The FS700 has dominated much of the camera buzz in the couple of weeks heading into NAB, and with the early announcement comes early footage. Last week we posted the official launch film that excerpted a number of test shorts shot by various DP's with a pre-production FS700, and over the past week the full shorts have been coming on-line. These tests by Peter Prevec, James Miller, and Den Lennie/James Tonkin, show off just what the camera can do with a variety of subjects -- from dirt bike races, to samba dancers to birds flying against the sun's light. Throw in a balloon murdering test by Andy Shipsides and you've got plenty to compare and contrast:
This first short is from Peter Prevec. I think it does a great job of showing off the camera's potential for sporting events and other similar shoots. For more information on the short, along with Prevec's thoughts on the camera's build and features, check out his post about it.
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/39997231
This second short is from DP Den Lennie of F-Stop Academy and Director James Tonkin of Hangman Studios. It really demonstrates the kind of dream-like sequences you can create with the camera's slow-mo capabilities. You can find a behind the scenes video here.
In this third short James Miller (in collaboration with Tonkin and Lennie) really tries to push the camera's dynamic range, often shooting against the sun. As Lennie commented in a recent Q&A about the FS700, recent tests he conducted on the FS100 showed that camera to have roughly 11.5 stops of latitude, and he thought the FS700 probably had more. Watch for the birds flying over the river, which Lennie noted they were able to pull out of highlight details:
I'm still waiting on that creepy candle-lit video by Gavin Elder, but in the meantime here's Andy Shipsides' test of the FS700's slow mo capabilities:
All in all, every tester really tried to show off the camera's slow-mo features, but I think another important takeaway is just the variety of ways in which you can use said features, and how well the camera operates in a range of situations. It would have been great to see some more night shoots, to get a sense of how well it performs in low light conditions. Hopefully we'll get to see those tests, along with more great footage in the coming weeks and months.
So what'd you think? Is the camera living up to the hype? What other kind of camera tests are you hoping to see?
I'd like to see how it handles in a real short. Slow mo is a fun gimmick and all, but how bout just a normal scene of dialogue??
April 12, 2012 at 7:52AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
You don't see that Sony is trying to sell the slow mo only? this is Camera is not different from the FS100.. when it comes to color range ...I would like to see if Panasonic has something too..
April 12, 2012 at 9:57AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
I intend to publish another video next week. It will be a real short. No dialogue though, just two of my friends trying to act a scene. Drop by to my blog http://toomuchimagination.com next week.
April 13, 2012 at 6:34AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Here is what I shot with the FS700: https://vimeo.com/40277885
April 14, 2012 at 11:00AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
No dialog, no slow motions. You could say it is the first short movie shot on FS700, not counting Frank's documentary. https://vimeo.com/40485786
April 17, 2012 at 6:10AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Take this camera to a carnival, I want to see come color.
April 12, 2012 at 7:55AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
So far it's cheaper (for what it offers) than anything Canon is offering.
April 12, 2012 at 8:10AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Until you add the 4k recorder. Theres a new Gemini Recorder that will take 4k Raw signals through 3g- hd sdi. The regular hd 4:4:4 recorder cost 6k, allowing 4k and Raw on top will probably be around 6-7K on top of the fs700 8kish price tag. Sonys 4:4:4 recorders cost 10k so if they market a 4k Raw recorder for cheaper, f65 and f3 people will be mad.
April 12, 2012 at 11:05AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
A third party option arising is a no brainer.
April 12, 2012 at 1:08PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Never thought I'd be the guy to say something like this, but there's something decidedly "video-like" about all this footage. It's sharp as all hell but I'm not a huge fan of the image right off the bat.
Might end up more as a speciality rental for me than something I'd purchase.
April 12, 2012 at 1:27PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Haha! I was thinkn the same thing. Yeah, it would make the perfect (maybe not the price)camera for high end wedding videographers. . . Definitely conveys the same look and feel of that particular industry.
April 12, 2012 at 2:02PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
I'm glad the "video" quality (which, admittedly is a very broad and subjective term) is being discussed. Spec-wise, this camera is right along the lines of what I've been hoping for in this lovely time of camera one-upsmanship. However, as we all know, it's not all about the specs- final image output is still king. It's really early, so I'm not going to concern myself too much yet, but so far the footage itself does furrow my brow just a bit.
Felix is right ("It looks a little videoish because they used a ~360 degree shutter most of the time. They used a shutter speed of 215 at 200 fps."), but to this point, I've seen some telltale signs of an image that is not quite ready to join some of the current heroes we have out there- Any Red cam, C300, Alexa and, arguably, the top Nikon and Canons DSLRs. I am going to be very curious and eager to get my hands on more footage with varying settings and the like.
