Ever since the Sony FS5 was announced last year at IBC in Amsterdam, I’ve had my eye on the camera. One could almost say I fell in love with it right then and there at the IBC show floor. And just recently I actually bought one. The Sony FS5 is just so easy to carry around, it’s very light and out of all cameras I’ve owned it probably is my favourite form factor – borderline DSLR in your hands when you strip it of the top handle and LCD. Nevertheless, despite it’s small stature, the FS5 is capable of producing some really nice images in slow-motion all the way up to 240fps while using the full Super 35 sensor and 1080p resolution. Yes, it shoots in a Long-GOP, non-intra frame codec called XAVC-L, however in Full HD colour subsampling is 10bit 422 albeit at a high compression with only 50Mbps.
Despite the aggressive compression inherent in XAVC-L , it does surprisingly well for such a compressed codec. And it saves a ton of space. 1 hour and 44 minutes for a 64GB card in 10bit 422, that’s not bad at all of you ask me.
For the test below, I didn’t shoot 4K, as I wanted to get some flares from the last bit of sun on a Sunday, and since the FS5 doesn’t do more than 30p in UHD, I shot in 1080p at 200fps in a burst mode of 8 seconds. Also, in Super-Slow motion due to the high frame rates some moire and aliasing artefacts are to be expected as well as some image softness.
All thanks to the Video Devices PIX-E5 that I used as an external monitor to as I was shooting directly into the sun in some shots and the little 5-inch PIX-E5 proved to be a life saver. A full review of my experience with the PIX-E5 is coming soon on the blog. Meanwhile, check out the slow-mo footage I shot with an old Russian lens.
Sony FS5 with Helios 44M 58mm f2 lens / M42 to E mount adapter
1080p XAVC-L at 200fps PAL
Slightly modified EOSHD Pro Color for Sony Picture Profile version 1.1 – more info and purchase from EOSHD here
Kodak 5218 / 2395 LUT – no other adjustments, straight from camera
Edited in Premiere Pro CC 2016
Music by: The Gateless Gate – Limitless Blue
A few quick notes on this test. The Helios 44M is a 58mm f2.0 max aperture mechanical lens from the olden days; it was made in Russia many moons ago, but it retains a very flare-y character, despite noticeable softness in the corners. It’s not even sharp in the centre at f2, which is how I shot all of it.
The electronic Variable ND on the Sony FS5 is invaluable – I had it set to manual and used the side dial with my left thumb to adjust mid-shot. It’s a godsend feature. And now that the FS7 II has it, for me it makes it totally worth it for this feature alone.
Andrew from EOSHD created this Picture Profile he calls EOSHD Pro Colour for Sony cameras – it is also compatible with Sony A7sII, A6300, A6500, RX10 II, FS7 and lots more. You can read more about it and buy it from his website here.
I bought it because I liked how Andrew was able to get solid and pleasing colours out of his Sony camera with his custom picture profile, one that is much more akin to Canon’s out of the box pleasing colours. And since Ive always struggled getting decent out of the box images out of an FS5, I decided to give it a go.
And so far, I am very pleased. I have to run some more tests and I have more footage with this picture profile and my new Sony a6500, which arrived just two days ago, this footage will be coming up in the next few days.
Also, this is EOSHD Pro Color version 1.1, and it has recently had a revision to version 2, which I will test in the next couple of days and share my results with you. One more thing – yes, I do realize that my footage has a modified version on Andrew’s PP, and I have added a Kodak LUT on top, simply because I wanted to use EOSHD’s Pro Color as a good starting point, a sort of a base for a quick grade.
I will post more “straight from the camera” footage that hasn’t not been modified in any way in the next few days. Any questions – let me know in the comments below.
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