Key features include:. It can also output video—with embedded timecode—to an external recording unit. Shotgun Mic Included. Additional Advanced Features.
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You see, this is no ordinary camcorder. Plant yourself somewhere comfortable and click past the break to find out. The sensor There's only one way to begin a review of the NEX-FS and that's with the words "Super 35mm," which are emblazoned across the camera's packaging, the device itself and all Sony's promotional literature.
The Super 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor really does make this camera unique amongst its competitors -- that's why Sony's marketing people seized on it, and it's also why we'll focus on this one spec at the expense of more niche features like slow-mo, GPS or picture profiles. To put it bluntly, were it not for the sensor, we wouldn't bother reviewing this camera at all. The NEX-FS enters a market where average sensor sizes are woefully small, not only in comparison to full-frame or APS-C DSLRs, but also compared with those hefty 35mm celluloid cameras that still whir away on most Hollywood shoots and set a global benchmark for cinematic beauty.
Digital filmmakers have been crying out for bigger sensors for years, mainly because they allow you to shoot aesthetically pleasing footage with shallow depth of field. In contrast, a small sensor tends to bring more into focus and hence make a picture look flat -- in other words, typical video. Another key advantage of a big sensor is low-light performance, because pixels spread out over a larger area can be made more sensitive without introducing noise.
Well, if you thought the '35mm' label described a full-frame sensor of the type you'd find in a high-end DSLR like the Canon 5d, then you're going to feel seriously let down. What's more, if you thought the 'Super' referred to something even bigger than full-frame, then you'll be even more bitterly disappointed.
The marketing blurb will try to convince you that S35 works out better than a full-frame DSLR once you take into account cropping and so-called line-skipping which is how extremely hi-res DSLRs output lowly p , but none of this negates the fact that a 'true' 35mm sensor has a bigger effective surface area and hence more oomph than Sony's S35 format when it comes to of depth-of-field control and low-light performance. Feel like grabbing your tripod and heading home? Please, hold your horses for just one second.
First of all, the Super 35mm moniker isn't a complete fabrication: it relates to a real format, albeit one from the world of celluloid filmmaking. In a movie camera, 35mm film runs vertically past the image frame, rather than horizontally as it does in a celluloid stills camera.
This means that the 24mm height of a stills frame becomes the width of the movie frame, resulting in a much smaller frame area. The word "Super" relates to a popular modification of 35mm which slightly increases the area of the frame by encroaching on a section of the film strip previously reserved for the movie's soundtrack. One could argue that Sony's marketing people have been disingenuous in their over- use of the Super 35mm label, particularly when many among their target audience won't be familiar with celluloid terminology.
Ultimately, however, Sony is telling the truth about its sensor. As a final comparison, most well-regarded consumer camcorders tend to have quarter-inch sensors, which would cover just two percent of a Super 35mm frame. Buyer's Guide. Log in. Sign up. Latest Reviews. See all articles. Latest in Camcorder. Image credit:. Sponsored Links. Pros Stunning footageGreat in low lightModular design.
We want to hear what you think. Post a quick review now to join the conversation! Write a review. Our review sample came with this kit lens, which was just okay.
It was sharp at the majority of focal lengths, the auto focus was quiet and reasonably speedy and the lens was light and easy to pack. But it was a slow lens with a relatively small maximum aperture that inevitably cancelled out some of the positive effects of the large sensor. It wasn't particularly well-built either, with moving sections that seemed vulnerable to dirt accumulation and that also seemed slightly loosely fitted together -- although this didn't turn out to be a hindrance during our test shoots.
In the real-world, the kit lens just about gets the job done. All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Cowboy upgrades its e-bike with a carbon belt and puncture-resistant tires. Kitty Hawk moves on from its original flying car project.
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Sony NEX-FS100 review
It shares the same sensor as the considerably more expensive PMW-F3, but nothing else—including its design. Cut a lens mount into the end of the Dixie cup; add a tilting and swiveling LCD to the top of the brick; liberally festoon the exterior with buttons, switches, connectors, and attachment points; and throw a carrying handle, side grip, microphone, and viewfinder tube into the box, too. The IRIS button toggles between auto and manual iris. A thumbwheel lets you adjust the iris in manual mode. Shooters planning to use cine lenses with the FS should plan on a complement of ND filters for the matte box; those using stills lenses may want to consider variable NDs.
Sony NEX FS100
New MANGROVE housing for SONY NEX-FS100