Sony Extra.Ordinary. Submit a cool idea to be in with chance of winning an FS100

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Ethics Statement: I was paid by Sony to make three short pieces with detailed “how to” shoots on how to use the camera. I am not in the permanent  employ of Sony or under contract, just this gig. I took on this job as it excited me and was a chance to get more experience on the FS100. 

Extra.Ordinary: Philip Bloom ‘Evening Waltz’ Trailer from Sony Professional on Vimeo.

Shoot something quite ordinary and make it “extra ordinary” and at the same time filmed to create educational content for Sony’s new site for cameramen new to the FS100. Sounds fun to me! I love to shoot and I love to teach. Two in one. Smashing.

The idea was to make a competition to get people to see what the FS100 can do. For anyone in Europe, yes just Europe )sorry it’s a Sony Europe thing. Making it worldwide is a legal nightmare, even Italy cannot enter due to legal issues)  you simply have to come up with an idea of something relatively dull and give an exciting treatment of how to shoot it in a clever and creative way. I love that sort of challenge. Something I thrive on.

The initial idea was to offer the prize of me shooting it and making it into a film, but I said people would get more excited if you threw in an FS100 too. They agreed. Hurrah! Much better!

Click on the link on the image below for an interview with me and to see the film I made to kick it off “Evening Waltz” and the below image to enter competition.

These are the countries who can can enter:

So I have made two films. The first one Evening Waltz is live on the Sony site and the teaser is above (I am working on getting an HD downloadable version there asap). The second as yet untitled film will be released in December. It’ll be very different from the first film, especially as it’s all controlled and lit.

Here are two teaser shots from it…

So what was the concept of “Evening Waltz”? Simply put, it’s to make something rather ordinary look smashing through the use of the camera’s abilities and my own skills. We filmed in a funfair at the very end of Summer in London, and to be honest it was rather crappy! It’s a traveling fair, so not exactly epic and really quite tired looking to put it bluntly. But that was the point! If it was amazing where is the “extra.ordinary” in that?

Yes this was made for Sony so a Sony camera was to be used. Not a problem. Far from it!! The F3 and FS100 are both excellent cameras. Hand on heart though, despite being paid to shoot with an FS100, it was the perfect camera for the job and I would have chosen it anyway. It’s small, lightweight so very easy for mounting on things and EXTREMELY good in low light. The combination I needed.

Funfairs, like nightclubs and me, look their best at night, low light, no daylight, illuminated by artificial light. Due to this being shot in August, the sun set late and the park closed at 10:30pm. This gave us little time to shoot. I did not want to shoot this during the day! So we decided to do this over two nights to take the stress away.

Because this was a commercial production, releases would be needed for all people shown. This would be tricky, as I wanted to focus on individuals’ faces, and getting people to agree to be on things like this is hard. Easier if it’s for yourself. Harder if it’s for a commercial endeavour. So we made the sensible choice of bringing in some extras whom I focused on. You will notice that in all the other shots you can’t actually make out who they are. All done with selective framing and shallow depth of field.

I shot this all at 50p, not 25p overcranked, as I wanted to record the sound. Shooting 25p 50fps means mute pictures (this is a EUROPEAN FS100 and only shoots 25p and 50p, a firmware update unlocking 24p, 30p and 60p are coming in the new year). One of the best things about this camera (which the F3 does not do, nor even the new C300) is 1080p slow motion. The downside of shooting 50p is it looks decidedly unsexy on playback. Like interlaced. Yuck. You have to conform in post to play it back in 25p. Easily done. Oh Final Cut cannot cope with 1080p 50p so I used clip rewrap  to rewrap the 50p AVCHD into a .mov and it’s very fast in doing that. Then using Magic Bullet’s Grinder I converted to Pro Res and ticked the option to conform to 25p at the same time. It’s a nice feature and MB Grinder is a steal at $50, even more so with my 20% code for all Magic Bullet products at checkout. bloom20.

For lenses I used my MTF services Nikon mount and my Zeiss ZF glass, some Nikon glass and my Samyang 35mm F1.4.  Tripod was a Miller compass 25 Solo. Monitor was a TV logic 5.6″ and sound was via a Rode NTG-2.

There is LOADS more info in the 2 BTS films as to why I shot it like I did and how. You do need to register I am afraid but hey you get something out of it!

My damn super assistant was the brilliant James Miller. Jim Dinsdale came along and helped as did Phil Benoit on one night. Jim appears in the film trying to knock down the cans. I do need to point out that after 243 unsuccessful attempts I said to him “hang on”. I locked the camera off, hit record and knocked them all down with the 3 bags first try. This is extremely rare for me. I normally miss. Unlike my friend Jon Connor who is a fairground hustler! I felt like a real man for once. Shame I didn’t walk away with a 9 foot soft toy Elephant!

Although I do find the FS100 a somewhat fiddly camera, the image is really gorgeous. That S35 sensor is great, and the sensitivity of it is just superb! I know with more shoots the camera will become less and less fiddly due to familiarity. This was the first thing I had shot on the camera, so it was a bit of a challenge for myself too!

All photos thanks to Jim Dinsdale. Good man Jim!




