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


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Old April 15th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

I'll take a chance and post some information about the FS100. However, if someone who has never used it starts bashing the camera and arguing about meaningless technical specifications, I'll stop posting. A few people here seem to have an axe to grind and I merely ask that they keep that debate over on their own thread -- and not here. Fair enough? If not, they can have the soap box for themselves and I'll spend my time elsewhere.

A week before the 2011 NAB Convention, Sony sent a pre-production NEX-FS100 for me to shoot some demo footage for use in my F3/FS100 workshops they asked me to teach at the show.

The camera arrived on a Saturday morning. I set it up on my DSC test chart and created a custom Picture Profile that looked good to me. Please keep in mind that you should never judge a Sony camera right out of the box. You MUST create (or get) a Picture Profile or Scene File with a Sony camera if you expect the camera to perform at its best. That's the way Sony designs them, and it is the right way to do it.

All but 6-7 shots of this video were shot on that Saturday afternoon at various locations around Newport, Rhode Island.

I used a Novoflex E-Mount to Nikon adapter so that I could use my own Nikon lenses instead of the 18-200 f/3.5-6.3 lens that Sony sent with the camera. In my opinion, that lens is too slow for getting decent shallow depth-of-field . . . which is, after all, one of the main reasons for choosing a camera such as the NEX-FS100 that has a Super-35mm sensor.

The Nikon lenses I used were a 17-35mm f/2.8 and a 80-200mm f/2.8

Only the fishing boats and swan shots at 6:35 were taken with the stock 18-200mm lens.

Because the camera does not have any built-in ND filters of it's own, I used a $150 Genus Variable ND Polarizer filter to control the amount of light entering the lens. ALL shots, except for the indoor fruit basket were shot with the ND filter on the lens. I found that this filter actually allowed me much finer control over my exposure than if the camera had only a couple of built-in filter choices. What at first seemed like a big shortcoming of the camera, was quickly forgotten. I can use cheap step-down rings to use the same ND Polarizer on all of my lenses regardless of their native filter size.

No matte box was used.

All of the slow-motion shots were shot at 60fps at full 1920x1080 mode and recorded on the camera's onboard SD card. Full 1920x1080 @ 60fps is a unique ability of this camera compared to other Sony camcorders.

All shots in the video were recorded to the onboard SD card at 24Mbps. I will post comparison footage that was recorded simultaneously with a NanoFlash at 100MBps when I have time.

Only three shots, which are identified with supers had any color grading or post-processing applied to them. Everything else is straight out of the camera.

Keep in mind that this is a PROTOTYPE camera, and it is too early to make any final assessments of picture quality, features, etc. Let's wait until a production camera is released before we do that. I will not be comparing the FS100 to my PMW-F3 until that day comes, so don't bother to ask me my opinion on that subject.

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Last edited by Doug Jensen; April 15th, 2011 at 09:03 PM. Reason: Fixed typo on focal length of stock lens
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Old April 15th, 2011, 08:05 PM   #2
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Thank you very much for going to the effort of making that video Doug.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 09:09 PM   #3
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Hi Doug,

I haven't used a vari-ND so I have a couple questions:

1) do you use a 77mm or 82mm ND and then use step-down rings for smaller lenses?

2) Do these vari-NDs have any side effects on the image?

3) With a 77mm vari-ND and step-down ring, how does that affect using a lens hood?

4) With a 77mm vari-ND and lens hood connected, do you use something like an eraser to spin/adjust the vari-ND? (a trick I used with polarizers when I was a stills photog) Or does the hood need to be removed to adjust the ND?

On a side note, anyone considering lenses for this camera, the Sony G 70-200/2.8 has a cool little door on its hood for adjusting screw-in filters.

Thanks to your info about the vari-NDs, I am now considering this camera to compliment my EX3s and nanoFlash.

Which brings me to another question: can this camera cut well with the EX-cams?

And one last question to anyone who might know: with the Alpha adapter, how do you adjust the aperture and is the aperture adjusted in 1/3 stop increments like a stills camera?

Thanks!
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Old April 15th, 2011, 10:02 PM   #4
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Nice shots Doug.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 10:28 PM   #5
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
do you use something like an eraser to spin/adjust the vari-ND? (a trick I used with polarizers when I was a stills photog) Or does the hood need to be removed to adjust the ND?

And one last question to anyone who might know: with the Alpha adapter, how do you adjust the aperture and is the aperture adjusted in 1/3 stop increments like a stills camera?!
Rats. Wish I'd known that eraser trick when I was out with my EX1r it's polarizer trapped behind the lens shade!!!

