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


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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:15 PM   #1
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kit lens

Other than the auto-focus is the kit lens any good?

I shoot mostly indoors in poorly lit rooms.

Is the auto focus very good given the narrow depth of field? With moving people (e.g dancers)?

Would I be better off spending the money on a non-Sony lens and give up the auto-focus altogether?

I'd like to buy the camera before the end of the year so I can take the cost off my taxes.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 01:30 PM   #2
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Re: kit lens

The OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) is extremely good. I use it for every handheld shot. The auto focus is very good in the correct situations. The ability to use the auto iris in certain situations is very smooth.

Overall, it's worth the price.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 02:21 PM   #3
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Re: kit lens

I'm not sure if it auto-focuses in the center of the frame, or if it uses "smarts" to figure out what to focus on. I was really spoiled by the 5D in being able to select a focus point, and as much as I bitched about the 5D, I miss certain features of it. I tend to agree with John that the auto focus works well sometimes, as well as autofocus ever works. Funny how I moved from BetaSP to BetaSX to XDCam to 5D, none of which ever even entertained auto-focus as a feature, and now auto-focus is this must-have deal everyone insists on. IMHO, especially if you are shooting dance, you would be well served to learn how to pull focus on your own. It's a skill that always works, and never goes out of style.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 02:38 PM   #4
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Re: kit lens

Mike, I am pretty good at pulling focus with traditional video cameras but with quickly moving people and a narrow DOF It gets tricky with a large sensor camera.. I am currently using a Canon with manual prime lenses for artistic video. It is great for b-roll but not for an event. The other concern I have is the aperture of the kit lens in lower light situations.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 11:27 PM   #5
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Re: kit lens

Even though the kit lens is slow, you can 'gain up' with almost no grain.
Obviously a faster lens is better in low light. However, at the wider
end of the kit lens, you are going to be MUCH better off in low light
than any traditional video camera I can think of. You can go up to
18db of gain with almost no grain penalty.....so the super 35 chip
actually more than compensates for the slow kit lens in my opinion.
I've shot in some pretty dark situations with the kit lens and it has
been much better than say an EX-1 in low light.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 09:35 AM   #6
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Re: kit lens

For what it's worth, my tests demonstrate that the kit lens at f8 is equal or slightly better than the EX1R lens at f2.8 in terms of depth of field.

The autofocus is okay, but be warned: there is no manual override. If the lens gets confused, you can't yank it back into focus. You have to specifically switch it to manual.

But in manual, another issue (which irritates me, YMMV) is that the focus is by a 'rotary servo' - the ring you twist to focus the lens isn't actually doing anything more than a 2 or 3 speed rocker switch to manipulate the focus. This makes manual control a real fiddle.

You may be better off using the 'Push Auto' button now and again.

Having said all that, it's a great lens and yes, the OIS is a godsend.

It's not the lens I want on an FS100 all the time, but I'm glad its in the bag - especially when you're going out to shoot with no idea WHAT you're going to shoot, which happens a lot in Event videography.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 11:49 AM   #7
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Re: kit lens

Thanks Matt this is very useful. My need for the autofocus is for event videography when I am using the camera as an unmanned camera shooting a wide shot. When focus is critical for an event I'd prefer to use one of my other cameras with less of a depth of field. I do plan on using the FS100 as my primary camera when the subject's movement is predictable (e.g. a lecture from a podium). I will most likely be using my prime lenses for those shoots as well.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 12:03 PM   #8
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Re: kit lens

The FS100 with kit lens on wide as a 'reverse angle' is great.

The issue is that, with a speaker who 'wanders', you're always having to adjust the focus. Even with an EX1, it can be a pain.

Another thing to watch out for is that the FS100 LCD panel is pretty much useless if the camera is above your eye line (and over everyone else's heads). You'll need a separate panel or EVF. I'm using the Zacuto EVF as I like its peaking that works with low light and low contrast levels better than the built-in 'red splodge' peaking of the FS100.

With the FS100 and Kit Lens as the reverse or locked off wide, you're still able to do that naughty 'lets edit in 1280x720 or 604x360 and do a pan/scan on the locked off shot' and get away with it thanks to the low noise in its blacks and good performance of the kit lens stopped down to f8.

I still like an EX1 with panel EVF and a remote zoom when following a speaker, but the FS100 and kit lens is still a viable option!
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Old December 19th, 2011, 01:05 PM   #9
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Re: kit lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Davis View Post
The autofocus is okay, but be warned: there is no manual override. If the lens gets confused, you can't yank it back into focus. You have to specifically switch it to manual.
This is a very painful aspect of this lens.
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