Sony FS100 discontinued, “Sony FS1” coming soon?

Sony FS100 discontinued

I just discovered the Sony FS100 is marked as discontinued:

Can’t buy it at all from B&H, hopefully that means a “FS1” is just around the corner??

Is marked as “closeout” at Adorama:

Amazon (which has Adorama listed in their marketplace) states only 15 units are left:

It is not hard to see why they’re bringing to an end selling the Sony FS100, as even after its price drops, you could still buy for the same kind of money the revolutionary Sony A7s new or the awesome Sony PMW-F3 refurbished (which is the one I own, is a great camera!).

This strongly indicates that a successor for the Sony FS100 could be heading our way, a new E mount camcorder which is priced below the Sony FS7. This makes sense too from a timeline perspective for when the model should be refreshed, as the FS100 has been around for a long time (not as long as the F3, but that has been replaced already by Sony PMW-F5, but the FS100 has been around longer than the FS700 which has for all intents and purposes been replaced by the FS7)

Often people express a wish for a “full frame” camcorder with the Sony A7s sensor in it. But I don’t necessarily need a Sony NEX-VG900 with an A7s sensor in it.

I’d be quite happy for an “FS1” to come along to replace the FS100, just like the FS7 “replaced” the FS700.

Its specs could be:

Same form factor as the FS7 is (but even lighter??), and not shaped like the FS100/FS700!!
FHD 422 10bit XAVC
Slow motion of 120fps at FHD
Sticking with SD cards please (not XQD)
4K 420 8bit at 24/25/30 (maybe if lucky 4K 422 10bit over SDI?)
2x SDI
3 stage internal ND filters
S-log 2 / S-log 3
Reuse the same sensor as is currently in the FS700
Priced same as a JVC GY-LS300

I’d buy one of these.

And its specs/price makes it a very attractive upgrade for FS100 owners (or even Sony F3 owners like myself! Even a FS700 owner might consider this as an interesting sideways move).
And of course it will attract lots of interest from other non-Sony owners too, such as C100/C300 users, AF100 users, and BMD camera owners. And every DSLR/MILC shooter will of course be attracted to it!

Yet at the same time I believe it has a sufficiently restrained specs/price mix that FS7/F5/FS700 owners won’t get outright pissed about it being released (like the FS7 did to F5 owners…).

How to pick a camera when buying more than one?

When buying multiple cameras there are two key ways to look at it:

Complementary cameras or matching cameras.

In some cases you want your cameras to be “matching cameras”, such as when doing multi camera coverage of wedding ceremony or doing an interview. Such as 2x GH4 to cover the wide of the interview and the close up, or one to cover the interviewer himself and another on the person being interviewed.

But in most cases you want your cameras to be complementary instead. As you need to view each camera body as merely one kind of tool in your box of tricks. So when you go out on a shoot, you can pick the best tool for the job.

Thus for cameras to be complementary, you want one camera to cover the weaknesses of the other, and in the reverse too.

For instance GH4 + BMPCC:

96fps vs 30fps
Compressed vs raw
Photos vs n/a
4K vs 1080

Or A7s vs BMPCC:

FF vs S16
Amazing low light vs so so low light
Compress vs raw

You can see how in each case, one does well in covering some of the weaknesses of the other camera.

Thus you can see how for many people getting a BMCC and BMPCC makes no sense at all really, as they’re two very similar cameras.
So this BMCC + BMPCC combo only makes sense if you’re looking for two “matching cameras” rather than two “complementary cameras”, or if you already have a BMCC and you want the BMPCC to just cover for the big weakness of the BMCC: its bulky size.

I really wouldn’t recommend the BMPC4K at the moment, URSA Mini 4K is just around the corner for the same price and is better in every way.

What I’d suggest is getting a Samsung NX1 right now (or any one of the currently top three hybrid cameras: Samsung NX1 / Sony A7s / Panasonic GH4. But I reckon the NX1 is the best of the 3 at the moment) and a set of Nikon F mount lenses. Then when the USRA Mini ships (and “if” it gets the favorable reviews we’re all expecting) get that as well. You’ll have a killer combo of two cameras able to cover a wide range of needs. Don’t worry that the URSA Mini is still a few months away from shipping, as having the Samsung NX1 to start with is still a phenomenal camera, and when you’re just starting out your equipment really isn’t your limiting factor just yet. As gear has got so good and so affordable.

If you lean towards doing a lot more multi camera work (such as weddings) than single camera, then I’d suggest instead starting out with a Panasonic GH4 for you, plus Panasonic G7 for your second shooter (your second shooter might supply their own camera, but even if they do, it is best if their camera matches well with your own. Makes life easier in post), and 3x Panasonic GH1 bodies (which go for merely US$150 on eBay, and still are quite damn fine cameras! Does miles better than any Canon Rebel series DSLR shoots) to cover the multiple extra angles during the ceremony and speeches. Then once they ship, pick up a BMMCC and BMD VA for your single camera work (music videos / adverts / short films / etc). Or get a BMPCC if you simply can’t wait for that.

I wrote this post in response to this thread on bmcuser, and felt like sharing it as a blog post too because my response is length yet generic enough it might be helpful for others too looking at getting more than one camera.

Best low light camera which isn’t the Sony A7s for those on a lower budget?

Shooting in low light is a very common question, and often people will respond “just use lights!” Yet there are also valid reasons to seek out a camera body which is excellent at low light instead, such as shooting a documentary or you are using lights already but want to keep your lighting kit minimal (to list just a couple of the reasons). So which to go for?

Obviously the best option would be an A7s, as it as downright insanely good low light capabilities! As this video filmed out in the countryside with only moonlight demonstrates:

But for many people this camera is complete overkill! You want good low light, but don’t need it to be *that* good! And as one of the most pricey mirrorless cameras, you’d like something cheaper. Which to go for?

Go for a Sony A5100 (I got mine for a mere US$310 like new from Amazon some months back. Go for the A6000 though instead if overheating could be a serious concern you wish to avoid) plus a focal reducer (another hundred bucks) plus a Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 (which would be a few hundred dollars second hand). Won’t be as good as an A7s of course, but is the next best thing on a budget!

A5100 is the A6000 but with XAVCs added in as a bonus, and at a cheaper price too!

And the A6000 is the D5200 (they share the same sensor), but with a mirrorless mount and more features. Which allows you to double the light with use of a focal reducer! And the D5200 already compares very favourably vs the Canon 5Dmk3 (which was the former “King of Low Light” before the Sony A7s came along and crushed it). You can see how the Nikon D5200 performs at ISO 6400 and even 12800:

And the A5100 is a two steps ahead from the D5200 in terms of features/performance. A bargain low light filmmaking machine indeed!