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HDSDI remains clean and outputs S-Log3), the HDMI output and the viewfinder output. But you can apply the LUT to your recordings so that they are no longer flat looking S-Log3 but have the look and style created by the LUT. This is a really easy way to produce a stylized look without the need to grade and without the need to be understand how scene files and picture settings work. But what about the image quality? Frankly it’s amazing! For the money the images this camera produces are remarkable. It is using the F5’s sensor and it does have 14 stops of dynamic range. S-log3 is a great gamma curve and the camera is very low noise, even at its native 2000 ISO. I shot with a pre-production camera in Amsterdam both on the Sony booth and in the city one evening. It was hard to tell as most of the shooting took place at night, but initially it doesn’t look like there is any difference between the quality of the footage from the FS7 and the PMW-F5. Great colours, low noise, high dynamic range with very pleasing roll off, what more can you want? Because at normal frame rates (23.98, 25, 29.97, 50, 60fps) the sensor always operates at 4K, even if your just recording in HD, the images are sharp and crisp without the need for any additional sharpening or enhancement. This gives a very pleasing clarity to the picture and the contrast is also great. I shot with both S-log3 and Hypergamma 7 and in both case the highlight handling was amazing. The S-log3 material grades beautifully, allowing you to tailor the final look of your images in post. The Hypergamma 7 material looked great straight out of the box. One area where there will be a difference is with raw. The PMW-F5 takes the Sony R5 directly docked on it’s back. The raw form the F5 is 16 bit while the raw from the FS7 is going to be recorded on an external recorder at only 12 bits. 12 bit linear raw is really pushing the limits of what is needed for linear raw. However we do already know that the 12 bit raw from Sony’s FS700 works well, so this should be no different. The F5/F55 raw has more data in the shadows and low key areas so tends to grade a little better when you have large dark areas or deep shadows. Where this camera will be really good is when combined with the new 28- 135mm f4 servo zoom lens. Typically parfocal lenses, lenses that hold the same focus distance as you zoom in and out, with this kind aperture and zoom ratio cost in excess of £25K. This lens will be around £2.7K. Being able to zoom in and out on a large sensor camera smoothly and without loosing focus as you do with most non parfocal DSLR lenses really increases the cameras flexibility. This makes it much easier and faster to use in run and gun type situations. The 28mm to 135mm power zoom is never going to be an incredible performer at this price and when wide open I did find it a little soft, but for shear ease of use it’s really remarkable and very versatile. The FS7 combined with this lens will be a killer combination and that’s why I have ordered one. It’s NOT replacing my Sony PMW-F5, I love my F5 and I think that the F5 is the better camera for drama or studio type shoots. But the FS7 will be very handy for fast and fluid productions. It’s compact size means it will be easy to transport on my travels around the globe. The light weight BP-U60 batteries will also be easier to pack in my carry on baggage for those times when I’m only using the camera body, without the extension unit. But the huge thing is the price. At street price of around £5,600 you are getting a camera that only a couple of years ago would have cost you close to £50,000. Unlike most other “cheap” 4K cameras there are very few compromises with the FS7. The sensor and image processing are superb, no restricted 8 bit outputs here. You have multiple codec choices. The overall build quality is great; you have a tough magnesium alloy body. Of course, as always a camera is just a tool. Owning an FS7 will not automatically make you a great film maker. But good tools make the job easier and when used right I see no reason why you couldn’t shoot a high end blockbuster movie with this camera. KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 94 OCTOBER 2014 | 57 TV-BAY094OCT14 v118.indd 57 07/10/2014 15:42