FS7/C200/EVA1 What to Buy Thread - My Turn at DVinfo.net

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Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5
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Old October 31st, 2017, 10:36 PM   #1
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FS7/C200/EVA1 What to Buy Thread - My Turn

Ok, I know the forum is bloated with these type of threads, but after 1,200 posts, I think I earned one. I heard it was every 1,000 or so? Anyways…

Looking for a new production camera to replace/augment my current FS5, and I’m right on the precipice of pulling the trigger on a FS7ii. I’ve finally got my head around S-Log, but there are a number of things about the FS5 that annoy me on a job. The monitoring and high-speed limitations most of all. I have the whole Shogun setup and all, but it’s just kinda...clunky. And the files sizes are just too big for me to use regularly. Not really ready to go down the RED or full production camera route just yet for various reasons, so I’m kind of revolving around the recent sub $10,000 group of cams, FS7II, C200, and EVA1.

My production company has 6 employees, and shoots probably 3-5 jobs a week, mostly corporate type content, education, and some event work. Sometimes there are multiple teams out doing things, so multiple cameras are necessary. My plan is to relegate the two FS5 cams to streaming and event work, B-cam/gimbal duty, and then also multicam setups with the new camera rounding out the trio. There are some reasons to stick in one camp when it comes to manufacturers, but color matching flat footage is easy these days and I want to have the best tool for the job.

Let’s start with the C200. I want to like it. I really want to like it. Have had Canon C100s since they were released, and they just keep on ticking. The hardest part is that I really haven’t seen any BAD footage from all the examples out in the world. Even the footage of people chasing their kids around the house just looks…GOOD. However, I think that nearly all of the footage out in the world is derived from the Canon RAW Lite. That’s great, but I don’t see many times when I’d be using that robust of a recording codec besides personal type projects. The RAW is about twice the size of XAVC-I, which isn’t terrible, but being honest with myself, it wouldn’t be a smart business decision for me to add another layer to our workflow. I am getting more and more involved in color work, however, so a higher spec file than the 8-bit UHD would kind of be nice to help me develop more in the area of grading. It’s too bad Canon only offers the extremes.

Enter the FS7. Compared to the Canon, I haven’t really seen any footage from the FS7 that stands out as REALLY good. It’s all just kind of ‘what I expected.’ Maybe that’s ok. One big step up from the FS5 would be the S-Log3 and the 10-bit files (in 4K). The big thing that makes me hesitate on the FS7 is that it’s been around for what seems like forever. Is tech advancement slowing down? The tools are so great right now that a huge jump in image quality doesn’t seem like it’s looming on the horizon. 14 stops and 4K seems like plenty for at least a couple more years - right? The hard part is that I really like the usability and features of the pro video cameras (FS5), but I have always thought that my A7Sii simply looked better most of the time. Sharper, dynamic range, etc. The other concern I have is that I’ve been shooting RAW->ProRes on the Shogun with my FS5, and that the XAVC would maybe even be a tiny step backwards when it comes to image quality. It’s hard to spend big money on cameras that don’t look significantly better on first glance. I suppose there’s always the Venice.

The EVA-1 is also interesting, but the footage just kind of looks ‘fine.’ Doesn’t have that Canon mojo we all talk about. The color does seem very balanced. The high-speed doesn’t look like an upgrade from current options and there’s no 10-bit 4k60p. I’m sure it’s a good camera that can obtain professional results, but there aren’t really any people standing in line asking for it…

I like making lists. Here are some lists.

FS7ii Pros:
• Well known in production world - more jobs/rentals?
• XAVC-I data rates are a sweet spot size/quality
• Internal 4k60 at 10-bit
• Continuous 180fps HD
• Variable ND
• Speedboosters!
• Custom LUTs and CineEI Mode
• It “matches” my other two FS5s and A7Sii
• Cheap media, batteries, etc.

FS7ii Cons:
• Sensor tech getting long in the tooth
• No real viable (compressed) RAW option
• Not exceptional in low light
• Weaker color science (debatable)

C200 Pros:
• Canon color
• WDR Profile
• Autofocus
• Small size - travel/gimbal friendly
• RAW option onboard

C200 Cons:
• No profesional “video” type codec onboard
• Expensive media and batteries
• Doesn’t match currently owned cameras
• Unproven in the market

EVA-1 Pros:
• 5.7K Sensor
• It’s red

EVA-1 Cons:
• Not anything outstanding beyond other two cams
• It’s a Panasonic

Obviously joking a little bit about the EVA-1, but I don’t think it’s for me. Well that was a therapeutic and rambling post. While $10,000 isn’t a huge amount of money in the long run, it’s certainly significant. If it’s worth it to return to Canon I’ll do it. What does everyone think? …Doug?
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Old November 4th, 2017, 04:35 AM   #2
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Re: FS7/C200/EVA1 What to Buy Thread - My Turn

I'm not the right person to ask for advice because I don't have experience with any of the cameras you have mentioned except for the FS7 and FS5. But I will say that if you think the FS7 is just a little bit better than the FS5 you are completely mistaken. The FS7 is vastly superior to the FS5 in every way that you want to compare them. They have virtually nothing in common and the FS7 is a big step up from the FS5.

