It’s a no brainer if you want top quality 4K and HD footage at a reasonable price there is only one camera on the market that ticks all the boxes…the Sony PXW-FS7. As you know I had a Canon C300 and I loved the pictures but 720 50P and off body XLRs were becoming very dated, not to mention 8bit technology. I would have lost a lot of value trying to sell a C300 once the Sony FS7 was announced. Once you see 10bit pictures you never go backwards.
I had my two GH4s for nine months, selling one for a Sony A7s a couple of months ago. My main reason for buying the Sony FS7 was the servo zoom lens. I still have my GH4/YAGH as it will make a great second camera.
As yet Sony can’t supply the 28-135 f4 lens but I needed a camera for more than one filming situation. Your footage becomes stilted using prime lenses all the time, they give you lovely footage and nice looking interviews but sometimes you need a creeping zoom thats not achievable with a DSLR.
The second reason is looks…yes, I am afraid we are in a “looks industry”. I have been filming all last year with two DSLRs and latterly a Sony PXW-X70. When you are filming an interview with two DSLRs to be quite frank there is no WOW factor, in fact it just looks like a photographic shoot, the end result…impressive, the look…not so impressive.
The final straw came just over a month ago when I was called by Channel 4 News to cover live inserts in George Square, Glasgow and the only camera up for the job was the Sony X70.
Everyone had Sony PMW-500s as you can see above, I felt very uneasy attending such a major news story with such a small camera. Don’t get me wrong the camera produced very comendable SD footage from the SDI socket into the satellite truck 50 meters up the road and Channel 4 were happy, but I decided there and then that was the last live news story the X70 was to be involved with.
I needed a camera that gives me many options plus a servo zoom but I was not going to buy into a Sony PXW-400, so the only solution was the Sony PXW-FS7.
The Sony FS7 gives you the best of both worlds. If you want to produce nice large sensor interviews or run and gun news stories the FS7 will do both, but with one caveat; most news organisations use SD video feeds into their satellite truck and the FS7 does not produce an SD signal from the SDI socket. I am hoping Sony can fix this via firmware as I would be reluctant to buy a mini HDMI to SDI converter just to produce SD. You can produce SD from the HDMI but once again broadcast satellite trucks only handle BNC connectors via your SDI socket.
The great thing is the FS7 fits my prompter, which I was testing for its first shoot on Sunday for a new major client…now that looks impressive. Also found out that the XAVC-I mode:FULL HD 50P VBR, 185Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC is FCPX ready which is a major boost to me, this is the maximum HD 50p quality and it looks stunning.