I remember the wide rage of footage quality one could get from the Panasonic HVX200. You could really stretch the image in so many directions and that was lovely. My initial reaction to that camera was the same as it is to this one. Over time, though, I learned that one could really shape the image quality of the HXV and there's no reason to think the same can't be done with this camera. Here's to hoping!
April 13, 2012 at 11:04AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
And in case no one has seen this, it's a great view of the diminished quality of the higher frame rates:
April 13, 2012 at 11:11AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Part of it may be that, at least in the first two videos, they were shot at 200fps rather than 240fps. So I assume they brought it back to 25fps, rather than 24 (although the third short was done in 240fps). But, more importantly, something to keep in mind is that these were shot with a pre-production model, so the image out of the shipped units may be slightly different. There's a pretty lively debate amongst some FS100 owners about this "issue" (i put that in quotation marks simply because some don't see a difference, but others clearly do), and it seems to come down to what settings you use, picture style, lenses, lighting, etc. etc. In other words, as far as the FS100 goes, it's not going to have a filmic look right out of the box, but you can get there once you tweak the settings and shooting conditions. I wouldn't be surprised if the FS700 needs similar adjusting to match a given shooter's tastes (something that requires time and shooting hours, which these guys didn't really have).
April 12, 2012 at 4:31PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Personally, i think the footage looks great!
April 12, 2012 at 4:33PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
It does look great! I really mean it as more of a personal taste thing about footage at this stage of the game than anything else. I'm certain that flat profiles and the right lenses can take you where you want to go with this cam.
On a forum recently I heard someone say they were going to treat their various cameras like digital film stock, each with its own unique way of rendering an image.
April 12, 2012 at 10:46PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
It still looks very much like "video". Bummer.
April 12, 2012 at 2:49PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Most of you guys are much too young to remember -- spoken like a true old fart! -- but this kind of talk accompanies every technical "advance" -- starting with hi8 or, for the real older-timers, 16mm. Every one of these technical developments was supposed to make filmmaking available to the masses and "level of the playing field". Utter nonsense.
Forgive the anecdote, but I saw a print of a famous film of 1970s, recently, projected on film. If there were 700 lines of resolution up there, that would a lot. But guess what? It didn't look like video. It didn't look over-sharpened. It didn't have high frequency ringing. It didn't look like real life or a version of real life. In short, it looked like a work of the imagination. Abstract, painterly, and unsharp, like the imagery in your head. And the imagery which can get *into* your head.
Yeah, one could apply film-look plug-ins to FS700 footage and blur it. But you see where we're going here? Is there any evidence -- any at all -- that higher resolution involves viewers in the fiction of the movie, if you're not making "2001"? Or it just that all the folks who love these "innovations", with apologies to James Cameron, aren't really interested in works of the imagination?
April 12, 2012 at 6:52PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Of Course it looks like video!, I don't understand people who complain about that. The video market is 10x bigger than the micro niche film market. If Sony focused on cinema cameras they wouldn't have an imaging division. It would lose all its money. Most people are interesting in VIDEO. Little are interested in cinema. So that would be an option. Thats why cinema cameras cost so much more. The companies have to charge more to make profit from such a small group. Thats why Matteboxes are expensive. Only a handful need them. Yall should be glad it looks like video...thats why its cheaper.
April 12, 2012 at 7:19PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Seems very very cool if you want super slow mo. Personally, I'd rather have new cameras introduce to me like this: photos of camera, list of all specs of camera, Technical test footage (charts, dynamic range, gradability, low light etc...) done by people and NOT the company that made the camera, then real life random videos such as what's above.
April 12, 2012 at 10:41PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
If you don't have a drop of "creative juice" in your body, you can always fake it by using out-of-focus shots and gratuitous slow-motion, no ? No is right, hell no is even better, no effing way describes it better still.
I really loved the Slo-Mo musicians -- the bongo drummer wailing away on unseen bongo was great, but the Slo-Mo trumpet player was sublime. Meh !
Sure, there are uses for Slo-Mo in features. Sam Peckinpah used Slo-Mo for some rodeo shots in Junior Bonner (1972). But most of the time you can't see the effect, i.e. slowing down slightly an explosion, for more dramatic impact.
A DP I know, who shall remain nameless (to protect the guilty),said while discussing low budget films: "The best movies have a lot of gratuitous-sex-and-violence ... and the women all die naked. Notice he didn't mention anything about Slo-Mo trumpet players.
April 12, 2012 at 10:51PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
It looks a little videoish because they used a ~360 degree shutter most of the time. They used a shutter speed of 215 at 200 fps.
April 13, 2012 at 7:52AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Are you sure, cause I know for certain that I didn't. (:
April 13, 2012 at 9:57PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
@ Peter: I meant the VS Video, sorry^^
April 14, 2012 at 11:06AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
For a continuously updated round-up of sorts, visit/join the NEX-FS700 User Group (like the thousands-large community for the FS100) at:
April 13, 2012 at 11:50PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM