Sony Announces NEX-FS100E

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 [email protected] 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....

20 thoughts on “Sony Announces NEX-FS100E

  1. Emm is there any links that show matching the Sony XDCM EX footage with the NEX FS100 as far as look. I know the bokeh will be better with the FS100 but I am more concerned about the coloring and image sharpness. I notice the canon DSLR does not have true color when it comes to colored lights. When cutting from EX's to my 5D and there is any colored lights like blue lighting the EX is blue but the canon footage is purple. Looking to replace the canon to match the EX's better but want the control of the bokeh so I am looking at the FS.

  2. Jesse

    That's what, $1500 more than the AF100? that seems worth it to me to go from the 4/3 sensor to this larger one.

  3. Sonja

    It's about the price when talking about the dslr and these new products this article got it right in fact this article is o e of the only articles I have read that mentioned price as a big factor, it's true and as long as these companies keep charging the prices that are just out of reach they will not sell what they cold otherwise imagine this product at $300.00 to $3500.00 that would be a game changer but I can get a jib a mark 2 pro video equipment a matte box a sweet rig a few big mem cards And have cash leftover for three sweet lenses if I purchased this well I couldn't with even with $5000

  4. Rabi

    That footage looks great.

    Seeing cameras like this be released makes me really curious to see what the future of prosumer digital video is. As good as DSLRs are for video, there are definitely things like XLR inputs attractive to videographers.

    It seems like, if anything, the success of video cameras like this will be determined by how much cameras like the 5DIII will be designed with video in mind.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @huis21 - That link was already in the article that I wrote. I guess you just watched the video?

  6. huis21

    More Details and a great FIRST LOOK video!

    ... very impressed, looks like a better option than the af100.

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @Garrick - They've been working on Scarlet for 2 years now. Still no signs of an actual release date. Another year might pass. LOL.

  8. It would be very interesting to hear if it's a pixel-skipping high-rez-sensor or "just" a 1080p native (my preferred mode). How does it fare in regards of rolling-shutter and moire?

    These are far more interesting issues for me than whether or not it's got a good form-factor. I can shoot with a brick if I know that my image won't go jello on me and start to add patterns in patterns.

    The 25Mbps bitrate is a bit of a downer when a lot of the others do 50Mbps too.

    But if it's a clean image without jello and moire at 60fps rated upwards of ISO800 I'd gladly give it a go. Especially if there's canon-mounts that are easy to attach.

  9. Jim

    A little too pricey for me as well. I am guessing by the time I buy the extras, I will be over $5k maybe $6k. On the hand.
    I have bought about $1000 worth of extras just for my canon dslr. In watching this video I kept thinking about the cost.
    In addition, how good is the sound quality. It seems if companies like zoom and Tascam can get GREAT QUALITY and sell it to us at retail for under $200 certainly Canon, Sony, etc can put a great digital recorder into the cameras instead of the mediocre ones that even inhabit professional recorders.
    This is the best example of a camcorder in its price range to me. It is not a dslr deal breaker, since, it is far cheaper for me to go with dslr. The biggest drawback to me for dslr is the limited recording time and the bs in changing batteries and memory cards. I think this sony addresses it very well.
    The other part of this discussion is that we have manual control and interchangeable lenses available to us now and I think forever more. I do think this Sony camcorder is so cool in so many ways, that they really gave my needs a thought. If this were a $2500 camera, I would be selling everything except my soul to jump on board. However I can hope that this is the first of many budget friendly camcorders to catc my interest.
    I am no longer waiting for a Scarlet to appear, and with this introduction, obviously Sony isn't either

  10. MrDinaguan

    This is a nice alternative to the AF100. I prefer the wider dynamic range of the Sony Exmor sensor to the m4/3 sensor. The Contax G lenses would be awesome on the Sony camera! Zeiss quality without the Zeiss price.

  11. Nicholas

    I forget how many years have we been waiting for the scarlet? Sony seems to be on the ball, I'd rather stick with a company that delivers on their promises.

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  13. Joseph

    Small and trivial quibble: why doesn't the host state the battery is an "L" series battery. Not everyone knows the Z1 takes an "L" series battery, but they may know the difference between "L" and "M" series power.

  14. john

    yes I should have watched it to the end first 😀
    With handle on the top and the side it starts loking more like a video camera.
    I don't think it will kill dslrs but certanly some competition especially for the AF100 like you said.

  15. Emm

    Post author

    @john - They mentioned trying to make it discreet (although it looks pretty high end). There are several mounting points around the body i'm sure people will make handles or some type of rig for.

  16. john

    not sure about the design... it's looks even worse than a DSLR, I dont see how to use it without a rig... It's pretty much just a brick (a bit like a hassleblad 500cm) isn't it?

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