As you can see from an earlier post my first outing with the Sony FS5 was almost a nightmare, since then I have learned a lot more and will pass on my advice to fellow FS5 owners.
I came back from a non paying job with 2 shots that I was not expecting to be out of focus which unnerved me, the first thing I did was experiment with the FS5 and Samyang lens viewing the footage on a 50″ plasma TV.
My dog was in the middle of the garden about 45 feet away, I focused in on her legs with the peaking (focus assist) switched on. The red edging in the FS5 told me her legs were in focus as was the fence which was a further 20 feet away, that didn’t make sense. I was using the Samyang 35mm T1.5 cine lens wide open, the same one that had let me down. I punched in (4X magnification) to reveal the fence was not in focus. I did the exact same process on the FS7 with the same results, so its NOT the fault of the peaking. Since this I have spoken to Alister Chapman who told me peaking works on hard edges so the fact my dog was “peaking” it did not stop the “hard edge” fence peaking also, peaking is not infallible and must be used in conjunction with magnification etc.
Now the hard facts…You cannot rely on Peaking (focus assist) as your only source of help when focusing, unfortunately Sony no longer give us high resolution viewfinders any more so we have to rely on 3rd party EVF loupes or use 4x magnification punch in which works a treat.
Using Sony lenses with your FS5 will lessen the need for edge detection as the auto focus in the words of Alister Chapman is “a lot faster and more accurate than the human eye, especially if set to face detect”. Seemingly Sony have given the FS5 an auto focus which is a lot more accurate and faster than the FS7. Having tried it myself the FS5 AF is certainly better than the FS7 but this relies on Sony lenses, I have the Metabones smart adapter IV but it does not activate AF in video mode…
- With PXW-FS7, NEX-FS700 and NEX-FS100, autofocus works only in photo mode but disabled in movie capture mode.
Very limiting in my opinion if your 3rd option to focus via AF is not activated using the Metabones adapter with Canon lenses.
The Samyang is a good lens but don’t rely on it at T1.5 as its soft, this can be used to good effect for an interview.
One little nugget I did find was that Sony have also connected the zoom rocker switch to the centre scan which allows you to digitally zoom 2x while using a prime lens…very useful, this is activated in the menu.
Having a loupe with a + 4 diopter on the FS7 certainly helps, the FS5 has no such luxuries, the OLED VF is a tad small but does allow you to see critical focus in daylight.
The only difference between my FS7 and FS5 is the loupe on the FS7s LCD which does make a big difference when it comes to critical focus.
Having a loupe on the FS5 LCD would have been an advantage, I am coming to the conclusion that the use of Sony lenses with AF is going to get quicker and more accurate focus on the FS5 than using non dedicated prime or zoom lenses, but certain lenses have their place and the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 Canon fit with E mount adapter is one of those lenses.
The FS5’s native ISO is 3200 so why do we need lenses wider than f4 ? Here is the perfect example Dan Chung of Newsshooter shot this footage with a Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 ART lens on the Sony FS5 with adapter to good effect.