“Unfortunately it's very hard to comprehensively test cameras, & I doubt Stewart will get a full feel for these models without using them for more than a week each.”
I'll say it again and keep in mind I own one.
The FS 100 is the camera that could, the F3 is the camera that should, but in regards to the FS 100 it's just not there.
To start with somebody other than RED and Arri needs to come out with a raw file. After, many, many terabytes of data I can attest that shooting a raw file does not slow down post production in almost any situation, including studio.
I guess it depends on how you work, but if on set time is at a minimum, setting up a RED for raw file, vs fine tuning a Sony, or Panasonic, can take time and time is money, especially on set, especially if you run multiple cameras.
With a raw file you don't really have to care about exactly fine tuning tone, or color on set because you can always change it in processing, save the settings and apply them to all the images from the session with some minor tweeks.
Working with the RED rocket, processing out is very, very fast on almost any machine.
Not to go off topic, but if your shooting anything and want to add interest, go to multiple cameras on the same session. When you get to the editorial portion of post having multiple angles is much more interesting than just one.
Obviously with just one camera, you can change position, have the talent go through the same sequence, but it's never exactly the same.
Anyway, back to the FS100.
I bought it, I use it a fair amount, especially if I need quick autofocus, but for a work a day camera, the difference between 10 bit, 4:2:2 vs. a raw 12 bit 4:4:4 is huge and no matter how much budget you have in post, if the data isn't there, isn't not there.
I've always found Sony the most perplexing company in the world. I know they have the ability to make almost anything, but they seem to not really embrace the new digital cinema cameras, at least not with the seriousness of RED and Arri.
Sony is fine if your shooting the CBS evening news, or working with huge engs in the field, but for the new cinema, film look cameras they just don't really get it. With the FS100 they're trying, but I'd love for one of their engineers to come into our studio after a shoot, strip the wrapper off of hundreds of files and then try to find a way to color match footage while transcoding to pro rez.
Once again I'm brand agnostic and not a cheerleader for any camera company. RED has some policies that would make the average dmv worker pull their hair out and can make the Russian FSB seem chatty, but RED has one thing going for it, the file under almost any circumstance is very pretty and moveable. Since RED started with a clean sheet, why they didn't embrace autofocus on all of their cameras from the get go is a tip of the hat to focus pullers world wide.
And speaking of stills from motion, you can make a still from any motion camera, but the RED still is useable. Maybe not 1ds3 in quality, but surely good enough to print, more than good enough for a 27" lcd.
In fact we've had clients run 30 something still images from the RED and we've run 5 or 6 in self promotion.
For the world of new media where stills, video, graphics are all mixed to produce something different and compelling, I don't think anyone makes the camera we exactly need. Maybe they never will, but like most, I'm interested in seeing what Canon has up their sleeves.