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


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Old April 16th, 2011, 09:23 AM   #76
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
In contrast, the fs100 is $1000 more and feature to feature is missing the vf, nd, and Sdi..
I was thrown off by the B&H listing. I've since learned the the FS-100 body does package the flip up diopter with it. I tried it at NAB and liked it.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 03:22 PM   #77
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Originally Posted by Erik Phairas View Post
I've honestly been trying to talk myself into buying the FS since it's been shown. I guess I have become accustomed to the "EX look" Even in the latest samples I still see a something that sits wrong with me. I wonder if it has something to do with AVCHD? The colors do remind me of my SR11 which also uses AVCHD. Perhaps the reason I seem to respond so strongly to the F3 video is because it is so similar to the EX1/3?

I don't know. I kinda give up on trying to figure it out.
Your EX has THREE 2MP chips. Before converting RGB to YUV it has 6MP of RGB data. Thus, from these three chips about all the resolution possible is obtained.

A single chip Bayer camera -- no matter how many photosites -- winds up with 3,4MP of RGB information. That's almost half as much, so the resolution is inherently much lower.

To obtain YUV the data must be debayered which means data are interpolated. But this can add all sorts of nasty chroma artifacts -- so the image is not as clean as your EX1.

Lastly, HOW the chip's photosite data are reduced to 3.4MP plays a role in how much fine detail is in the 3.4MP. Just because there are that many pixels doesn't mean there is X amount of fine detail. The lens MTF, the OLPF, the number of photocites, the way the chip is read-out, and the down-conversion process -- ALL play a role in how much fine detail is obtained.

I suspect you will not find the F3 to deliver the fine detail you are used to. That is why there is the F65 which has a very different chip design.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 05:06 PM   #78
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

Forget about all the techno babble. I can assure anyone who cares to listen that the image quality of the FS100 is noticeably superior to that of the EX1 and EX3. Period.

Steve, since NAB was in your own backyard this week, what did you think of it when you saw the FS100 in person at the Sony booth? Weren't you impressed with the image quality and astounding low-light capability? Everyone I showed the camera to was amazed. I'm sorry I missed you. What day did you come by? It would have been great to hear your impressions first-hand.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 05:43 PM   #79
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

I sooo wish I could have gone to your presentation Doug to see it for myself. The online videos are selling it short I guess.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 09:01 PM   #80
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Forget about all the techno babble. I can assure anyone who cares to listen that the image quality of the FS100 is noticeably superior to that of the EX1 and EX3. Period.
Not quite "period"

There have been several posts by those who think their EX has a better picture. I ASSUME they primarily mean an image with greater resolution. They are correct as the EX has much greater MEASURED resolution. For those who consider a "through a glass window into reality" look as the goal of HD, resolution is the primary spec.

Which brings me to the F3 and FS100.

1) Were I to want an 2K camera, the F3 looks to be wonderful. But, I would be more interested were the SDI and Log-S capabilities removed and the price was thus far lower.

2) The FS100 uses the E-mount system. I have over half a year's experience with the system. For the NEX 5 buyer who spends under a $800, it is "acceptable." That's why I wrote the "Shooting Great Video with the NEX Family" ebook. I do not hate the NEX cameras. I'm very much looking forward to the NEX 7.

IMHO there is a point at which the issues with the E-mount system impose such a burden on the shooter that it sets a LIMIT on how much a camera is worth -- given the competition.

For me, when I could get exactly the same video from an NEX 5 as a VG10, there was no point in spending 2-3X more. (I would re-evalute that were Sony to sell the VG10 w/o lens, because then I could jump immediately to Minolta MC/MD lenses.)

The same value judgement applies to the FS100. At the $6000 point, there is an alternative, the AF100. Here is where more than a decade of reviewing camcorders comes into play. A good reviewer must be able to identify cameras that offer the best BALANCE of features.

It really doesn't matter that the AF100 doesn't deliver the "best" image. Nor, does it matter if -- in theory -- it cannot achieve "as shallow" a DOF. This is why I did not come to the Sony booth. I DO believe everything you say about the image. But, my experience with the E-mount system tells me the AF100 has features that more than balance image quality.

