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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?

Thanks!

Dan


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Daniel Stone
Re: FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?
on Aug 31, 2011 at 2:29:08 pm

Here's a perfect example (see link below). A local motorcycle dealership commercial. A couple of shots in the beginning look cinematic (jello effect aside) because those shots were with the 5D. Everything else looks like video - because it was shot with the FS100.





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Nathan Troester
Re: FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?
on Sep 22, 2011 at 5:01:11 pm

Hey, I'm having a similar frustration.
Just curious, are you using the lens that came with the FS-100? Have you tried other lenses?


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Daniel Stone
Re: FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?
on Sep 23, 2011 at 9:48:12 pm

Hey Nathan,

The DVXUSER forum is a lot more lively on this topic. I posted over there and started a fantastically helpful conversation: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?260488-FS100-looks-so-video-ish

It comes down to the fact that it's not very cinematic out of the box as the Panasonic line (DVX, HVX, AF100, VariCam, etc) and many people don't understand that it has nothing to do with shallow depth of field. The misconception is "shallow depth of field = filmic". Not true. It has to do with light handling and treatment (which is performed internally, post-sensor in the Panasonic cameras). We're film guys (so we're picky) and my DP describes the FS100 as putting a PRO35 adaptor on a news-style Betacam. Shallow DOF - but nothing like film. We tested ours extensively with lenses, settings, lighting, etc and we found that a fairly cinematic image is possible - though you have to work for it.

here are some tips:

- The camera seems to do better with lower resolution lenses, Though this is a matter of personal taste, we tested with everything from our RED PRO primes, Zeiss Super Speeds and old Nikons stills. The old Nikons seemed to do best for us.
- Get some picture profiles (Google FS100 picture profiles) and get one you like.
- Underexpose. For us the camera seemed to do better a stop or two underexposed. The image is super clean, so you shouldn't have issues with grain.
- Turn the internal sharpening all the way down. This helped almost immediately.
- With this camera, what you see is what you get. The image it produces is very real and clean (as opposed to organic and subliminal). The best thing you can do is light by eye. I'm used to film and am used to how forgiving it is in terms of its organic light handling. If you light for film with this camera, it'll look awful (like 'behind the scenes' footage from movies you rent). Remember, if it looks filmic to your eye, it'll look filmic in camera.

Most of all, test!



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Eamonn Tutty
Re: FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?
on Oct 23, 2014 at 9:38:25 pm

I'll be using Rokker X lenses with picture profile G-log 1.2 or JR45CINE 2 for low tones, underexpose as said and use a atomos ninja 2, for a promo shoot. It will be my first time working with an fs100, have used Arri Alexa in the past with zeiss lenses. Hopefully I'll get a nice look


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Jonathan Thomas
Re: FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?
on Oct 28, 2011 at 5:44:32 am

Man...I dont no what you are talking about. But...for me that looks like it has a clean film look, instead a real soft warm look. I couldn't tell the different when I first look at it? Too me it looks like a different light profile...thats what I am seeing!

Film look has many different light profile. Far as the ballerina footage that Sony used as example. It has a clean film look compare to a mist or dream glow that film usually have.

Thats what I am seeing.

Thanks:)


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Nelson Goforth
Re: FS100 - Why does it look so video-ish?
on Sep 23, 2011 at 5:32:05 pm

DOF is dependent upon sensor size, and the FS-100 has a larger sensor than the AF-100 (and about the same as a 7D or a Red), so for a given field-of-view, etc, etc. the FS-100 should yield a shallower DOF. The 5D does have a larger sensor yet.

I'll get our FS-100 and take a look at the menu options. Will report back over the weekend, unless someone else comes up with an answer. My partner has done work with the camera that looks very cinematic, so I know it's possible.

Red Camera Rental & Indy Features, Denver Colorado.
rockymountain4k.com * 303.506.2456


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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

Hi,

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?

Thanks!


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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...

http://www.rokkorfiles.com/Lens%20History.html



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