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Old October 6th, 2011, 08:55 AM   #1
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Holding off purchasing nex FS100

I came so close to buying one, But now that Canon is possibly coming out with a new camera on November 3rd I want to see what and if they offer something I'll want.

So much talk about cameras offering 4k images now...does it-will it matter, aren't the images good enough considering most people never view our stuff on a decent tv/monitor anyway?

What I really want in a camera is a button that makes me a better story-teller!

Monty
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Old October 6th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #2
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

FS100 + Active EOS adaptor + EVF + Bracketry + aftermarket Handle ...

It's a cute little beastie, but you're buying one Lego brick, not a whole model.

I am still cool with that, but I really want all the features of my Canon glass I already own.

To be honest, if I had a Canon 7D or 5D instead of a 550D that fouled up twice, I don't think I would have bought an FS100 quite so fast. I would now be nailed to the fence unable to make a sensible decision until after the announcement.

Not the Canon announcement, the Scarlet one that could be an EOS mount with AF and IS over an S35 sensor shooting to an optional ProRes format as well as limited frame rate R3D at F3 price point.

Then I would have to wait for Sony $1.5k price drop or free s-log.

Meanwhile, the FS100 is busy paying for it's self...
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Old October 6th, 2011, 10:56 AM   #3
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

I'm not buying one. IMHO, both the FS100 and AF100 are over-priced at this time. Both can produce excellent video to be sure, but are they producing video that is $3000 better then the Mark II (refurb list price)? Or $4,000 better then the GH2? Simply put, no. Arguably, the AF/FS100 are inferior in ways - smaller sensors (particularly the AF100), limited number/types of naitive lenses, larger form factors). Certainly the images are very close between the AF100/FS100 and the Mark II/7D... I wouldn't want to live on the difference.

Now for some shooters who have many clients, the form factor, XLR audio, and built-in ND filters (AF100) might be worth it - indeed they might be must haves. But for anyone trying to achieve the best result while not breaking the bank, the DSLRs are still king - namely indie film makers.

Let's put it this way - you could buy two refurbed Mark IIs (which are considered new by Canon in every way except title), a new T2i, a used nifty fifty lens, and a new Zoom H2 sound recorder for less then a body only FS100.

That's why people are interested in the VG20 right now - it will likely produce results quite close to the FS100, with a true videocamera form factor - with a $1,600 price tag.

Perhaps more importantly, all of the cameras mentioned above are essentially last of the line for this generation of cameras. Canon is about to announce something big, with more announcements to follow. Whether or not it's the DSLRs or the videocamera makes little difference - we know they're coming. The AF200 is pretty much an open secret at this point. Rumors abound of a 4K Sony camera. RED might be ready - finally - to shock the world.

Bottom line is that the AF/FS100 are 8 bit cameras, and both have some serious limitations in other ways. And $,5000 is an awful lot of money in today's world, regardless of how manny clients you have. For all of the above reasons, I've gritted my teeth and told myself, "Wait."
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Old October 6th, 2011, 12:03 PM   #4
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Yeah, but you don't need to panic every time you need to shoot buildings with brickwork, tiles etc. Nor do you need to worry about water and waves when you shoot with an FS100 or AF101, like you do with a DSLR. Wood and other textures are not going to turn into funky shades of pink and purple.

The FS100/AF101 have higher real resolution as opposed to the fake image sharpness that the alisasing from the Canon's adds.

Yes, in the right application the Canon's and other DSLR's or even the VG20 can and do produce incredible images for the money, but in others circumstances they can fail dramatically and in a way impossible to fix in post. Then there's the DSLR's 12 minute take limitations, heat issues and lack of proper audio inputs, clean full frame output etc. Perhaps whatever Canon has up their sleeve will overcome these serious shortcomings, but any camera, VG20 included, tailored for high resolution stills will be compromised for video (unless you add an anti aliase filter).

