10 Reasons to love the Sony FS100

10 Reasons to love the Sony FS100

As some of you may or may not know back in September of 2011 a article was written by skid-row on wideopencamera.com about how bad the Sony FS100 was and gave 10 reasons why.  Here is the article that was written http://wideopencamera.com/skid-row/10-reasons-to-hate-the-sony-fs100/ . Now I am not knocking on skid-row but in this article he says that he is a director and not a DP which to me makes a big different when your talking about a camera and giving it a review.

Philip Bloom said it best "Their will never be a Perfect Camera" in which a totally agree with because when I was coming up as a Assistant Cameraman back in 2003/2004 their were only a handful cameras that were coming out every year that we had to learn. Fast forward 9 years we have come so much further from were we were in the 1st stages of Digital Cinematography and what we were able to achieve.

Today our creative juices are so much bigger and seeing what these cameras can do is just amazing to me which I am both sad :( and happy :) cause I think I was the last generation to load and shoot on film. Someone once said that you can give me any camera i.e. a Sony EX1 or Canon GL1 and I can make it look like it was shot with a big budget and it always has to do with how you shoot and light it. It's not the camera that creates the images but the person behind it. Yes the cameras that we have today we can do some crazy things with but again it's the person behind the camera that creates the images. 

So with that being said here are my tope 10 reasons why I Love the FS100

1. Build Quality

I have heard some people say it's cheap it feels plastic or it's to boxy and some I have heard that it's really sturdy and works well with them. I must say that I do agree with them that it fits well for me and I can get to the buttons just as quick as I can with my Panasonic HPX 300 and or any  other ENG Camera. Yes it takes a little getting use to but you make it work for you.

2. The Microphone Mount

Now the Microphone mount on the Sony FS100 is a little different then we are all use to. And some people have said to never use the on camera mic or it's a peace of crap mic and yes your not going to use this mic for interviews (use a wireless lav) but this mic can save your butt if worse comes to worse and just hearing nat sound from this microphone sounds really good (just as good as my Panasonic HPX300). The one thing I love is that I can move it as far back or as close as I want which I like. And if I need to add extra stuff I have 4 screw points on the mount it self which is held in by a hot shoe with a screw bit which is really robust and great for low-mo shots. 

3. The Handgrip

Ok I agree with everyone that this handgrip is not the best in the world and looks funny a breakable but it's built pretty dam good. Yes you have to screw it lose to re position it but once you get it to were you want it then I think you will like it as I do. 

4. The Viewfinder

The viewfinder is not what we are all use to but it's not to say that it's a bad thing as it is built pretty well and great for those sunny days but it is a little heavy on the LCD screen so I would say get a Zacuto EVF as you are limited as it does not come all the way down if your doing high shots and or some panning shots. But over all if you can't get a EVF and you have to stick with this then it works still :). 

5. Cable

As you will see in photos or if you own the camera you will see that you have one XLR input to the back right side of the camera next to the hand grip which can be a tight area in certain situations. The other XLR input is directly on the back left side of the camera which is ok but it depends on if your running a wireless on your hot-shoe in the front and it can become a pain. The HDMI cable is on the back right side (below the REC button) which I am impressed with very well built and I would get a HDMI cable from Zacuto which has a swivel head on it. 

6. ND Filter

Now this is what sucks and I think this is the only downside to the Sony FS100 and that is it does not have any ND filters built in but it's not the Be all End all cause I just went with the screw on ND filter with my Nikon PL lens which takes a 52MM. I does take a few seconds to put on and off but it's cheaper then getting a mattbox and rail system for the moment. A variable ND filter would be your best bet if you don't want to take it on and off every time and your using just one lens.

7. Lens Mounts

 Here is the fun part. When the article was written by skid-row their were only a few adaptors out at the time and none of them were able to take Canon EOS lens to were you could control the electronic iris. Now birger,meatbones and MTF Services make an adaptor so we all can use our EOS glass. But when I bought my FS100 I went with Nikon glass and the Novaflex adaptor which works very well with it. 

8. Kit Lens

The kit lens with the Sony FS100 is optional with the camera. It's a Sony E-mount 18mm-200 mm which is not the best in the world but it produces a great image along with Auto Focus which is pretty fast for the most part. But when your trying to pull focus and zoom it can be a little tricky as you can over focus at times since the zoom wheel is a little funny. But over all a good lens to have in your bag. 

9. Buttons

Now for all of you DSLR cats out their the button settings/functions may be a little off for you and your not use to it but for us guys who are use to the big cameras we will have no issues with the buttons and the layouts on the camera. If you don't know the layout of the buttons then it will be a challenge for you and will take a few minutes to look over but I am sure you will get a feel for them in no time. 

10. The Screen

The LCD Screen to many is like the Sony EX1/3 screen and some people like it and some don't. For me I like it as I say "what you see what you get". This LCD is not the best of the best but it's sharp and pretty dam good I must say. It is a touch screen which can get a little use to but you still have your button functions to navigate with. I use the Zacuto EVF as well as the on board LCD and they are both just as sharp and great on focus,exposure etc....

My final words on the Sony FS100 is that I think this camera is the DSLR Killer in many ways then one. I have no issues with navigating around this camera or any other as I am a "Cameraman". Everything is were I want it to be, from the buttons to the screen to inputs. I have yet to find any bad things about this camera so far but then again this camera is not made for every job either. It ROCKS in lowlight which I love as well as setting my WB to were I want it and not having to stick with the pre sets or not WB just to get the look I want when I can just dial it in right on the camera. 

Corey Steib

I am an award winning cinematographer and photography based in Orlando, FL. I have worked on over 200 feature films, tv shows and live events.

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