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View Full Version : Features aside, which camera looks better? AF100 or FS100



Kyle McConaghy
06-30-2011, 07:50 PM
Sorry to revive the FS100/AF100 debate once again. I've read all of the comparison threads here and watched a ton of videos, but I still can't decide between the two. I know, logistically, the FS100 has a better sensor and more latitude. But some of the videos i've seen of it look, perhaps, more video? I think this is probably just b/c there aren't many polished finished FS100 videos out there... more tests than anything. For those of you who have used both, which would you go to for a broadcast commercial or a film? Features aside, which do you think has the best 'look'? Thanks so much and sorry for the redundancy!

bgundu
06-30-2011, 07:54 PM
The best look will honestly come from the most experienced Camera operators. You see plenty of terribly shot stuff on Red and F3 too. I say rent both cameras and decide what works for you. Good luck!

Barry_Green
06-30-2011, 08:11 PM
I know, logistically, the FS100 has a better sensor and more latitude
"better" how? Maybe a tiny hair sharper, but it also can introduce some rainbow moire. Lower noise, yes.
As for more latitude, no. 10.2 stops against 10.5, they're the same.

And for which one can deliver a better look for a film or video, Bob hit the nail on the head. There are guys turning out stuff on the HVX200 that embarrasses what lots of folks can do with newer and better equipment. Either of them are certainly well up to the task, so I think the question of "features aside" is a totally backwards way to go about making the decision. They both do an excellent job of rendering sharp shallow-DOF images, so you should be making your decision based on which one offers you the features you need. They both take a really different approach to the idea of large-sensor shallow-DOF cameras, so find the one that's most compatible with the way you want to work.

speedracerlo
06-30-2011, 08:37 PM
Barry the FS100 has more than 10.5 stops according to Abel's test

alaskacameradude
06-30-2011, 08:49 PM
To me, the FS 100 looks better. I REALLY wanted the AF 100 to look the same cause I like built in ND filters.....that's a big feature to me. However, you just can't get around the fact that the FS 100 sensor is significantly bigger than the AF 100 sensor, when you look at the portion actually used. But of course, the AF100 has the ND filters.....it was a really tough choice for me, but I ended up getting the FS 100 with a very expensive Heliopan variable ND filter which is VERY good, but cost another $399. To be honest, I don't think you can lose either way! They
are both good enough that you can pretty much do anything you want with either one. If you are trying to eke the absolute best image quality out of the camera, I think the FS 100 wins.
But...it doesn't have some really nice things that the AF 100 does, basically you are going to have to just make a decision sooner or later and live with it. And you are going to be
happy either way, so look at it as a win either way you go! As for the 'look' a lot of that depends how people have dialed in their picture profiles. You can go for all kinds
of 'looks'. Really with these cameras, the shallow depth of field, 24p frame rate, and picture profiles along with Magic Bullet, you should be able to dial in a great 'look'.
I wouldn't worry about that too much.

nyvz
06-30-2011, 09:56 PM
FS100 without a doubt for my purposes and from my experience (I've shot more with the AF100 but have owned an FS100 for about a month). AF100 I've found blows out quickly and not very smoothly with no real adjustment for smooth out this problem, and there is no contest if you are shooting night interiors on a budget since the FS100 is an order of magnitude more sensitive and more clean. I've shot things on the AF100 at ISO640 that came out noisier than I had hoped and even had a Director notice it, whereas thatd be practically noiseless 0db gain on the FS100. Dynamic range may be similar despite the greater capabilities of the sensor in the FS100, but overall I've found the FS100 is sharper, and has less aliasing than the AF100.

Rick Burnett
06-30-2011, 10:09 PM
Shooting during the day, I'd say (assuming you have proper ND) they both get just about the same quality image, although I find the FS100 sharper. I've never seen Moire on either camera, but I've had the FS100 for a shorter period of time. And I have specifically looked for it on both. Rolling shutter performance is the same between them. I've been able to reduce the highlight blowout issue on both cameras, with the FS100 performing a tad bit better in my opinion, but NOT night and day. I think the FS100 has a larger usable range of gain settings in the positive direction BY FAR. The AF100 has negative gain, so it can be more flexible. If you are in situations where you don't have a lot of control of your light on the dark end, the FS100 is amazing. I shot +30dB and couldn't believe with a little neat video, I could clean it up and it is absolutely usable in most cases. If you light your scenes then that difference won't be so much of a big deal.

I say all this because they all do affect the images you get. I've shot paid work with both the FS100 and AF100 and both of the results got STELLAR reviews from the clients. Outside of the noise performance (and I do value this) the features seem to be the biggest difference.

Barry_Green
06-30-2011, 11:15 PM
Barry the FS100 has more than 10.5 stops according to Abel's test No it doesn't. Look at the waveform. They got 10.5. I know verbally Andy said 11.5 but he must have just said it wrong. The actual test results he showed were 10.5.

speedracerlo
07-01-2011, 12:06 AM
I can't really see too much detail in the old DR test for the prototype FS100, but the new one I can clearly define 11 different stops and a fuzzy .5 stop near the bottom noise

MattDavis
07-01-2011, 12:14 AM
the results got STELLAR reviews from the clients.

