Sony’s interchangeable-lens concept camera may not be available until November of this year, but the company has plenty of other good news for the filmmaking community. For those of you that closely follow Sony news, you’ll be happy to know that the new Sony NXCAM has arrived. The Sony NEX-FS100 camera is here and Zacuto had the first chance to take a look at it. Sony’s follow-up to the Sony F3, released in February of 2011, is smaller and lighter than the Sony F3 but uses the same Exmor Super 35mm CMOS image sensor chip. The new camera does not support SDI or HDSDI like the Sony F3, but it is equipped with HDMI and component signal outputs. The cost will be somewhere around $6000. Much like the Sony F3, you will still have the option to swap out your lenses but, the camera will require an adapter for any lenses using a mount other than a standard Alpha NEX E-Mount Sony lens. PL and Nikon lenses can be used, but not without an adapter. Unlike its predecessors, the NEX-FS100 will not use SxS cards for recording. Instead, the camera will record to SD cards much like the Panasonic AG-AF100. Other unique features include a flip-out screen mounted to the top of the camera rather than the side, dual XLR inputs and a removable handgrip with a trigger.
The good news is that this new Sony NXCAM will work with your already existing Zacuto Universal Baseplate and the Zacuto Mini Baseplate. Since 2005, the Zacuto baseplate has been the basic building block of all Zacuto camera rig systems and the NEX-FS100 mounting systems are no exception. However, if you are using a non-adjustable matte box, you will need to use a Z-Spacer to get your lens to the correct height. Unlike most ENG cameras, the NEX-FS100 is not ergonomic. Because it is such a small camera, it doesn’t fit the human body very well. Mounting the camera on your shoulder without a proper baseplate system is impossible. However, with the addition of a few Zacuto accessories, your NEX-FS100 can be as comfortable and form-fitting as any camera you have used in the past. By starting with one of our Universal Baseplate, you can then add our Shoulder Pad, and either our Z-Lite, counterbalance weight or a Zwiss Plate to hold V-Mount or Anton Bauer Style Batteries. You can also add on the Zacuto Follow Focus, Z-Focus and handgrips. All Zacuto products are interchangeable and transposable. When Zacuto owners and product designers, Jens Bogehegn and Steve Weiss first released the Zacuto Universal Baseplate, they said it would outlast your camera and they meant it.
Above: FS100 Rig with Accessories & FS100 Filmmaker Kit
NEX-FS100 Zacuto rig configurations are also compatible with the new Zacuto EVF. Because the screen for this camera is located on the top instead of on the side of the camera, it’s not ideal for shoulder mounted rigs. With a Zacuto rig, you can easily position the Zacuto EVF off to the side for your Sony NXCAM operator and still have the Sony monitor available for your director to use. Of course, there are multiple mounting options for your Zacuto EVF. Here at Zacuto, we like to give you options. Looking for a more compact rig for the Sony FS100, check out our FS100 Shooter kit and grip relocator.
Video production veteran and F-Stop Academy founder, Den Lennie, recently had the chance to shoot a music video with the NEX-FS100 and some Zacuto gear.
“The great thing about this camera is that you can shoot with it in a very small configuration just like a dslr and then when appropriate you can build up the rig and this is where the Zacuto kit really enables a speedy production,” said Lennie.
Check out the Den Lennie’s video below for a more in-depth review of the Sony NEX-FS100.