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Old December 7th, 2014, 06:37 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,149
FS700 vs DSLR

Was shooting for someone else yesterday, and he wanted me to use his three FS700 cameras. Problem was: I didn't get a chance to play with the cameras beforehand, so had about 20 minutes before the shoot to be briefed on assembly and basic functions. So, really interesting, but really uncomfortable the entire day.

Having not used anything larger than a DSLRs for the last few years, it was a bit of an eye-opener.

Some notes on likes and dislikes:

-- Didn't try to put the thing on a steadicam Merlin. Felt like shape and weight would be all wrong. Worked fine, though, on other DSLR support gear.

-- Definitely felt less nimble, more bulky.

-- Iris wheel on the side of the camera is really annoying. Means you've got to take your hand off the focus ring to adjust. Definitely feels more like a controlled-environment camera than run-and-gun in many ways. For instance, simply in terms of boot-up time -- how long you have to wait before you can press record.

-- Overall ergonomics of the camera truly did feel crappy, like most reviewers say. Didn't feel small and compact and discreet like a DSLR, or comfortably handheld, like an HVX200, or comfortably shoulder-mounted. LCD screen is on top of camera, so it's useful for low-angle shots, but terrible for high-angle shots.

-- LCD seemed a bit low resolution. Even when you magnified for focus, you couldn't get the displayed image completely sharp. Having a peaking function was a real luxury (though my employer told me it couldn't be trusted 100%).

-- Having histogram and peaking accessible with their own assigned buttons was awesome. But I was struggling to make fast adjustments to shutter and ISO. I think it's probably my limited knowledge. Didn't seem to be an intuitive/quick way to adjust these comparable to DSLRs.

-- Battery life was great. Two batteries the entire day. Ridiculous. Card also seemed to store a lot of footage -- two 32gb cards all day with plenty to spare.

-- If Canon finally brings out 120, even at 720, on a 5DIV or a 1DC mark II next year, I'll be looking to upgrade. Slow motion even at 100fps seemed really cool. Very usable for situations where you might be looking for just a few short grabs, like dancing. It's just the annoyance of missing moments while you're waiting for it to process.
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Old December 7th, 2014, 09:00 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Charlottesville
Posts: 255
Re: FS700 vs DSLR

A friend of mine described the FS700's ergonomics as "it's like Sony just took a handful of buttons and threw them at the camera". I've heard the FS100 is similar in that the ergonomics are just not very intuitive. However, I believe that with the new FS7 they've made it much easier to use as I'm sure they've heard the complaints and responded accordingly.

While I haven't heard much about what Canon will offer in their 2015 DSLRs, it sounds like Canon will likely come out with a cinema camera that will compete directly with the FS7 but cost a bit more. This could be the C300 Mk II or possibly an all new cinema camera that fits between the C100 and C300 (C200???). So my guess is that whichever camera is in direct competition with the FS7 will shoot 4K at 24, 25, and 30p. However, it seems like Canon is really reluctant to give people high frame rates so there's no telling if they will include anything above 60p in the entry to mid level cinema cameras.

Regarding DSLRs, it would surprise me if they gave any camera that costs less than the C100 more than 60p because it would undercut the C100 Mk II in some ways. Of course if they made a new version of the 1DC it would cost more than the C100, but it just seems like Canon wants to be very sure that you will pay more to get more (which is actually very understandable). It seems like Sony is more focused with cornering the market so they're adding whatever features they can to even prosumer cameras.

I guess we'll all find out around NAB exactly what Canon has up their sleeves. I'm hoping it's something exciting but it seems Canon likes to keep everyone guessing.
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