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Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5
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Old December 27th, 2015, 04:11 PM   #1
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FS5 for ENG?

Hi there!

I'm considering the FS5 for ENG work. Is there anybody here that does that? In that case what codecs do you use and do you find the workflow to a finished product smooth?

I use FCP to edit and as time often is of the essence it's a huge plus if the import is fast and files not too big.

Thank you.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 01:53 AM   #2
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

With AVC or XAVC and FCP X I think you'd be okay. It's just a copy of the files and they edit straightaway.

IMHO the camera isn't really designed for ENG, but if you can overcome that, the edit shouldn't present a problem.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 02:03 AM   #3
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

Perhaps it's not ideal but my bosses prefer this "look" so although I have a Panasonic they prefer I use my Canon 6D. (Not having XLR or be able to set sound levels is a pain.) So i reckon this would be a huge step up, plus I can use my Canon lenses.

Thanks for the input Mike.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 04:14 AM   #4
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

Don't you think the FS7 would be the more obvious choice for ENG? In other words: why choose the FS5 over the FS7 for ENG?

If size or weight is the argument: I have found that -unless you shoot with the kitlens- the camera decked out with mics/receivers/batteries (not to mention lights) is too heavy to do handheld work for extended periods.

The FS7 is made for shoulderwork.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 04:28 AM   #5
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

Yes, I can see your point there but since I travel a lot all the time I think it's more important to keep it small since I am the one that has to carry all the equipment. The smaller cards that you can put straight in the computer also appeals to me a lot.
It's also quite rare that I have to have the camera up and recording for looong times.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 04:50 AM   #6
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

I understand. I edit on an iMac 5K (year old) with FCP X and it's fine.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 06:05 AM   #7
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

Hi Alfred,

As mentioned, FS5 gets front heavy really easily with anything other than something like the super light Sony 18-105mm G F4 kit lens on it. This tends to put a twisting force onto your right hand - but not uncomfortably so (as after all, you'll have your left hand on the lens for focus control etc.). I think if I was running round all day with a Metabones and my Canon 70-200mm F4 IS (i.e. not the much bigger and heavy F2.8!) I would start to notice it though. It's slightly front heavy with my Canon 17-55mm F2.8 IS (which gains some much needed reach with the superb Clear Image Zoom) but still balanced/super light with my Canon 10-22mm F3.5. Exposure control via the variable ND is fantastically useful for fast changing situations like in Run-n-Gun.

It's not the same S35 sensor "look" - but if you need something really small for ENG and travel what about the Sony X70? Not saying this is right for you - but just playing devil's advocate so you think about all likely options. You don't really need 4K I assume, so a (non-4K upgraded) X70 is much cheaper (and even with the 4K option is still about half the price of the, currently, rather expensive FS5).
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Old December 28th, 2015, 07:15 AM   #8
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

Also remember that of all current offerings, if you had a station that only wanted legacy XDCAM and you were in no time crunch to transcode, the FS7 is the only option. X70 doesn't even have legacy XDCAM.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 07:38 AM   #9
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

I've used ours with a Nanoflash, 50-mbit XDCam MXF, and that keeps the whole kit manageable as the Nano is small plus I can take it as carry on with most airlines. Nano won't do 1080 50p but if it's for broadcast what they mainly want down here is still 50-mbit 1080i MXF. Most of my corporate work is for the web and so most of that is 720p 50p which the Nano handles fine. Or I can use the Video Assist which of course can give us ProRes 1080 50p for the Apple crowd some of who are having issues with XAVC-L 1080 50p.

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Old December 28th, 2015, 10:00 AM   #10
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

Yeah the x70 won't really fit the bill. I have a similar Pana one and they don't like the "look" of it. They prefer the DSLR look, which I imagine we'll get from the FS5 but with proper XLR, SDI and HDMI for live purposes.
They need it to do, "XDCAMHD422 50Mbit/s", and with the Canon lenses I have and the super booster, it seems like a very nice little package.
If it get's front heavy I might get some relief putting it on top of a "reversed" backpack. That has helped me in the past...
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Old December 28th, 2015, 10:29 AM   #11
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

FS5 will NOT encode XDCAM 50 Mbps 4.2.2...even though it has the XDCAM monica on it's side.

It will record the more modern XAVC-Long GoP at 50Mbps 4.2.2 codec at 10-bit (in HD) - or 100Mbps 4.2.0 in 8-bit for QFHD - but not everyone is up to speed with NLE support for the XAVC-L codec - and it needs beefy computers to handle.

Or, if you are really desperate, the FS5 can also record AVCHD at 24Mbps.

That's it for on-board codecs with the FS5 - if you need XDCAM then you're out of luck - or you need to use an external recorder to get something more edit friendly (but then you might as well buy an FS7).
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Old December 28th, 2015, 11:06 AM   #12
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

Oh it won't? Thanks Andy!

I'm not really in the know about all the different codecs to tell you the truth. Can you use MPEG Streamclip to export it to a file that the computers (machines..?) back at broadcast central can handle then?
Or, what are they really after? Quality insurance that the image is good enough or is it other broadcast issues? (I'm never at the office so I have no idea how these things work there...)

And, does it really matter if you shoot 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 when color correction seldom happens since there's no time for it? You have to get it right straight away or at the most use a 3-color-way filter to clean something up.

Or am I confused?

Last edited by Alfred Okocha; December 28th, 2015 at 12:09 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 12:43 PM   #13
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

Yeah, your options go down to the FS7, cause the FS5 does not support legacy XDCAM.

4:2:2 matters for interlaced video, which is what you're delivering to the station. The only time it doesn't matter is if you're 4G streaming the footage back to the station in which case it's automatically 4:2:0.

I know ENG time crunches, and you definitely won't have time to transcode. (XAVC-L to anything else with an average laptop is going to take too long for the stations to tolerate.)

The FS7 is currently the stand-out option at the moment.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 12:54 PM   #14
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfred Okocha View Post
Or, what are they really after?
Why don't you ask the client you are supposed to deliver to and then choose your camera? You say they now prefer your 6D footage, why do they need xdcamhd422 now?
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Old December 28th, 2015, 01:13 PM   #15
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Re: FS5 for ENG?

Yes, sorry I wasn't really clear there. I freelance, and the station I work for now are happy with 6D footage but another station I'm hoping to get work from says they need the xdcamhd422. The guy responsible though doesn't know so he talks to tech people (who I have no access to...)
But since the stations are similar in every way I can't imagine that what works for one doesn't for the other UNLESS they have a completely different transcoding system that requires something else. (And there I'm truly out of depth, I have no idea what happens to the footage once I send it to the station.)

I confess I work with this but this greek to me... "XDCAMHD422 50Mbit/s in a MXF OP1a-wrapper". Apparently the F5 does this? How far away is the FS5 of doing this? Sorry bad question I guess? Either it does or it doesn't?
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