Sunday, June 05, 2011

Sony NEX-FS100 News

The Sony NEX-FS100 has been landing in several lucky people's hands this week. More than a few New England people are expecting to take delivery of theirs on Monday. More videos are turning up on the web too. Here's a recap of the latest news and videos:

Camera Review
CVP Television has posted their video "review" of the camera, which shows layout and operation and how the viewfinder works. It's really more a demonstration of how the camera is operated than a review.

Note that more than a few people think that you will want to get something like the Zacuto EVF to work with the camera. Yes, the camera does seem to be covered in buttons!

They think that even though the lens is slow, it's still possible to get good shallow depth-of-field shots with the lens, and the sensitivity of the camera is such that the comparatively slow lens isn't a problem...
YouTube: Sony NEX-FS100 Review

The NEX-FS100 does 4:4:4
Thaddeus Setla went to the Cine Gear Expo show (that's going on in LA this weekend) to check out the NEX-FS100 as he already has three on order. He also wanted to confirm - in person - that the camera does indeed do 4:4:4 out. Which it does, though the next problem is; what do you record 4:4:4 RGB onto? The Ninja, for example, only does 4:2:2.
SetaFilms: Report from CineGear – FS100 does 4:4:4

Holga Lens
If you're looking for some interesting lens options, there's a Helga NEX mount lens available from some sellers on eBay. Sony Alpha Rumors has the details: New Holga lens for NEX

Low Light Performance
User "cheezweezl" at DVXUser has posted a clip that was shot at 30db in very minimal light; the light source was a streetlight about 30 feet away. The lens used was a 50mm f1.8.
DVXUser: 30db night footage noiseless

Video Samples
Rick Darge posted another short clip with a variety of material: VimeoSony FS100 - Mixed bag of shots

Matthew Thomas has posted a short video that's a quick and non-scientific test for dynamic range in heavily white balanced, dark light, comparing the NEX-FS100, Canon 5D and Panasonic GH2 A
The FS100 was at 9dB gain with f4.5 since the 18-200mm only goes down to f4.5 at 18mm. The other cameras were at 2500 at f4. I matched the cameras in the histograms, not by metrics. From that, you can infer that the Sony is more sensitive than its metric ratings indicate. [...]

I should add that this morning I noticed that the FS100 is recording additional detail into SuperWhite. There is detail all the way up to 109%, but when I exported this, I didn't drop the gain for that particular clip. This brings the highlight control back into the range of the 5D, which is very good.
He's also added an outdoor comparison.
Vimeo: High ISO Test for Dynamic Range
VimeoFS100 5D GH2 Outdoor Dynamic Range Test - includes ProResHQ HDMI captures

Looking for a fast lens?
Samyang makes a variety of lenses that are sold under different names in the U.S. and Europe. These lenses are priced quite a bit lower than comparable lenses from the big name companies, yet they do pretty well in reviews.

They offer a 35mm f/1.4 with a Sony Alpha mount which is being sold under the Rokinon name at Amazon for just under $500. Just get the Sony Alpha/Nex adapter [$149.45] and you're all set to use it on the NEX-FS100!
  • Aperture range: F/1.4~22
  • Optical Construction: 12 elements in 10 groups
  • Filter Size: 77mm
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 1 foot (0.3 meters)
AmazonRokinon 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Sony Cameras

Alternatively, you could go for the Nikon 35mm f1.4 (with an adapter):
B & H: Nikon Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 AIS Manual Focus Lens [$1,099.95]

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