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


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Old October 8th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #1
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FS100 let me down big time

This is not a dig for owners of this camera but as one who had to rent one last Friday for a shoot I must say I was sadly disappointed in the camera for a few reasons.

1) My client requested that I provide ProRes files at the completion of the shoot. We have done this for him with other formats as SOP. We use a digital recorder to do this so the file transcoding is done in read time. In this case, the rental house supplied a KiPro Mini for the task. Shoot was to be 30P... again SOP for this client.

Problem One: the FS100 would not output 30P from the (only available HD) HDMI connector. For some reason it was doing a cross-convert to 60P. The KiPro's will not accept 60P. Therefore, no transcoding could be done from the camera. Files had to be converted from the camera memory cards using software. Client was not pleased.

2) I posted a question on this site on Thursday about getting a down-converted SD output from this camera. Was told this was possible... and it was, in fact. Problem was/is the camera cannot supply an SD down-convert from the phono connector AND an HD output from the HDMI at the same time. You had to unplug the the HDMI from the back of the camera to get the phono to output an SD signal.

What's up with that?

To add to the strangeness of all this, we fed BOTH the HDMI HD and the composite SD to the Panny LCD monitor at the client's table and we could switch between HD and SD on the monitor panel fine... but try to use two monitors, one getting HD and the other getting SD and no dice. This is just nuts.

Sony you really blew it this time.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 11:20 AM   #2
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

#1. Recording in 30p on the Ki Pro is possible when you set the HDMI output of the FS100 to 60i and the Ki Pro input to 29.97psf.

To answer your #2 observation. The FS100 has only one video encoder. It is not capable of delivering a HD and SD signal simultaneously. For that function you need to rent a F3. The F3 has 2 video encoders and can supply 2 different video signals simultaneously. If the question about the SD downconvert had been framed within the proper context of the application that limitation would certainly have been pointed out.

The HDMI port has priority. If you connect a monitor to the HDMI port it will take over the output of the camera.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #3
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

As to recording 30p from the FS100, the tech wizards at AJA were not able to figure that out apparently because they never offered that up as a solution even after almost a half hour on the phone with them and a call back an hour later after they tried to make it work in their lab.

All I can say is you replied to that question on the down-convert three times that day and not once did you mention that important limitation.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

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Originally Posted by George Odell View Post
As to recording 30p from the FS100, the tech wizards at AJA were not able to figure that out apparently because they never offered that up as a solution even after almost a half hour on the phone with them and a call back an hour later after they tried to make it work in their lab.

All I can say is you replied to that question on the down-convert three times that day and not once did you mention that important limitation.
I can certainly understand the frustration issues like those cause during a shoot. I can't comment about why the right combination of settings wasn't attainable from AJA.

I hope you can see that its not possible for any of us offering free tech advice to understand your application if the application is not presented in your post. In the future any info you can offer that can help us understand your application will net you a more comprehensive answer. There was no attempt on my part to withhold anything. I worked to answer the question that was presented. If anywhere you eluded to needing more than one resolution simultaneously from the camera that limitation would have been immediately communicated.

I apologize if you feel that I didn't offer you a complete answer.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

No need to apologize. Your help was indeed appreciated.

Yes, it was a frustrating shoot made more so by the limitations of this much-touted Super 35mm camera.

I consider the matter now closed.

So many formats... so little time.

George
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Old October 8th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

The requirement to output 30p as 60i PSF over HDMI is not unique to the FS100. In camera support for 1080 PSF over HDMI is pretty much universal while support for 30p is less wide spread. Many HDTV's and monitors require 30p sent as 60i PsF and do not recognise 30p. 25p and 30p are not even included in the specifications for HDSDI, 50i/60i PsF is the norm and the FS100 like the majority of pro cameras follows this convention.

