Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Sony NEX-FS100 -- Panasonic AF100 Killer?

We're getting our first look at the "entry-level" large sensor interchangeable lens camcorder from Sony, the NEX-FS100 -- and it looks good. It seems to have almost everything that DSLR form-factor hybrid shooters have been asking for in a camcorder -- big 35mm sensor, interchangeable lenses, in-camera undercranking and overcranking, uncompressed 4:2:2 HDMI out, dual XLR inputs, headphone out. And, according to early reports, the U.S. list price ($5850) will be competitive with the AF-100 ($4995). But, we are also told, it lacks a couple of basics that the AF100 does have -- a built-in ND filter and HD-SDI out (why, Sony, why?). It will be interesting to see side-by-side comparisons of the two cameras when the FS100 hits the street. For now, I'll rent the AF100 if I need the camcorder form-factor, and use the lenses from my GH2!

Update: According to this hands-on review from Nigel Cooper of DV User (UK), the Panasonic AF101 beats the new Sony FS100 for ergonomics and build quality -- while the FS100 edges the Panasonic slightly in image quality. We will have to see what other reviewers and shooters say as more people gain experience with the camera.

In the meantime, enjoy these promo videos from Sony:

And here are a few early links with more info:

Product page from Sony (US)

Product page from Sony (UK)

Blog posting from (NZ)

In the meantime, if you're disappointed by the new Sony and you need HD-SDI and a built-in ND filter, you can get the AF100 for $4795 here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Video *not* shot with new Sony Super 35mm NXCAM

According to this blog post over at cinescopophilia, this is a video performance by the artist who will be featured in the first Sony "FS-100" Super 35 demo video. Shot with Canon DSLRs, not the FS-100 itself, but it's a nice song:

The post also features Den Lennie's BTS pics from the upcoming NXCAM Super 35 demo video and a few tantalizing glimpses of the new camera.

From the looks of the BTS pics taken during the low-light parts of the shoot here and here (lit with a 150W Dedolight), I agree with Philip Johnston over at HD Warrior, who said recently of the F3 (same sensor):

"You could produce a drama in street lighting and tell the Gaffer to take a night off"

If, after seeing these pics, you want your own Dedolight to go with the big sensor on your soon-to-be-purchased Sony FS-100 Super 35 NXCAM, you can find one for $372.50 at Adorama.

Sorry Panasonic, but Sony had me at the word "35mm".

I thought that the next step up from my GH2 would be the AF100. Looks like I might have been wrong, my next step up may very well be a Sony. Time to start looking for a Micro 4/3 to E Mount adapter?

Gratitude and a Prayer for Japan

A blog like this owes its existence to the Japanese innovators, engineers, marketers and countless others who create the technology that we enjoy so much. I am personally grateful to the Japanese people for the hard work and indomitable spirit that both rebuilt their country after 1945 and brought us the high-quality products that have enriched all our lives. Our cars are better either because we're driving a Japanese car or because our American (or German or Korean) car manufacturer had to compete with Toyota and Nissan. Our hybrid still/video cameras may have been made in China, but they were designed in Japan.

So I pray for healing and safety for the survivors of the recent earthquake -- and I pray that the spirit and courage that the Japanese people showed in the last part of the 20th century lives on in the 21st.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

JayCut - Free Video Editor for Google Chrome OS

I know I'm a minority within a minority, but sometimes I miss Windows MovieMaker -- a free, no-frills non-linear editor (NLE) for when all I want to do is trim and splice a few clips, add a few dissolves and a soundtrack and publish to YouTube.

It's not because I haven't tried a real NLE. I bought Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 for the old Windows machine, but I am not that excited about learning it -- and find myself transcoding the .mts files from my GH2 to .wmv so I can use MovieMaker.

Okay, so why the title of this post? It's because Google gave me a free Google Cr-48 Chrome OS laptop a couple of months ago as part of a pilot program. This isn't a computer blog, so I won't bore you with the details, but a few thousand folks are test driving Google's new OS to see how it fares in the real world. So far, so good -- but I couldn't find a video editing app for it -- until now.

After running across this tutorial from NixiePixel on the free kdenlive video editor for Linux, I discovered that there were several free and relatively simple NLEs for Linux -- but only one for Chrome -- something called JayCut. Just signed up for it tonight and uploaded an .mp4 video that I had downloaded, but could not play on the Cr-48 -- and, wonder of wonders, it played back just fine in the preview window! It's late, so I didn't drag it into the timeline or try to add another clip. Perhaps tomorrow. But if I can get this to work, it will mean one more thing that I can do for free in Google Chrome OS -- and one more step towards doorstop status for the old Windows dinosaur.

UPDATE 3/8/11: Sadly, I could not get JayCut to read .mts files from the Panasonic GH2. Back to Windows (for file conversions, at least).