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


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Old January 21st, 2015, 05:51 PM   #1
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Should I buy an FS700 right now?

I've been on the fence about what to replace my FS100 with. I already sold the FS100 after picking up an A7S (which is fully rigged for regular video shooting.) I had been considering an FS7, however, I'm starting to think I should consider an FS700. Here are the reasons:

- It will cost me $6000 if I get it new. I already have batteries, lenses, media and an external monitor. Whereas the FS7 is looking closer to $10-11k since I'd have to get new batteries, new multi-battery chargers and a lot of expensive media.
- I don't NEED 4k right now. Clients aren't asking for it. Probably won't unless I try to push it. And, if/when they do I can get an Odyssey for those particular shoots. Bonus: Odyssey will also unlock 4k for my A7S.
- One of the genres I shoot is motor sports. 280fps is better than 180. Also, I understand I can potentially shoot 120fps 4k with the FS700, but can't do that with the FS7. (Is this correct?)
- I travel a lot. The FS700 is lighter than the FS7.
- I don't mind the awkward body style of the FS700. Got used to it with the FS100.
- There are shoots coming up that would benefit from getting a new pro video body in the next couple weeks. I want to dedicate the A7S to other duties while on location. I may not be able to hold out and see what's coming from Sony.

Negatives:

- AVCHD. Yes, it's not bad on the FS700, I've worked with it and I don't really have a problem with it. That said, working with XAVCS from the A7S is so much better. Seems going backwards in this regard. (Seriously, if the FS700 had XAVCS this would be a no-brainer for me.)
- FS7 potentially has better weather sealing. I never had a problem with moisture or dust and the FS100... I just used weather bags. Of course better seals are always appreciated.
- As a stand-alone camera it won't hold value for as long as the FS7. Then again, I'm not spending as much up front.
- I'm pretty sure they'll have either a new FS700mk2 with XAVCS or something else that will sit in the $6k range with better codecs later this year.

What do current FS700 owners think? FS7 or FS700?
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 01:03 AM   #2
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

I just happily purchased a used FS700 after the FS7 came out and everyone started upgrading (it's currently en route to me so I haven't put it through its paces yet). I think the only thing that might disadvantage you is if you work solely as a cameraman and have people requesting a specific camera. Producers always want the latest 'buzz' cameras, and much like the Red Epic & Scarlet, this camera probably will be a frequent request. I edit more than I shoot, so I don't skew my camera preferences to other peoples needs, meaning the FS7 is not a necessity for me - your situation might be different though.

If you purchase used, you can probably get a great deal (though the spread may not be as great is the US as it is in Aus, where it sells new for $8500 or used for ~$5000). I'd bet you could buy a used one now and lose very little if you sell it again in 1-2 years.

I think the FS700 will be a viable option for a quite a few more years - especially with a 4K/ProRes recorder which you can always add later on if you need it.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 01:24 AM   #3
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

I've been lucky that a client has never once asked me to shoot with a specific camera. I'm my own worst client in that regard.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 01:55 AM   #4
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

That's a hard one. I personally own a FS700. The FS7 looks nice and if I was buying now
and didn't own a FS700, I'm not sure what I'd do. The FS7 has internal 4K with a better codec.
Plus it seems as if it would be a little more R&G friendly. But the FS700 has higher frame rates
(240 vs. 180) plus the 480fps in the FS700 isn't bad.....I have certainly used in in my HD productions
plenty of times. And the internal AVCHD, although it gets a ton of bad publicity going on about it, is actually
good sometimes. I think it looks just fine, and for archiving purposes it's nice to have.....I can store more than
4 1/2 hours of native AVCHD on one 50 gig Blue Ray disk as a data file, which is really nice. But I sure wouldn't
mind being able to bump up (10 instead of 8 bit) to a better codec WITHOUT an external recorder for more demanding
shoots. Since I already have a FS700, I'll probably end up adding another camera to it, instead of selling it, I see lots of
people wanting to buy a FS700 for $3500 or so, and I certainly would keep mine before selling it for that. Not sure I am
going to jump on the FS7 just yet though, since I have a cam, I think I may wait and see what new stuff is revealed at NAB.

It's kind of pick your poison I guess. I certainly haven't reached the limits of the FS700 yet, it's a better camera than
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 12:32 PM   #5
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

FS7 media costs more - right now, a LOT more (although still cheap by previous Pro Media standards - SxS, P2). Bitrates are higher needing more storage UNLESS you use the XAVC-L HD 25.

Which makes you the larger return on investment?

If you can buy an FS700 today new at $7k (or used for cheaper...) and make that back in 20 - 30 shooting days and then sell off the camera and buy the FS7 (or its inevitable successor) without compromising your deliverables, go for it!

Cameras are a lousy place to be on the "bleeding" edge if you are paying for them out of your own pocket...
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 12:34 PM   #6
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Douthit View Post
I've been lucky that a client has never once asked me to shoot with a specific camera.
Here in Vancouver, we are OFTEN asked for a specific camera by clients who may not have any idea what they are in fact asking for... someone told them they NEEDED a Canon 5Dmk3 so the Alexa I show up with couldn't POSSIBLY be as good... I mean seriously... who has ever heard of ARRI?!?!? <tongue planted only somewhat in cheek...>
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 12:46 PM   #7
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

I had just sold my EA50 when the FS7 came out. And was considering selling the FS700 as well to buy the FS7. I could just about afford it but realised than when you added the cost of batteries, media and the larger files it would be too expensive for me to make that jump. So I bought an A7s instead.
And I agree, if the FS700 got an upgrade to XAVC, it would be all I really needed. Even if it was the 8bit XAVC-S that the A7s has it would be a nice improvement.
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Old January 22nd, 2015, 01:34 PM   #8
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

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Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
If you can buy an FS700 today new at $7k (or used for cheaper...) and make that back in 20 - 30 shooting days and then sell off the camera and buy the FS7 (or its inevitable successor) without compromising your deliverables, go for it!
B&H is currently at $6k. I'm not a fan of buying used when I can help it. Either camera would pay for itself with work currently booked for February. So it's really a matter of how much $$ I can manage to keep in my pocket.

