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Red Giant Color Suite, with Magic Bullet Looks 2.5 and Colorista II

  • Sony Alpha a7S Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
    Sony Alpha a7S Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
    Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
  • TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
    TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
  • The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    by Stu Maschwitz

Sony NEX FS100

I think Sony may have just made the ultimate DV Rebel camcorder. Check out this video from Hangman Studios and F-Stop Academy:

Price for the body is rumored to be in the $4,500 range.

Reader Comments (16)

Clearly, Nigel is comparing it more to a video camcorder than a DSLR. Of course this makes you grumpy. He likes his typical video features, we like the big sensor, clean HDMI out (with timecode) and XLR inputs. With the rest of his dislikes we can surely live.

What I don't get, however, is why on earth Sony would send out this pre-production model with a slow lens like that. If shallow DoF is something you want to sell, why not provide a set of fast lenses to those who get to review it. At least Den Lennie took the effort to complement the camera with somewhat faster glass.

Still I think I am going to wait what Canon brings to the table. Then again, if they decide to prolong the launch of the 5D mark III for much longer (or a model where their video dept finally meets the DSLR), I may be tempted. Sounds like an ideal camera when shooting interviews, as I hate the audio sync process in post...

March 23, 2011 | Registered CommenterRichard

I'm not sure it's the "ultimate DV Rebel" quite yet - interesting, yes but the price and glass options are a bit mixed. That was a grumpy review of pre-production. I would like to see what others make of it and get a chance to play with it myself. But for now, I'm holding onto my 7D and see what else is coming from Canon, Nikon and perhaps and unexpected other party.

March 23, 2011 | Registered Commentertest

Important note: The Ultimate DV Rebel Camera, by definition, exists.

March 23, 2011 | Registered CommenterStu

I disagree with that "glass options are a bit mixed" statement: nearly anything can be mounted on a NEX E mount, with a dumb adapter (though the lenses that only have electronic control over aperture will be stuck wide open unless you trick them using a secondary camera, which is not something you want to be doing regularly)

even some micro 4/3 lenses will work (the ones that cover the full APS-C sensor, which I guess means most of them, since it's not that much bigger than m4/3); I want to see a voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 mounted on this puppy; I'm counting on Mr. DoF Fetishist to try this out

March 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterSamuel H

Unless I'm doing my calculations wrong, I actually like the DoF that this lens will give on a Super35mm sensor.

50mm at 6.4, with the subject 100cm away gives a DoF of 12cm according to

For me, this level of DoF sounds perfect. I'm looking (finally) to upgrade from my old DVX100B, and I'm still shooting at quite an amateur level. I want shallower DoF but I specifically don't want to be dealing with all the focus headaches that really shallow DoF will bring.

March 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterSam Stickland

@Stu - I agree completely having owned two DVX100s (original model the first week it shipped in the US and then an A model). I replaced that with an HV30 and now I shoot with the 7D which at least for me is the current holder of that crown. I'm well aware of the 7D's flaws, but I still waiting for the new king. It's possible this might be it but I'm not sure yet and want to see what is coming in the near term over the next few months.

March 24, 2011 | Registered Commentertest

Stupid price.

Stupid 1080.

A mans camera would cost £2k and shoot 2k. Ok!

March 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterAdam Comiskey

So Stu, does this mean that the : "Important note: The Ultimate DV Rebel Camera, by definition, exists" really does exist? You have one? I was trying to find where you kept your definitions of this camera, but all I got retardorable...


March 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterLaurence Zankowski

What about the new Panasonic AG-AF100 or 102 as it's known here Downunder. Saw one of these a few weeks back and had it on my hit list till I saw this review of the new Sony alternative. Have always been a Sony man but now I don't know?

March 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterGraham Kelly

What I think I liked bets of this camera is the enhanced audio and having XLR inputs to a camera that needed that with the 5D. The image quality speaks for itself and the form factor is great. If the price stays where you are saying it could very well change how I purchase my next cameras...

March 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterThaddeus Setla

I had a full rundown on the camera today at Sony, while im yet to actually get it in the hand, the big picture is that this is a VERY impressive camera. 60P without bumping down to 720P is impressive and 4:2:2 via clean output to 'HDMI with timecode' is an interesting option. Was a bit meh on this camera till i really got the full story.

We'll go though it in detail in the next The RC Podcast.. sorry to plug Stu :-)

March 25, 2011 | Registered CommenterJason Wingrove

Wow that is a grumpy review. . .

"The Panasonic AF101 also has lots of features and functions that are a necessity to the serious filmmaker, such as HD/SDI out, a decent ND filter wheel, two card slots, an LCD screen and a separate electronic viewfinder, to name a few."