And that, Kyle, is the bottom line. I chose the FS100 over the AF101 partly because every time I've seen an AF101 at a trade show or in a demo, the orange donut around highlights worried me, but an owner would find a workaround, I'm sure. When I was in decision making mode, the AF101 was a video camera that took stills lenses with a crop factor, the FS100 was a quasi stills camera (no ND, funny looks) that didn't do stills, but did good video.

Also, in the corporate world, the 'HD' look goes down well - not video, not film, just clean sharp and ever so slightly epic (the look you get with a fast wide angle lens that's impossible with 'video').

Have you watched the Zacuto Single Chip Camera Shootout? http://www.zacuto.com/the-great-camera-shootout-2011/episode-one

Kyle McConaghy
07-01-2011, 07:33 AM
Thanks so much for all of your insight. I've seen some flip cam-like handheld movements from the FS100, so that has kind made me think twice. But I'm sure that is just the operators. I'm looking forward to purchasing mine soon! Thanks again, Kyle.

fredeinziger
07-01-2011, 11:45 AM
i've been switching from af100 to fs100...why ? because the sony gives me the ability to underexpose scenes (or shoot in very low light / abience light without getting nasty noise. the panny performs well when good exposed, but as soon as you're trying to create a mood in lowlight it breaks up.

Rick Burnett
07-01-2011, 11:52 AM
Thanks so much for all of your insight. I've seen some flip cam-like handheld movements from the FS100, so that has kind made me think twice. But I'm sure that is just the operators. I'm looking forward to purchasing mine soon! Thanks again, Kyle.

Both cameras have the same performance rolling shutter wise. I measured both of them with a scientific method and they were within 0.2ms of each other. They are basically ~14ms which is REALLY nice.

David W. Jones
07-01-2011, 06:38 PM
Sorry to revive the FS100/AF100 debate once again. I've read all of the comparison threads here and watched a ton of videos, but I still can't decide between the two. I know, logistically, the FS100 has a better sensor and more latitude. But some of the videos i've seen of it look, perhaps, more video? I think this is probably just b/c there aren't many polished finished FS100 videos out there... more tests than anything. For those of you who have used both, which would you go to for a broadcast commercial or a film? Features aside, which do you think has the best 'look'? Thanks so much and sorry for the redundancy!Maybe I'm missing the point behind your FS100 vs AF100 debate post.
Did you not just sell a brand new unused AF100 because you were going a different route?

Kyle McConaghy
07-01-2011, 08:48 PM
Sorry, I know I'm being silly... i did just sell one. This will be my first personal camera purchase and there isn't a shop in town that rents either one, so I'm getting a bit neurotic with my decision making. I'm definitely set on the FS100, so I'll stop with the AF100 V FS100 debates.

Thanks for all your help!

NeedCreative
07-02-2011, 08:21 PM
No it doesn't. Look at the waveform. They got 10.5. I know verbally Andy said 11.5 but he must have just said it wrong. The actual test results he showed were 10.5.

That's funny, I just noticed that... it's amazing when you hear one thing you think you see another. Then you look again independently and sure enough.. 10.5 stops on the scope. Unless I'm reading it wrong...

NeedCreative
07-02-2011, 08:23 PM
Thanks so much for all of your insight. I've seen some flip cam-like handheld movements from the FS100, so that has kind made me think twice. But I'm sure that is just the operators. I'm looking forward to purchasing mine soon! Thanks again, Kyle.

A lot of the test video being shown is from operators running around in the streets with no stabilization what so ever. It's pretty bad. Look for the samples on tripods or using sliders, they are much nicer and no headaches. :)

Barry_Green
07-02-2011, 10:15 PM
"better sensor" - look, if the end-all and be-all for you is to shoot at 30dB of gain, then by all means, the FS100 is the better unit for you. But for a lot of people there are many many other things a camera needs to do, than shoot at 25600 iso.

Bottom line is that they both put out excellent images (don't forget the BBC has approved the AF100, fed cryin' out loud). It's not like it's some slouch!

If your taste runs to wanting to shoot in the dark, that is where the strength of the FS100 lies. In any other scenario the AF100 should easily match it, but will do so with better convenience, many more features, and cost $1,000 less (body+lens package).

