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Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5
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Old February 6th, 2016, 11:34 PM   #1
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FS5 vs. FS7 doubts: please advise

Dear Friends

Some of you (like Doug or Olof) know about my physical handicap. On the other hand, I've always been after the best PQ - and frankly, I believe a true UHDTV requires 4K at 50/60 fps (I'm not talking now about things like HDR, the proper color gamut, pixel depth and chroma subsampling) - just the most fluid motion possible.... FS5 is not capable of it, so - added it only is lightweight when naked - I'm more and more leaning towards the FS7... A couple of points:

- my feeling is that should the framerates/bitrates/resolutions of the FS5 satisfy me, I could as well save 50% of its price and go with the X70

- if I go with the FS7K, the kit lens is not as cheap as the FS5K kit lens, plus it doesn't provide enough wide angle; do you think it would make sense - for purely price-related reason - to buy FS7 body only and (for the beginning) the $500 lens that comes with the FS5K? I've heard sth about Sony's commitment to improve it's focusing precision... Or doesn't it do justice to the FS7 at all?

Please provide me with what you think about my doubts, and advise accordingly.

Piotr
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; February 7th, 2016 at 03:54 AM.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 03:49 AM   #2
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

No, you can do good with the 18-105. People have been reporting the 28-135's weight has made it's brittle plastic interface with the mount break with enough force.

It makes sense to use the cheaper servo lens which is much easier on the wallet to replace than the 28-135.

Of course, going all out, you can get the HDx35 and a HD Canon or Fuji 2/3'' lens later on if you want full manual control.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 08:43 AM   #3
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

The FS5 and FS7 are so wildly different from each other that the decision between them should be quite obvious for anyone who has seriously done their homework to compare them. They have almost nothing at all in common so I don't understand how it can be a hard decision. Some people will be better served my one, and some people by the other, but the choice should be easy when someone sits down and seriously compares them head to head.

I could say the same thing about the two lenses -- they are totally different from each other, so how can be be a hard decision?

It's like going shopping for a new car and you can't decide between a Suburban or a two-seater sports car. Both might be very good vehicles, but they don't serve the same purpose.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 11:44 AM   #4
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

You know what, Doug? I really thought you knew better than that. But in your last dispute with Jack, and now - with this answer, you really prove to be a rather non-sympathetic guy. I wrote here many time I'm handicapped, which not only reflects on ability to and-held a camera, but in my financial standing as well (I thought the latter goes without saying). Luckily, shooting and editing video has been my second profession; you can read about me in my LinkedIn profile (I know you will not, because "you don't car about other people not related to your business"): https://pl.linkedin.com/in/piotr-wozniacki-94922120

But as Alister Chapman put it in his excellent "which camera to buy" article in his blog:

If you’re running a business then you should also ask yourself that all important question: Will the more expensive camera make me more money? Yeah, yeah, I know…. for some of us they are our babies, our toys and it is nice to have the best toys. But don’t bankrupt yourself buying something you can’t afford or don’t really need.

- as an engineer by my first profession, I love technology and am always tempted by a more advanced (though more expensive, and not necessarily really needed,) tool for cultivating my creative passions - which didn't go away when the disease struck...

I guess you just don't care about people's passions either, Doug :(
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Old February 7th, 2016, 11:50 AM   #5
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

Having just been on a shoot with both the FS7 and an FS5 I think the reason people would have trouble choosing between the two cameras are valid and not as easy for some to make as others. The person who bought the FS5 for the shoot I was on was thinking the camera did enough for them in the way they work to think they didn't need to spend the extra money for the FS7 and its feature set. They don't foresee ending up on shoots where the FS5 doesn't cut it. The FS5 is more of a one man band kind of camera than the FS7 and that is what they wanted. If you are not going to take advantage of or need the extra flexibility of the FS7 then the choice is easier. Of course I have been on shoots where the FS7 features that are not on the FS5 were an advantage so I am happy I didn't have to create a workaround or rent another camera to work that way. I don't like having to change my workflow to the limited feature set of the FS5 compared to the FS7. Others may not care. The only operational feature I wish the FS7 had which the FS5 has is the variable ND. Sometimes it takes a while for people to find out why they needed one feature over another. Predicting the future uses of a camera is very hard for most people to feel confident in and that is usually why there is some trepidation in making a choice.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 12:19 PM   #6
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
I guess you just don't care about people's passions either, Doug :(
Piotr,

