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


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Old June 19th, 2014, 03:58 AM   #1
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FS100 compared to A77

Since the FS100 second hand is becoming a feasible option pricewise, I wonder whether it is worth looking after for an A77 owner doing all sorts of allround non-paid amateur stuff :-) .

So it is a question for owners of both the cameras I guess.
I see a lot of videos on vimeo with the fs100, but it is always hard to judge since I don't get into contact with what comes out of the camera.
I like the A77 with the 16-50. but i am always a bit turned off by the lack of crispiness. especially outdoors. And it is quite hard to polish it in post.

So, aside from the obvious differences in handling and all that stuff:
How different is the IQ really from the A77. Is it better by miles or just a tad or...

I would love to put all my non sony lenses on something like the fs100.
But then, it might be better to await further options seeing something like the A7s e.g...
thks for any advice/comment!
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Old June 19th, 2014, 11:52 AM   #2
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

I own an FS100 and I'd suggest waiting to see some more reports on the A7S before buying - but it's worth considering. As it is, the FS100 is significantly better than the A77 simply due to the A77's reliance on line-skipping the sensor in video mode. (I own both those cameras as well as an RX100M2 and an A7R.) The A7S may produce an equal, if not better image than the FS100 (and of course, the A7S is 4k upgradable and has slo-mo... the FS100 does not.)

I'm personally looking forward to a DSLT or video camera version of the A7S. Sony being Sony I think that's all but guaranteed to follow later this year (even as a FS100 replacement possibly... though that may not happen until NAB next year.)
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Old June 20th, 2014, 04:13 AM   #3
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

Thks for your comment Ryan.

You are correct, I am not in a hurry, so there is time to wait and see.
Compared to the A7s, one of the big plusses on the FS100 is audio (amongst other).

More futureproof video solutions (incorporating 4k e.g.) are (fs700) and will be to expensive for my budget though. And I can't help but wondering how relevant 4k is to an amateur. Even in a couple of years to come.
At this moment I would just be really happy to leave the ugly line skipping of the A77 behind. And had high hopes for the A77 II. Nopes..

I consider the pricepoint for a second hand fs100 to be comparable to what film medium format cameras became to advance hobby photographers. Affordable and it can give years of pleasure filming quality with it. Even if it remains restricted to 2k.

Guess I am trying to build myself a case for an fs100 :-)
But I think I'll hang on to you suggestion and show a bit of patience. In the mean time, more fs100's will come on the market and price will go down further anyhow.

Below is a link to something I filmed recently. A lot of open landscapes.
It came out pretty nice and I still think the A77 is a great cam, but I can't help wondering how this would have looked like with an fs100... :-)

https://vimeo.com/86137396
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Old June 20th, 2014, 08:57 AM   #4
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

Christophe,

While I don't shoot with an A77, I have worked with my FS100 for over a year now and I have to say that I am still in awe of the images I consistantly get out of it. I have been researching the acquisition of an A7 as a replacement for an aging NEX 7 as my B camera match for my FS100. I had considered selling the FS100 and just relying on the A7 as my workhorse camera but just a few weeks ago I had an incident that changed my mind. While doing a multi cam shoot at a live musical stage event, my NEX 7 overheated several times during the 2.5 hour performance. The NEX 7 was being used as a hand held for cutaway close ups with the longest record times being about 60 seconds. Sometime around the middle of act II the residual heat was too much and the camera shut down for about 5 minutes. It did this every 5 minutes or so for the rest of the performance. I can't tell you how many great shots we missed because of this.
I only mention this because the FS100 shot the whole show without incident and the footage was gorgeous. Overheating will always be a problem with small bodied cameras. If you don't need to shoot continuously for hours at a time or if you don't mind having to have all of your audio running into your camera through a 1/8" jack, then you might consider an A7 or A7R rig. You will spend about the same $ or maybe even a little less than the FS100 used. Whichever way you go, I suspect you will be thrilled with the improvement in the IQ over the A77. I am not certain of this but I suspect the A77 footage is comparable to the NEX 7. Both ASP-C sensors at 24MP shooting 1080/60. For me, the NEX 7 footage doesn't hold up in post nearly as well as the FS100 footage. Bottom line... If I didn't already own the FS100, I probably would buy the A7 and components to set it up for video shooting.
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Old June 20th, 2014, 11:50 AM   #5
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

The NEX 7 had (has) major issues with overheating (I bought and returned it) and it unusable professionally for that reason above all others. And, in spite of some other reports, the overheating has nothing to do with ambient temperature nor the memory card you're using.

