PXW-Z100 - 4K for the Rest Of Us

Discussion in 'Sony Alphas/ NEX' started by Matt Davis, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. Matt Davis Administrator

    It's almost IBC, we've heard the rumours, and tonight the kind folks who lent me their shiny new toy have allowed me to show this in advance of my fuller report:

    If anyone remembers the impact that the Sony Z1 had on the market, this is a little bit of history repeating. It does for 4K what the Z1 did for HD, and 'maybe' goes a little further. My kind hosts have agreed to publish it here:


    More is on its way. Much more.
  2. Adam Roberts Chatty!

    Sony trying to win you back after dropping them for the C100.

    Matt Davis likes this.
  3. Matt Davis Administrator

    Aww - it was only the FS100. Had to choose between the C100 and FS700. I would, I think I am on record as saying, prefer both. But for the kind of work I'm being asked to do, C100 suits me better.

    But what REALLY gets my goat is that actually my EX1Rs are getting most work at the moment. If they met an unholy, gruesome end, I'd replace them with PMW200s or maybe even the PMW300s rather than a C300. :rolleyes:
  4. Adam Roberts Chatty!

    Yeah I know your reasons and I think they are perfectly valid.


    My FS100 still get lots of use. Just wish Sony would add Cinegamma to the FS100 so it can be better matched with the FS700 on 2 camera shoots.

    As a result producers look to Canon C100 & C300 for 2 camera shoots.

    Makes replacing the FS100 with a C100 more attractive. Would rather just add the FS700 to my set-up.
  5. Ivan Lietaert Chatty!

    You write in code, Matt. Do you like it or not? Doesn't the small sensor bother your?
  6. Matt Davis Administrator

    The small sensor may actually be a little smaller than we thought. The practical tests make it look like it tallies with some numbers that are now available, that the Z100 may be cropping its 1/2.3" sensor to something close to a third inch sensor. Do that worry me? Personally, I'd have preferred half inch. But as time goes on, I am 'Getting over' the big sensor thing. I need one, but most of my shoots are best done with a half inch - compromised between scary depth of field issues and trying to lose the background in a talking head.

    A big sensor isn't the be all and end all.

    Sorry if I sound cagey - I've not seen the true quality of the pictures yet. There's talk of 10 stops of dynamic range, but we have cinetone not cinegamma.

    If I were at the point I was at 6 years ago, I would buy this camera. my business now would lean far heavier to PMW300 or two plus a C100. If I did more studio work, that would be a FS700.

    I may end up with a Z100 as my first 4K camera, but because I have EX1s, the BM4K may be a better experimental bet for me. See what I mean? Everry persons situation is different.

    If you're the kind of person who would have bought a Z1 when it was launched (in that market, not today's market), then the Z100 is just right for you today.

    I think that's the best way I can put it.
  7. Adam Janz I'm new!

    Matt (I posted this over on your Dvxuser thread, but is seems you're more active here), is there a "Shot Transition" feature on this cam? Also, does it have proper f-stop readouts onscreen for the aperture or just "exposure" increments like the PMW-100?

  8. Matt Davis Administrator

    Good point - no shot transition buttons (that was a very useful feature now I come to recall it).

    Happy to report that the f-stop is reported properly - and accurately when you zoom in and out wide open (unlike the EX1, ahem).
  9. Adam Janz I'm new!

    Thank you, Matt, for taking the time to respond. I'm glad to hear that news! :) I posted a couple other questions on your dvxuser thread.
  10. Matt Davis Administrator

  11. Kenai Hollister Chatty!

    Question for the experts...

    Would you get a practically new FS700 + Metabones Speedbooster ( all mint condition) or the Z100? Pretend they are the same price... I have plenty of Canon L glass, but I don't want to simply get the FS700 because of the slow motion. Also, the FS700 is 4K RAW capable, which allows me to upgrade in the future, but... I'm sure by then there will be something better! So, what do you guys think? I'm coming from DSLRs (5D Mark II & III) trying to get in to a proper video camera. Also, the changing of lenses is sometimes annoying and cumbersome. I shoot music videos, business profiles, events... a wide array of things, kind of wherever the money is... Thoughts?
  12. Matt Davis Administrator

    FS700 and Metabones Speedbooster all the way... IF you shoot 'nice' stuff and don't have to do fast moving events where changing lenses is a dangerous liability and longer lenses are required. It's only the 'Events' you mention that makes me pause for thought.

