DP Brandon Vincent: Shooting with the NEX-FS100
Brandon Vincent is a Massachusetts-based freelance videographer and editor and a Sony NEX-FS100 owner. He’s had the camera for almost a year, and I recently talked to him about his experience using it.
Filmmaker: What kind of work are you shooting?
Vincent: I do pretty much whatever comes to me really, but I do a lot of interviews, highlight videos of events, and I do a lot of my own personal stuff. I shot some comedy things. I don’t shoot a lot of documentary work, but it’s something I would like to get into.
Filmmaker: When did you get the camera?
Vincent: I bought it right around when they were released last summer, and I have been shooting with it ever since.
Filmmaker: You’re using Nikon lenses with it?
Vincent: I have a number of Nikon lenses and I use the Novoflex NEX to Nikon F adapter.
Filmmaker: How’s that working?
Vincent: Actually, really well. I had a cheaper MTF adapter that was not nearly as good. There were some light-leak issues with it and the aperture controller wasn’t as smooth, it just didn’t work as well as the Novoflex. The Novoflex just works so much better, it’s got a dampened ring on it and it’s very tight – no leak or anything.
Filmmaker: What lenses do you use with that?
Vincent: For handheld work I am using a Tamrom 17-50 2.8, which has been a really nice versatile lens. And then I’ve got an old 20-35 2.8 Nikon that’s a pretty good wide angle. It’s not as versatile as the other lens, but it’s very sharp and it’s got a great picture. And then for my telephoto, I’ve got a Tamron 70-200.
Filmmaker: And you didn’t get the kit lens?
Vincent: No, I don’t have the kit lens.
Filmmaker: What are you doing for audio?
Vincent: I record to the camera, but I’ve got a Sennheiser shotgun that I’ll use on a boom pole, or I’ll stick it on the camera, mounted to the camera’s microphone mount. I’ve also got a Shure Lav and I’m picking up a G3 wireless Lav this coming week.
Filmmaker: Do you use it on a rig?
Vincent: I picked up a Vinten Blue tripod right around the time I got the camera, which has worked out pretty well; it’s a really nice size for that camera. And then recently I had to do some handheld work and I figured I’d pick up a shoulder rig because it doesn’t lend itself well to handheld work at all because of the weird shape of the camera.
I got a couple of recommendations, but I ended up going with a Zacuto Recoil rig. It’s a newer rig of theirs. It’s a little less expensive than their bigger rigs, but it’s also a little smaller. It’s got a little less to it, but it really balances well with the camera because of the way the shoulder mount is actually situated directly underneath the camera. It really helps with the weight of the camera on your shoulder. It’s got two front handles which makes it easy to do handheld work with.
Filmmaker: What picture profile(s) are you using with the camera these days?
Vincent: At the moment, I have two of Frank Glencairn’s profiles, two of AbelCine’s profiles (AB_HILIT and AB_RANGE), another that I modified that was based on AB_RANGE, and one that’s slightly tweaked which I use for green screen.
I rarely use Frank’s profiles. They require a lot of work after the fact, and the majority of my work is either handed directly to the client or has a fast turn-around time. Delivering that kind of footage untouched to someone unaware would not be a good idea.
I tend to shoot with my modified profile most frequently. Unfortunately, situations are always different, so there’s never just one profile I can use for everything, but I can usually manage with those three.
Filmmaker: Do you use the LCD or do you have an EVF?
Vincent: I use a Small HD DP6 which, it’s not quite an EVF, but it is pretty much the monitor I use 98% of the time.
Filmmaker: Even when you use the rig?
Vincent: Yeah. That’s actually what I use. I should eventually pick up an EVF for when I use the rig, but I just move the DP6 out in front of my face as far as I can and throw the sun shade on it and use that as kind of a makeshift EVF. It works. It’s not completely comfortable, but it does work well and it’s a great monitor, so I like using it whenever I can.