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

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Old September 10th, 2014, 10:12 PM   #16
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Re: Still Photographer Seeking Advice

Originally Posted by Chuck Scott View Post
So, based on these pointers, renting the FS700 or a comparable unit may be a cheap way to find out if the results are not as expected and the learning curve seems to be too steep to delve in to. This may prevent "my lesson in HURT".
Renting/borrowing before buying when possible is ALWAYS the best approach.

I do hope that you took my pointers in the spirit in which they were offered - I started shooting in SD on 2/3" Betacams and THAT was a wakeup call for me.

Don't get me wrong, you may get good fast but coming into a large format sensor like the FS700 and expecting to shoot f2 or faster is a HUMBLING experience. Trust me.

I'm shooting exactly that tomorrow, but I'm shooting seated interviews!

Thankfully, you have a couple of months to make your decision.

Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster Blog:
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Old September 11th, 2014, 04:19 AM   #17
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Re: Still Photographer Seeking Advice

Shaun, yes I did indeed take you pointers in positive spirits, more of a "heads up" really.

It appears that I'll have to find someone that shoots an S35 sensor so that I can see in a real world application the difficulty they're having with shallow depth of field and focusing.

It would be ideal if were to view some footage of a beginner shooting on fast glass on the FS700.

Would the Odyssey 7 monitor help with nailing the focus or is this monitor intended to be used more for bright (outside) conditions?
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Old September 11th, 2014, 10:55 AM   #18
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Re: Still Photographer Seeking Advice

Dear Chuck,

(I work for Convergent Design, and the Odyssey7Q is our product.)

The Odyssey7Q is a very nice addition to the Sony FS700 for many reasons.

It provides state-of-the-art Focus Assist (3 modes), professional Waveform Monitoring, Zebras, False Color, Histogram, Pixel Zoom (1:1 and 2:1) and more.

Please note that you will need the Odyssey7Q (and not the Odyssey7) for the following.

It allows you to record Raw, up to 240 fps in 2K, 12-Bit, and up to 60 fps in 4K 12-Bit Raw.

And it allows you to record in Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) up to 60 fps.

We have a special mode that may be very important to you. We can take the 4K 12-Bit Raw, up to 60 fps, and record to Apple ProRes 422 (HQ).

This special mode greatly improves the quality of images (in HD) from the FS700.

Also, stay tuned for a announcement, concerning recording 4K to a compressed codec!

I feel that this may help you, as recording to a 4K compressed codec allows you to record in high-quality 4K for a much longer time (and saves disk space in post) compared to shooting 4K Raw.

We provide 24 hour support.

I will be happy to assist you personally, as I have experience with the FS700 and our Odyssey7Q.

You may reach me by calling: seven one nine -- nine three zero -- one three seven six.

I am in the Eastern Time Zone.

Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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Old September 11th, 2014, 05:24 PM   #19
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Re: Still Photographer Seeking Advice

Originally Posted by Chuck Scott View Post
The bad thing is, I have very little experience in filming the good thing is, I know lighting, ISO/aperture relations, posing just to name a couple. My point is, with 20+ years of shooting, I have a solid base at still photography and consider myself more of a technical shooter than an artistic shooter. I know that knowing ISO, aperture, lighting will not make this a seamless transition, but I would hope that it can help to some degree.
It will help. To a very small degree. Motion is a completely new ballgame. I suspect you are underestimating what it takes to do this video thing. Just like I did years ago.

With stills, you're used to having time to set your shot, set your exposure, set your focus, get your lighting just so, then trip your shutter and you're done. Video isn't like this. At all. In motion pictures, it's about motion. Something has to move, either the subject, the camera, or both. And this raises the complexity by an order of magnitude. Yes, I know, you don't believe it. Deep down inside you're thinking, how hard can it be? Been there, done that, and I do know where you're coming from. I'm just telling you what I learned.

What's interesting and difficult about motion is that it's not static. It refuses to sit still. For example, when you pan a shot, you almost always go from one kind of light to another. You have to change exposure as you move. And focus. While you're framing on the fly. This is why Hollywood made camera assistants. Find out what a focus puller does. To make it possible to do this with a single camera operator, we have auto exposure and auto focus. You'll think you can do it all manually. And... you can't.