I haven't had the A7R overheat at all... and as a B-cam it's great. However, there's no way I can rely on a line-skipped sensor as my A-cam and hope to be taken seriously by my current clients. For that reason I'll continue holding on to my FS100 - Which is overdue for service (battery latch sticks, lens mount is wobbly, mic handle lost its set screw, etc.) but hasn't had enough downtime to accommodate Sony's leisurely turn-around schedule. ;)
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Last edited by Ryan Douthit; June 20th, 2014 at 12:25 PM.
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Old June 20th, 2014, 11:55 AM   #6
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

Isn't Iceland great? I was just there myself.

Iceland in the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Filmed with an FS100, RX-100Mk2 (all the airplane scenes), and an FS700. (and several GoPros)
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Old June 20th, 2014, 01:55 PM   #7
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

Cool!!

I'll need to have a closer look on my big screen (currently rendering...)
so I'll postpone looking at the whole thing.
Speaking of comparing...! :-)

@Joe: thks for your experience: I understood from various sources that the A77 is even slightly worse than the nex 7. Don't know whether that's true or not. But overall, your comment seems to imply I ought to start saving no matter what... :-)

But I think the point is really made. I already saw quite a gap on my mediocre laptop screen between how my A77 resolves detail and Ryans' movie. And you seem to imply that the A7r does not even reach fs100 quality.

Just put yourself in my place now. The short I posted is only a part of all the material I have. Seeing Ryans doc (which is ofcourse professionally shot & edited), this is exactly why i'd wish for a sensor that resolves more detail. It gives an immediate boost. Seems to me the A77 would be hardly usable professionally?! At current prices the fs100 seems worth it for a hobbyist. Or A7s... Still unsure how the whole 4k fits in though. I feel I could leave it out of the equation. For what I do, I am only interested in shooting crisp images. The short I posted, hurts my eyes every time I look at it, no matter that friends tell me it's great.
The fact that this is just for hobby, doesn't make the image any cleaner..

My question was, what increase to expect if I would get into an fs100. I'll check out the whole video and I guess I will know.
Nice coincidence that it was shot in iceland :-)
I'll come back on it when I got the chance to watch it completely...
ths sofar
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Old June 20th, 2014, 05:00 PM   #8
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christophe Gryspeert View Post
Cool!!



@Joe: thks for your experience: I understood from various sources that the A77 is even slightly worse than the nex 7. Don't know whether that's true or not. But overall, your comment seems to imply I ought to start saving no matter what... :-)
But I think the point is really made. I already saw quite a gap on my mediocre laptop screen between how my A77 resolves detail and Ryans' movie. And you seem to imply that the A7r does not even reach fs100 quality.
Christophe,

It was not my intention to imply that the FS100 had a superior IQ to the A7 or A7R. In fact, I do not know but I suspect in the right hands, the FS100 and A7 / A7R could produce equally stunning images. Ryan has both cameras and can better speak to the difference in IQ between the cameras. In your case, from what I infer from your posts and your video, that you may be better suited to using the A7 or A7R. You are already used to working with a DSLR style of shooting and audio inputs are not that critical to the kind of documentary/ travelogue you seem to be interested in doing. The FS100 is a great camera but it is aging technology. If I were buying a camera today, it would be the A7 or A7R. Joe

PS: I was actually comparing the FS100 to the NEX 7 which doesn't have a nice an image as the FS100.

Last edited by Joe Holt; June 20th, 2014 at 05:04 PM. Reason: Left something out
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Old June 20th, 2014, 05:46 PM   #9
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

Joe,

Where I said that you implied the A7r to perform a bit less than the fs100, I was actually referring to a comment Ryan made in saying that the A7r still does line skipping compared to the fs100 and he uses the A7r as B-cam only.

You make me thinking about the A7(s..) though. It would indeed suit my style and it's newer technology.
4k option (whether i'd use that or not) and similar pricewise.
It is also easier on travel, takes photos(!) and takes all my non-sony lenses as well as the fs100.
Definitely an option.

the fs100 appeals to me because of the audio inputs thus being a complete package. I also do other things besides the travelogue. But i guess I will need to decide how big an issue separate audio recording is to me going forward.
thks
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Old June 20th, 2014, 08:06 PM   #10
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

The FS100 does indeed produce a better video picture then the A77/A7/A7R. I would expect that the A7S would be equal or better than the FS100 when it comes to video (and all the samples I've seen so far bear this out.)

