41 PM   #22
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
With both cameras, the Gemini is total overkill. The nanoFlash fits perfectly with both because neither camera can output anything other than 8bit 422.

The E-mount is not so proprietary because of the Alpha adapter which provides for full electronic control of Alpha lenses. Compare Alpha lenses from Sony and Sony/Zeiss to 4/3 lenses and the Alpha system is the winner.
Yes. Nano not gemini. Adapters can be added the af100 for the many existin four thirds lenses as well as canon and nikon. I just think there's far more lens choices and fast lends if you can afford them than the proprietary Sony mounts.

Also, for $1000 less, the af100 body has a hires vf.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 12:07 AM   #23
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

The argument for internal ND filters is strong only for ENG (or run-n-gun) and in any controlled situation changing filters and lenses is normal operation, and there the lack of internal NDs is of no consequence. Only under controlled situations is DoF a prime concern and there the ability to use wide aperture primes coupled with a large sensor gives all the control needed. Those arguing that the FS100 is not suited to ENG may well be right (they said the same of the EX1, buttons too small, etc). The point about the benefits of bigger sensors is that resolution is determined by the sensor characteristics together with lens characteristics, but in small sensors (0.5") the sensor is so powerfully limiting that maximum resolution can be achieved only with large lens apertures (f/4). Given a large sensor of fine pixels then the lens might become the limiting factor and then indeed you can shoot at f/8 - f/11 with full resolution. This means you have 2 to 3 stops more to play with and hence less need to be changing NDs; but of course only run-n-gunners would be concerned by the time needed to change a filter.

EDIT: just to help out with ball-park figures: the sensor is nominally 13.3mm "vertical", so for 1080 lines, red light of 630nm, any aperture wider than roughly f/16 resolution will not be degraded by diffraction. For a 1/3" sensor, the corresponding aperture is f/3.5. So using 1/3" camera with a built in zoom lens you have a working range of aperture of, say, f/2.8 to f/4 (or even f/2 to f/4), so you really need to be rolling those NDs. The FS100 will allow you another 4 stops. Now, Steve seems to think I'm arguing that this means that ND filters are unnecessary, which is an odd misreading of my post.

Last edited by Serena Steuart; April 12th, 2011 at 01:33 AM. Reason: to add data
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Old April 12th, 2011, 01:17 AM   #24
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

Having shot 16mm on fast moving documentaries, you can pretty quickly change filters. Perhaps the main problem is having somewhere to put the filter and can then quickly pull it out again. Although, it's not as easy compared to having the built in filters, which can be used for the course ND settings.

However, this process does rule out screw in filters, they're too slow.

I'm not sure that in practise a lot of people worry about the diffraction limitation. I know quite a few people who aren't even aware of it becoming a factor at about f5.6 on the 1/3" cameras.

As mentioned, especially with these sensitive sensors, you need a wide range of NDs to control the light. You could use a variable ND, but you'll still need the finer grades of ND for precise control when the variable is too dense.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 02:37 AM   #25
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
My observations...YMMV

1) Body to body, the AF100 is $1000 cheaper and has both ND filters and SDI out. The savings goes a long way to paying for the Gemini.

2) Arguably the MFT lens mount, as a non-proprietary one, with more lens availability/compatibility/adoption is another positive of the AF100 over the proprietary e-mount on Sony cameras.
1) Yes, but the AF100 has a sensor from a $900 camera that has the performance of an 1/2" camera, and the FS100 has a sensor from a $13k camera that has the performance of a full coverage S35 camera (gathering around 1.5 more stops of light at the same stop than even a 5dmk2 in video mode)

2) E-mount is proprietary, but it is much easier to find appropriate lenses for... there are very few native m43 lenses that actually function natively with AF etc.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 02:45 AM   #26
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