Necessary? Uh huh... I am so sick of this "serious filmmaker" attitude. That is the last person I would ever want to work with, the "Serious Filmmaker". I am sorry I won't be able to shoot with this camera today, there aren't enough buttons and cables coming out of it, when I press this button here, it doesn't have the solid feel I would expect, so the shoot is off. If you can't work around these "limitations" you are the last person I want to be involved with.

Put a wobbly/jello iPhone 4 in the hands of a creative person and they will make something much more interesting than the "Serious Filmmaker". Working around limitations is half of the fun. Having a target for what you want your final product to be, and see if you can be challenged to hit them.

Great overview from F-Stop though...

Sounds like a great camera to me. The format seems perfectly adequate for this price range and I would imagine there really aren't a lot of image quality issues with an actual 1920x1080 sensor that I assume this camera has. People bitch about the format, but with DSLRs I think that is really not where any image quality issues are coming from.

Good stuff!

March 25, 2011 | Registered CommenterAndrew Hake

I think the Big "grumpy review" should be entitled... "battle tested" professional opinion...

Nigel states the resolution and picture quality exceeds that of the AF100, but the camera kit build is not up to snuff and further elaborates on Dvxuser... Den on the other hand simply gives a commercial for Sony- so why assault Nigel? Because he's not a pitch man?

What good is a glowing review on IQ and 4:2:2 when they hobble a decent CMOS chip with a poor lens choice in the kit, inferior output connector and codec and bit depth, no ND filter wheel, and poor build quality?

Sony consciously made these choices to invest in different form factor instead of giving you basic functionality to even match that of the EX-1....

I think Stu of all people should say not good enough, time to grow up Sony ...

March 25, 2011 | Registered CommenterNick D

Hi folks

Thought I'd just say Hi.

Great that there's a debate growing. I'm very pleased that we have so many wonderful tools now available to tell stories with.

I'd just like to clarify a few points for the avoidance of doubt.

Sony did not pay James or I to produce "Vertigo" we funded production ourselves. We put it together very last minute because we wanted to push the camera using largely available light (other than a couple of dedo's) And we wanted to create a narrative of sorts. We shot 6 locations and had less than 36 hrs with the camera from unboxing to handing back.

The images are clean and the noise when visible is very clean also. This camera is not supposed to 'kill' anything nor compete with dslrs in my view. I make this quite clear in my video blog. I'd also like to clarify that the opinions expressed in my video blog are genuine responses to shooting real world with a protoype. Sony had no input nor any right of vito. I genuinely loved the camera- so if that's a commercial for Sony then I make no apology- but I'm not going to bash something for the sake of it, the camera rocked. I say this as an owner of 3 dslrs and an EX-1. I'd swap my EX-1 for the FS100. Hope that helps understand where this camera fits in. It's not a DSLR , It's not a is what it is.

I'm sorry if this offends anyone but I loved the camera- no controversial comments in this camp. Sure ND's would have been nice but hey I have lots of 4x4 glass filters and a matte box. Just how I like to work.

Anyway, I'll be posting some raw 1080P files in fstopacademy,com as soon as I figure out how to uoload them. Stu if you wanna get some raw file from the shoot we'd be happy to ftp you some so you can evaluate them yourself. Then you can post your own independent findings.

Thanks guys


March 25, 2011 | Registered CommenterDen Lennie

there's a very informative comment on this page:
by a user named Madp who points to the biggest problem with the grumpy review: it's not consistent with Nigel Cooper's previous preview of the AF100

for the AF100, everything was "I love this camera because it has great image quality", but for the FS100 it is "this camera doesn't have this and that feature, so I don't like it, even if the image quality is clearly better than that from the AF100"

that would only sound reasonable to my ears if we had already reached "good-enough image quality" on a $5K body, which I think we have not

March 25, 2011 | Registered CommenterSamuel H

I think this camera might be great.

I have used the Panasonic AF100 and really enjoyed the light weight alternative. I own a RED One and in a "run & gun" situation, a lightweight camera with no crew it is really helpful. With the AF 100 I used a PL adapter and used my RED T3 zoom lenses. It went really well. In more contrasty situations. I believe the AF 100 is great, but it falls down when you have low contrast low light situations, when you have to bump up the ISO.

I watched this Sony product demo and music video, and even though the bit rate is about a 1/3 higher than the AF100, the scenes at the end in the kitchen had a lot of noise issues which are exasperated by the web compression. I just wish if I am going to give up RAW and high file resolution (not sensor) that I could get lower noise. Maybe the HDMI 4:2:2 output to a KI Pro or similar would help, I want to see these demos.

April 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterBrian Ferguson
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Sorry, comments are disabled temporarily while I tweak some stuff.
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