Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sony NEX-FS100... after shooting a feature on it...

I thought long and hard about what camera to use for shooting my latest feature 'The Addicted'. It had to be one of the new breed of large sensor cameras. I love my DSLRs, but i wasn't keen on the H.264 compression and the less than ideal workflows associated with it. The Panasonic AF100 was top of the list for a while, but it's low light performance let it down. The Sony F3 was always out of the price bracket...so when the FS100 came along... it was a pretty easy choice. As i've mentioned in previous posts...i used the Atomos Ninja to bypass the AVCHD onboard codec of the FS100.... huge bit rates are what i need for the grade not to fall apart.

Amy Wilson - Our fantastic Camera Op with the FS100

The FS100 with LED light and actor John Cusworth in the shot

Me and Amy lining up a shot. Ninja and LED light attached

So, what do think of the FS100 now i've been using it for nearly a month solid?

Here's some good and points...

  •  I love the form factor - it's very configurable and works for my way of shooting.
  • The screen is fantastic...very accurate and full of excellent information... such as:
  • Peaking... nice.
  • Zebras... much missed on DSLRs.
  • Histogram... very useful.
  • The viewfinder is very good. Shame it can't point down, but really very good.
  • The kits lens rocks! Ok, it's not fixed aperture and it only goes down to 3.5, but it's got a great IS system and as a run and gun lens, it's hard to beat.
  • Proper audio!!  I only use it for a guide track... but it's very good. 2x XLRs with phantom... :-)
  • Slo-Mo... it's full 1080p and at 50fps with a shutter speed of 100 it's very smooth.
  • The picture profiles are very cool. I use 2 custom set-ups...one for indoors, one for outdoors.
  • The battery life is great.
  • It's light...but pretty strong. Not a single issue with build quality.

  • HD-SDI would be nice... 
  • The cable on the handgrip is too short... if it was long it could control the Ninja when connected to the other side of the camera.
  • The 1/4 20 screw points on the top of the camera all obscure the screen folding back properly when you use them....annoying.
  • Fitting the battery is a bit of a faff...could be easier.
  • No 1920/1080 25p over HDMI.... (may be a HDMI standard thing...)
  • Slightly noisy mic and pre-amps.... it's perfectly usable though.
  • Noisy at +18db...which is fair enough... it's not perfect, but it's usable at +18db.
The only issue we had was that the battery charger died after only a couple of days... i'm still waiting to hear back from CVP about that. It would be nice if they replaced it quickly though.

The super 35mm sensor is crazy. It really looks amazing. There's no way anyone can compare DSLR footage to what the FS100 can capture onto something like the Ninja.

Wish list?

I'd love a case big enough for me to be able to slip the camera on it's rig, with the rails, mattebox, follow focus and Ninja attached straight into it. Breaking down the rig each time is very boring.

If anyone is looking for a large sensor camera to shoot an indie feature on...this is the one. I used all my old lenses on it using a bunch of adapters... and the footage is stunning. It really does need a mattebox to add ND filters and stop flares...(unless you want them... most people do these days...)

It'll be interesting to see if Canon can compete with the FS100 with whatever they have up their sleeve for this market sector.

1 comment:

  1. What brand matte-box is that? I didn't see it specified under your gear description.