But motion is only half your battle. No one posting on this thread has posted anything about sound yet. But sound is more than half what people perceive when they watch a motion picture. People will forgive all kinds of visual artifacts, from grainy footage, to crushed blacks, to out of focus, etc. but they will get up and walk out if the sound is bad. You know this is true because you've experienced it yourself at some point. And good sound is more difficult than good video. And you've not had to deal with sound at all in the stills world. Just sayin'.

If I were in your shoes, and I had an 8k budget, I wouldn't think about spending it all on a camera. You're going to need (not want, but need) a good solid tripod and fluid head. It's going to put the cost of a stills camera tripod to shame. Pay it. A good Sachtler, Vinton, Miller, etc. tripod is just required if you want a smooth and controllable tilt or pan, especially when it comes to starting and ending your motion. Then, you're going to have to put some money into sound. Way more than you want to. But it's way more important than you want to believe. Again, been there, done that.

I'm just telling you what I wish someone had told me years ago. It would have been nice (and way less expensive) to not have had to learn it all the hard way. But then, I probably wouldn't have listened.

Thing is, it's worth it. Video is tougher than most people imagine, but it's also a heck of a lot of fun.
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Old September 11th, 2014, 06:32 PM   #20
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Re: Still Photographer Seeking Advice

Thanks for the info Bruce, with all the posts and replies I'm starting to get conflicting statements, which is ok because I'm assuming these are opinions that are based on different approaches/experiences/types and styles of shooting. For example - I was given advice to start shooting manually with my DSLR because this will help the transition, however your suggestion is to use the auto exposure/focus settings because "it can't" be done manually (without an assistant).

It is now up to me to sift through the posts and come up with a game plan in terms of what type of gear/camera/accessories to start out with, if any.

I'm putting sound at the bottom of my list of priorities should I go forward on shooting vid. My subjects will not be recorded for sound, there is simply going to be video in my still slideshow with background music. I know I'm doing the camera a huge disservice by not putting sound at the top of the list, but in time, as I learn to shoot, sound will become more necessary.

I mostly shoot fitness/fashion/high school seniors/models, so interviewing them during a shoot is not part of the production.

Again, thanks for the cautions and what to be weary of Bruce. I'm seeing more red flags than the Chinese Army as I seek aadvice for attempting to shoot some video while trying to incorporate them into my shoots.

Last edited by Chuck Scott; September 12th, 2014 at 07:33 AM.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 01:54 PM   #21
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Re: Still Photographer Seeking Advice

It's not been quite 6 months, but it has been 5. Have you seen the "landscape change significantly" or is the FS700 still a good camera to look at for a beginner transitioning from still photography?

Thank you

Originally Posted by Noah Yuan-Vogel View Post
I'd wait and see what Sony is announcing this Friday. The FS700 is a 2 year old camera already. It is still a very nice camera and probably will be for a while, but I wouldn't buy one new these days. With the speed of camera technology evolution, if you are looking to purchase 6 months from now, by that time the landscape may change significantly by then.

Do you need super high framerates? You mentioned you like slow mo, but do you need 240fps or is 60fps enough? 240fps is very nice but if you don't need it and are more comfortable with still cameras, perhaps a Sony A7S with a nikon lens adapter that has a built in variable ND filter would be a more cost effective option.

Frankly the primary strengths of the FS700 in the current market are its 4K RAW output and its 240fps 2K/HD capability. If you don't need >60fps slow motion and won't ever be buying/renting a Convergent 7Q or Sony R5 RAW recorder to hook your camera up to, the strengths of the FS700 may be somewhat diminished. Otherwise the A7S has similar or better internal-recording and image quality. The FS700 is better for handheld shooting but you can build out and add size and shape to an A7S as needed. Also the A7S is the best low light stills or video camera out there at the moment which might be useful to you.

Then again, the FS700 is a really great camera for high speed slow motion footage that is very easy and accessible, which I have found to be extremely useful for shooting alongside still photography setups. You get that super slow "moving still" look and you can shoot seconds of footage between strobe flashes if shooting in parallel with stills. There really isnt another camera that does what it can do for the price. And it will only be more affordable in 6months.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 04:01 PM   #22
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Re: Still Photographer Seeking Advice

There's better camera out there now, but as a result the price of the FS700 has come down (especially used) which makes it a good deal right now.

As always though, something else is always just around the corner - and NAB is coming up in a few months time, where many people are assuming Sony will release something new. Whatever it is might be much better or it much cheaper, but it won't change the fact that the FS700 is still a great camera and will serve you for many years to come.

Did you end up renting one to test it out?
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