Digital Cinema Cameras have entirely changed the landscape of how moving images are captured today. Directors, cinematographers, and even amature filmakers have never had more tools to craft beautiful imagery. The Sony FS7 is another incredible addition to their existing line of FS Series Camcorders.
The current line up of Digital Cinema Cameras are truly incredible for all they can do, but in many ways consumers fall victim to high compression from codecs like AVCHD. The FS7 takes a dramatic step forward by offering a low compression, large color space codec, MPEG2 4:22, with internal 4k recording up to 60FPS! If you need 120FPS continuous recording of 4K, even with the brand new FS7, you are still limited in your ability to create the images you want. This is where external recording units become a necessity on set. When it comes to your options to record 4K at 120FPS from your Sony FS7 or FS700, you can use Sony’s Proprietary Interface and Recorder ($7,550) or you can use Convergent Design’s Odyssey 7Q+ and their Sony FS Raw Codec ($2,295 + $795).
I recently shot a music video with the Sony FS7 along side an FS700 with the Odyssey 7Q in order to give a critical review. The workflow was similar to how I would treat editing Redcode Raw. I found myself using the same color grading methods converting log to linear REC709 including a primary and secondary grade before adding any effects.
From an operator standpoint, I was thrown a few curve balls. With the Odyssey Recorder, using the Sony Raw signal output from the camera you are locked at a base ISO of 2000. Prior to shooting, I had drawn up a lighting plan designed for ISO 320. There is a world of difference in these two sensitivities putting me in a scenario where I have to put on the .9 ND and stop down to T5.6 instead of T4.
Comparing the two cameras, there is much more to the FS7 than just technical specs. The FS7 is lightweight with convenient ergonomics equipped with easy to use built in ND filters, shoulder pad, extending grip remote control (for handheld operation) and a viewfinder with an eyecup. Included with the kit is a gorgeous motorized 28-135 F4 E-Mount Zoom. Another great combination would be to use the Metabones EF-Emount Speedbooster Ultra with Zeiss Compact Primes. This would increase your light levels by a full stop and achieve a 35mm full frame perspective.
Either way, Sony’s line of Super 35 Digital Cinema Cameras can bring cutting edge slow motion 4K video in 10 bit to your moving pictures starting at $7,999 for the FS7 & $5,999 for the FS700. Both cameras, along with the Odyssey 7Q+, are also available in our rental departments!