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


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Old November 6th, 2011, 02:03 AM   #46
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Ok, I just got in a 28-90 F2.8 FD lens that I bought off ebay for
$60. It has 67mm threads, so works great with my 77mm Heliopan
and 67-77 step ring that I have for my kit lens. It seems a little
heavy I think I may need to buy a rail system with lens support.

Anyways, it has been pouring out here, so I was only able to
shoot a couple shots outside before the crappy weather returned.
These were handheld, shaky, and really not much to look at.
But you can get an idea of the quality of a $60 lens.....I did
no color correction or anything, these are straight from the
FS 100 images. Once the weather clears up, I'll put together
a real little short video, that will be shot entirely on
this FD lens.....here's the link:

cannon FD - YouTube
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Old November 6th, 2011, 10:41 AM   #47
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Which adaptor are you using for the canon lens? Am I correct in thinking it doesn't allow iris control? I've been looking at Nikon lenses on eBay, and have stayed away from looking at canon, simple because there isn't a way to control the iris. While I love using depth of field in my shots, I don't always want to be wide open.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 11:12 AM   #48
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Ah, but this is a Canon FD lens. These lenses have a manual iris ring
as they are from the old days before DSLR's when people actually shot
film with film cameras. So you can control the iris just fine with
FD lenses. I'm just using a cheap adapter like this:

http://www.amazon.com/RainbowImaging-Canon-mount-Camera-Adapter/dp/B003XY6HYS/ref=pd_cp_p_1
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Old November 6th, 2011, 01:58 PM   #49
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Gabe,

Would love to see more footage, when you have the time, and weather permits you to film. I hope you'll start a new thread with the footage also. I'm very curious to see how your footage turns out. As I said before, I'm buying mine this week, and have a long list of primes and a couple zooms I want. But in the mean time, I might pick up some eBay lenses myself. Had been looking at the nikons, didn't know about the canon fd lenses. And a nice inexpensive adapter to tide me over until I get the novaflex adapter will be great.

Thanks again.
Jeff
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Old November 6th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #50
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
From what I've heard, it's sensitivity and highlight handling that many people comment on - any comments there? How are the rentals going for one versus the other, out of interest?
As the guy that shares office space with Dylan, I can attest to the fast early adoption of the FS100 while the AF100 never REALLY got a foothold.

Noise of the FS100 is SIGNIFICANTLY less than that of the AF100 IMHO and the FS100 can be pushed up to 15dB of gain with little impact while I won't shoot the AF100 at any sensitivity above 200ISO.

Your mileage may (and likely WILL vary).

For me, it's a NO BRAINER. I STRONGLY suggest "try BEFORE you buy"...

PS. And I LOVE that the AF100 has HD-SDI out... my only complaint with the FS100 is the exclusive HDMI out for what I do personally.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 12:06 AM   #51
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

For $26 it's almost worth it to get that cheapie canon FD as well as the Novoflex Nikon adapters ($300) and mix and match lenses based on what you can find out there.

I look forward to seeing some shots on sticks from you in better weather. Hard to judge with the gray day outside. I'm assuming the ND filter was on board because of the snow?

Scott Caplan
GKCCOC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
Ok, I just got in a 28-90 F2.8 FD lens that I bought off ebay for
$60. It has 67mm threads, so works great with my 77mm Heliopan
and 67-77 step ring that I have for my kit lens. It seems a little
heavy I think I may need to buy a rail system with lens support.

Anyways, it has been pouring out here, so I was only able to
shoot a couple shots outside before the crappy weather returned.
These were handheld, shaky, and really not much to look at.
But you can get an idea of the quality of a $60 lens.....I did
no color correction or anything, these are straight from the
FS 100 images. Once the weather clears up, I'll put together
a real little short video, that will be shot entirely on
this FD lens.....here's the link:

cannon FD - YouTube
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Old November 7th, 2011, 01:25 AM   #52
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Scott,

I'm sure the Novoflex would be better, and I'd guess the Nikon lenses
are better than FD lenses as well. However, I never got into shooting
video with still cameras, and stayed away from DSLR's. So I have NO
investment in any still lenses. Therefore, I am waiting to hear if
the new Sony LA-EA2 will give better smooth aperture control. I have
heard that a firmware update will give it that, but don't know yet.
I also will probably wait to hear about the new Birger (due out at the
first of the year) and MTF adapters. I don't want to start investing in
still glass, and then find out I should have went a different direction.
However, if you already have a good collection, it makes sense to me
to get the adapter that would allow you to leverage your investment.
Since I have no investment in stills glass, buying cheap FD lenses
allows me to 'play' with faster glass than the kit lens, without
sinking a ton of money into doing it. I've bought three FD lenses and
the adapter for significantly less money that the Novoflex adapter
costs by itself. Never mind the cost of the nice Nikon lenses.
The nice thing about the FD stuff, is you can find strange stuff
that isn't made anymore. I haven't seen a 28-90 F2.8 modern lens from
Canon, Nikon, Sony, Tamron, Sigma, or anyone. But there is a Vivitar
FD mount lens with those specs. So you can find all kinds of different
things on ebay.

