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


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Old October 18th, 2012, 04:21 AM   #1
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Peaking=focus?..not necessarily

Hi there

I've been using the FS100 a fair bit over the past couple of weeks mainly with the 18-200 lens it came with and Ive learnt the hard way that just because there is some peaking lines showing up, it doesnt mean it's necessarily in focus (unlike my EX1).

Ive also learnt that the 18-200 lens isnt parfocal in that if I zoom in to focus and then back out again to shoot, I need to re-adjust my focus slightly to make sure the focus isnt soft. I have the SAL16-50 too and suspect the same re-focus is required.

Ive been doing lots of interviews with it and was a bit concerned when some of the interviews looked soft when I got them onto a large screen. It would seem I get this when I zoom in and focus using peaking, then zoom out to frame the shot and dont re-adjust focus. If I zoom out and re-adjust the focus to ensure Im getting maximum peaking color the shot will be good.

Being so used to shooting with the EX1, Im finding the FS100 is a very different kettle of fish to work with. Id suggest for 'run and gun' when there's action happening thats not waiting for me, the EX1 will still get the gig although I have used the FS100 hand held. To be honest Im struggling with the focusing and the shot reframing with the fs100 when using handheld. It feels too awkward for me and too many of my handheld shots are missing the mark focus wise. Might be a 'getting used to it' thing.

What I am enjoying is using the FS100 with a slider and a cheap plastic matte box that allows the lens to zoom in and out. Feels very cinematic and this setup is great for lots of shots where there's time to set up a shot. Ive attached a picture of my setup. Im not using a follow focus cos the gears seem to restrict my ability to focus (too much turning!)

Cheers

Jamie
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Peaking=focus?..not necessarily-fs100.jpg  
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 12:47 PM   #2
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Re: Peaking=focus?..not necessarily

This is true with most still camera lenses. If you've been accustomed to shooting with broadcast or fixed lens cameras, you can't zoom in, focus, then recompose as you we did with those cameras. You have to focus at the focal length you want to use. That's why they have the expanded focus button on the side (which in case you haven't installed the 2.0 firmware upgrade yet, now does 4x and 8x, about like the 5DII button--a welcome upgrade for sure). So far about the only thing I can criticize on the FS100 is the location of that button. Guess I'll get used to it.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 03:35 PM   #3
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Re: Peaking=focus?..not necessarily

If you set the peaking to it's lowest level it helps you get focus pretty close and then you can use the expanded focus to check / adjust as necessary. Doing it in this order increases your chances of having a usable shot for longer which may be helpful if you are doing weddings or other run n' gun work where every second counts.

A good external monitor can be useful too if budget allows.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 05:11 PM   #4
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Re: Peaking=focus?..not necessarily

Yes Ive made friends with the FS100 'expanded focus' button which i rarely use on the EX1.

I think Im getting my head around how to get the best out of this camera now!
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Old October 24th, 2012, 11:33 AM   #5
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Re: Peaking=focus?..not necessarily

Some still camera lenses will hold focus from zoomed in to zoomed out, though most don't. My Canon 24-105 seems to do so OK, but I still wouldn't trust it at every focal length and every aperture. Zooming in to get critical focus was a difficult habit to break for me when I moved away from broadcast cameras.
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