Sony NEX-FS100E


I picked up the Panasonic GF2 camera lately because I wanted something small and really lightweight. Sure you can adapt Nikon or Canon lenses, but that took so much away from being 'small and lightweight'. An excellent solution for Sony NEX and Micro Four-Third cameras are to use CCTV or 'C-Mount' lenses. Here's an excellent video test from Vimeo member Dario Viola showing the quality of these inexpensive lenses. These C Mount lenses are normally used in very small security cameras, but they've become a popular choice for many M43 shooters. You'll find many CCTV lenses with fast F/1.4 and F/1.7 apertures for about $30 dollars.

You can't go too wide without seeing the inside of these small lenses, but for the GH2 you might be able to use crop mode to use just the center of the lens (eliminating the barrel ring on the edges). The most popular sizes for the NEX5 and GF1/2 cameras are the 25mm F/1.4 and 35mm F/1.7. Keep in mind that M43 is a 2x crop, so a 25mm is more like a 50mm F/1.4. I'm picking a few of these up to use on the GF2 and will post results soon after receiving. You can find other C Mount lenses below.

C Mount Lens Tests
find-price-button CCTV C Mount Lenses for NEX and M43


When Panasonic announced the AG-AF100, there were claims that DSLR video was dead. Sure the Panny is a good camera, but they were too far from the idea of what DSLR’s really were. It seems they were designing around the needs of the high end filmmaker, but the largest community of DSLR shooters are from basic consumers. Today Sony announces a new NEX-FS100E, a nice balance between the influence from DSLR cameras as well as addressing more professional filmmakers. Depending on the price of this unit, some might say that Panny’s AF100 is dead. Vimeo member Den & James from F-Stop Academy had the chance to input all the good qualities of DSLR’s as well as the bad.

Sony NEX-FS100E

Some features and controls are said to be influenced from the EX1, but Sony’s NEX-FS100E will have the ability to use interchangeable lenses with Sony’s Super 35mm motion picture sensor. There’s also 1080@60p available, the top swivel LCD remains on even when another monitor is plugged in on the full size HDMI. XLR inputs with phantom power, Shotgun Microphone with top handle, manual audio levels, and even a bunch of ¼ x 20 mounting points built directly into the Sony camera body. There’s a ton of other features explained in the video (above) and more found at Sony’s Press Release page:

Sony new NEX-FS100E

I personally love the way this Sony camera was put together. Keep it small, that’s the whole appeal of DSLR’s. Today I can carry 4 Canon DSLR cameras + lenses to a location in a single roller bag. If manufacturers design these bodies too big (or too expensive), they’ll be losing the largest market of DSLR shooters. One thing I can safely say is that even this new Sony won't kill DSLR's. It's designed to have more ergonomics for Video rather than for Photographers. You might think this isn't a big deal, but having both a still camera and video camera in one tiny form factor is still appeals to a huge audience. The opposite side of the spectrum are cameras designed to have more ergonomics for Photos rather than for Video. Dedicated interchangeable lens 'still cameras' with 'a little bit of video' will still be a tool for a big audience. Sure I would love to throw this Sony NEX-FS100E in my bag, but it would be along side a DSLR. I'm not ready to give up a fast and professional Photography camera. There’s no word on pricing, but my guess is cheaper than the Panasonic AG-AF100. [Update] I guess pricing comes in at about $6550. This is definitely great news and could appeal to serious vide shooters who 'work around' the lack of features in DSLRs today, but it's early in 2011. Canon might still be dropping a 5D Mark III....