You need the ND outside even without the snow. That FS100 chip is
so sensitive there is no way to shoot outside, especially with a
F2.8 lens, without either using ND, or stopping the lens way down,
or dramatically increasing shutter speed. If you stop the lens down,
you lose the shallow depth of field. If you increase shutter speed,
you play havoc with the look of moving objects. So I always use
the Heliopan when I am outside. It can come off for indoors shooting
in many cases, but for outdoors, it needs to be on the lens. I'll get
some stuff shot with the new lens as soon as I can. Looking at
our weather, it may be a few days. However, if we have a 'sucker hole'
in the weather, I'll try and run outside and shoot something proper.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 10:37 AM   #53
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Hi folks
I 'm a shooter in northern Canada. I shoot under some pretty rugged conditions. I'm looking to move up camera wise. One of the series I work on (Ice Pilots, NWT) shoots on Sony XD cams (700's & etc) we also shoot on Sony EX1's . The cockpits of the aircraft are very cramped so we can't swing the larger camera's in them without conking the pilot on the head which is considered a "bad thing".

I'm looking to up grade the cockpit cameras we use and was wondering if any of you think the FS100 would do the job. It looks a bit fragile, with lots of things sticking out. The EX1's we use take a real beating and I wonder if the FS100 would hold up.

At this point all the tech specs seem to be ok. I'm concerned about ergonomics and general handling under extreme rurn & gun conditions.

Cheers
Terry Woolf
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Old November 7th, 2011, 11:22 AM   #54
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Unless you think shallow DoF or excellent low-light capabilites would be big advantages to your show, I wouldn't recommend switching the EX1's for FS100's.

Seven reasons:

1) The FS100 is not built as rugged as the EX1.
2) The FS100 would be much harder to shoot with -- for most people.
3) You'd be mixing a clunkly, inferior AVCHD workflow into your XDCAM workflow. If all your other cameras are XDCAM you should stay with that codec and workflow.
4) With the exception of shallow DoF and better lowlight (both due to the bigger sensor) the FS100 is in no way superior to an EX1.
5) You'll hate dealing with SLR (or PL) lenses for run & gun. You'll miss having a servo zoom and the focal length range.
6) After you buy decent lenses, the FS100 will cost more than an EX1R.
7) You'll need all new batteries, ac adapters, memory cards, etc. if you switch cameras.

What about the EX1's are you unhappy with? You'll have to spend a lot more money to get anything that will be significantly better than those.
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Last edited by Doug Jensen; November 7th, 2011 at 11:59 AM.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #55
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Good points Doug, but that $6,000 plus price tag is still pretty hefty considering the age of the EX1. And you're stuck with that one lens (albeit, a pretty good one). Thousand bucks can buy some very nice glass...

And I'd think that the FS100 ability to output 4:2:2 far exceeds the EX1's (but not totally sure). It also has more variable framerates (60fps, 30fps, 15fps, 8fps, 4fps, 2fps, and 1fps).

But you're right, it's a good camera. Another one to maybe take a peek at is the Canon X105/305 series if you don't mind the 1/3" size chip set.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 12:16 PM   #56
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

John,

I hate to say it, but you are incorrect on almost every point.

1) The price of an EX1R is a hell of a bargain no matter how you measure it. The lens that comes on that camera is pretty darn good, there'd be hardly any reason to change it even if you could. I'll bet 90% of EX3 owners have never changed their lens. $6300 for an EX1R with a great lens is actually a much better value than an FS100 at $5600 with a crappy lens. You get a hell of a lot more camera for that extra $700. And it's not just the camera itself, but also you get the XDCAM workflow which will save a busy professional thousands of dollars in saved time and hassle every year you own the camera.

2) Age has nothing to do with whether the EX1R is good or not. A good camera is a good camera whether it was invented last week or two years ago. Why do you think it continues to outsell almost every other Sony camera? Because it is a lot of bang for the buck. Only the EX3 exceeds it in value for the money, but an EX3 would be harder to squeeze into a small cockpit.