Either camera will deliver simply excellent images. So decide on which one suits your needs based on the features they offer, because that's where they are very different.

alaskacameradude
07-02-2011, 10:52 PM
Well, I mean it is definitely a matter of opinion to say the AF 100 sensor is equal except in low light. Trust me, I was hoping that would be the case,
as the built in ND was a BIG positive to me. I happen to think the FS 100 DOES look better than the AF-100, even in the sun, not only in low light.
(I like the way the FS 100 handles highlights better for example). I think if you take a non biased look at them, the AF-100 has better features in
general, but the FS 100 has a better sensor. I mean that's my opinion, but look at the footage you get from them both as well as the 'features'
.....because really, that IS a feature as well! Not to be argumentative here, but I DO think the FS 100 has a better sensor....and I do not feel
the AF100 easily matches it in anything other than shooting in the dark. HOWEVER, is the difference big enough to give up the other nice things
the AF 100 has that the FS 100 does not??? That is a really hard question. If it was as easy as the sensors basically being equal, except for low
light shooting, I have a feeling the AF 100 would probably outsell the Sony 10-1 and there wouldn't be as many people agonizing over this decision
so much. That's why it's hard, they are both better than the other one in several areas, it's not as easy as one camera having one advantage and
the other camera having 10 advantages. To me, it's SO even between them, that it's basically a draw.....you pick one and live with it's
shortcomings.....and to be honest, they are both so good, it is amazing you can get them for about 5 grand.

David W. Jones
07-03-2011, 05:32 AM
Years back I pulled into the Best Buy parking lot driving an older Ferrari I had restored, when a group of younger guys gathered around the car commenting on how cool the car was. You are driving the best car in the world, one kid exclaimed. Yeah, I'll it's super fast, and it has the best sounding engine ever made, said another. I'd get rid of all my other rides if I could have a Ferrari, said the oldest of the bunch... Well it's not all that, I replied. What do you mean said yet another kid, it's killer! Well it lacks a few features and it's not good at some things, I continued. For example the slope of the front windshield acts like a giant magnifier, and the A/C sucks, so it gets very hot inside at times. The car is incredibly loud to the point I can rev the engine and set off car alarms, which grows a little tiring on longer trips. The car is so low the the ground you have to be very careful on dips or bumps. And because it's lower than any other car, it's hard to see past other vehicles. Plus, because you are driving a Ferrari, everybody, whether they like it or hate it, looks at you to see who you are. You can't pick your nose without someone pointing at you. And lastly, try picking up two people and their luggage from the airport in a Ferrari. It's impossible! So while the Ferrari looks and sounds cool, it lacks features which make it a good all around car.

Bottom line... When shopping for a camera, don't be blinded by selecting a camera for a single feature, like it's sensor size, or it's ability to shoot in the dark. Consider it's overall feature set or lack thereof which you will need for your daily operations, or bread and butter work. I'm not going to say which camera is better for you. And in all honesty, it would be foolish to base your decision to purchase a camera on the comments from an Internet forum, especially comments on which camera looks better, which is subjective, without factoring in the camera's feature set. Do your own homework, and purchase a camera that has the best all around features which "you" need to do your job. Not a camera a fanboy thinks looks better.


All the Best!

Dave

NeedCreative
07-03-2011, 09:01 AM
That's good advice. So when I looked at shoot on the AF100 shot in a relatively low-light situation (still lit by lights, but not a ton) vs a similar scene shot with a FS100, the FS100 holds more detail (significantly so) with less noise. There's literally less picture information on the AF100 in those scenarios, and it shows on broadcast TV. This isn't fanboyism, it's just fact, and it's hardly about "shooting in the dark".

That said, the AF100's a better camera as far as build, features go. Not by leaps and bounds, but enough to notice for sure with its scopes and nicer physical build and ND filters and SDI and so on. However these nice-to-have's don't outweigh what I consistently see as a poorer picture in low light, and a less than graceful rolloff on the highlights. I mean, these are just facts; the AF100's sensor suffers. I'd rather get a camera that suffers less in more shooting situations, even if I have to be careful it doesn't get hit with a stiff wind. :)

Then again I wouldn't ask anyone to take my word for it. Go shoot with both; rent them and shoot with them. Edit and post process the footage, evaluate, and THEN buy.

mcgeedigital
07-03-2011, 09:58 AM
I'll also say I think the gh2 has a better sensor than the af100.

Suuuuure, okay.

Rick Burnett
07-03-2011, 04:02 PM
Suuuuure, okay.

Was just going to comment on that as well. I've tested the GH2 and AF100 as well, and people who think that the GH2 is a better sensor must be looking at a special version of the GH2 that I can't get! :)

Don't get me wrong, the GH2 has a nice sensor, but when it comes to real world aliasing and rolling shutter, the GH2 didn't perform as well. I shot a scene with both that involved and external AC unit on a house with fins for air movement and the GH2 was HORRIBLE with the moire/aliasing on those fins. The AF100 handled them fine. Also, the AF100 sensor reads almost twice as fast at the GH2 in normal mode (the GH2 is slightly faster in extended tele mode but that is to be expected).

No thanks. After using the GH2 it was clear the AF100 had been a better choice.

I just shot a test scene today with the AF100, FS100 and 7D over in the FS100 forum. I was testing aliasing. They all failed the guitar string test. And I am POSITIVE the GH2 would have as well.

Danespina
07-04-2011, 07:41 AM
I'm currently saving on up for the FS100. I'll get some $400-$500 ND and that'll be that. Can't upgrade to a bigger sensor on the Af100, and for me, I'd always be wishing I could.

GRENCH
07-04-2011, 02:02 PM
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GRENCH
07-04-2011, 02:48 PM
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