I'd totally just buy an Arri, but I've never heard of them and don't trust unknown brands. ;)

Some of the reports of "quirkiness" with the FS7 are putting me off a bit. (Such as the review on the front of DVInfo right now.) I'm also not a fan of having to jump to menus to engage high FPS modes. When necessary, I'd likely need to switch to high FPS modes quite quickly (not really want to shoot everything at 180, I don't think...)
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Old January 26th, 2015, 12:11 AM   #9
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

If you're worried about quirkiness or minor quibbles with the FS7, then why not rent one for a day and try it out for yourself? Every new camera has quirks and sometimes it's a case of the user adjusting over time, other times a firmware fix comes pretty quickly to rectify it.

If it's a straight-up question of economics though, the FS700 will keep much more money in your pocket while still achieving 90% of what the FS7 can for HD shooting (or even outdoing it in some cases, if you add an O7Q+).

Last edited by John Wiley; January 26th, 2015 at 01:41 AM.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 12:40 AM   #10
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

Another benefit of the FS700 and O7Q+ is that I would also be able to use the Odyssey with my A7S. Still going back and forth. Will make a final decision in about a week, most likely, as I have a shoot coming up mid-Feb I'd like to use it for.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 01:02 AM   #11
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

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B&H is currently at $6k. I'm not a fan of buying used when I can help it.
The bleeding edge crowd is selling their FS700s in droves and the used price is way down. Profit on their loss.

Look for a camera that has been babied. It will be hard to tell by looking at the photos, but look for stuff like the original box, the packing material, the lens caps, the original manual. Anybody who squirrled away their receipt and box for 3 years took care of their camera.

If you buy the 700 used today and decide next month to get the FS7 - the 700 will be worth almost exactly what you paid for it. Not the case at all if you buy new.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 01:40 AM   #12
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

I totally agree with everything Mike said - usually I like to buy my primary work cameras new so I've got warranty & peace of mind, but the FS700's are going for crazy low prices right now, and I doubt they can lose much more value at all - even over the next few years - given there is no other camera with it's features in the price range. If you buy used and decide to upgrade later, your cost of ownership for 1-2 years could be as little as a few hundred dollars (which is what is costs to rent one for a day!).

Still, sometimes it's hard to silence that voice in the back of your head which swears pre-owned gear is a product of the devil.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 12:13 PM   #13
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

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Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
The bleeding edge crowd is selling their FS700s in droves and the used price is way down. Profit on their loss.

Look for a camera that has been babied. It will be hard to tell by looking at the photos, but look for stuff like the original box, the packing material, the lens caps, the original manual. Anybody who squirrled away their receipt and box for 3 years took care of their camera.

If you buy the 700 used today and decide next month to get the FS7 - the 700 will be worth almost exactly what you paid for it. Not the case at all if you buy new.
have to agree, just got a used/demo FS700 (no 4k upgrade) for $4000 no tax free shipping.

Bstock Sony NEX FS700U Super 35 Camcorder Body Only 12 Months 0 Apr | eBay
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Old January 28th, 2015, 07:00 PM   #14
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

With NAB around the corner, I decided to wait. (Though I did come really close to bidding on a FS700 on eBay yesterday.) Instead, I picked up an Odyssey 7Q+ to add 4K to my A7S. When I do get an FS7, FS700 or some other camera the Odyssey will still be something I'd want for ProRes if nothing else. I'm hoping that Sony comes out with an XAVC-based FS700 replacement around $6k.
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Last edited by Ryan Douthit; January 28th, 2015 at 09:42 PM.
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Old January 28th, 2015, 09:47 PM   #15
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

When you look at some of the material that has been shot on FS700s over the last couple of years they represent really good value today for what you can squeeze out of them. You are only limited by your imagination.

Admittedly a Sony promo but shot by some well know identities on the release of the 700 but it gives you an idea of what is achievable from what is a very cheap camera, using cheap media.


A good FS700 example with a good mix of action and slo-mo shot and cut by Alan Brazzell, one of DVInfo's posters.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-nxc...deo-fs700.html

and some nice slo-mo FS700 examples by Richard Prendergast on his showreel.


and with the following sorts of developments in the pipeline from Atomos there's plenty to look forward to:

"Sony FS700 outputs 4K only in RAW format. FS700 does not output 4K as a video signal which is needed for recording. FS RAW to Apple ProRes 4K UHD recording is planned for end of March, while Shogun support for RAW recording is planned Q2 2015."

All in all there is still life left in the FS700.

In the meantime a little performance tip. If you want full 10-bit out of the FS700 we've found taking the Raw Component video output to a Decklink Analogue to SDI Mini Converter then to a 10-bit external recorder, Samurai Blade, gives us a true 10-bit 1080 HD video that stands up to much more pulling and pushing in the grade. The FS700's SDI out is 8-bit so you end up with two padded bits when recording to a 10-bit recorder.

For most of my corporate work the internal 8-bit AVCHD stands up fine and I love the cheap media which in some cases I just give to the client if they are doing there own post. For the sake of security I always have everything backed up by running the internal dockable 128GB Flash memory. This is a great addition to the FS700.

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