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Old September 4th, 2017, 08:17 AM   #1
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Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Hi. I'm moving on from Canon (C300 and C300 mk2) and ready to get either the FS5 or it's replacement. I know there is supposed to be quite a wide gap in performance but I simply don't see that from my A7R2 and my C300 mk2. In fact, I find the colours and overall picture quality of the A7R2 more to my liking. Not the received wisdom but who cares if it suits me. So I'm seriously considering the FS5, especially with that variable ND facility.

But one aspect that bothers me is the UHD grading performance. All the videos I've seen are fine but there are expert users who warn not to expect to be able to grade more than basic corrections at UHD level. Also the noise seems to be an issue for some people although I have never seen a video that I would consider too noisy (and I come fresh from the C300),

Of course, I will get some footage from one for myself and evaluate that but I respect the views of people who have used one for a while and got to know it thoroughly, so could I ask whether you would buy the FS5 again at this time or wait for the possible replacement? I've been told the replacement is due within weeks, which is just about within my ability to control my impetuosity...I think.
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Old September 4th, 2017, 08:40 AM   #2
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Stewart,

Wait a week or so...My FS5 has been a superb tool. Sure, not perfect...but with the very nicely specced Panasonic EVA-1 about to hit the streets Sony won't be standing still for too long. (Note: I've ruled out the C200 as the "bread and butter" codec I'd use 95% of the time is just too crippled for it's price point). It's interesting (to me) that you don't mention it despite your Canon pedigree.

Back to the FS5. I pre-ordered my FS5 as soon as it was announced at IBC exactly 2 years ago. If Sony don't announce a FS5 MkII at IBC in a few days time then you've probably got another 6-12 months before they upgrade it to a "Insert Model Name Here". Only you can decide what's best for you over that time span but I would say that the first 2 jobs I used my FS5 on (very soon after getting it - they wanted UHD delivery for big screens in conference rooms) more than paid for it....and you can get one now cheaper than what I paid in 2015. I'll stick with it a while longer as I love it's small form factor plus it fits so well on my Letus Helix Jr gimbal when needed too (and I have other cams for certain fast paced run-n-gun or broadcast codec type work).

I use the Vortex FS5 Pro picture profile for quick turn and around lovely looking images - grading is usually just a bit of minor colour correction, contrast consistency etc. and it all works just fine for that level of post. Secret is to nail white balance and exposure - don't get too hot. Most of what I produce from the FS5 ends up on internet, intranets and conference room screens or laptops/iPads etc. out in the field....any TV destined stuff is usually shot with my PMW-300. Not had any complaints about picture quality.

Patience is a virtue!
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Old September 4th, 2017, 09:16 AM   #3
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Hi Andy

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I agree about the C200 codec. Canon, I imagine, are trying not to cripple sales of the C300 but are actually going to do just that for the 200 with such a lowly, outdated codec.

I agree patience is a virtue, but not one I have a surfeit of! Should know better at my age (I started on U-Matic then hi band U-matic then Beta-cam, linear edit suites, etc, etc). And interesting comments about a possible launch date for the FS5 replacement/update. If I buy the FS5 now the mk 2 will undoubtedly be released the following day and be the near perfect camera...

It sounds like you don't have a problem with either grading or noise, which are the only two areas bothering me. I know it's not a broadcast camera, but I have other stuff I can do that on. The big attraction is its size and the variable ND filter. I wish it had a waveform monitor which would help nail the exposure but maybe zebras will do almost as well once you get the hang of how it responds. It's interesting when you say "don't get too hot" on exposure, which I take to mean not too far to the right. When shooting log, which I like to do whenever the time/budget allow, I generally aim for about a stop and a half over to tame the shadow noise and I'd probably set the exposure compensation at 1.5 over and then trust the zebras. I think I need to find time to get to a dealer and get some footage. Cheers.

Last edited by Stewart Hemley; September 4th, 2017 at 09:21 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old September 4th, 2017, 07:44 PM   #4
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Wait until IBC 2017 this month. Sony very well might announce an FS5 replacement.

Honestly, I think that the FS700, FS5 and FS7 sensor is finished and at the end of its life. Its old now and dates all the way back to the early days of Sony's 4k start.

I think we are also finished with 1:1 readout too. I think that Canon will be the last company still doing it in 4k.

If you think about it, 1:1 Bayer readout only give a green channel,...the best resolution channel you have...1/2 4k resolution. Meanwhile, the red and blue are a crappy 1/4 resolution of 4k.

1:1 Bayer is the absolute MINIMUM pixel count to build a 4k image from. From here on in, we can expect Sony to use 5k/6k sampling for 4k video.

Look at how incredibly detailed the GH5, A6500 and A7r2 is. The Panasonic EVA1 is 5.7k and im sure Sony now done with 1:1.