I will use vario ND filters on an under $1000 camera. I will not spend $6000 for a camera that has no ND filters. Nor, would I give a positive review to a $6000, super sensitive big chip camera where a small aperture is the key to a shallow DOF, that has no built-in ND filters.

But, frankly, the unknowns give me equal pause. Juan talks about more suppliers of E-mount lenses. Will there be an F2 16-96 or 15-120 zoom? My experience says this is a must. Will it have a smooth zoom ring?

Juan clearly says there is an A-mount adaptor coming that will overcome the problems of the current one. When? How much? And, he hints at more. Could it have a stabilization motor for Alpha lenses?

And, will someone build an adaptor for non A-mount lenses? For many, this is THE key. The really old lenses have a nice aperture ring. The adaptor must have a FOCUS lever that pushes the aperture pin to fully open it while focusing. When switched out of focus mode, the aperture must return to our preset aperture.

But, slightly old lenses have no ring. Yet NEX cameras can't control the aperture. That means the adaptor must have a well positioned ring. It must also have a way of displaying the F-sop. I saw such an adaptor in the Panasonic booth for the AF100.

And, lastly why can't Juan provide the chip's specifications.

Please do not assume I think Sony is hiding a bad chip. On the contrary, I think it may be far more capable than Sony is letting on. My best guess is this is a version of 16.2 milliion photosite IMX071 chip that Sony uses in the A55 and sells to Nikon for the D7000. I expect it can convert photosites-to-pixels in two ways:

1) as a Super35 chip used by the FS100 and F3, the conversion increases sensitivity by 12dB while decreasing noise by 6dB. The photosite-to-pixel conversion process MAY be why the chip can run at 60Hz.

2) as an APS-C chip, I expect it will be used in the "A77" and "NEX 7" and "VG20" where it will deliver a 4K2K frame after debayering. Juan gives us a clue when he talks about DSLR lenses being better than needed for HDTV. In this mode, I do not expect the sensitivity gain -- although it may be more inherently sensitive.

Thus, I see every advantage in waiting to see if a 4K2K VG20 arrives (with Focus Assist and better feeling buttons); if it will be sold w/o lens; if new E-mount zooms arrive; and if better adaptors will arrive for really old lenses. Our first clue will be when the A77 and/or NEX 7 arrive.

By the way, the advantage of what a non-engineer calls "techno babble" is that it provides a perspective into the industry that can save thousands of dollars and wasted time. The advantage of reviewing professional video cameras for 20 years is that I see demos for exactly what they are -- an opportunity to push a product's best features. When I'm interested in a product, I get one, and use it for several months -- not several days. An hour seeing someone's video and having a few minutes to play with a camera holds no interest for me.

PS: The last time I had a role somewhat like yours, Sony loaned me a camcorder for 4 months and I used it to shoot through Asia. Then, I published independently with no Sony oversight. I did not, nor would I, take part in a paid or unpaid presentation for any company. OK -- maybe were the camera an F65. :)
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Old April 16th, 2011, 09:15 PM   #81
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

Doug,

I really appreciate your information about the FS100. I have an EX1 and and EX3, but I'm very interested in the FS100 because of the modularity. I think it'll be something I can disassemble and carry onboard aircraft without worrying about having to gate check the carryon case. (I started worrying about that a lot more when I looked out the window on one flight and saw a Delta baggage agent drop a gate-checked carryon 20 feet to the concrete ramp.) And, I have a client who is particularly drawn to DSLRs. I have a 7D and have shot a couple of things with it, but I find the frustrations of making it work like a normal video camera more than I care to deal with after 30 years of using mostly broadcast cameras actually configured to use to shoot video. So thus far I've managed to keep him happy with the EX cameras, but the shallow focus on a FS100 would help tremendously.

I started out shooting with film, then the first Sony single tube (yes, tube) portable camera when they introduced 3/4 inch decks, graduated to Ikky HL33 and 35 (camera heads larger than almost anything extant today, cabled to a massive backpack that contained the REST of the camera, and then to a separate recorder) through to 40 pound betacams and so on. (And a bonus to anyone who knows what the HL on those Ikky cameras stands for...)

My point is that today there's a plethora of cameras that are smaller, lighter, far more functional and capable of making gorgeous images than at any time, ever. I'm not interested in how many pixels can dance on the grave of Zippy the Pinhead; I'm interested In how the image looks to my client, how the camera handles in the real world, and does it fit my needs. Wish I had been at NAB to see it in person, but I certainly will check it out in person as soon as Sony releases it. And thanks for the info.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 10:08 PM   #82
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
...Thus, I see every advantage in waiting to see if a 4K2K VG20 arrives (with Focus Assist and better feeling buttons); if it will be sold w/o lens; if new E-mount zooms arrive; and if better adaptors will arrive for really old lenses. Our first clue will be when the A77 and/or NEX 7 arrive...
Hi Steve, I have to ask you why do you keep commenting on this camcorder? Why not just wait for the VG20 as you said and leave this camcorder be and those who are interested and will buy it purchase it. I get you feel Sony is not being truthful with the sensor etc. your point is made. Just move on and allow those of us interested in the camcorder to enjoy talking about it. Thanks Steve
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Old April 16th, 2011, 10:35 PM   #83
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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This is why I did not come to the Sony booth.
Are you kidding me? NAB is right there in your own backyard for four whole days and you can't bother yourself to go over and have a first-hand look at the camera you are constantly ranting about? You would have spent about 1/10th as much time actually looking at the camera as you do speculating about it. I think that speaks volumes. If you don't like the camera, fine. If you don't want to invest in the camera, fine. But please, the rest of us would appreciate if if you'd dial down the rhetoric a bit. You certainly had the chance to go and evaluate the camera first-hand and you chose not to.

As John says, we don't really care about the technical details of the camcordder or whether or not this camera is really a $100 consumer camera masquerading as a professional camcorder. We care about what we can do with it, and whether it will earn money for our businesses better than other camcorders out there. That's the bottom line that counts. I don't care if the camera has a billion pixels or a a thousand. What difference does it make? The camera's images speak for themselves, but some people apparently can't be bothered to go take a look.

And nobody I know in the business gives a hoot about E-mount or Alpha lenses. We don't care. Every professional I know has Nikon, Canon, or PL lenses. Anything else is non-standard, so I fail to see any reason to go on and on ranting about E and Alpha lenses. Nobody I know is investing in those lenses. We don't want those lenses and most of us don't care one bit about auto-focus or auto-iris. We never use them. The FS100 is a professional level camcorder and should be evaluated as such, and on that level, it is a killer camera. I know because I've actually seen it with my own two eyes. Ask anyone who made the effort to visit the Sony booth.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 02:17 AM   #84
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
But, frankly, the unknowns give me equal pause. Juan talks about more suppliers of E-mount lenses. Will there be an F2 16-96 or 15-120 zoom? My experience says this is a must. Will it have a smooth zoom ring?
The only problem is such lenses are very large, however the nearest could be:

Welcome to Carl Zeiss Cinematography
http://www.angenieux.com/file/datash...talog_2011.pdf

Selecting a camera is a matter selecting the one that has the features that are important to you or has the most of these features. However, you won't get compact, wide aperture, large zoom range lenses on these large sensor cameras, at most you'll get two of these three features.

For a built in filter system, Sony would need to redesign and give a more box shaped body that allows the filters to move up and down into position, that being the most compact arrangement. The Bolex camera has an optical block, plus a film shutter in a C mount (17.52mm), so I don't quite buy the space argument. However, it wouldn't fit in the current FS100 arrangement with its sensor and lens mount forward of the main body inside a cylinder.

In the end, can you shoot a feature film with a FS100? The answer is yes, especially if you use a Nanoflash. You're in the same position as an Epic or an Alexa regarding NDs, but not as neat as the Aaton 4k prototype which has the option of both ISO 100 and 800.

If you want to record events, 2/3" and smaller are much more sensible choices than the large sensor cameras for your A camera, especially if you want a large zoom range.

People may wait for more complete tests to see how the AF100 and FS100 images compare before making a decision on that aspect.

It's a matter of picking the right tool for the type of work you're doing. Do you need a shallow DOF to produce cinematic work? Er... no you don't. many of the most cinematic films don't have it.

DOF & beauty

It's a matter of how you use your tools.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 02:34 AM   #85
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

I went to those booths that had camcorders I was interested in: Panasonic, JVC, Arri, and RED. Sorry, but Sony had nothing interesting other than the F65 -- which alas has been true for years.