This isn't the answer to your question but in case it is a tidbit...as far as the Alpha lens adapter, there's a thumb wheel near the lens mount on the camera body that's for adjusting aperture on lenses that lack a manual ring. So if the alpha lens supports that, I think that's how it's done.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 10:47 PM   #6
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Very nice!
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Old April 15th, 2011, 11:35 PM   #7
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Doug:

Thanks for the great demo...

I find you comments on the variable ND interesting, as I had the extact same experience with my Canon 5D this last weekend in shooting an outdoor film. I mount the variable filters and attached a cheap circular rubber hood to the filter. I then would set fstop as I wanted, for depth of field desired, then adjusted the variable ND for exposure, using the false colors on my Marshall monitor as my gude. Worked very well.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 01:05 AM   #8
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

A lower cost fader ND filter from China is sold with this caveat: "Recommend to be used not more than focal length of 50mm as calculated in 35mm format. Not suits for tele lens. It may not be suitable for wide angle lens <24mm,35mm film format equivalent."


If this is true (?), then these filters are not a complete solution?
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Old April 16th, 2011, 04:07 AM   #9
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Thanks for the test. I have only one caveat. I see mainly in the sky some form of negative vignette (clearer) on the edges which is for my taste not that beautiful at all, the sky become more turquoise(near clipping) blue. You can clearly see it from shot at 21 sec and one really distracting on at 27 sec. I guess it is more to do with the polarizer than the camera.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 06:24 AM   #10
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Dear Doug,

I'm seriously considering the FS100 as the second camera to my EX1. Since you had an opportunity to play with the PP (even if only with a pre-production unit) - what your impressions are regarding the colorimetry and other picture characteristics from the viewpoint of inter-cutting with EX material?
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Old April 16th, 2011, 06:48 AM   #11
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Hi Doug,

I haven't used a vari-ND so I have a couple questions:!

Answers:

1) My polarizer is 77mm because that is the diameter of my largest Nikon lens.

2) Yes. Like any polarizer, they can affect that image in more ways than just making it darker. It's just something to keep in mind when shooting and to adjust the settings as necessary. Everything you can change on a camera has side-effects of one kind or another, and a polarizer is no different.

3) I don't normally use lens hoods on my Nikon lenses, but I suppose the filter might make it more difficult to use if I wanted to. If you want a lens hood, get a rubber shade that fits the diameter of your polarizer and move it from lens to lens with the polarizer. Easy.

4) The polarizer has a (removable) metal post extending from it that makes it easy to rotate the glass.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 06:49 AM   #12
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galen Rath View Post
A lower cost fader ND filter from China is sold with this caveat: "Recommend to be used not more than focal length of 50mm as calculated in 35mm format. Not suits for tele lens. It may not be suitable for wide angle lens <24mm,35mm film format equivalent."


If this is true (?), then these filters are not a complete solution?
My Genus filter worked great with an 80-200mm lens.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 06:52 AM   #13
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Daniel Villiers View Post
Thanks for the test. I have only one caveat. I see mainly in the sky some form of negative vignette (clearer) on the edges which is for my taste not that beautiful at all, the sky become more turquoise(near clipping) blue. You can clearly see it from shot at 21 sec and one really distracting on at 27 sec. I guess it is more to do with the polarizer than the camera.
Like any polarizer, these filters can affect the picture in good ways and bad ways. Just something to keep in mind and to work around. I agree that several of my shots are less than perfect, but I was moving pretty fast and it was my first day with the camera. I'm sure I'll get better at minimizing the negative effects of the polarizer. It's just a matter of getting the technique down. In situations where I have a lot of sky in the shot, I will probably use real ND filters in front of the lens instead of the polarizer.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 06:55 AM   #14
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Dear Doug,

I'm seriously considering the FS100 as the second camera to my EX1. Since you had an opportunity to play with the PP (even if only with a pre-production unit) - what your impressions are regarding the colorimetry and other picture characteristics from the viewpoint of inter-cutting with EX material?
I think the FS100 would cut in very easily with EX1 or EX3 material in a typical two-camera shoot -- as long as you weren't trying to match the exact same shot . . . which you'd never do in the real world.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 07:03 AM   #15
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Re: NEX-FS100 demo footage shot for NAB

Thanks Doug!

Two camera shooting of live classical music performance is my planned usage, so the EX1 and the FS100 should complement each other nicely...
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