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Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5
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Old April 27th, 2016, 10:40 PM   #1
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FS5 & Firmware upgrade w/7Q+ vs FS7

Hello All,

Long-time lurker and former FS700 owner (and current A7s owner):

With the new Sony firmware announcements, how will the FS5 fare for corporate work compared to the mighty FS7? I reside in the Middle East where Sony is cheaper than other brands such as Canon.

Case in point: one retailer is offering the FS7 brand new (body only) for $1200USD more than the FS5 (body only).

I'd be scraping to get into the FS7, but would it be worth it to goes this route verses an FS5 w/7Q+ rig?
Shooting would be mainly squared at corporate video/narrative...

Thank you all in advance!

Last edited by Chris Fehr; April 28th, 2016 at 12:45 AM.
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Old April 28th, 2016, 12:46 AM   #2
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Re: FS5 & Firmware upgrade w/7Q+ vs FS7

Chris,
I've been shooting with my fs7 for over a year, and really like the camera.
The fs5 has some good points, is lighter, etc. But for the difference in price, I'd go with the fs7.
I have a full size Ronin and vest, and if I had the business to justify another camera, I might go with the fs5 and leave it balanced on the Ronin. But if it were my only camera, I'd go with the fs7.
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Old April 28th, 2016, 07:14 AM   #3
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Re: FS5 & Firmware upgrade w/7Q+ vs FS7

Hi Bruce,

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your advice, and glad to hear that you are pleased with the FS7.
It would be my A cam while using my A7s as a B cam. At an extra $1500, I guess digging a bit deeper into the pockets is worth the FS7 over the FS5...at least for corporate gigs.

Much appreciated,
c.
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Old April 28th, 2016, 07:53 AM   #4
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Re: FS5 & Firmware upgrade w/7Q+ vs FS7

I have FS7, FS5 and the A7s.

I use them all, they are all great at what they do.

For HD I use the FS5 60% of the time and the FS7 35%, A7s 5%.

4K (UHD) FS7 80% FS5 18%, A7s (with Odyssey 7Q+) 2%.

It depends on the shoot and client needs. I often shoot UHD in the FS5 for HD delivery. But for true 4K the FS7 is the one to use. Though both the FS5 and A7s are OK for Bcam.

If it is just a quick HD grab and shoot the FS5 is my go to cam 100% of the time with the kit lens. I almost never use Slog in the FS5, I use my Cinegamma4 PP. The only time I would use Slog in the 5 is with very contrasty uncontrollable location. With the FS7 I use CineEI about 50% of the time same reason.
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Old April 28th, 2016, 10:03 PM   #5
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Re: FS5 & Firmware upgrade w/7Q+ vs FS7

Thank you Olof for also sharing your setup!

If you were primarily producing 70-80% content that ends up online, would it warrant the 4k factor for utilising the FS7 if just dumbing down to HD? I guess one would have more options for editing in post, as well as enough bits to do significant colour correction..

CineEI looks like a fantastic codec for attaining a more cinematic look.

The form factor of the FS5 is really appealing, but the reviews surrounding the blocky banding and noise are concerning.

But at only $1500 difference between the 2 cams, I would assume most shooters here would just go the FS7 route...

Thanks again. :)
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Old April 29th, 2016, 02:21 AM   #6
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Re: FS5 & Firmware upgrade w/7Q+ vs FS7

Chris,

I'm a FS5 owner and I have to say the small, ergonomic form factor and variable ND, together with the option to shoot in 4K (QFHD) that's "good enough" for my current needs, and those of my clients, is fantastic.

If your mindset is best quality 4K capability and maximum flexibility/value that's attainable on your budge then, of course, get the FS7 as it's a terrific camera. Note - I don't have one - I'm waiting for the FS7 MkII with a variable ND system if one ever appears! Don't bother with the FS5, raw update (extra $600) and then external recorder (= more $$$ and will be cumbersome for anything not on a tripod/would be a similar overall cost anyway).

However, if your mindset is like mine was when I ordered my FS5, in that I wanted something small and light enough for effortless brushless gimbal work (in my case on a Letus Helix Jr), entry level (but still blummin good) 4K capability (see reason below) and 10-bit 4.2.2 for HD (plus some lovely slow motion capabilities as a bonus) then I promise you that you'll love the FS5.

I've been filming this week for a Cambridge medical diagnostics company (lots of close ups of technical stuff in a laboratory). I used both my PMW-300 and FS5 (in 4K mode) together with a variety of (mostly Canon) lenses via the Metabones IV on the FS5, including my macro. The ability to crop in/re-frame in post has been invaluable and the images are excellent. The FS5's 4K used this way is lovely and extremely flexible, more than adequate for HD web delivery (where almost all my output goes).
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Old April 29th, 2016, 10:00 PM   #7
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Re: FS5 & Firmware upgrade w/7Q+ vs FS7

Hey Andy,

Thanks for your input regarding the FS5. Sounds like a very good cam if your final output is HD, and the form factor is what keeps pulling on me...I can see this body useful for gimbal use, and for any shoots involving flying.

Will be interesting to see how it changes with the free firmware upgrade in May...

Much appreciated,
c.
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Old April 30th, 2016, 03:59 AM   #8
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Re: FS5 & Firmware upgrade w/7Q+ vs FS7

Dave Dugdale makes a very good point at around 4:35 in this video:
comparing the FS5 and FS7 kit lens.

In a nutshell if most of your work ends up on the Net, there's arguably less of a need for high end cameras/lenses. Now I know that's not true in all cases, particularly at the cinematic end of the spectrum. But if your bread and butter is corporate, weddings and low budget doco work (all intended for the Net) it's a valid point.
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