May 30, 2011

The Sony FS100 Goes Up to 16,000 ISO

The folks at AbelCine have put the prosumer Sony FS100 through the same tests to which they subjected its professional cousin, the Sony F3, and have discovered some interesting things. First of all, it seems the FS100 gets about 10 stops of dynamic range as opposed to the F3's 12 stops. But the FS100 has higher sensitivity settings, which let it reach the equivalent of an astounding 16,000 ISO. Here's the chart that AbelCine came up with, to translate Sony's video-centric "db gain" settings to the filmic ISO rating to which many are more accustomed:

Gain db Level ISO Rating
0 db 500 ISO
+3 db 800 ISO
+6 db 1000 ISO
+9 db 1600 ISO
+12 db 2000 ISO
+15 db 3200 ISO
+18 db 4000 ISO
+21 db 6400 ISO
+24 db 8000 ISO
+27 db 12800 ISO
+30 db 16000 ISO

To summarize, AbelCine's Andy Shipsides states, "we were amazed by the results, especially the ISO 8000 and 16000 results. My light meter couldn’t even go above 8000." Click through to Abel's full post for frame grabs from the high ISO footage.

Link: Sony FS100 Ratings and Dynamic Range - AbelCine

Your Comment


The term "gain" has such bad connotations that brings nightmares of noise jumping all over the blacks and frame.

May 31, 2011 at 12:13PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I generally hate ISO period.

June 1, 2011 at 8:08AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


My question is, why are they still labeling stuff "gain" on cameras that they are marketing as "cinematic." I mean changing to the ISO scale would make life so much easier and be much more appealing to users.

June 2, 2011 at 1:10PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


What's the difference? In essence it is just a word. The fact remains that it destroys the picture by pushing the blacks to an unnatural grainy mosquito noise look. Pretty awful. The colours jump all over the place. Might be easier for a photographer to understand ISO, but for anyone using video cameras on a daily basis, all this equates to is electronic gain of the picture, I never go above +12db on my cameras, they just start to look really ugly, really quick. Really the latitude of a camera is expressed in how it deals with the highlights, not how sensitive it can be in the dark. If you value your shooting, you wouldn't be using any camera in low lit conditions, lighting is key to getting the right look for your picture.

June 2, 2011 at 3:20PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM