The Sony PXW-FS7 already attracted the attention of not just documentary style/ENG filmmakers, but also one-man band videography operators. With its excellent ergonomics and highly demanded features such as Super 35 CMOS sensor, and internal 4K recording using the robust XAVC codec the FS7 delivers a lot of bang for your buck. Not only 4K but also marvellous 1080p slow motion up to 180fps. You can’t ask for more from a sub-$10K camera.
Right after the IBC, besides the official first footage of FS-7 released by Sony, some additional videos crawling the internet appeared that also demonstrated the true potential of the camera. Recently, we shared a couple of tests captured with a demo unit of the FS7 by Filippo Chiesa that gave us a hint about the real capabilities of the camera. Both videos were shot in 4K in S-Log3 gamma mode and just looked fantastic.
Further, to create a real world test for the FS7 as a documentary-style camera, and with only a couple of days spent with it, the Australian-based cinematographer Ben Allan ACS decided to do a little micro-doc. This is a short story about cheese features Allan’s friend Claudia McIntosh Bowman, who is a cheesemonger and cheese educator.
The short piece was shot with Zeiss & Canon SLR lenses in both 4K and HD. The edit was done in FCPX, colour grade in DaVinci Resolve 11 finishing in HD. All of the restaurant shots were handheld, and the slow motion was a mix of HD 150 fps, 75 fps & 4K 50 fps. According to Ben Allan, the FS7 is much more a moving picture camera than a DSLR and provides significantly better ergonomics than the other FS cameras in addition to all the new features.
Just a couple of days ago the French-based cinematographer Emmanuel Pampuri uploaded another short video on Vimeo shot on the FS7 as well.
There is a link below the video (on Vimeo) where you can download the UHD Prores HQ file to play with.
Again, it was shot in S-log 3 gamma mode that provides the highest dynamic range out of the camera and gives you a gradeable source material. Pampuri was using the Leica Summicron 35mm f:2, the Pentax SMC Asahi 50mm f:1,4 and Zeiss 24-70 Sony lenses for this shot.
Overall, the Sony FS7 provides exceptional performance and has attractive features in a compact body. Also, for the retail price of $7,999 this camera is an absolute bargain and a dream come true for many filmmakers. Only time would tell, whether the FS-7 would replace the outdated C300, which turned into a broadcast “go-to” camera for many corporate and TV productions since its release three years ago. One thing is for sure – the Sony PXW-FS7 has all the necessary features to achieve this task and go even further.
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