    The Z100 is in the same category as the venerable Z1, and would suit somebody in the corporate or industrial sector doing more 'technical' stuff, carving out a new market that the camera opens up.

    I have to say, if you're doing corporate events/conferences, you just can't beat the PMW-EX1R - a good secondhand example can still be had for a reasonable sum. But then you need both - an FS700 for the sheer look, the EX1 for single camera speed and efficiency.

    I hope to be spending some quality time with the Z100 in November, though. ;)
  13. Kenai Hollister Chatty!

    Thanks for the info sir. I'm very curios to see some non-Sony provided Z100 footage!
  14. derrick fokker I'm new!

    Hi Matt, good review you're running on vimeo thanks.
    Since you have used a z100, has it got a variable shutter angle?
  15. Matt Davis Administrator

    IIRC, it's shutter speed only - it's not really about having pretentions to being a digital film camera. But then again, I had an 'alpha' (not final) version of the camera on test.
  16. Al Caudullo I'm new!

    The camera really has the "feel" of the HDV Z1 camera. It is definitely meant for "run n' gun" videography. Indie filmmakers, like myself, love this format.
    The images it produces are really quite good.
    I have been working with it for a couple of weeks and here are two videos. Be sure to adjust to 2160p in YouTube.

    Let me know what you think.
  17. ColfudCarmichael I'm new!

    So I've done plenty of research on this camera (Sony z100) I have to say, it is fast to use (fixed zoom lens) has a high quality of image (4.2.2. 10bit, has full HD HFR: 1920 60fps, & 4k & UHD 60fps. Honestly with the price, it costs about the same as fully loaded 5D or 6D. Even if you get a Small HD to go to its 3G-SDI port. I think it's superior than the dslrs as of now. I grew up on camcorders with HDV, so it is the most "familiar camera" to me that meets my requirements.

    Any opinions on the Sony z100 possibly being better than the Canon DSLRs that everyone adores?
  18. Matt Davis Administrator

    I admire your ability to rise above the DSLR 'fluff', good sir! I doff my cap to you.

    If your heart is set on 4K, the Z100 delivers a really good codec and 'today' features (S&Q). There are other 4K options, but as you rightly put it - the DSLR ergonomics and fiddle factor make them difficult to use in many 'money earning' situations. We can't all shoot beautiful art projects, most of the time it's 'Talking Heads + B-Roll'. I still use my EX1Rs for about half my work because they're darn good at what they do, and they do most things.

    I think you might find that you'll earn more and have a more sane life with the Z100, but you won't win any awards or collect as much expensive add-ons as a DSLR shooter. Its image, the actual look, is typical Sony. I am still on the fence about highlight handling, it does look like a Z1 picture to me.

    I'm waiting for the EX1R version of the Z100 - half inch chips, please. But if Panasonic and JVC are convinced that there's a future in 1/3", we know what we have to do. In the case of interviews, it means opening the door and filming from the corridor outside, usually! LOL

    Unfortunately, the real truth is that we can't have one do-it-all camera these days. You'll want a DSLR, AND a 'little black sausage of joy' like the Z100. And a GoPro or three...
    Al Caudullo likes this.
  19. Al Caudullo I'm new!

    Look for a few interesting announcements at NAB!!!
    I'll be there, waiting with baited breath!
  20. David Screen I'm new!

    Hello Matt - after seeing your review of the Sony Z100 I - very stupidly - bought one. I'm a photographer wanting to be a videographer, unfortunately I'm feeling that's yet another stupid move. Why? I'll answer that with a question; does anyone (please) actually know (and can tell) how to make the Z100 produce the supposedly superb, ultra high quality footage that it boasts of - instead of the rat doodle I'm seeing from my Z100. Clearly I'm not up to it yet - but what do I have to do NOW to the Z100 to make it work for me... not you, you clever, skilled people - but ME. Little o'l me. Cheers - in sleepless anticipation. Thanks: David

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