October 27, 2014 at 5:30PM

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Sony FS7 or AJA Cion for image quality?

As of right now, I'm completely sold on getting an FS7 with a speedbooster and pairing it with two A7s cameras. I shoot in tons of run 'n gun set-ups. I often have to use whatever light is available or bounce some light where I need it. Jungles, deserts, slums, all over the place. This is ENG documentary style shooting as well. The FS7 seems like the clear choice, however, I am obsessed with trying to make the image really pretty.

If I were to go the Sony route, will I be sacrificing the quality really bad by not going with the Cion? Should I sacrifice having the ENG features that we need in order to go after a prettier image? Is the Cion even believed to be a prettier image than FS7?

7 Comments

The AJA CION hasn't shipped yet, so nobody really knows what the final production camera will be like. I am sure it will produce a great image, but I have doubts about it being as flexible or well supported as the Sony FS7 camera.

Maybe in about 6 months we'll have a good idea about what the AJA CION can and can't do, but right now it's way too early to form any opinion on this camera.

October 27, 2014 at 5:59PM, Edited October 27, 5:59PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30689

The URSA and Cion share the same chip as the Blackmagic Production camera which has at least 2 stops less dynamic range than the Sony FS700. There are lovely things about the look of it but if you are shooting verite footage you are really going to want something with better latitude. I would imagine that the FS7 is going to be at least as good as the FS700.

October 27, 2014 at 8:14PM

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derek
74

Neither cameras have shipped yet, however based on what we know about it (such as Sony's related cameras, and that the AJA Cion is based on the BMPC4K sensor):
a) the AJA Cion won't be great at low light
b) the FS7 will be much more ergonomic and a greater pleasure to use for run and gunners.
c) there will be risks associated with getting a company's first ever camera design, vs a company which has been doing it for decades.

Anyway... neither camera is out yet, but based on your intended uses, I'd say we already know enough pre-shipping info that you should be very heavily leaning towards the FS7 over the AJA Cion for your purposes.

What I'd recommend in your shoes is buying a Sony A7s pronto, using it as much as you can, so you learn all its ins and outs. Put a pre-order in for the FS7. And pick up the second A7s a couple of weeks or so out from when you leave for this documentary (as if it is some time away, there might have been a price drop or two by then).

October 28, 2014 at 6:10PM

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David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2281

I'm thinking on buying the same setup as you... I think FS7 is the way to go. I'm really interested in what the Cion will deliver but I think there are so many benefits of having the setup you explained. Especially with grading and such in post... And natural light when shooting.

October 30, 2014 at 5:15AM

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Viktor Ragnemar
Director/Cinematographer
1117

Thanks guys. It's great to have assurance from others in this community.

I've also continued to be blown away by the A7s. I really enjoy full frame aesthetic.

There have been issues reported with Metabones not properly working with the FS7 (which is important to me). Once that issue clears up, we'll probably get the FS7 and pair it with the Ultra Speedbooster.

November 20, 2014 at 2:42PM

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Josh Paul
Most often DP, Direct or Gaff
1106

This gives reassurance as well. Think it will be great to have the A7s for wide and low light. And keep the kit zoom lens on the Fs7. Looks like will be making the move over from Canon.

Got a question though, if you're doing ENG work and have a really fast turn around. Is there a good color profile? So much of the footage I look at is Slog and graded.

Also, will I need to transcode the footage to cut in FCP? Or is that only for the 4K footage. Confused after reading about the add-on that converts the footage to apple Prores 422. Is that a necessary buy if the turn around doesn't allow time for transcode?

January 17, 2015 at 12:40AM

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FS7 seems like the right choice for what you want to do. I don't think you'll sacrifice any image quality. I have seen some outstandingly beautiful shots from that camera. Plus the slomo, ergonomics, compatibility with your a7s...just sounds right. Actually almost the same (if not the exact same) set up Philip Bloom just went with for his work on The Wonder List (which so far looks gorgeous!).

February 9, 2015 at 5:24PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
913

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