Sony's New NEX-FS100U Super 35mm-Sensor Camcorder


Sony’s new NEX-FS100UK (B&H kit) will give videographers plenty to think about when it comes to choosing their next video or still camera. Is it better to shoot video with a DSLR that takes stunning stills? Or would it be worth upgrading to a DSLR video camera that can capture beautiful stills as well? 

Either way, there’s no doubt that this new camcorder from Sony marks the next step in affordable, professional video camera innovation.

The Sony NEX-FS100UK is a 35mm camcorder that sports the same sensor as the more expensive PMW-F3, while still staying under the $7k threshold. Its features make it an ideal choice for filmmakers, videographers and educators, and it’s just about ready to go right out of the box. The camera arrives with an E-mount 18-200mm zoom lens and an ECM-XM1 microphone, enough to start your production right away. But if your shoots require other gear, you can also switch out the lenses for your own E-mount interchangeable lenses or use an adapter to attach your own A-mount lenses. You can also boost the sound performance through dual XLR inputs.

Indie filmmakers might be one of the strongest potential markets for the NEX-FS100K. That sensitive sensor will give you excellent depth of field and should also work nicely in low-light situations. In one of their promo videos for the camera, Sony illustrates the camera’s ability to shoot in low-light situations by capturing an entire scene illuminated just by candlelight. But you won’t need Sony’s studio resources at your disposal to capture excellent video and stills. Along with the fine S35-size CMOS sensor, the camera also has image stabilization that will let you walk around and keep a steady shot without having to use any additional gear.   

As for recording options, the NEX-FS100K offers the kind of hybrid recording you’ve probably come to expect from next-generation cameras. You’ll be able to record directly to a mounted  HXR-FMU Flash Memory Unit as well as SD, SDHC, SDXC memory cards or a Memory Stick. You can shoot both HD and SD video and capture full 1080p video at up to a 60p frame rate. You’ll also be able to shoot slow- and quick-motion video in full HD, for impressive detail when played back on an HD monitor.

Some other features that might grab your attention are: geotagging, useful when shooting on site and when having to return to an unfamiliar location; the XtraFine LCD panel, which makes it easy to frame a shot, and which you can also rotate where you need it for high- or low-angle shots; and the  modular design and picture profile settings, that make it easy to adjust the body and call up your preset settings for a particular scene without wasting a lot of time just getting the camera ready. There’s a lot to look forward to when Sony releases this camera. We're expecting to see it hit the shelves at B&H sometime in July, 2011.

While the NEX-FS100UK does boast the benefits of DSLR, it is definitely a professional video camera first and foremost.  

Image Device

Super 35mm Exmor CMOS Image Sensor (23.6 x 13.3mm)

Picture Elements

1920 x 1080 (Effective)

Lens Mount

Sony E-Mount


18-200mm (11x) Zoom, 27-300mm 35mm equivalent
6-bladed Iris
67mm Filter Thread


Manual and Auto


Optical SteadyShot w/Active Mode

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

54dB (Y) (typical)

Horizontal Resolution

1000 TV lines or more (1920 x 1080i mode)

Minimum Illumination

0.28 lx (1/30 shutter, IRIS F1.4, Auto GAIN)

LCD Monitor

3.5 inch-type, XtraFine LCD
Approx. 921,600 dots (1920 x 480), 16:9 aspect


Supplied VF tube for LCD

Shutter Speed

Auto: 1/60-1/2000, 30p: 1/30-1/2000, 24p: 1/48-1/2400
Manual: 60i/30p/60p: 1/3-1/10000, 24p: 1/3-1/10000

White Balance

Auto, Outdoor (5800K), Indoor (3200K), One-push (Touch panel)

Memory Card Slot

SD/SDHC/SDXC / Memory Stick (x1)

Recording Format

HD: HD MPEG-4 AVCHD format compatible (1080/60p original format)
SD: MPEG-2 PS (Same as DVD)

HD: Linear PCM (2ch, 16-bit, 48-kHz) / Dolby Digital 2ch, 16bit, 48kHz
STD: Dolby Digital 2ch, 16bit, 48kHz

Frame Rates

HD mode
PS (28Mbps) 1920x1080 60p
HD FX (24Mbps) 1920x1080 30p
HD FX (24Mbps) 1920x1080 24p
HD FX (24Mbps) 1920x1080 60i
HD FH (17Mbps) 1920x1080 60i
HD HQ (9Mbps) 1440x1080 60i
HD LP (5Mbps) 1440x1080 60i
HD FH (17Mbps),1920x1080 24p
HD FH (17Mbps) 1920x1080 30p
HD FX (24Mbps), 1280x720 60p
HD FH (17Mbps) 1280x720 60p

SD mode
HQ (9Mbps) 720 x 480/60i (30p, 24p Scan)

Slow & Quick Motion Function
REC Frame Rates: 1080 60p/30p/24p Capture Rates: 60 fps, 30 fps, 15 fps, 8 fps,
4 fps, 2 fps, 1 fps

Recording/Playback Time

170 min (2h 50m) with 32GB Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX
@FX (24Mbps), Linear PCM 2ch Recording

Input and Output Connectors

HDMI (x1 Output)
Component: RCAx3 (x1 Output)
Composite: RCA (x1 Output)
Line/Mic: 3-pin XLR (x2 Input)
Audio: RCAx2 (x1 Output)
USB: Mini-AB/Hi-Speed (x1)
Headphone: 3.5mm Stereo Mini (x1 Output)
Remote: 2.5mm Stereo Mini (x1)

Dimensions (WxHxD)

5 x 4 x 7.6" (12.7 x 10.2 x 19.4 cm) (body only)
7 x 7.6 x 20.5" (17.8 x 19.2 x 52 cm) (w/lens)


2.3 lb (1.04kg) (body only)
6.1 lb (2.76kg) (w/lens)


"This camera and its sensor are optimized for shooting video and it does not capture still images. You can grab stills from the video using software in post processing but you can't just push a button on the camera to do it"

When capturing the video image using software such as Final Cut Pro or IMovie etc. will we get professional photo still quality meaning straight clean lines & edges or not.


So when are we to expect a PAL version?

So when are we to expect a PAL version?

Does anyone know if it can record interchangeably between PAL and NTSC frame rates like Canon DSLR's?

this camera looks really good, does anyone know if you can take a still image with this camera also?



This camera and its sensor are optimized for shooting video and it does not capture still images. You can grab stills from the video using software in post processing but you can't just push a button on the camera to do it. Thanks for visiting B&H InDepth.

really michael really ?