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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS700 CineAlta
4K EXMOR sensor with SDI, slow-motion recording.


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Old July 5th, 2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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First 10 days with FS700

I ordered a FS700 the day it was announced thinking that in addition to the slow motion it would be a great B cam for the F3. It arrived 10 days ago and Iíve been using it every day on a variety of shoots.

While others have they donít like the ergonomics of the camera I have had no problems adapting to it, either on sticks or hand held. Must be all those years using Hasselblads and Rollieís.

It is heavier at the rear with a large battery that will certainly change when other lenses etc are added. I bought it with the standard Sony 18 - 200mm lens but have a Nikon and Sony A mount adaptors ordered and will order a Sony 70-400 lens for it as I have a Nikkor 80 - 400 for the F3

The Calgary Stampede starts this week and Iím going to be shooting up there for a few days so I dropped by at the Raymond rodeo last Monday to see how the camera would perform.
Posted a few clips to Vimeo.
Shots are as they came from the camera, no correction of any kind.

So far Iím quite impressed. Itís a fun camera to work with.
cheers
Morton
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Old July 5th, 2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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Re: First 10 days with FS700

Wonderful shots Morton...
Slowmo is perfect for rodeo.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:33 AM   #3
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Re: First 10 days with FS700

If you want similar latitude to your F3 then I recommend you use Cinegamma 4 on the FS700. The FS700 is a really, really good camera for the money.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 06:16 AM   #4
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Re: First 10 days with FS700

Lack of ND filters on the FS100 aside, how much difference in quality is there between the 2 cams?
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Old July 6th, 2012, 08:19 AM   #5
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Re: First 10 days with FS700

PMJI...

Much better highlight handling - CineGamma 3 and 4 are wonderful to have on the FS700, main reason for my investment. I'm pretty sure we don't have the 'disco-lit burned out highlight edges' we used to, and the red-clipping and 'cadaver yellow skin highlights' are gone.

Right now, I'm not seeing much difference - I can live with the dip in sensitivity. I've wasted too much time gazing at charts, consumed too much Merlot trying to understand what they mean, willing to live with the little bit of aliasing in the super slow motion, happy to mix the two (FS100 and FS700) together as their detail and resolution seem to be okay together. Biggest issue will be the lenses - the 'film stock' of digital shooting. Both would have to wear FD or Nikkor or EF pairings to give them the best chance of matching in post.

So for me it's coming down to the physical differences... The images really are very good, with all the best bits from the FS100 plus those nice tweaks. But in just living with the camera...

HD-SDI is a killer feature for some. It becomes an equal citizen in bigger shoots and setups, rather than a problem child. The BNC is a good solid connector that has held the broadcast video industry together since dot, and the HDMI connector is pants in comparison. If you exist in a little onesome bubble and look after your kit, HDMI is fine, but it gets loose and jiggly on abused kit, and does funny things with external recorders when you really REALLY need 1080p50 or 1080p25, not psf. But I digress...

There's the little things like the fact that all the buttons stand out more from the body. Not by much, but by enough for Sony to see fit to have a 'turn the buttons off' switch for when you're hand-holding or using it in a shoulder rig. I'm a bit annoyed to find that the 'Expanded Focus' dedicated button has gone from the body and yet there's a wholly redundant shutter button above the Start/Stop button on its bottom right corner - that could have been the Expanded Focus. Now we have to either lose one of the main buttons or use the hand grip.

On the other hand, the hand grip is now quite useful.

For those of us who use the kit lens and AF, the Spot Focus has genuine usefulness in a R&G environment and makes the lens twice as useful (as in 'steps up from 10% to 20%').

Oh - and the handle is lovely. Sturdy and studly.

You can spend almost the difference in cost between the FS100 and FS700 just by putting a decent handle on an FS100, adding HDMI to HD-SDI and getting a top notch set of NDs and a Vari-ND.

If the FS100 was a 'proper step up from shooting video with DSLRs', the FS700 feels like it's the 'Baby F3'.

