The Sony NEX FS100 was one of the first video cameras that was created to cross filmmakers over from DSLRs to a camera with proper video controls. The benefit to “crossing over” is that filmmakers would be given more manual control over the settings that matter to them most. Not only that, but many of the new high end video cameras don’t suffer from the same video artifacts that DSLRs do (Moire, aliasing and rolling shutter).
Of course, there are cameras on the market that allow filmmakers to cross over to high end video cameras, but the price jump, in most cases, is too dramatic for most indie filmmakers (i.e. $10,000 and up).
The Sony NEX FS100 fills an interesting spot in the market because the footage produced by the camera is spectacular and yet the price of the camera is set reasonably at $5000 (body only) or $6700 for the camera plus an 18-200mm lens. For most indie filmmakers this seemed like a reasonable jump up from the cost of a high end DSLR. In fact, even some of the students in our online filmmaking course use the Sony FS100 (see below).
Again, with most of the other cameras we profile in our top video cameras of 2012, you may need to do a little tweaking to get your footage to your liking. You may want to install picture profiles to help you shoot flatter footage. The footage out of the camera tends to appear a little too “video-like”. Frank Glencairn offers a G-Log picture profile you can download here to help you achieve a more cinematic look to your video.
For $5000 you get a Sony E mount camera with a Super35 CMOS sensor, interchangeable lenses, 1920 x 1080p slow motion (the camera can shoot 60, 30 and 24fps), XLR audio and a host of other features that make this camera an exciting addition to the indie filmmaking scene.
One of the major complaints about the camera is that it shoots 28Mbps. Most filmmakers were expecting the camera to shoot at a minimum of 50Mbps. However, the camera image appears strong nevertheless.
To see some sample footage shot by the FS100, watch the short film below shot by a Lights Film School student who uses this camera. Enjoy!