I'd wait to at least see what Sony will announce.
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Old September 5th, 2017, 03:42 PM   #5
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

I have had an FS5 since it came out. It is a lovely little camera. The 10bit HD is very nice and very clean. The 8bit UHD is fine too depending on how you want to shoot with it. I typically shoot b-roll with HD and all my interviews in UHD. I don't find it noisy, though grading 8bit UHD you have to be careful, BUT I got used to grading Xdcam out of an EX1r which is 8bit and it is just fine for my use, which is primarily corporate and web work. I started in the Sony Portapack days (1970). I have used Ikegami HL-35s, Sony Betacam, various P2 cameras, the AF-100, and my current FS5. I bought it for the form factor. Probably, should have purchased an FS7, but I really wanted a small camera, but with normal video features. The FS5 has fit the bill. What will the future bring? Who knows. Being technology, it will advance and does advance all the time. You can get a good deal on an FS5 right now. Cameras in some ways, have a short life span, but if it meets your needs, go for it. You can rent them ...and try them out....what a concept. Anyway, good luck with your search.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewart Hemley View Post
Hi. I'm moving on from Canon (C300 and C300 mk2) and ready to get either the FS5 or it's replacement. I know there is supposed to be quite a wide gap in performance but I simply don't see that from my A7R2 and my C300 mk2. In fact, I find the colours and overall picture quality of the A7R2 more to my liking. Not the received wisdom but who cares if it suits me. So I'm seriously considering the FS5, especially with that variable ND facility.

But one aspect that bothers me is the UHD grading performance. All the videos I've seen are fine but there are expert users who warn not to expect to be able to grade more than basic corrections at UHD level. Also the noise seems to be an issue for some people although I have never seen a video that I would consider too noisy (and I come fresh from the C300),

Of course, I will get some footage from one for myself and evaluate that but I respect the views of people who have used one for a while and got to know it thoroughly, so could I ask whether you would buy the FS5 again at this time or wait for the possible replacement? I've been told the replacement is due within weeks, which is just about within my ability to control my impetuosity...I think.
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Old September 8th, 2017, 09:47 AM   #6
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Andy, Cliff, Jeremy thanks for taking the trouble to reply. The sensible view is that it would be stupid not to wait a couple of weeks. I'm lucky with the timing on this one as the update is probably not far away.

Iíve been searching out videos made with the camera and I have seen some pretty impressive stuff with some especially clean low-light vids. Made me wonder whether any noise reduction had been applied though I doubt it because the sharpness was fine with none of that plasticky feel (technical term...).

My local dealer is offering the camera at a really low price with the raw upgrade thrown in so if the mk2 doesnít happen at IBC I will probably go for that. I know the sensor is 5 years old, which is quite a while in modern terms but if I can get the same results I've been seeing then that's not something I'm too
bothered about. I had the C300 mk2 (went yesterday) which is a modern design but I just didn't like the picture quality and that's the bottom line.

Cliff, I followed your discussion with Doug on this forum and found it fascinating. That alone should make me hold fire on the FS5 till either the replacement is out or I have checked footage for myself.

Thanks again for the advice. I'll act on it and get back to you after IBC, one way or the other.
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Old September 8th, 2017, 10:12 AM   #7
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Quote:
I had the C300 mk2 (went yesterday) which is a modern design but I just didn't like the picture quality and that's the bottom line.
You had the c300mk2 and you are selling it in favor of a sony fs5? Why do you think the Sony will give you superior image quality over the c300?
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Old September 9th, 2017, 10:25 AM   #8
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewart Hemley View Post
Andy, Cliff, Jeremy thanks for taking the trouble to reply. The sensible view is that it would be stupid not to wait a couple of weeks. I'm lucky with the timing on this one as the update is probably not far away.

I’ve been searching out videos made with the camera and I have seen some pretty impressive stuff with some especially clean low-light vids. Made me wonder whether any noise reduction had been applied though I doubt it because the sharpness was fine with none of that plasticky feel (technical term...).

My local dealer is offering the camera at a really low price with the raw upgrade thrown in so if the mk2 doesn’t happen at IBC I will probably go for that. I know the sensor is 5 years old, which is quite a while in modern terms but if I can get the same results I've been seeing then that's not something I'm too
bothered about. I had the C300 mk2 (went yesterday) which is a modern design but I just didn't like the picture quality and that's the bottom line.

Cliff, I followed your discussion with Doug on this forum and found it fascinating. That alone should make me hold fire on the FS5 till either the replacement is out or I have checked footage for myself.

Thanks again for the advice. I'll act on it and get back to you after IBC, one way or the other.
@Stewart - in my talk about sensor readout oversampling - I did a side by side test between the FS5's 1:1 readout and the A6300's 6k readout.

Again because of Bayer pattern loss, the 1:1 readout only has a green channel that is 50% raster 4k resolution while the 6k readout has a green channel that is 100% full raster 4k. 6k is It's literally TWICE the pixels collected off the sensor. I'm 100% certain this is the future for most Sony cameras moving forward.

Yes, they are two COMPLETELY different cameras form an operational standpoint. This is only a camera processing and image sensor science test.

