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


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Old December 20th, 2012, 02:20 AM   #1
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F3/F100/F700 difference

do any of these have 4k capability now or is an upgrade in the waiting?
whats the big reason people are raving about 4K
quality/feature wise, is it worth goin with the 700 over the 100, shooting a feature.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 06:32 AM   #2
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Re: F3/F100/F700 difference

The FS700 is 4k upgradable but the timetable for that hasn't been announced yet. We can see the recorder on the horizon but no date for the firmware that will make it work.

I personally own a FS700 and have also used the FS100. The image on the FS100 at 1080 is slightly better with a little less aliasing. The FS100 is slightly more sensitive. The FS700 has ND filters and high speed frame rates that to me make it a better all around camera than the FS100.

There are many successful movies shot in 2k. 4k may be the sweet spot for film in the future but today you can shoot in 2k and be fine.
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Old December 24th, 2012, 02:45 AM   #3
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Re: F3/F100/F700 difference

4k for the FS700 should be a reality some time round April next year, but dont expect it to be cheap. Adding the R5 or a 3rd party recorder will cost around $8k.

4k is not really here yet. There are very few applications for 4k outside of mainstream cinema. Many big Hollywood productions are still shot using HD and 2k and the majority of films are only shown in 2k. 4k is coming, more 4k TVs are getting announced and perhaps in 4 or 5 years 4k will have a much bigger place in the market. But, right now (just as with HD 7 years ago) working with 4K is tricky. There are very few 4k monitors and few ways to deliver or screen 4k. One application for 4k filming today is that you can crop in to a 4k frame to resize and re frame an HD frame.

The other thing with 4k is that in most cases what is being talked about is 4k raw. Capturing raw sensor data has many benefits in post production, provided you don't mind a very post production heavy workflow. For me I'm more excited about raw than about 4k, but when shooting raw, in order to get the resolution needed for HD you need to be shooting 2.5k raw as a minimum. So for me, right now what 4k raw means is the ultimate capture format for delivering excellent HD.
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Old December 24th, 2012, 07:09 AM   #4
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Re: F3/F100/F700 difference

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
For me I'm more excited about raw than about 4k ... for me, right now what 4k raw means is the ultimate capture format for delivering excellent HD.
+1 on that, specifically thinking about its use now for chromakey.

In the early days of HD where there were little if no HD screens available, many of us found 'the best SD comes from HD', (even shooting HDV and carefully downscaling that to SD in the days of the Sony Z1) and that 720p50 made superlative DVD - better than even the best DV anyway. And so it goes for the early days of 4k.
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Old December 25th, 2012, 07:08 AM   #5
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Re: F3/F100/F700 difference

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
but when shooting raw, in order to get the resolution needed for HD you need to be shooting 2.5k raw as a minimum.
Which I believe also means that in order to get the resolution needed for a 4K screen you need to be shooting 5K raw as a miniumum. Correct?
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Old December 25th, 2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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Re: F3/F100/F700 difference

Well, yes that is correct, that for true 4K resolution you would need a 5K bayer camera. But it's not all just about resolution. The Arri Alexa produces incredible images when upscaled from 2K to 4K.

I do see the advantage of capturing in 4K raw, but I'm not entirely convinced that 4K TV is going to be as big a deal as HD TV. HD took us from some pretty grim SD TV standards to pictures that are in most cases obviously an improvement of what went before. I'm not sure that most TV viewers will ever really see the difference between HD and 4K. 4K will come, of that there is little doubt, but many viewers would struggle to tell the difference in resolution between something shot on a 4K bayer or 5K bayer camera as both will be producing images with resolution greater than what the viewer will be able to see in most typical viewing scenarios, even in a typical cinema.
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Old December 25th, 2012, 11:34 PM   #7
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Re: F3/F100/F700 difference

im shooting short films and upcoming feature with my ex1r. very pleased with that. a friend told me to get the fs700 or 100 because of the excellant depth of field . so im clear these cameras shooting in hd dont give that filmlook everyone wants to achieve unless shooting in 24p. do these f cameras do that?
is it worth the upgrade to get either of these just for depth of field and excellant slomo?ive never used slomo on any of my films.
please clarify and give me reasons for upgrading
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Old December 26th, 2012, 03:30 AM   #8
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Re: F3/F100/F700 difference

It depends what you mean by the 'filmic look'.

Often most people mean the 'filmic' motion capture, which is just 24 frames per second progressive scanned (as opposed to the old 50 or 60fps interlaced TV standard) which you certainly get with the F and FS cameras.