3) Please tell me what "very nice glass" you are going to invest in for a thousand bucks? I have yet to see anything that is going to give you the speed, performance, and focal length range of the EX1R. Not to mention SteadyShot, auto-focus, and auto-epxosure if you are interested in those features. A thousand bucks MIGHT get you one nice SLR lens for the FS100, but that's it -- and it still won't be enough to cover the focal length range you'll need for run & gun.

4) The EX1R actually has MORE variable frame rates than the FS100. Every single number from 1 to 60. Okay, you have to drop down to 720P if you go over 30 fps, but still looks very good. If I remember correctly, the FS100 only has one frame rate over 30 fps, and that is 60 fps. Nothing in between. And no dedicated time-lapse recording at all. The best you can do for time-lapse on an FS100 is 1 fps. On the EX1R you can all the way down to fpd (one frame per day) or almost anyhing in between.

5) You think the FS100's output "far exceeds" the FS100? Not hardly. The EX1R outputs 4:2:2 10-bit over HDSDI. That is certainly superior to the FS100's 4:4:4 8-bit over HDMI. I don't even think you can record the 4:4:4 on any portable recorder, so that really makes it 4:2:2 8 bit. In addition, external recorders can be triggered via HDSDI timecode, but not via HDMI yet -- thus an external recorder on the FS100 is just a big hassle to trigger.

6) Even if you ignore the XF105's 1/3' chips, it doesn't offer 1/2 the features and performance of the EX1R. However, the XF305 is much closer match and worth a look if you can accept the 1/3" chip. The XF305 is a very nice camera.

I'm not saying the FS100 isn't a very good camera, I'm just saying that there are significant differences between it and an EX1 --particularly when someone is already working with other XDCAM cameras. In my opinion, if Terry jumped to an FS100, he'd regret it. If he didn't already have an EX1 and went straight to an FS100 he might never realize what he was missing out on and be perfectly happy. Ignorance is bliss. But he isn't ignorant, he has the EX1 under his belt already.
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Last edited by Doug Jensen; November 7th, 2011 at 01:25 PM.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 05:06 PM   #57
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Gentlemen, thanks for all the opinions & info. I think I have decided against getting the FS100 quite yet. I wanted to move up to a large imager camera and I'm not willing to go the DSLR route. ( old fashioned I guess) but also I need long shooting times and good XLR audio inputs.

I have a lot of hours on the EX1 and it has done very well for me. Image quality and ease of use in cramped, low light, run & gun situations have been have proved it an adequate camera. I do have some issues with the ergonomics. I do not like servo driven focus systems and I find the EX1 difficult to use in manual when running & gunning.

The project I'm on now has me using, Sony HXRMC1's, Sony PWDF800's, Sony Ex 1 's, and Gopro's ( I'm expecting etch-a-sketch's soon) all on the same day.Through out this mix the camera I have to pull way from my eye the most to look for controls is the EX1. Why doesn't the LCD fold flat against the body for car interiors and cock-pit shots?

I know, I know a $6000 camera won't do what a $60,000 camera will but I can always hope.

What I want is an EX1 sized camera with a 35 MM imager, an LCD screen that rotates every way possible, and a lens that works like good Canon or Fuji on the large body XD cams. If any one finds one let me know. Oh and it should be under $10,000.
Cheers
Terry Woolf
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Old November 7th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #58
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Doug - let me quickly address your points:

1 & 3 - Pricing is subjective. If you think a four year plus old camera w/o a removable lens and long form GOP recording is worth $6,300, then OK. I don't. If we're comparing the removable lens version, the EX3, then you're looking at $8,320. Again, I think that's too much, given the pricing of the AF100, FS100, F3 and soon to be released Scarlet.

Certainly you can get a very similar camera from Canon for much less then the older EX1 - the XF105 has 50 mbps MPEG-2 4:2:2 codec, Dual CF Card Slots, similar lens, HD-SDI output and a genlock/time code terminal (BNC style), HDMI out, etc - all for $4,000. The difference in chip size (1/3" to 1/2" ) is negligible.

You're statement that you can not find good glass for under a grand is... a little overstated. In fact, you can walk into excellent primes for $150 in either Nikon or Canon mounts - at least according Ken Rockwell (and several others). Lots of other fine new glass for less than a grand - not to mention used.

2. Age of course matters in any product line. The original EX1 isn't even new for sale at this point. This can affect anything from getting repair/parts, to resale value, to getting batteries, etc. More to the point, if one camera will get you a job, and one won't, then it's certainly "too old." Might not be fair, but that's the way a lot of producers work. And it's what the camera can do at a certain price point. Here, I think there's better bang for the buck.