Here's a doc I produced a couple years ago on nothing more than an A77, the 2.8 kit lens and a Tamron 70-200 (the old crappy one.) Due to broadcast agreements a login is required to view it, but to register is free - if you so desire. You can also watch it on the free Driving Sports TV Roku Channel if you want to see it on the big screen.The same login works both on the web and Roku.

Grassroots Rally Team Races Against Odds at Olympus - Subiesport

This next episode is interesting because it features a "BRZ Across the UK" segment that was also shot on the A77 with the kit lens whereas the Lexus GS450h segment was shot entirely on a NEX7 with Canon FD lenses, iirc (I like to play with cameras as you can tell.) So far this episode has been broadcast by the largest Automotive channel in Russia, the only auto channel in South Africa and some regional channels in the USA.

Driving Sports #113: Britain in the BRZ | Driving Sports TV

The point I guess I'm trying to make is that the camera isn't nearly as important as knowing how to use what you have. That said, if Sony comes out with an A99 body (mk2) that can produce an image as good or better than the FS100 with the ability to shoot a full day with a couple batteries I'll buy it... pretty much immediately and my FS100 will hit eBay. I really enjoy shooting with the DSLR form-factor and I travel quite a lot. The FS100 is just a little too large to be convenient on small planes. The A7S is tempting... but battery life may be a killer. I'm holding out to see some more reports on it first.
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Old June 21st, 2014, 09:02 AM   #11
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

I checked out those videos Ryan.
Loved the extreme slomo footage. Probably fs700. If the A7s can do that, it's definitely a selling point.
There were a couple of wide landscape scenes in the Subaru Crosstrek movie that i could compare to the ones I have. its +10 for whatever fsxxx was used.
The RX100 was quite impressive too!

Now, looking at the other (A77) videos, unlike my footage, you are putting in quite some close ups.
Which help hiding the fact that wide landscape scenes are missing sharpness compared to the fs100.
In the first part I posted (southcoast), I didn't shoot a lot of close ups. the further we travelled the more close ups I shot. So my second (& third) video might hurt my eyes less.
I see your point on how the handling can make a difference.

Then I come back to audio. Knowing how windy iceland gets, the audio while interviewing is quite good.
Did you just put the mics in the xlr connector of the fs100(700)?
that was my initial thinking (on top of the IQ) and reason I'd dare to go the fs100 route...
What a problem :-)

ps: nice videos to watch. even while having no interest in cars...
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Old June 21st, 2014, 11:50 AM   #12
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

Thanks for watching. All the "sunny day" shots up-from in the Iceland video were done with the FS700 (or a GoPro on a Phantom Quad). I flew in on the crummy day and that is were the FS100 footage starts.

Yes, for sound I used a Sennheiser Shotgun with a dead cat on the FS100, but you could do the same with an A7S/A7 and the XLR adaptor.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 02:59 AM   #13
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

hm,
I did the math on this. By the time I'm done with the A7s, i can almost buy a used fs100 twice.
the separate xlr adapter + batteries alone are an issue. Or i'd have to go with a cheaper audio alternative.

I did get my hands on some native footage from the A7s. Very nice indeed. Far better resolving than my A77.

I think I'll try to get the fs100 out of my mind for a while, see how the A7s evolves pricewise or other options that become available, and focus on my editing skills... :-) Maybe there are ways to sharpen the images I haven't found yet. I only do post in premiere btw.. any tips are welcome.
thks
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Old June 30th, 2014, 10:24 PM   #14
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

The nice thing about the A7S is that it's also 4k upgradable, kind of like the FS700, whereas the FS100 is not. In fact, my A7S should arrive on Wednesday this week. I'll be putting my FS100 up for sale soon.
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Old July 1st, 2014, 03:05 AM   #15
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Re: FS100 compared to A77

I wonder if the 4k option would ever be used by me. It would probably mean i have to upgrade my editing hardware as well.
Advantage of the A7s for me seems more portability, S-log & as Joe pointed out, simply newer technology and the slow motion (I believe only at 720p but still..)

Still, I have to avoid looking at fs100 footage :-)

And my second part on Iceland is almost done. It actually looks better & sharper. The further we travelled, the more I played with foreground/background & focus/defocus. That is something the A77 does quite well.

Let us know your impression on A7s..
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