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FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?

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Daniel Stone
FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?
on Aug 31, 2011 at 2:07:21 pm

Hey all,

So we just bought the Sony FS100 for smaller projects and pick-up footage. I chose it because it has a full sensor, an amazing codec, a ton of mounting points and XLR audio input.

We've been playing with it here in the studio for a couple of weeks and we've all been very impressed with it. The one thing we can't seem to get over, though, is that the image just looks so video-ish. We can NOT get that filmic look out of this camera no matter what we do - and we can't pinpoint exactly what it is that makes it look so video-ish. We've turned the "detail" all the way down and copied picture profiles - but nothing seems to help.

When you compare it to 5D and AF100 footage, it's night and day. While the Canon and Panasonic look like film, the FS100 just looks like video with shallow depth of field. A great example is the ballerina footage that Sony provided (on YouTube and Vimeo). Looks like great video. Not at all cinematic.

Anyone have any tips or tricks? Anything you guys are doing that helps? Before we send it back?



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Sean Thomas
Re: FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?
on Nov 14, 2011 at 9:32:40 am

It comes down to the picture profiles. #1 is very video like - don't ever use it if you want a cinema look.

The facts are simple - DPs all over the world have shot some amazing, cinematic footage with the FS100. So it's not the camera - it's the user, setting, accessories, etc.

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Franz Vorenkamp
Re: FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?
on Dec 13, 2011 at 5:00:35 pm

I'll weigh in here and say that it's probably a combination of your picture profile settings AND your choice of lens.

I've been shooting on some old Canon FD lenses-- everyone who sees the footage goes nuts. The older FD glass produces a very organic look. I think part of it is that the camera's sensor is SO sensitive that you get way more detail than you're used to resulting in a very digital looking image. The older glass smooths it out a bit, without looking like a digital post effect, or like you just turned the sharpness down.

When it comes to picture profiles, I've found it helpful to sit down side by side with a beautiful HD still of a movie I love on a calibrated monitor. I pay special attention to the black level and color intensity.

Using this method, and a little bit of grain added in post, I've achieved looks ranging from crisp, high contrast HD styles like you'd see in Casino Royale to more understated, filmic looks like Lethal Weapon.

This camera is beyond capable of the film look- people are underestimating the ridiculousness of the sensor. There's more control there than you guessed.

I've described the camera this way to everyone so far-- the FS100 is NOT for run and gun, midrange work. It's a professional camera for low budget filmmakers who are really into composing their shots.

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Andreas Gesierich
Re: FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?
on Jan 27, 2013 at 5:54:26 pm


thanks a lot for the very informative answer.
i've been searching for this topic since weeks and this is the first post
that mentions that "older" lenses help with this issue.

Could anyone post some of the lenses you used
and gained the filmlook-results with?


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brian keith
Re: FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?
on Apr 1, 2014 at 9:07:16 pm

I see that I am a little late to the party. But I i wll add that the old Minolta lenses look filmic as well. Anything Rokker X is the way to go. But they all do well. Go here to learn more...

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