I have no idea what you are talking about. If you have an issue with my earlier post you clearly did not understand what I was trying to say. I stand by everything I have posted here and on other threads -- whether you want to listen to it or not, or for some odd reason find it offensive. Geez, I honestly try to help people and all they can do is spit in my face because I didn't research their personal lives. I just don't get it.

I wish you luck in your search for the camera that will best meet your needs . . . whatever they are. I strongly suggest you compare the cameras and lenses head to head -- and the right choice should be immediately obvious because they are so different. If you expect a stranger to say "hey, buy this camera because it fits your personal needs best" then you are sadly mistaken.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 12:45 PM   #7
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

Doug,

I know the FS5 & FS7 features and differences by heart - but only people actually using them for time long enough to get the full picture (pun unintended) can advise me. A short "test drive" I might or might not get from any of the Polish suppliers, which aren't that many and don't keep such stocks as American ones, would not be sufficient.

And my needs and goals are obvious: to get a batter bang for the buck. As simple as that.

Also, I posted several valid questions which you didn't even care to address (e.g. with the same code, framerates and resolutions, is the FS5 worth 3x more than the X70? - even considering it's an S35 camera while the other only has a 1" imager, in some circumstances it can be an advantage as getting the critical focus would be easier. Similarly - is the ultimate goal - the picture quality - 150% better from the FS7 than it can be from the FS5? The numbers and percentages reflect the price differences of course.

So yes - your answer has simply been arrogant, Doug.

Piotr
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Old February 7th, 2016, 01:39 PM   #8
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

Wow, I guess I'll just wipe that spit off my face again. I'm sorry I didn't address your questions to your satisfaction. Please accept my sincerest apologies for not spending more time on it. I'll try to do better in the future.

Your humble servant,
Doug


PS. If you think my advice to compare the features of the cameras is arrogant, then it is clear that you have not compared the features of the cameras yet. I rest my case.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 01:49 PM   #9
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Re: FS5 vs. FS7 doubts: please advise

What type of video do you shoot Piotr? Is 50/60fps @ 4k a requirement for your next camera purchase?
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Old February 7th, 2016, 01:56 PM   #10
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

Doug said nothing wrong Piotr. If you are going to refer to your disability in a post, you should say what it is if you want help that takes that into consideration. Don't expect people to know what you said in another thread. All Doug said was to compare the cameras specs and the choice should be obvious. So what disability should we take into consideration when advising you on what camera you want?
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Old February 7th, 2016, 02:45 PM   #11
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Wow, I guess I'll just wipe that spit off my face again.
No Doug, your answer was like a spit on my face

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I'll try to do better in the future.
You know Doug - we have a bunch of real gurus on these forums, and you're certainly one of them. But I'm asking you one single thing: just compare yourself with Alister I mentioned above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Your humble servant,
Doug
No need to be sarcastic. I'm still your friend, Doug.

Peace.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 02:51 PM   #12
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Re: FS5 vs. FS7 doubts: please advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
What type of video do you shoot Piotr? Is 50/60fps @ 4k a requirement for your next camera purchase?
Hi Noa,

Mainly live classical music performances, in beautiful venues. I used to be one of a multi-camera crew (6-10 cameras) - I've only been editing for quite a long time.

Why I'm thinking of buying a new camera I partially explained in my previous post - this time it's only going to serve me for some beauty shots, maybe a feature or two - things like that. As I said, luckily I do have another profession :)

Thanks for asking!