You need to consider what it is you want to shoot. For getting together with some mates to produce a short film for Vimeo or YouTube where you can control everything, avoid scenes that you know will be difficult for a DSLR, then a DSLR is very hard to beat and great value. But if your shooting stuff where you have less control, might need to shoot for extended periods then a video camera may be a much better fit, possibly essential. I think the FS100/AF101 are much more all-round capable than any of the current crop of DSLR's or DSLR based cameras and that's what your paying for.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

"Yeah, but you don't need to panic every time you need to shoot buildings with brickwork, tiles etc. Nor do you need to worry about water and waves when you shoot with an FS100 or AF101, like you do with a DSLR. Wood and other textures are not going to turn into funky shades of pink and purple."

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eo...al-filter.html

There's known color aborations with both the AF100/FS100. Highlights in bright light notoriously bad for the AF100. Both will exhibit rolling shutter.

In other words, they aren't perfect. Far as totally failing to produce a useble image, I suppose it's possible... but no more likely than any other camera - film, electronic, or otherwise. The GH2 and VG20 don't have the 12 minute limitation.... which is much longer than any narrative film or video shoot is likely to need.

As I said, some of the limitations of the DSLRs are deal-breakers for some shooters, But if we're simply talking about images that are possible on a consistant basis, it's very very close. If we're talking about what level of sophistication these cameras have, again they're very close - ALL of those cameras will likely be totally out-classed by similarlly priced products in one year (and quite probably, much less time that that). All are 8-bit cams; all use fairly old codesc. Only the AF100 has SDI outs. Bottom line is that with an experinced shooter, you're as like as not to achive virtually the same results with any of the cameras listed.

I'm certainly not bashing the AF100/FS100 - I'd love to buy them for the $2,500 I think they're worth right now as I write this. Problem is, they're priced double that. Problem is, in a month and half even $2,500 will likely seem too much for what they can do. Right now, the notion that a AF100 is worth $4,999 is laughable. In two months, it will be hilarious.

So if the quesion is whether or not to wait, I think it's a total no-brainer.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 03:06 PM   #6
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

It does depend on your circumstances. I tried shooting with a 7d and absolutely hated all the kludging necessary to make it work as a video camera. My FS-100 has paid for itself within 2 months and I'm well into profit on it. (But I'll still use my EX-3 for run 'n gun shoots.)
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Old October 6th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #7
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty Wentzel View Post
So much talk about cameras offering 4k images now...does it-will it matter, aren't the images good enough considering most people never view our stuff on a decent tv/monitor anyway?
The real question to ask may whether you REALLY need a new camera between now and Nov 3rd? Will it make you money?

If the answer is "no", and any jobs may be done with what you've already got, the obvious answer is to wait. You can wait for ever, always wait for the next and best, but Nov 3rd isn't "forever".......

As to 4k, then it's a much used term, and a much confused term. Are we talking about a 4k system - with about 4,000 red, green and blue pixels? Are are we talking about a sensor with about 4,000 photosites total - so about 2,000 green, and a thousand each red and blue? There's a big difference between the two. A 4k sensor like the latter will not do full justice to a 4k system, and this is often overlooked.

One big potential step forward would be to have such as a 4k sensor, but record it in a RAW fashion, similar to DSLRs in stills mode. That records each photosite with a minimum of processing, no de-Bayering, matrixing, colour balance etc etc. The big advantage would have less to do with image quality, more with flexibility in post. The downside is that all the processing then takes up computing time - but for the sort of project we're thinking of, it's likely to be over a longish timescale anyway.

And such may end up producing a very high quality 1080p final product, not ending up 4k. And remember display technology is improving all the time, don't produce for the lowest common denominator.

Ideally, any such camera would also have the option to record a version which was already mostly processed, (and 1080p) and such as XDCAM422 would be an obvious advantage for a Canon camera to have over the AF100/FS100. It would mean no need or expense to get any external recorder.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 02:23 PM   #8
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

I went with the FS100 as it was the only "Middle path" to take when factoring in my clients needs and real world operator usability.

