The latest Super 35 4K camera from Sony – the ubiquitous Sony FS5 has been the talk of town ever since it was first unveiled at IBC 2015 last Fall. Despite recent image quality bugs such as macro-blocking in UHD in certain shooting scenarios, the Sony FS5 seems to be picking up speed mainly due to lack of competition in its class and a surprise official statement from Sony addressing the “perceived image quality issues” and assuring the filmmaking community that it will be fixed very soon. Apart from that, the camera has won the hearts of many looking for high-quality super-slow motion and compact ergonomics. Speaking of ergonomic, the little Sony gem sports some unique features such as tool-less design and a body-only weight of less than 1 kg.
However, as with most things today, your camera is only as good as your shooting experience with it. For docu-shooters and those who dabble in lots of hand-held shooting, Zacuto is yet again coming to the rescue by announcing three new products for the Sony PXW-FS5.
Starting off with the FS5 Grip Relocator, the FS5 comes really into its own. The native Sony Smart Grip is really nice, but only when connected to the body of the camera, and unlike the bigger FS7, there is no extender included in the box when you purchase the camera. This is where the new Zacuto FS5 Grip Relocator comes in.
The cool thing about the FS5 Grip Relocator is that allows you to relocate the Sony handgrip from the side of the camera to your handgrip when you have to put the camera on your shoulder. The handgrip fully articulates at a ball joint via the red quick release lever.
It also comes with a black 4.5-inch rod and a Z-Mount Zwivel 2 to attach to any 15mm rod. The Zwivel 2 allows you to change the angle between the two 15mm rods at set points turning 365 degrees using a pin locking mechanism. The Zwivel 2 has two levers which control each 15mm hole. In order to change the angle of the rods, just loosen either of the levers and the internal spring separates the parts for you to adjust to the desired angle.
The FS5 Grip Relocator is up for pre-order for $350 directly from Zacuto. Special pricing on Bundles is also available – more on that in the paragraphs below.
Next up is the a new FS5 Top Plate which fits around the Sony top handle and a 15mm side facing rod lock. This rod lock allows shooters to attach any 15mm rod accessory, be it a Zacuto or another as long as it has industry standard 1/4 20 or 3/8 16 screws.
The FS5 Top Plate ($125 from Zacuto) also includes a 3” black 15mm F/F rod. You can use this rod to mount the LCD of the FS5 when using the Zacuto Z-Finder, instead of using the Sony adapter. There are five ¼ 20 screw holes and one ⅜ 16 screw hole on each side of the camera top handle. Custom screw holes are also included to relocate the Sony cable holder and film plane marker.
Zacuto are also extending their popular Z-Finder line with the addition of the a new Z-Finder specifically designed for the Sony FS5. Much like the FS5 top plate and the FS5 Grip relocator, the new FS5 Z-Finder is custom tailored to fit the FS5 LCD like a glove and also offer a few more features to make your life on set easier.
The new FS5 Z-finder slides onto the Sony LCD and uses our standard clip on/clip off loupe and features a 2x magnification, drop in diopters plus the diopter ring, auto-close eyecup. In addition, shooters can utilise the FS5 Top Plate which comes with a 3″ rod for mounting the Z-Finder, or a Top Plate Axis Mini combination which gives you the stability and 360 degree articulation. The FS5 Z-Finder is available to pre-order for $595 and that gets you a Free FS5 Top Plate as well.
Zacuto also updated their Recoil line by announcing that the FS5 EVF Recoil and the FS5 Z-Finder Recoil are also available to pre-order. These offer more complete solutions to a hand-held rig by including most if not all required attachments for a fully build-up, “out-of-the-box” rig. See what’s included and pre-order special pricing below.
Zacuto FS5 EVF Recoil and FS5 Z-Finder Recoil
- FREE VCT Tripod Plate ($300 Value) + VCT Baseplate, Grip Relocator, Top Plate, and Axis Mini. (Z-Finder, or EVF like a Zacuto Gratical HD – additional accessories not included)
Sony FS5 Z-Finder Recoil – $1,500; includes:
FREE VCT Tripod Plate ($300 Value) + VCT Baseplate, Grip Relocator, Top Plate, and FS5 Z-Finder (this is a more complete solution for those not planning on addition a Gratical or other EVFs, just using the camera’s LCD screen)
Zacuto is known as a high-end pro brand and guarantees their non-electronic products such as the mechanical FS5 Top Plate for life. As an owner of the original Z-Finder and the original Zacuto EVF, I can say their gear has served me well over the years and never failed me. Sure, these are premium products, but in a professional environment you need to buy only once. The above kits and products are expected to start shipping mid-February.