Piotr
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Old February 7th, 2016, 03:27 PM   #13
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

Piotr,

Well if you only plan to shoot on sticks and need high end then get the FS7 it will produce superior results especially in 4K (real 4K not UHD) and it has the CineEI. However you may be better off shooting Rec709 or a Custom Hypergamma depending of how the concert is lit. Do a lot of testing during the rehearsals to figure out the best mode and camera settings.

If you plan to be mobile with a StediCam or Gimbal then the FS5 is better.

I would spend a lot of my money on great lenses and use a FS7 for live concert shoots. All the live concerts I have recorded were multi cam with some mobile and some on sticks or jibs.

I would say that even in HD the picture is superior from the FS7. Harder to configure then the FS5 but done right it is extremely capable and the absolute best bargain in cameras today IMHO.

I would watch Doug's 50 minute preview it really helps to nail down what the FS5 is and what the differences are to the FS7. As a matter of fact I would rent the Vortex FS5 and watch the whole series a few times, this will really make it clear what the FS5 is. Then rent the FS7 videos and watch that the same way. This will help you make a good decision. But I would still rent/borrow/demo both.

Personally I have both, for different shooting situations, and a A7s as well it is the low light champ and a fantastic stealth cam.

This is how I decide what cam to use.

On sticks controlled locations. Always the FS7.

Talking heads. FS7 A-cam, FS5 B-cam.

Shoulder shooting for a long period. The FS7, it is better on the shoulder and the EVF is superior.

Quick moving, back packing unpredictable shoot. FS5. Like on speed boats or snow mobiles. Skiing.

Night time shoot around town. A7s

Stealth shoot in a city or possible sensitive location. A7s or FS5.

StediCam. I use both the FS7 and 5 the 7 is just as good here, more weight is better.

Gimbal shoot. FS5 or A7s.

Most shoots I bring all 3 and the EX3 as well. Then use the right cam for different parts of the shoot.

I realize you don't have my budget, but I think maybe this helps illustrate what the different cams are good at.

I also shoot with MRs a lot, those go in the production truck as well. Great establishing shots, can be flown indoors for great over view of a concert hall, done during a rehearsal can cut into the finished piece really well.

It is all about the right tool for the job.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 04:05 PM   #14
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

I think you have to ask yourself if a fs7 is a camera that you need or want, remember that the body is only a small part of the cost because the fun starts when you start to invest in lenses, you mentioned to maybe start with a cheap lens but that is a waste of money, lenses are the best investment you can make (if you buy the expensive ones) and they can last you a lifetime and hold their resale value much better compared to camera's

I think for your type of shooting you would be better of with a dvx200 alike camera, much cheaper then a fs5 or fs7 (if you include the lens cost as well) and it's a complete camera that can do 50fps at 4K and has a much larger sensor then your ex1.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 06:18 PM   #15
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Re: FS5 or FS7: please advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
You know what, Doug? I really thought you knew better than that. But in your last dispute with Jack, and now - with this answer, you really prove to be a rather non-sympathetic guy.
I have read Doug's writings for years, never have been in a place to need his classes, but with the FS5 I really was looking forward to buying his class. Glad I held off. After reading the things he said in the other thread, I've decided to put those funds elsewhere.

As for the FS5 vs FS7, I agree that the cameras have a lot in common (and I disagree with Doug that the very utterance of the question makes you uninformed or uneducated). I prefer the FS5. I have the Sony 18-105, and it's an okay lens but the focus thing is very difficult, depending on how you use the camera. I have a Tamron 18-50 on it now. It's f/2.8 (instead of f/4 of the Sony). Better focus, more light, and with the digital zoom on the FS5 the lack of reach isn't an issue. It's a GREAT walkaround lens. I don't think the FS7 does digital zoom, so you'd really be lacking there.

Whatever you do, good luck. I'd love to see some photos of you in action.
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