Had to spend another $5000 bones to make it work in multiple configurations. We professionals are in a very expensive trade and going the perceived cheaper DSLR route was and is riff with issues.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 07:39 AM   #9
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty Wentzel View Post
I came so close to buying one, But now that Canon is possibly coming out with a new camera on November 3rd I want to see what and if they offer something I'll want.

So much talk about cameras offering 4k images now...does it-will it matter, aren't the images good enough considering most people never view our stuff on a decent tv/monitor anyway?

What I really want in a camera is a button that makes me a better story-teller!

Monty
It is not the camera which tells your story...you only need a decent camera and glass but YOU are the story-teller!

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Old October 12th, 2011, 07:40 PM   #10
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

"I'd love to buy them for the $2,500 I think they're worth right now as I write this"

If you are a professional making a living with a camera this statement is nonsense - you do not say "is it $3000 better then the Mark II" - the work comes first then you make a choice, regardless of cost comparisons. I set my work above wether I can get away with a DSLR or not or maybe I have to go with an Alexa or Epic.

I made a feature film with a 7D - mainly because it was in China in a very restrictive location with many regulations on how we could shoot. It was horrible to say the least - I will not go into all the problems as they are well documented on DSLR's. I also have a 5D and GH2.

But now I shoot with the FS-100 and they are a world apart from using DSLR's ... $3,000 apart? Who cares!! I just shot for 2 weeks in Hong Kong and the FS-100 was flawless. I almost got the F3 but the small form factor is what I really need for my doc works. I will move to the Epic in the spring when all the dust settles on this camera.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 10:18 PM   #11
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

"If you are a professional making a living with a camera this statement is nonsense - you do not say "is it $3000 better then the Mark II" - the work comes first then you make a choice, regardless of cost comparisons."

Certainly not nonsense (more on that in a sec) - and if you read the entire post, I clearly state that for some shooters these cameras at those prices might be worth it. However, my example of what can be bought for the same money is spot on - and Mark II's are still being used in productions all around the world (and their re-sale value at least as good as the brand new FS100, and arguably better then the AF100 judging by recent ebay auctions).

In the end, the AF/FS 100 are 8 bit cameras, each with their foibles. The $700 5n has better low light noise performance then the AF100 and Mark II, and is close to the FS100 judging by respected reviewers. If true, then the $1,600 VG20 should be very close to the AF100, if not superior, in image quality in most situations (and better in low light). The 36 Mbps JVC PX10 for $899 was just announced. The difference in between a $600 Canon 550 and the $5,000 FS100 is marginal in an experienced shooters hands. No network I'm aware of is accepting footage from either the FS/AF100 unless it's first been recorded to something like a ninja - a large additional cost. And as one DP mentioned in the Zacuto shootout, the difference between ANY of the cameras used was minor when compared to having a good script, etc.

Even more interestingly, a hack for the GH2 that gives it AVCHD Intra at 176Mbit was recently announced. Canon will intro it's next gen cameras soon and everyone knows 2K cameras are coming sooner than later.

I could go on, but the point's been made - there are current, much cheaper solutions that essentially deliver the same quality as the $5 cams, and newer solutions promising better quality right around the corner. If there was one thing the Zacuto shootout proved was that the sub $13,000 cameras all performed fairly evenly when all things were considered. Given the above factors, and judging on image alone, $5,000 is too much dough for the AF/FS100.

Now if walking up to a producer with a FS100 in hand gets you the gig where a hacked GH2 doesn't, then yes, as a business decision it makes total sense to spend that kind of cash for those cameras. And yes, there are some shooters who simply need to have a built in ND wheel or XLRs. I get it. But that's someone's preference for his own ease of use; someones preference in what sort of form factor in a camera they want. Ultimately those considerations have little do do with the final product - the image.

And that's not what I inferred from the original post - it doesn't sound like he has a job lined up that has the immediate need for the AF100/FS100. True, there are still some shooters who will gladly pay $5K for those cameras. To them, it must make sense and I certainly don't begrudge them their opinion (or yours). But for others who want comp image quality - perhaps even better image quality - for less than half the price, it's no minor point. Three grand is three grand - esp when considering you know the cameras are literally the end of the line for that generation of tech.

