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


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Old July 10th, 2012, 01:16 PM   #1
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FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

I just received my Sony FS700U and would like to be able to capture the best (least compressed video possible). I would like to capture the output to a portable digital recorder through Sony’s 3G/HD-SDI BNC connector. I would like to achieve at least 4:2:2 10-bit output from the FS700U when shooting 1080 60p. Any recommendations for which of the many portable’s digital recorders out there might best fit this role?
The editing system is done in a Windows 7 Professional 64-bit workstation environment, using Adobe Premier Pro CS6 for the editor. So not so interested in codecs specific to Apple or Final cut etc.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

10bit is not available from the FS700. You can get uncompressed 8bit from the SDI connection. Anything more than that will have to wait for whatever RAW option the camera offers in the future.

To record 60fps 3g narrows you down to only a few recorders with the Convergent Designs Gemini being one of the more popular ones.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 01:59 PM   #3
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

Thanks for that. I was looking at the Samurai but hadn't looked at the Gemini. Hopefully they'll start coming out with some firmware upgrades in the near future. Like 4K content capture :-)
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Old July 10th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

Sony hasn't offered any details on what the 4k RAW itself will look like. We don't know if it will be a paid upgrade or a free one. It isn't even known if 3rd party recorders will capture the 4k output.

Lots to learn about the camera and its future options as we move forward.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #5
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

That's true. I believe that Sony is actually making a digital recorder that will be directly compatible with the FS700's 3G/HD_SDI connector and 4K capture. I bet they will release a 4K content capture firmware upgrade mysteriously at the same time that they release their new 4K digital recorder on the market. Gee I wonder how that might happen.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #6
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

I bought the Sound Devices PIX 240.
The PIX 240 - ProRes and DNxHD Video Recorder | Sound Devices, LLC

I'm recording the uncompressed 8bit signal from the SDI with the PIX 240 set at 10bit.
Does recording a 8bit signal at 10bit make a difference... I don't know.
My on line editor says maybe, the website for Atomos yes.

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Old July 10th, 2012, 07:15 PM   #7
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

You aren't hurting anything but you aren't gaining anything either. It is only taking up extra space on the drive.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 10:22 PM   #8
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

Maybe a way to approach the which digital recorder to get is by sort of future proofing your purchase to give you the most flexibility in the event that Sony does allow 1080 60p RAW at 10-bits 4:4:4 or something like that. Plus they might let you capture 4K @ 4:4:4 when shooting up to 1080 24p. Although I guess you need a Kai Pro Quad or something like that for native 4K capture.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 06:04 AM   #9
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

Raw and 4:4:4 are different things. Raw is pure unprocessed sensor pixel data, while 4:4:4 is processed (de-bayered) picture information. There is no such thing as raw 444. You don't really want 4:4:4 etc as this requires a lot more data and bandwidth to record as you have 3 sets of data for every point in your 4K image in R G and B while raw has a single data bit for each pixel and the RGB is extrapolated from that in post production. Your not going to get 4K 60P without something like SR-Memory and that is not cheap. Being more realistic even 4K raw at 30fps will require huge amounts of fast data storage, way beyond anything a Samurai can do, your looking at around 1TB per hour. The KiPro Quad has to De-Bayer 4K so that it can record it as a highly compressed 4K stream in order to work and this throws away the key advantages of a raw workflow.

A 4K raw recorder will not be cheap, nor will the media be cheap. It wouldn't surprise me if Sony bring out a recorder based on SR-Memory for the FS700 and at $1k for a 256GB card that may well be beyond the reach of many.