The excellent James Miller with his FS100

Yes...this is me doing a serious "recce"




Another Recce



I'm Philip Bloom?







  1. Hi, Filip ! Good new about the firmware that will allow to shoot 60p with the FS100 european model, do you think that will have a day a Slog like the F3 or a Technicolor picture Profile like on the 5DMKII ? That’ll be great !

  2. After seeing this camera and the more I hear about it, the more and more I’m leaning towards taking the leap and buying it. I started out 7 years ago with the vx2100 so I’ve always loved Sony and I feel like its time to expand beyond just the Nikon d7000. I think I can handle the issues with the awkward control placement (I mean, come on, I shoot video with a Nikon:-) because in the end the image quality and range of features is really what is most important.

    The price tag makes me poop my pants a little but you have to take risks right?

    Hopefully they will make a us contest at some point.

    Philip, do you agree this is a good step up camera when coming from shooting with the hd dslr? I like the Panasonic you showed, but for some gut reason I’m leaning towards this one.

    Thank you!

  3. Hey Philip,
    how are you? I wanted to find out how is it dealing with itunes with uploading videos,music rights,payment for the videos? I want to upload some of my bmx video on there and i seen some company’s are podcasts but i seen you cant charge money for a podcast.Plus i dont see a 3 min bmx movie been a movie too. Any tips? thanks

  4. I’ve been holding my breath for a moiré free (or at least drastically reduced) 5DmkIII. I don’t want to invest in a Sony E mount or M43 lens system, but unfortunately, I have a project starting and my back is at the proverbial wall. So…, it’s looking like the FS100 or a hacked GH2 (44Mbit).

    The Sony image is better – it looks to hold highlights better and has a lot more dynamic range to my eye than the Pana. On the other hand, portability is an issue for me and the GH2 wins in this category. Neither has an ND filter ring – both will necessitate a matt box with base plate and rails so the GH2’s small footprint is attractive. Audio is moot, because I prefer to shoot double system anyway.

    Philip, any thoughts on the FS100 vs hacked GH2?

  5. Thanks, Philip. I get your point.

    I was a little wary of the FS100 lens mount since the camera only weighs slightly more than 2lbs (US) I didn’t see how it would take much of a load w/o support. However, the stills from your shoot above seem to indicate you have little fear of stacking both a mount adapter and solid glass on it.

    Thanks for your web site – great resource. Also looking forward to your A77 review.

  6. I had an awesome time being part of this Phil. Thanks once again for the opportunity. The final video looks great and it was so much fun to watch how you work.

    I really cant thank you enough!

    I do admit to missing a few hundred times with the tin cans…thankfully we weren’t shooting on film.

  7. This is exactly what I wanted to see! I am in the process of selling my Sony HDV Z5 and replace it with a Sony FS100.
    I would say though that the image from the FS100 wasn’t that far off what I am getting with my Canon 60D (Which I love, also thanks for the advice Phil on the Samyang 35mm 1.4 it’s great)
    At the end of the day the camera is just a tool if you get the same images from a Prosumer Camera as a Pro Camera does it really matter? I think biggest factor with the FS100 is it a time saver??

  8. Hi

    Nice looking pictures. Can I ask how you approached exposure with the FS100?
    I have a tendancy to overexpose with this camera if anything.
    Do you use the historgram or just judge the picture from whats on the monitor?
    Or do you approach it in a nuch more technical manor!


  9. Hey Phil, really really nice work on Sugared Art, that’s my favorite “non-narative” work from you, by far. The framing is gorgeous.

    I tried the contest and I posted my idea yesterday. Didn’t receive any email confirmation trough…
    It was damn hard for me to explain my idea in only 100 words, the fact that I don’t speak english fluently didn’t help either !

  10. Hi philip,

    Love your blog, inspiring.

    I’v seen the winner is anounched 23 dec. However excpected, to bad my idea is not choosen. Luckly I already own a FS100, but you can’t have enough, gne ;).

    When is the winner public? I’m bad curious how the film is going to look and what it’s about. The first two are amazing.


  11. any feedback at all.

    you see, no one got a verifying email for participating.
    we just got a page that said thank you.
    also, the competition was supposed to end at december the 16th but almost a month has passed and we can still submit and idea because the submission form is still on and we still get that thank you page.
    also there is no info about when and if something will be announced.
    i mean this whole thing feels like an abandoned competition.
    did they changed their mind or something?
    i dont know what feedback i am after. just something. anything.

    thanks philip

  12. Hi Philip

    I just purchased an NEX-FS100UK. Making the first test I noticed that the iris run automatically when I operate the zoom.

    If I use the zoom to get the focus on the iris closes automatically… if it becomes F3.5 after the zoom it goes to F6, for exemple. All the manual settings are pressed. I’ve already have an EX-3 and it never happened with that camera. I’m forgetting some step to stop iris working automatically? I read the manual and not found any specifications about it.

    Please help me. I dont believe that it woks like that… isn’t it a professional camera that you work?

    By the way… i’m using the supplied lenses Sony E-Mount 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Zoom Lens for NEX Camera…

    Thank you for the attention!! Indeed!!

    All the best!!

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