This is not a case of the camera letting you down, it wasn't broken or doing anything unusual and it's unfair to blame the camera for your problems.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 03:31 AM   #7
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

Shouldn't the rental house know how to get the camera and recorder to work together?
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Old October 10th, 2012, 07:51 AM   #8
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

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This is not a case of the camera letting you down, it wasn't broken or doing anything unusual and it's unfair to blame the camera for your problems.
If I was doing an important shoot for a client with a camera I never shot with I would rent it first to test if it did what I expect from it. Like Alister said, there is nothing wrong with the camera, you just choose the wrong camera for the job.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 08:14 AM   #9
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

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Sony you really blew it this time.
it wasn't Sony
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Old October 10th, 2012, 10:29 PM   #10
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

The issue with 60i over 60psf may be the same problem I had with the KiPro in PAlland.

The EDID handshake between the FS100 and KiPro HDMI would have the KiPro win and use 50i when I wanted 50psf.

I purchased the PIX220 ProRes recorder instead, and this has proved faultless in all forms of PSF from the FS100 - in fact, the ProRes files are proper 'progressive' rather than PSF.

In this instance, I don't think it was the FS100 at fault here. All KiPro 1080 material seems to be forced into interlace, and the FS100 simply obliges and gives the AJA what it wants. Yet, I reiterate, the Pix is absolutely fine.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 01:06 PM   #11
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
If I was doing an important shoot for a client with a camera I never shot with I would rent it first to test if it did what I expect from it. Like Alister said, there is nothing wrong with the camera, you just choose the wrong camera for the job.
Agreed. let this be a lesson for any new camera system. With all the competition and different options out there you have to do your homework. And it does take time to get all the facts. And testing as well.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 06:17 PM   #12
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

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The issue with 60i over 60psf may be the same problem ...........

.............. and use 50i when I wanted 50psf.
Can I make a plea for everybody to use the correct terminology.........?

That may sound pedantic, but whilst you all may know what you're fundamentally doing, differing terminology can cause big problems to new people.

The situation wasn't helped by a change in the official nomenclature some years ago to always talk about framerates - and not fieldrates for interlace systems. So 60i became i30 - same system. It takes a long time for old habits to die, but at least 60i does mean something, even if it's old terminology.

That can't be said about 60psf or 50psf - there is no such thing and never has been. Relevant systems are 1080psf/30, 1080psf/25 and 1080psf/24. 30psf means "30p carried over 30i" (or 60i if you must).

It's worth being clear exactly what psf is. Using European HD systems we're referring to sending 1080p/25 via a 1080i/25 path - key point is that the lines get reordered, but it's possible to EXACTLY reconstruct the original 25p signal.

So please can we forget about fieldrates, at least for system terminology? If we always use FRAMErate coupled with p, psf, or i a lot of ambiguity goes away.
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Old October 12th, 2012, 02:58 AM   #13
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

Good reminder David and I agree with everything you say, but it is a bit like swimming up stream in a flood. 50i 60i are so ingrained in everything you read and hear that when you start talking about 1080i25 people aren't sure what it is. It's like trying to stop people from calling all vacuum cleaners "hoovers".
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Old October 12th, 2012, 03:32 AM   #14
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

Quite true, but hopefully the flood waters are beginning to subside. :-) Even for quite a while after the standards bodies recommended the change, it was common for the old terminology to be the norm, even in menus within broadcast spec gear. But it does seem to be changing now, and ever so gradually the old terminology is now being eased out. Eventually 50i will go the way of "50 cycles per second". (He says, showing his age. :-) )

I also make a distinction between talking about 50i and 60i - which are true standards, but old style terminology - and things like "50psf" which has never been a valid reference. The number associated with psf has ALWAYS referred to framerate.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 04:19 AM   #15
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Re: FS100 let me down big time

David, I hereby shall refer to 25psf and 50i. Good call.

As for vacuums - I hope we're pronouncing it vac-you-um, not vac-yoom (as in the space-time 'continyoom')... But in regards to the OP I still point the finger at AJA with a 'J'accuse' though.
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