In the mean time a Samurai, PIx240 or even a NanoFlash would be a good option.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 07:12 AM   #10
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
A 4K raw recorder will not be cheap, nor will the media be cheap. It wouldn't surprise me if Sony bring out a recorder based on SR-Memory for the FS700 and at $1k for a 256GB card that may well be beyond the reach of many.
$1K? let's be realistic,
this
and
this
, and we're talking 1080, not 4K;
although it might be $4-5K FW upgrade, ( i doubt that) but still not at that low price level, SxS memory costs way more than that
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Old July 11th, 2012, 07:39 AM   #11
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

Buba the card you linked to is a 5Gb/s card. There are also cheaper 1.5 ad 2.5Gb/s SR Memory cards like this
Sony 256GB SRMemory Card SR-256S15 B&H Photo Video
. I did admittedly forget to convert the price from GBP to USD so the 256GB 1.5Gb/s card is actually $1.3k. We are talking 4K Raw data here. Look at what Red Mags cost and those are SSD based and the minimum Red deem possible to use for 4k raw. 4k will not be cheap. 4:4:4 uncompressed HD requires almost as much data as 4k raw, so SR-Memory will be easily capable of recording and storing 4k. Indeed the 5Gb/s card you linked to can record the 8k output of the F65 at up to 60fps and 4kx1k at up to 120fps. My money is on a SR-Memory based recorder and SR-Memory cards. The price of the cards will come down over time, just like SxS did. Interestingly with an EX1 an original 8GB SxS card gave you 20 mins of record time and at launch cost about $1,400 USD. That's comparable to the record times you should get on a 256GB SR-Memory card with 4k raw, so cost per minute is similar to SxS at launch 5 years ago. Today you can buy a 32GB SxS card for less than an 8GB card used to cost.

Being realistic the minimum your going to want is enough media to shoot for an hour, so initial media investment is likely to be around $5k, plus the recorder (lets say $5k) and firmware. So my guess is a minimum of $10k, probably closer to $15k for 4k raw on top of the camera cost.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 07:40 AM   #12
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

Sony will be able to use existing technology to record the RAW stream from the FS700. It will require a 4:4:4:4 uncompressed recorder to do it. I know RAW doesn't have a colorspace but the reason why I include raster info is to state the need for full raster on each color channel because they will likely use each of these as quadrants in recording the image from the FS700. This will be a simple and straight forward way to record 4k RAW using 3G SDI.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 09:38 AM   #13
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Being realistic the minimum your going to want is enough media to shoot for an hour,
Alister,
one hour is nothing, you need at least two hrs on two media units, considering that backup time is faster than capacity of one card;
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
so initial media investment is likely to be around $5k, plus the recorder (lets say $5k) and firmware. So my guess is a minimum of $10k, probably closer to $15k for 4k raw on top of the camera cost.
i guess we'll find out soon enough, but for $15K i can have 4K raw workflow camera that doesn't need external recorder
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Old July 11th, 2012, 11:35 AM   #14
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

I assume you are talking about Scarlet? Scarlet is 4k raw for <$15k but it draws 10x as much power and requires 10x as much data recording to 10x as expensive media and has 1/10th as high framerates and doesn't perform so well high ISOs compared to the FS700. I am own a Scarlet myself but it is *almost* always very clear which jobs my Scarlet and which jobs my FS100/FS700 should go out on. They are very different cameras for very different projects. Tough to compare for sure.

Now if the 4k RAW option for the FS700 increases its power draw by 10x, datarate by 10x, media price by 10x and does not support high framerates, then it will be comparable. Frankly if they turn out to be quite similar 4k RAW cameras at the same price points and features, I'd probably rather have the FS700 since I'd own it anyway for run and gun and shooting 240fps AVCHD and it is less expensive to own an $8k FS700 plus $9k RAW addon than it is to own a $15k scarlet plus $8k FS700 which is currently my situation.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #15
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Re: FS700U - Portable External Recorder 3G/HD-SDI

I know what you mean about expensive, I just bought the Sony HXR-FMU128 FLASH RECORDING UNIT for my FS700U and it cost $669.00 at BH Photo.
But to get a complete picture I also own the Sony SRX T105 which can accept and project native 4K content for Digital Cinema like presentations. Since we're talking about the expense of things 4K even the Sony 4K project is around $65K.

Actually I can do sustained write speeds for up to 1 TB captures at 8 Gb/sec with just a simple little Nimbus S-Class and E-Class systems (SSD high speed storage units). We don't want to talk about cost but think $30K to get into the base unit. Of course you might need something like a Blackmagic-Design
DeckLink 4K which says it can Capture and play back SD, HD, 2K and now even 4K film!
or
DeckLink Quad 4 stream SDI/HD-SDI capture card for software developers

Oh Well all in a days work.
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