As many of you are aware I sold my Sony HVR-Z7U and HVR-Z5U professional HD video cameras in favour of a pair of new Sony NEX-FS100 video cameras. The image from the FS100 is absolutely amazing, thanks to the massive Super35 sensor that dwarfs the puny 1/3″ sensors that my old camera used. There are so many advantages to having a large sensor but the two obvious benefits of the large sensor are a shallow depth of field and extremely low noise.
Shallow depth of field allows you to defocus the background (or foreground, if you want too). Not only is this more similar to the way our eyes naturally work but it adds dimension to a two-dimensional medium. So in other words, having a shallow depth of field allows your images to “pop” and is the closest thing to a 3D image you can get on a 2D medium.
The low noise is a technical advantage but results in a cleaner image. How this impacts the final image is that a noisy image is challenging for the video cameras codec as it confuses noise with real detail and as a result, the image quality suffers as the precious limited bit-rate is stolen from your subject and wasted on reproducing noise.
I recently reviewed Vortex Media’s Mastering the NEX-FS100 Camcorder Training DVD for EventDV Magazine. If you own or plan on owning an FS100, then you will want to see what I have to say about Vortex instructor, Doug Jensen, and his latest training DVD. Overall it is a great product and must have for any FS100 shooter but I also point out some of the missing pieces, most due to it still being early in the product cycle of this innovative product.