OTOH... I really hope we get an intervalometer to use with the FS700 photo mode, though that's just wishful thinking at the moment.
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Last edited by Matt Davis; July 6th, 2012 at 08:50 AM.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 09:04 AM   #6
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Re: First 10 days with FS700

I'm still getting some overload artefacts on bright high contrast areas that result in a black or white edge around the highlight. I suspect this is a result of the limited bit depth in the DSP. Latitude when using Cinegammas is comparable to an F3 with Cinegammas maybe even a touch better, the F3 still has the edge in S-Log, but only by about 1 stop. The FS700 is noticeably noisier for the same sensitivity/ISO than the FS100 or F3 but not so much to be of any significant concern. I feel quite happy using +6db gain for general shooting and up to +12db for slow mo and situations that offer no other alternative.

For time-lapse you can of course use S&Q at 1 frame per second, I'm also sure that GentLED would be able to come up with an infrared intervalometer or the many Arduino based Lanc controllers should be easy to adapt.

FS100 Firmware V2 adds cinegammas to the FS100 and gives it 100 picture profile memories. Hopefully the FS700 will get that too. Have been playing with the LEA3 adapter and Alpha lenses. The phase detection autofocus is very impressive. Really fast and doesn't hunt. Using this with face tracking really works well at following a moving person.

One of the FS700's clever tricks with an E-Mount lens is the ability do programme A and B focus positions for auto focus pulls, a little bit like the focus transition function on the EX1 and EX3.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 09:15 AM   #7
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Re: First 10 days with FS700

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
FS100 Firmware V2 adds cinegammas to the FS100 and gives it 100 picture profile memories. Hopefully the FS700 will get that too.
*Boggle* - whoah, wait a minute... FS100's v2 software did (YES THEY DID) do something to the CineTone, as I documented elsewhere on the net. But CineGamma? I think they definitely patched the red channel thing to a certain extent, but the knee is still part of that CineTone equation, and I thought the whole CineGamma thing was that Knee was History. Just thinking out loud...

But yes, 100 'states' to wake your camera up in - that's cool, should cover most eventualities - hey Sony, we'd love to name our Picture Profiles though - we want to share our setups.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Have been playing with the LEA3 adapter and Alpha lenses. The phase detection autofocus is very impressive. Really fast and doesn't hunt. Using this with face tracking really works well at following a moving person..
I can deffo see a situation where I own E-mount for face detection/Spot Focus, one or two Alpha lenses for the LE-EA2 (is there a 3 already?), just for the follow-focus effect for slomo, in addition to all our manual stuff. It reinforces the concept that the FS cameras are simple Lego Bricks in a bigger model that includes lens adaptors, lenses and so on.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:17 PM   #8
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Re: First 10 days with FS700

Maybe I got it wrong about Cinegammas in FS100 V2. I thought that was one of the new features, but maybe I miss heard.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 04:39 PM   #9
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Re: First 10 days with FS700

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
If you want similar latitude to your F3 then I recommend you use Cinegamma 4 on the FS700. The FS700 is a really, really good camera for the money.
Hi Alister, Thanks, yea these shots were at Cinegamma 1 but I've since switched to 4. Hope to get a chance to use FS700 and F3 together this weekend.

It is a great value for the money!
Like yourself and others I have had the luxury of having several cameras in my kit for the last 10 years. Don't know how I managed with only 1 camera for the first 20 years. But if I had to go back to one camera (Shudder) the FS 700 might be a good choice.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 06:09 PM   #10
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Re: First 10 days with FS700

Thanks for taking the time to compare the 100 & 700 in such detail. I really appreciated the info.

Cheers
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Old July 10th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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Re: First 10 days with FS700

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
If you want similar latitude to your F3 then I recommend you use Cinegamma 4 on the FS700. The FS700 is a really, really good camera for the money.
Any chance you can offer a special video on working with gamma's and other special aspects of the FS700.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 12:36 AM   #12
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Re: First 10 days with FS700

Just one question from all that really good info guys - how practical is it to use an FS100 as a B cam to a 700 - glass and other things being equal....
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