You're quite correct however that just because a product is older that it won't work. Perhaps I overstated myself on this point.

4. The FS100 has more frame rates by far - the EX1r (at least according to B&H) has 60, 30, and 24p, while the FS100 has all of those frame rates plus 15fps, 8fps, 4fps, 2fps, 1fps. Again, this is from B&H, so if I'm wrong please correct.

5. I believe most people doing sfx work would take 8 bit 4:4:4 over 10 bit 4:2:2, assuming proper exposure. So, this is a six of one, half dozen of another argument. While I understand not wanting an external recorder, the FS100 can record internally while also outputting - double redundancy (albeit in different colour spaces) is nice.

6. Not what features you're speaking to in regard to the XF105 v EX1r, but it's nowhere near double.

And the one thing neither of us mentioned - quality of image. I've worked with the EX1 and it delivers a fine, very crisp video image. The sort of image Sony is both famous, and notorious for. In other words, very "video-y." Beyond it's DoF, the FS100 delivers images far more film-like then the EX series. Ditto that the Canon XF105/300 series.

All that said, I'm sure it would perform very well out in the wild, and agree that the FS100 would be a tougher camera to operate under the circumstances. But for other shooters, the best overall bang for the buck - and yes, that included DoF, relative product age, removable lens, 4:4:4 colour space - would not be the EX series of cameras.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #59
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vincent View Post
Certainly you can get a very similar camera from Canon for much less then the older EX1 - the XF105 has 50 mbps MPEG-2 4:2:2 codec, Dual CF Card Slots, similar lens, HD-SDI output and a genlock/time code terminal (BNC style), HDMI out, etc - all for $4,000. The difference in chip size (1/3" to 1/2" ) is negligible.
As regards the difference in size being negligible, then 1/2" is twice the AREA of 1/3". That equates to a full stop difference in itself in terms of depth of field and sensitivity - hardly negligible, surely?

As regards chips, then apart from the size difference, the XF105 is single chip (1920x1080 Bayer) - the EX1 is three chip (3x 1920x1080). The single chip Bayer is likely to mean another stop difference in sensitivity (owing to the subtractive filtering), and the necessary deBayering will mean it won't have the resolution of a three 1920x1080 chip design.

In short, compared to the EX1, the XF100 will have significantly less resolution, be about two stops inherently less sensitive, and be a stop different regarding depth of field.
Quote:
I've worked with the EX1 and it delivers a fine, very crisp video image. The sort of image Sony is both famous, and notorious for. In other words, very "video-y." Beyond it's DoF, the FS100 delivers images far more film-like then the EX series. Ditto that the Canon XF105/300 series.
That may be true for the cameras out of the box. But line the EX1 up according to something like Alan Roberts profiles and the EX1 will certainly not be "video-y". Main adjustment to make it more "film-like" may be to reduce the level of detail enhancement, and with full 1920x1080 resolution, it's possible to do just that without it looking unacceptably soft.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #60
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Interesting thread. Incidentally, I had the opportunity to speak with Jacques Haitkin this weekend. He was the Cinematographer for Nightmare On Elm Street, and has done a bunch of other "real DP work" (the "real" is because I'm tying to be a DP but not there yet, maybe in 35 more yeas). He also owns a Sony EX3 so i asked him what he thought of the Sony F3 and if he thought it would be worth it to step up to purchase one. His response was I'd be crazy to sell my EX3 to buy an F3. He thought the F3 was a great camera but unless I had something that would pay for it within one or two projects it wasn't worth it.

Don't get the wrong message, he thought the F3 was a fabulous camera and thought it was really incredible once you started capturing and using S-Log (don't forget he has just about everything he shoots graded), but it wasn't the type of camera he thought you should purchase (unless you could have it pay for itself and quickly). His advice, for those shots you want shallow DOF on, if you're going to buy, "get the FS100". Those were is actual words. He did make a great point that most people wouldn't be able to tell you the if an image was shot on an F3 or an FS100 as long at it was properly shot.

He still feels that the EX1/3 are one of the best values. He did pound into me the importance of practicing with a camera like the EX1/3. It takes a lot of knowledge to squeeze out the very best from any camera but with all of the ways you can tweak the EX1/3 there's a lot that can be done with them. I've seen what a Hollywood Cinematographer can do with one, so it is possible, It just takes time and a lot of learning.

Now I'm thinking about acquiring an FS100. ;)
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