And I'm pretty sure that if you compared the features (not just the "look") of the FS7 to those other brands of cameras I'll wager that they fall short in many ways that really make a difference to me on a real shoot. Things like better zebras and peaking, custom clip naming, an excellent viewfinder with a loupe that can be flipped up instantly, a shot duration counter, S&Q Motion at the touch of a button, ability to use speedboosters and many more lens options, better codecs, more robust media, S-LOG2, S-LOG3, customizable markers, User Box, four channels of 24-bit uncompressed audio, customizable User Menu, scene files and dozens of paint menus when the client doesn't want to grade, proxy files, picture cache, DCI 4K, built-n ND filters, and variable ND if you buy the mark 2. All of those things are important to me and would factor into my decision if I was looking for a new camera.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the picture quality of the FS7, in fact I think it is excellent, I'm just saying that there are many other things to consider than just that alone.

You've got 6 employees and doing 3-5 jobs per week with and FS5 and Atomos? Why? I feel sorry for your employees! :-) You should be running a couple of FS7s with that kind of operation. The speed and efficiency of shooting with an will FS7 pay for itself in no time at all.
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Old November 4th, 2017, 06:48 AM   #3
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Re: FS7/C200/EVA1 What to Buy Thread - My Turn

Yeah,...I'd definitively go with the FS7. If I were you, it would be a slam dunk easy decision.

As far as FS5 vs. FS7 goes, yeah....there is a massive difference between the two. Yes, they do share the same sensor and FS700 raw protocol. However, the FS7 has been incredibly successful sales performer for Sony. When the FS5 was developed, they VERY much didnt want to hurt the FS7's sales numbers. So, Sony placed strong "dividers" between the FS5 and FS7. This is not just a huge processing differences between them but allot more.. Not only are the CODEC and menu functions better on the FS7, to my eyes, the FS7 is sharper and cleaner than the FS5 too. I believe that Sony even placed a slightly heavier optical low low pass filter over the FS5 sensor. So even in a raw sensor data comparison, the FS7 will always be slightly sharper. (Nobody at Sony told me this, it's just my own theory after owning an FS5 for 6 months and comparing it my FS700 4k raw)

Now the EVA-1 looks cool too and the jury is still out. So far, it seems to have very little that beats the FS7 in any category. Well?...with the exception of one; "color science". The Varicam/GH5 color science in V-Log is spectacular. (I'm a die hard Sony guy and even I have to admit it) Varicam/GH5 colors are relatively VERY well balanced in a wide range of exposures, over and under. It grades like butter and it's very "cinematic". (Ugggg.....I HATE that over used word ;-)

Sony cameras often suffer a slight blue/green twist that makes grass look radioactive. Just shoot a "green Listerine" bottle and watch that color go super funky weird on you. I did this with my FS5, A7S-II and A6300 under florescent light...all three cameras did the same thing. The GH5 in Vlog doesn't do it. The Gh5 is my first non-Sony camera in 21 years. I took it to YellowStone this summer and shot 10bit ProRes with an Atomos rig I built. The 5k oversampled sensor detail was sick. And, those amazing colors knocked me out of my chair. I couldn't believe how little I did to that VLog...almost no real "correction" at all. As an SLOG-2/3 guy, that shocked me.

Anyway, it's not a big deal because that Sony blue/green twist can be easily corrected in post and it's not there on every scene. I'm overall happy with SLog, it just needs a touch more work in post. So yeah, I'll give Panasonic the win for color science but that is it. The FS7 lens and adapter options? No way,..slam dunk for the FS7. The FS7 even has,....wait for it......wait for it,......."Full Auto Focus"!!! (Something no true "pro" will ever admit on a forum to ever using) The EVA-1 does not have real time AF.

Somebody help me on this. I have several Canon-mount full-manual cine lenses but I don't own any Canon DSLR lenses. Can anybody tell me if Canon lens apertures open and close smoothly? I keep hearing that Canon lenses have hard "stops" at all the common aperture points. Sony lenses can open and close (ramp) smoothly like "video" lenses should. They don't have aperture point "landing pads". (another FS7 plus???)

EVA-1 noise? So far, from the limited EVA-1 footage I have seen, I'm going to say that the FS7's 6 year old EXMOR sensor will beat the EVA-1 at every ISO point. I originally suspected that Panasonic would have purchased a Sony fab'd sensor for the EVA-1. (cough,...cough,.. like they did for the GH5,..cough....cough!!) However, after seeing the noise the EVA-1 was putting out, that made me think it's not a Sony sensor at all. It's hard to put a finger on it but it just didn't have Sony noise "look". It looks more like a good "BlackMagic-type" sensor than a Sony one. Remember that Sony has a patent on A/D column conversion inside the sensor itself...nobody can do that without violating Sony patents and this is a big reason why Sony sensors are so clean. It's OK to laugh at this "conspiracy" paragraph because I'm laughing at it too! Maybe it's my crazy Sony "fan-boy" bias! hehehe.

Anyway, the FS7 is where I would go if I were you. It's not even close. Plus, the FS7 is already so well respected in the industry with production houses and TV stations and so forth.

Highly crippled Canon? What for? "Canon color" or to just have the "Canon" name in my gear bag? Nah, that wouldn't even be on my radar. That's the last one I'd ever pick. Yeah, FS7

CT.

Last edited by Cliff Totten; November 4th, 2017 at 11:03 AM.
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