Can you spot the 1:1 readout and 6k readout cameras? (same Sigma 18-35 lens on both cameras)


Now some might say, "who cares about detail" or "Detail is only for pixel peepers". That's fine if people dont care about these kinds of things as everybody is different and nobody is right or wrong in their opinions. So take the resolution difference for whatever it's worth to you specifically. For me?....I crave razor, RAZOR tight focus and eye popping detail. If I can shoot a picnic basket form 50 feet away and still see a tiny ant trail crawling up the side? That always makes me say "damn,..that's friggin awesome" ;-)

CT

Last edited by Cliff Totten; September 9th, 2017 at 11:05 AM.
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Old September 11th, 2017, 06:21 AM   #9
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Noah, Itís a mixture of things. I want a more convenient run Ďní gun setup, which the C300 really isnít. Itís okay for doc work but has the ergonomics of a skyscraper compared to the FS5 and 7. When youíre lugging stuff around, in and out of cars and camera bags, it gets to be a PITA. The Sonyís are clearly much better for that. And then thereís the actual picture quality. I know the Canon colour science is supposed to be superior to Sonyís but I donít agree. The pictures out of my A7R2 are far closer to what I see than my C300 mk1 and 2 ever were. Thereís no such thing as accurate colour, or at least itís beyond technology/financial capabilities at the moment, but the Sony gets closer to the original on auto WB than the Canon did on manual. I just didnít bond with my Canon in the way I like to. Probably sounds weird but I have to actually like my equipment before I can get the best out of it.

Cliff, I want to say first (and I hope this doesnít sound patronising Ė itís not meant to) that I greatly admired the way you and Doug conducted your discussion. You clearly had very different viewpoints but made a clear effort to stay respectful and polite. If only that were the norm on the net.

But :) Iím afraid I donít agree about the 6300/6500 being better than the FS5. Clearly itís sharper but to me Ė and like you say, itís a personal taste thing Ė it seems over sharpened. And the contrast control seems better in the FS5. Also, although I havenít tested a 6300/6500, I suspect the colours of the FS5 are closer to the subject. I guess that with a little sharpening the FS5 could get pretty close to the others. On the other hand, you could argue that the others could have their contrast tamed and their colours adjusted and Iíd probably agree. Then it would come down to how you use the cameras. I think the FS5 is the more usable and has better features for video, such as that awesome ND arrangement. Iím already wetting my pants over using that one. The main things is, itís horses for courses. I wonít know if my guess is right but as soon as I have footage from the FS5 Iíll be able to say whether itís better for me. My dealer hopes to get one in this week so Iíll post as soon as Iíve played with it. Thanks again, guys.

EDIT: I just found this on Vimeo. It's about as sharp as I'd ever want to go. Even you might be okay with it Cliff!

Last edited by Stewart Hemley; September 11th, 2017 at 06:54 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old September 11th, 2017, 07:12 PM   #10
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

FS5 is a good camera. But it's kind of delicate. You need to get things right in the camera for it to really look it's best. It's easier for me to get good looking stuff out of the A7Sii for some reason.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 01:32 AM   #11
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

I use the FS5 for ENG broadcast week in and week out. I also love the size of the cam. It took a while to start shooting in s-log, but once I got the hang of it, it really doesn't take much more time to edit than it usually does.
I have no idea what's around the corner so couldn't say if you should pull the trigger or not though.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 02:46 AM   #12
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Great responses, thanks guys. For once I'm weighing the variables and trying to make the right decision. The results from the camera that I've seen, quite a few now, look great to me, and that's after Vimeo has had its way with them. Maybe kidding myself but I think I could match them so the camera looks fine.

There's almost certainly a new one round the corner otherwise Sony wouldn't be dropping the prices. And that's relevant: the price is a low as it will go for a camera that does what I need. Will the replacement perform better? Obviously, but how much better can they make it without damaging sales of the FS7? Sony could decide to replace the FS7 also but I don't see that happening this year. Will it be worth the extra cost to me? I'm thinking not. And I'm thinking it makes sense to get one now. These offers will stop as soon as the stocks have been cleared. So I'll be collecting mine tomorrow, along with the Atomos Shogun.The Shogun will give me the extra recording options plus a good viewfinder with waveform, etc, etc. I have a job starting this week that I can use it on so in case other people are considering the same decision, I'll report back to give say whether I've done the right thing or not.Thanks again for all the views offered.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 06:13 AM   #13
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Sony's IBC 2017 press conference is Friday. I cant wait to see what they will unveil! (or not unveil) ;-)
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Old September 12th, 2017, 07:31 AM   #14
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Cliff, so Friday evening I'll be in the pub either celebrating or drowning...
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Old September 12th, 2017, 01:48 PM   #15
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Re: Sensible to buy new FS5 now, or wait?

Nah,...I think you will be fine. If the FS5 already does what you need today and are happy with it's image quality, then you are good to go. It just saw a major price drop so whatever is next will surely cost more money.

Buy from a place that has a 30 day teturn policy and you are safe!

;-)
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