On a 1/3" sensor diffraction softening comes in at apertures smaller than f/4 (green light) so at f/5.6 it is noticeable. But certainly people who ask "why are my HD images soft?" don't know about diffraction but my observation is that serious cinematographers are well aware. On 16mm and 2/3" sensors the limiting aperture is closer to f/8 (less of an issue), which might be the basis for some people talking about f/8 as being a "sweet spot" for lenses (although actually that is generally about 1 stop closed from full aperture). The convenience of built-in NDs is undeniable; I just don't consider this issue to be of the significance claimed in discussions.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 08:14 AM   #27
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Originally Posted by Noah Yuan-Vogel View Post
2) E-mount is proprietary, but it is much easier to find appropriate lenses for... there are very few native m43 lenses that actually function natively with AF etc.
B&H list 3 e-Mounts and 25 MFT
I read an article from Photokina 2010 that 7 new lenses from other manufacurers for emounts would come out "over the next few years"

here's a nice chart detailing 20 of the mft lenses an af compatibility on the gh2. Perhaps there's one for the af100. And maybe Sony has one for the fs100. That would be informative.
Compatibilities of DMC-GH2 | Compatibility | Digital Camera | Product Support | Support | Panasonic Global

There's an interview with Sonys Bill Drummond explaining the positioning of the fs100. It is clear they were targeting the budget filmmaker hence no ND and the cheaper hdmi. It strikes me that those on a budget will look pretty hard at saving $1000 and buying in to a lens ecosystem that easily let's them use all that old glass. In contrast, the fs100 is $1000 more and feature to feature is missing the vf, nd, and Sdi. So as you point out, it's chip has a different lineage and so it's more of an upgrade and maybe not so much for the budget filmakers.

Hopefully the fs100 image is observably $1000 better than the af100.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 08:51 AM   #28
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Originally Posted by Serena Steuart View Post
On a 1/3" sensor diffraction softening comes in at apertures smaller than f/4 (green light) so at f/5.6 it is noticeable. But certainly people who ask "why are my HD images soft?" don't know about diffraction but my observation is that serious cinematographers are well aware.
I think it may be partly because quite a few people have been shooting DV rather than HDV on their 1/3" cameras and may be less noticeable. I know of top broadcast documentary camera people who have never shot HD on their Z1.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:28 PM   #29
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
Thus, for every lens filter size you use, you need: a 1-stop ND, a Vario ND (2 to 5-stops), and a 6-stop ND. With snow you may need 8- and 9-stop ND filters.

Moreover, with a prime lens such as the 16mm F2.8 or an F2 or F1.4 -- to get a shallow DOF you need a monster ND filter.
Hi Steve,

I'll admit that I'm not sure of exactly what points you are trying to make in your lengthy posts, but I'll just comment on a couple of things.

1) I've been shooting quite happily with several of my f/2.8 Nikon lenses on a prototype FS100 outdoors in bight sun. A "monster ND filter" has not been necesarry. I've just been using a $150 variable polarizer to quite easily control the light. No big deal.

2) I don't need to buy filters for every lens. Ever hear of step-down rings? I always buy 77mm filters and use $10 step-down rings to use those filters on any size lens -- including Sony's stock 18-200mm lens. No problem at all. One filter fits all.

Also, the stock lens is a joke with it's f/3.5-f/6.3 aperture range. Junk. Totally defeats the whole reason of buying a cool camera like the FS100. My advice to people is to buy the body only and outfit the camera with your own Nikon, Canon, or PL glass. I don't know ANYONE who is advocating using any E-mount lenses, so debating their performance is moot in my opinion. The great thing about the FS100 is that you have the entire world of Nikon and PL lenses at your disposal. E-mount?? What the hell is that? :-)

The more I use the FS100 the more I appreciate what it can do -- especially at this price point -- and I own an F3.

You're in Vegas, right? Let's meet at the Sony booth for some one-on-one time with the camera.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:42 PM   #30
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

Doug,

Only a polarizer in the sun? That is odd. I was just outside today with an EX3 and had to use the 2nd ND and go to f4 just to get some faces in correct exposure. Heck, last summer, there were days where I had to use a circular polarizer in addition to the 2nd ND just to keep my aperture at f8. Now, imagine shooting a f2 or f1.4 lens wide open and you do need MONSTER NDs unless you have a large grip truck to bring down the sun (and necessary space to do so).
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