Shooters who work in smaller markets or make their own films are far less likely to need the "wow" factor of the AF/FS100 or the F3. For them, a ticked out 7D or VG20 might be totally fine - indeed, their form factors might even be a plus. For those shooters, why pay more?

Again I'll pose the question - unless you have a paying gig or are scheduled to shoot right bleeping now, why not wait a month?
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Old October 13th, 2011, 12:10 AM   #12
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vincent View Post
I'm not buying one. IMHO, both the FS100 and AF100 are over-priced at this time. Both can produce excellent video to be sure, but are they producing video that is $3000 better then the Mark II (refurb list price)? Or $4,000 better then the GH2? Simply put, no. Arguably, the AF/FS100 are inferior in ways - smaller sensors (particularly the AF100), limited number/types of naitive lenses, larger form factors). Certainly the images are very close between the AF100/FS100 and the Mark II/7D... I wouldn't want to live on the difference.

Now for some shooters who have many clients, the form factor, XLR audio, and built-in ND filters (AF100) might be worth it - indeed they might be must haves. But for anyone trying to achieve the best result while not breaking the bank, the DSLRs are still king - namely indie film makers.
Disagree on all points, have you used the FS100? I have owned the 5D, 7D, and FS100 and used the AF100 extensively. The AF100 is the worst of the bunch and nearly unusable due to its gamma curves, so I suppose I agree on its inferiority. On the DSLRs, however, the limitations are pretty tough to swallow. If I was only shooting web content I was editing myself and never did run and gun without lights I would say OK maybe stick with the 5D or 7D. The DSLRs are quite a bit softer than the FS100 or AF100, fine for 720p and under delivery but far from ideal for 1080p or theatrical release. If you are a hobbyist and never make a cent off shooting with one camera or another and are willing to work around issues to save a couple bucks then yes also maybe stick with the 5D or 7D etc. If you make money shooting and have a stake in doing your job well and fast and without hiccups, $5k is not a big deal after you consider resell value and when you factor in the flexibility the camera adds.

With the FS100 you literally do not have to change batteries or media anymore if you do not want to, this saves time and energy, which are usually some of the shortest resources on set. If you want to shoot in low light, there is no other camera to look at. I shot recently with my FS100 alongside a 5D operator using basically identical 24-70 2.8 lenses in a run and gun environment and he literally couldnt get an exposure that looked normal at iso 6400 and f2.8 not to mention even with that he had a ton of noise. I just turned my gain to 30db and everything looked bright and great with minimal noise. The FS100 has easily a 2-3 stop low light/noise advantage over the 5D and even more over smaller sensor cameras.

One company I shoot for a lot, ive shot for them with AF100 and 7D and FS100, and their editor's FCP workflow somehow always clips my white and black levels and makes things look pretty terrible. The FS100 has the ability to set both the black and white levels to keep them broadcast safe and safe from poor post workflows, this is a big deal to me especially for material that I have no control over after I shoot it and there is no colorist to fix any problems the editor creates.

I could list a dozen other features the FS100 has over DSLRs each of which make it easily worth twice the value of a 5D, like clean 1080p HDMI monitoring, short flange to use any lens, quality sound recording and monitoring, comfortable run and gun handheld, expanded focus while rolling, 60fps, 120fps, better encoders despite lower bandwidth, picture profiles, etc...
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Old October 13th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #13
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

In your first sentence you agree with me - the AF100 is inferior to products costly a 1/5 as much.

There's nothing inaccurate in my descriptions of pricing, lens mountings, or of comparative reviews in the past year on all the above mentioned cameras (excepting of course the VG20, as it's not out yet). Yet you post has numerous errors. To wit:

In your last sentence you state the AF/FS 100, "clean 1080p HDMI monitoring, short flange to use any lens, quality sound recording and monitoring, comfortable run and gun handheld, expanded focus while rolling, 60fps, 120 fps."