You keep thinking that looking at demo video and playing with a camcorder for a few minutes is going to increase a person's interest. Once Sony decided to build a camcorder without built-in ND filters -- and Panasonic did -- based upon far more experience than you have with the ND-less NEX family, as I said earlier, it was off my list. And, were had it been on my list -- I'd get one from Sony. No need to visit the booth.

Just as one hopes you are posting because you want to share your postive experience with NEX some cameras, I'm here to share my negative experience with some NEX camcorders.

"And nobody I know in the business gives a hoot about E-mount or Alpha lenses. We don't care. Every professional I know has Nikon, Canon, or PL lenses. Anything else is non-standard, so I fail to see any reason to go on and on ranting about E and Alpha lenses. Nobody I know is investing in those lenses."

What a great quote in support of the F3, but totally off the point when talking about the FS100 given that the entire FS100 pitch is for the E-mount system.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 04:17 AM   #86
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I'd be interested to know how the picture of the FS100 compares to the F3 using an 8 bit nanoflash?

Sort of thinking more how I could use this camera to compliment my EX1 and actually problems like moireing or 8 bits etc could be offset by the out of focus background and having a slightly lower resolution on mid shots and closeups usually of people may actually be a good thing and not noticeable unless in a theatre anyway.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:09 AM   #87
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

The reason I use this forum is to try and make an informed and justified decision on what for me is a very big purchase and one that needs a lot of consideration in an ever changing market.

I want to give this camera every chance to prove its mettle and potential usefulness to my purposes as a DP and film maker. For me todays cameras are already at a high enough standard and produce fantastic pictures.

But thats not where I'm at. In todays world of matchmoving CGI and image manipulation then for me at least 10 bit uncompressed aquisition is a desired goal and something the EX1 has set the standard for. Anything new has to top this and has to be at the same level or better.

The FS100 has nice bokeh as standard but can it deliver to EX1 standards. Thats why I ask questions and I'm sure to its the same for others here.

I love the idea of this camera as a DP but I have to be sure that an investment of this size is right for me. I've read the review by Nigel Cooper who measures its resolution at 780 lines also some doubt cast if this is the same chip or/and the same image as the F3. Doug really rates the camera and image so I'm hoping to hear more about this and be persuaded by what to me had the potential to be a dream camera.

I think there are many who want to love this camera but will be disapointed by the lack of ten bit out and how it processes the image etc. The one thing that would have made this camera to my shopping list.

At this moment in time I'm erring on the side of the EX1 with letus as brilliant all rounder that still trumps the big chip consumer market. But I'm also intrigued by reports of the camera's abilities and look forward to hearing more.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 11:02 AM   #88
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

There are other than aesthetic reasons for shooting short focus

eg

1 its cheaper to light F2.8 than F8

2 to blur out cheap sets, not everyone has a big set design budget

3 ...




Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
Do you need a shallow DOF to produce cinematic work? Er... no you don't. many of the most cinematic films don't have it.

DOF & beauty

It's a matter of how you use your tools.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 11:28 AM   #89
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

Features usually don't light up to f8 unless it's a VFX, they usually go no more than f4, f2.8 is even more common, but you do still get a fair background detail at that stop, especially on the wider shots, With high speed sensors, you don't need much light for f2.8, commonly you end up putting on ND filters to get that stop because you have to balance the lighting with exteriors etc..

Art direction is a key part of any movie, just blurring it throws away a huge amount of the visual sub text. Why do HD when your sets are of SD quality? I know the answer, budget, but it was one of those things that tended to be passed over in the rush towards HD. It's also the thing that makes a big difference when you're looking at a film.. You have to use the DOF that's right for your story, not just the one fit all DOF.

Film noir was a work around for not having sets and other resources, so shallow DOF is not the only method..
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Old April 17th, 2011, 11:45 AM   #90
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Re: Sony NEX-FS100 Camera Test

In the first half of Scream 4 (out now) there was in my opinion too much shallow DOF. It can really get on my nerves if overdone. I liked the movie though. :) Last years "Monsters" shot on an EX3 with a DOF adapter was so shallow for soooo long that it actually effected my view on the movie itself. It was just too distracting.
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