Great thread. Keep this discussion alive, please.
After decades shooting Sony, I'm a huge fan of their reliability - as good as Arri. I'd be going there first.
What's bad about the FS100 picture? Never used one in anger.
The fs100, as far as a camera goes is good, or pretty good.
Dual sound channels and xlr inputs, nice autofocus with the few e mount lenses that are available, with good is. A mount lenses have a locked down f stop I think 3.5 or something like that and though sharp do not offer IS.
That snorkel focus thing is in the center, instead of the side and is too heavy for the lcd and droops and drops as you try to move.
The lcd is small, though you can add a larger one.
The controls are very sensitive and very fiddley. (is fiddley a word?)
The file, with studio lighting is good, though must be underexposed 1/2 stop minimum. Outside the file is a different story. Shoot sun flar and then back to the subject and everything is pink. In fact you get a lot of pink cast on the sony with high key backgrounds.
It also has a avchd wrapper which must be unwrapped with clipwrap until transcoded.
It is a sturdy camera, looks professional and works, but everytime I shoot with it my stomach tightens. Then again it does some things really well.
The look of the file to me is challanged. Even in studio light. Yes I can grade it, but it's not easy.
We did one shot in Italy on a semi cloudy backlit day with minimal fill of a group walking in green grass. Their faces were totally green and it took days to correct the footage.
I've also seen tons of moire on the fs100. Buildings, sweaters, window blinds, cause it to go nuts.
Honestly look at the file in color/tone/smoothness next to a pana gh3 and the difference is really night and day.
The Pana gh3 is not a real video camera, shoots a very good file, but the menu section takes days and days to learn and you really have to learn it, not just plug it in and think you got it because it'll throw you for a loop if you don't have it down.
I really don't understand sony, don't understand why they hobble their cameras until you get into RED range or beyond.
They could capture a lot of market with a real dot mov file, at least 12 bits and over 50mbs. If they allowed prorezz without going into a third party box it would be killer.
Just for clarification the Sony file to me looks like video, the gh3's almost like film, the RED 1's, just like film.