Yet the Sony VG10, VG20, 5, 5n, A77 all have same mount as the FS100. The GH2 has the same mount as the AF100. The GH2 has clean HDMI out, as does the Sony VG10 & 20. Neither the FS100 or the AF100 can not shoot 120 fps. Neither does the $13 K F3 for that matter.

The VG10/20 both have "video camera" form factors - and in fact, look a little more like a true video camera then the FS100 does, which looks something like a brick.

Yes, the FS100 is very light sensitive - its main claim to fame - yet there have been no head to head tests between it and the 5n or the VG20 to determine how far apart - if at all - they are. The Mark II is certainly no slouch in low light and is better in low light then the AF100 - see the Phil Bloom posts for proof of that.

I never said nor intimated that the AF/FS100 weren't good cameras - of course they are. What I said - and what you did not dispute - is that they are thousands of dollars more than cameras that produce comparable images. I said they are 8 bit cameras and likely the "end of the line" for that tech - no dispute there. You did quote where I stated that for some shooters, the various differences between DSLRs and the "true" video cameras might be worth the difference. Indeed, your post proves my point nicely (although your post has several technical inaccuracies).

More to the point and to the original posting in this thread - nothing in your post indicates why a potential buyer shouldn't wait at least for the VG20 (which looks to have the potential to outperform the AF100 visually along with having a video camera form factor and sound inputs) - a camera costing a third of the price of the VG20. Canon looks to be announcing a DSLR in 10 days (a FF to boot if CR can be trusted), and perhaps a true video camera two weeks after that.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 11:10 AM   #14
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

I have a VG10 and an FS100. I don't know how the image of the VG10 will compare to the VG20, but I suspect they won't be too far off. I can tell you the FS100 is leagues better than the VG10, both in image quality and professional features. The VG20 will correct many of the shortcomings of the VG10, but it still won't be at the level of the FS100.
I could have waited for the VG20, maybe go for the AF100. Given the choice, I picked the FS100, regardless of the extra cost. This is not saying the VG10 isn't a very good camera (and presumably, the VG20), but there's a reason it costs less than half that of the FS100.

As far as the form factor between the two, that's entirely subjective. You may say you prefer the form of the VG10/20, and that's fine - for you. The VG10 does fit comfortably in my hands. Still, I prefer the FS100. Sure, it's heavier, but then it packs a lot more. The viewfinder and XLR inputs alone are worth the extra costs. And let's face it - it looks a heck of a lot more professional. This can matter to clients.
And I've done video shoots with DSLRs. I'll stick with my FS100, thank you.

You don't think the FS100 or the AF100 are worth the cost? The solution is simple - don't buy them. Myself, after years of buying different video cameras, I think they're a great bargain, for all the features and the images they give you. 5 years ago, I didn't think it'd be possible to get what these camera can give, not at $50,000, much less $5,000.
But, your opinion may vary.

As far as waiting until the big November announcement: if you can wait, sure, why not? I could have waited, but I got a really good deal on an FS100 and decided to take the plunge. So far, I'm happy.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #15
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Re: Holding off purchasing nex FS100

Well said Glen - I agree 100% that 5 years ago, either the AF or FS 100 would literally been world changers. But 5 years is an eternity in today's quickly evolving camera world.

"The viewfinder and XLR inputs alone are worth the extra costs. And let's face it - it looks a heck of a lot more professional. This can matter to clients."

Well, I said that too - if you know you'll get enough work based on having one of the more expensive cameras to justify the cost, of course it makes sense to buy them. But for indie film makers and small market guys, this isn't such a no brainer as it seems to be for LA based shooters.

And it's not as though I wouldn't like to see an XLR input on a DSLR or VG20 style camera, but coming from a film background, I'm used to a double system - and you can get totally pro results from the Zoom h4n for $200 - a revolution in itself.

"You don't think the FS100 or the AF100 are worth the cost? The solution is simple - don't buy them."

Exactly.
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