Then there's the 'filmic' shallow death of field that you get from a large sensor - which the F and FS cameras have (Super 35mm) and the EX cameras certainly don't.

On top of that you might add high dynamic range (11+ stops) to give a more 'photographic/filmic look' with roll off into the blacks and highlights: rather than the rather harsh video clipping you get with EX cameras. Again the Fs achieve this.

Then there's some extra fluff like high resolution (e.g. 4K/5k), colour bit depth (12/14/16 bit colour) and high data rate recording. All of which is mostly about having a lot to play with in post and avoiding certaing video compression problems - none of which should be sniffed at, but it is the sort of thing most audiences won't notice. The F3 provides high data rates and decent colour depth but not high resolution. The FS700 should provide these plus a '4k' resolution with the firmware upgrade and external recorder.

However, personally I think most of that is flimflam. What really provides the 'filmic look' is decent lighting (which means a decent lighting budget) and decent art direction (which again, usually requres a decent budget). If you have them you can pretty much nail the 'film look' regardless of what you shoot on.

But... If you don't have that then a shallow depth of field ( to hide the dodgy sets or total lack of art direction) and a lot of dynamic range (to deal with the fact you have no, or very little, additional lighting) certainly helps you get some of the way there.

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Old December 27th, 2012, 12:28 AM   #9
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Re: F3/F100/F700 difference

thanks for the info. although i dont get as good a shallow dof as the f700, i achieve a fairly good one with my ex.
where does the fs100 fall off from the 700 other than slomo
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Old December 27th, 2012, 04:40 AM   #10
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Re: F3/F100/F700 difference

ND filters, SDI out, cinegammas
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Old December 27th, 2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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Re: F3/F100/F700 difference

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Originally Posted by Cees van Kempen View Post
Which I believe also means that in order to get the resolution needed for a 4K screen you need to be shooting 5K raw as a miniumum. Correct?
Well, for a true 4K screen then 4K RAW will give a big advantage in resolution over 1080, but it's true it won't match all the 4K screen is capable of giving. Where do you stop and draw the line? For now, 4K RAW is a step up from 1080.

"5K RAW" is also assuming a standard Bayer chip, and with about 1.6x as many phosites as a standard 4K Bayer. Arguably, if you really want to make the most of the 4K system it's better to go to a Q67 system and exactly 2x as many photosites as 4K Bayer - which is exactly what the F65 does.

The advantages are more down to simpler processing, the fact that there is a a one green photosite=one output pixel releationship making life much easier.

In answer to the original question ("whats the big reason people are raving about 4K"?) then one reason must be if you think your material has any real long-term archival value. Are people more likely to pay money for it in the future if it's shot 4K cf 1080? Exactly the same points as were made for shooting HD rather than SD 10 or more years ago. So for such as a "Planet Earth" programme - where material may get used for other productions well into the future - shooting to the highest possible (viable) standard must make a lot of sense.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 05:01 AM   #12
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Re: F3/F100/F700 difference

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Originally Posted by Colin Elves View Post
However, personally I think most of that is flimflam. What really provides the 'filmic look' is decent lighting (which means a decent lighting budget) and decent art direction (which again, usually requres a decent budget). If you have them you can pretty much nail the 'film look' regardless of what you shoot on.

But... If you don't have that then a shallow depth of field ( to hide the dodgy sets or total lack of art direction) and a lot of dynamic range (to deal with the fact you have no, or very little, additional lighting) certainly helps you get some of the way there.
I'm not going to argue that lighting is very important to the look of a production, but if big sensor cameras are flimflam then why did the Canon 5D MKII have such a big impact on the video production world. The 5D MKII is in many respects a technically poor video camera but that big sensor and the shallow DoF images it produces really altered the way drama and docs are shot. Cameras like the Sony F23 and F900R became next to worthless overnight while Sony, Panasonic etc rushed to deliver large sensor cameras.
You can light a scene beautifully, then shoot it with a conventional video camera with a conventional gamma curve and knee and it will still have that video look. Shoot it with a modern camera with an advanced gamma curve and perhaps a large sensor and it will look very different, much less electronic looking and audience do notice that.

Decent lighting doesn't need to be expensive. One of the big advantages of the extra sensitivity of the modern large sensor cameras is that they require lower illumination levels, so often much lower powered lights can be used helping reduce lighting budgets. Using lower powered key lights means that contrast ratios are often lower and that can reduce the need to use a lot of fill lights in shadow areas. Sometimes the very best lighting is the simplest, lighting that replicates the real world with large soft light sources and this is much easier to do when you don't need very high illumination levels.

In HD, the F3 has slightly better resolution than the FS700, but it's a very small difference.
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