Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A little bit of Sony NEX-FS100 News

(have to keep my hand in.)

Philip Jonhston at HD Warrior got to interview Sony UK Product manager Bill Drummond about the camera. Philip makes it clear that he would have preferred Sony produce something like the HXR-NX5u (or a PMW-F1.5 as he describes it) rather than something that's shaped like a DSLR, and through on a PL-mount. Interestingly, Bill describes the NEX-FS100 as an outgrowth of the NEX-VG10, defends the E-mount - you can get an A-mount adapter - and says HDMI is becoming "more professional every day." He also says that the NEX-FS100 has manual gain from 0dB-30dB in steps of 3dBs.
We’re on a journey and we’ve been speaking to film makers for many many years in terms of what their requirements are and we take feedback from a wide range of different sources and I take your comment about the F1.5. If there is enough demand in the market we will make many different types of product for many different types of customers.
HDWarrior: SONY and the FS100 “Exclusive interview with Bill Drummond”

Comparing the Panasonic AG-AF100 and Sony NEX-FS100
A thread on the forum is supposedly comparing these two cameras, though most of it focuses on the NEX-FS100; seems like the lack of internal ND filters is the biggest complaint.
DVInfo: FS100 vs AF100

Why no ND Filter?
Which raises the question: why wasn't this included? One theory was that the E-mount didn't provide enough space to do it, though a second theory gaining traction is that the shape of the camera itself didn't provide enough space for them...

More from Andy Shipsides on the camera
Andy from Abel Cine previously posted a video about the NEX-FS100, and he has added some comments to the DVInfo thread (listed above):
Nigel [Cooper] makes some good points in his review about the body design and accessories, but they don't bother me because of the way I would use it. It would be pressed up to me like a Hasselblad, on sticks, or on a shoulder rig like an HDSLR. Also the accessories can be removed if you don't like them. I can understand the lack of ND being a problem for some. Who wants to buy a set of ND filters? I know Tiffen will be happy. As far as the buttons are concerned, I think you just need to feel the camera and see if it works for you. I know many DPs with fat fingers, and no one wants to use a dialing wand.

Really it comes down to image quality and the FS100 has a lot going for it in that way. Nigel says the image quality isn't as good as an EX1 or 3, which is true in terms of lines on a chart. But in terms of noise the sensor is much much cleaner, the same as the F3. And their are obvious advantages to the large sensor in terms of DOF.
DVInfo: FS100 vs AF100 Post # 11
CineTechnica: Sony’s New NXCAM Super 35 FS100

Another opinion
Dan Bruns, Associate Editor at Videomaker, provides his own inital impressions of the camera:
One of the most interesting features on the NXCAM was the ability to overcrank and undercrank footage while shooting in any frame rate. This means it's possible to capture footage with 24fps timecode, while shooting from one to 60 frames per second. We were able to test this feature and found that the quality of the overcranked 60fps footage in a 24fps timecode looked as good as slow motion on the show Time Warp.
Another very handy feature was being able to select either auto or manual modes for audio gain on the top of the camera body as well as a switch to give phantom power to one or both of the XLR inputs. Sony also included a switch that allows shooters to monitor either channel one only, both channels, or channel two only in order to make it easy to know what audio the operator is listening to.
Videomaker: New Gear: A Videomaker Exclusive "First Look" with Sony's NXCAM Super 35mm Camcorder

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