First Sony NEX-FS700 footage surfaces, thoughts
Sony has released the official launch video of the Sony NEX-FS700, featuring loads of the amazing super-slow motion footage we all have been waiting for. Unless you have been living under a rock for the last week, you might have heard that it shoots up to 240fps in 1080p (in 8 second bursts maximum).
The video was produced and directed by my pals Den Lennie & James Tonkin – these lucky two always seem to get their hands on Sony Pro gear as some of the first ones.
Check it out:
Unfortunately and for no obvious reason Sony Professional have uploaded the video in 720p rather than 1080p, which makes it impossible to judge the sharpness of the footage accordingly, with Vimeo compression adding more uncertainty. There is no doubt that the slow motion footage looks absolutely mind-blowing though, and it’s clear that no other camera comes close to this kind of slow motion capabilities in this price range.
What will be particularly interesting for me is how it sticks up against the Canon C300 in the sharpness area, because both cameras feature a 4K sensor, recording 1080p internally (Sony has announced that there will be some add-on recorder available for the FS700 within a year or so, which can record 4K – no word on pricing yet).
The Canon C300 is the one of the sharpest cameras I have worked with and it makes DSLR footage look uncomfortably out-of-focus cut next to it. It will be really interesting to see what FS700 footage looks like right next to it. As far as I can tell from Sony’s launch video, the image is very much like the one from the FS100, really what you would expect from the same codec and a camera in the same (NEX-) series. The C300 footage certainly holds highlights much better, and it is also more light sensitive – having said that, the FS100 is a crazy-good camera with an incredibly light sensitive sensor in itself, and considering its price, it is still unique in the market.
There was also a 480fps test video posted by Andy Shipsides. Mind you, while this video is available for download on Vimeo in 1080p, 480p footage is recorded in a 1920 x 432 pixels and only interpolated to 1080 lines. You can clearly see how soft the footage is when downloading the 1080p file. Nevertheless an amazing capability, unheard of in other cameras.
These are certainly exciting times for shooters and never have there been that many high-end cameras been released within such a short period of time. We can certainly see that the Japanese industry has recovered from the Tsunami and earthquake disaster and it’s great to see them back on their feet.
I will be flying to Las Vegas by the end of next week for NAB 2012, and our Filmmaking Masterclasses with Philip Bloom in Vegas and Key West set right after that. While I mainly go there to meet friends and colleagues and geek out with them about filmmaking stuff, it is great to see that this shapes up to one of the most exciting NAB’s of the past years. (Last year really didn’t have any camera innovations at all.) Exciting times!
Let me know if anybody wants to meet up in Vegas. I will be working at the Vitec / Sachtler booth for two of the four exhibition days, and I’ll be roaming the floors of the Convention Center for the rest of the time.
UPDATE: “VS” – 1080p NEX-FS700 test film
This is Den Lennie’s & James Tonkin’s test film “VS”, shot on the FS700. From the Vimeo page: “We wanted to maintain 1080p so did not shoot beyond 200fps.”
That means he had the camera in PAL mode, because it can shoot up to 240fps 1080p when in NTSC mode – if I understand this bit from Den’s blog correctly (click here for the full post):
The camera will do full 200/240fps at 1080P (region specific so if you shoot 60hz you’ll get 240fps and 50hz 200 fps) The camera is a worldwide camera from launchj so 50hz/60hz switchable.
But the camera will also do 400fps at a reduced bit rate but still full frame. Then at 800/960 fps at reduced bit rate and a copped image.
The Super slow-mo can be set on start trigger or end trigger and in 1080p mode it will record 12 seconds of Slo-mo which makes over a minute of on screen time. It is very impressive.
More footage of the FS700 has been posted to the Interwebs, from the same bunch of people who contributed to that neat official introduction video above – James Miller and Peter Prevec.