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.

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