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Sony FS700 slow mo goes low light with Speed Booster and the new SLR Magic T0.95 lenses

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#1
Andrew Reid

Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:12 AM

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I've had a FS700 for a few days and tonight myself and Rudi of Slashcam.de got out and gave it a test run. We only shot for 2 or 3 hours and after editing the test I had a lot of ideas for slow-mo shots that would have worked with the song - slow-mo is actually a great creative tool, not a gimmick. Had we the FS700 for longer then I think I could run with this theme of rushing commuters set to the David Bowie song Move On, which pokes a little fun at wanderlust.

Alas slow-mo is the FS700's best feature. I consider the ND as a bit of a clumsy bolt on, the Sony F5 does it much better. I will consider the 4K output when I see it. Until then this is a 1080p camera.

I've also been shooting with the new SLR Magic 35mm T0.95 (Leica M / E-mount) and 25mm T0.95 (Micro Four Thirds / Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT). Shooting slow mo in low light, you need them.
 



#2
lafilm

Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:38 AM

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Nice shots, Andrew.

 

It seems (maybe NAB?) there will be a competive 4K DSLR or some sort of handycam (better than the Pani) that will feature slow mo as well. I would agree to wait. Nice rental item though for selective shots.

 

Btw, hopefully someone didn't steal your hardrive and take off with your Ikonoskop footage. :o



#3
Andrew Reid

Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:55 AM

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The Ikonoskop footage had real issues unfortunately. I really need the camera back again for longer than a few hours, and to go deeper into it. The comparison footage we shot vs the Blackmagic was pretty nice but the ND was giving us contaminated blacks, the LUT can't recover the image fully to match the Blackmagic and the frame has a black border.



#4
jcs

Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:58 AM

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I have seen minor aliasing with FS700 footage (in slomo) but not so apparent yet at 24p. For low light, the FS700 is fine so far. The noise cleans up very well in Neat Video if necessary (and stays much sharper than 5D3 footage). As an all-around tool, the FS700+SB is pretty solid.

 

Canon does do a better job with highlight transients, however a little post work can help FS footage and the results can be more film-like. I didn't consider the C100/C300/1DC as they aren't full frame (1DC's 1080p full frame is soft- similar to 5D3). Too bad Premiere Pro doesn't support an easy way to write GPU accelerated pixel shaders- might be possible to write a real-time shader to fix the highlight transients. I should also (finally) read the manual and see if turning off in-camera sharpening can help.



#5
gene_can_sing

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:02 AM

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Come on. GH3 with Twixtor vs FS700? There is NO comparison. I've used Twixtor countless time with DSLRs and it sucks big time compared to real slow motion. Twixtor has to be shot in a very specific way in order for it to work well. There's tons of limitations with Twixtor. As for FS700 vs FS100, hearing from people who own both on DVXuser, a majority prefer the image of the FS700. The FS100 might have the low light, but the Cinegammas on the FS700 make it a much better camera. The highlights and colors are just hugely improved right out of the box. I've chatted with people who tweaked their FS100 profiles for an entire year before getting decent skin tones and highlights. FS700 is good to go right out if the box. I would take a 5D3 over the FS100 which is why I never bought the FS100, but I like the image out of the FS700 and its a very different camera than the FS100. Sure they are similar in hardware, but the Cinegammas make them very different beasts.
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#6
Andrew Reid

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:06 AM

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I have seen minor aliasing with FS700 footage (in slomo) but not so apparent yet at 24p. For low light, the FS700 is fine so far. The noise cleans up very well in Neat Video if necessary (and stays much sharper than 5D3 footage). As an all-around tool, the FS700+SB is pretty solid.

 

I found the aliasing in normal 24p mode around highlights, not sure it is just a slow-mo thing.

 

I still have a Blackmagic Cinema Camera in my head as benchmark. This is the main problem. Seriously.



#7
Andrew Reid

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:14 AM

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Come on. GH3 with Twixtor vs FS700? There is NO comparison. I've used Twixtor countless time with DSLRs and it sucks big time compared to real slow motion. Twixtor has to be shot in a very specific way in order for it to work well. There's tons of limitations with Twixtor. As for FS700 vs FS100, hearing from people who own both on DVXuser, a majority prefer the image of the FS700. The FS100 might have the low light, but the Cinegammas on the FS700 make it a much better camera. The highlights and colors are just hugely improved right out of the box. I've chatted with people who tweaked their FS100 profiles for an entire year before getting decent skin tones and highlights. FS700 is good to go right out if the box. I would take a 5D3 over the FS100 which is why I never bought the FS100, but I like the image out of the FS700 and its a very different camera than the FS100. Sure they are similar in hardware, but the Cinegammas make them very different beasts.

 

It does have to be used in a certain way, that is what is great about Twixtor. Twixtor and 60p is not a match for 100fps or 200fps for general purpose slow mo, what I meant is that with skill you can get superb results from it - and the GH3 with 1080/60p costs $1299, the FS700 $8000 - in that context, Twixtor is suitable for budget shooters who can't afford the FS700. The GH3 is pretty similar to the FS700 image quality wise. Twixtor works well with 60p material, better than 24p on the GH2 - more frames to interpret from. It falls down with fast movement and motion blur. I like to use it a certain way and it has been incredible.

 

Did not dive into the Cinegammas. Not enough time as FS700 goes back to Sony on Friday.

 

I still prefer the Blackmagic for my work.



#8
JHines

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:20 AM

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Highlights look really bad in this clip. Viewing on a 15" Macbook Pro Retina. A lot of FS700 footage I've seen has issues with the highlights clipping hard to super white. Check this excerpt out and see if you think this would help you in any way. 

 

"One of the well documented issues or at least something that gives people problems is highlight clipping. This isn’t just an FS700 problem, but the AVCHD recordings from the FS100 and FS700 are particularly prone to getting clipped. You go out and shoot something and which looks great, but then when you get the footage into the edit suite it looks clipped and highlights look blown out, especially in any rendered clips or clips with effects applied. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that in the majority of setting the FS700 like most pro video cameras (EX, F3 etc included) records up to 109% (data bits 16 to 255). In the video world white is bit 235 (940 in 10 bit) or 100% and this is supposed to be your maximum with 104% typically allowed for broadcast. Anything above white is known as a superwhite. In the computer world white is bit 255. The second issue is that different edit applications handle white differently. Some will allow the full range of 0-109% without any clipping, some will clip anything above 100% and worst of all, some will do either depending on the codecany filters applied and other factors, so you often never really know where you stand."

 

http://www.xdcam-use...o-many-cameras/



#9
noirist

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:37 AM

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Some of the faces in the videos look very distorted, like the old man with the bushy eyebrows sitting on the right at 1:30, the woman sitting in front of him at 1:36, and the second man walking up the stairs at 2:47.  Is that an out-of-focus bokeh-destroying artifact of the speedbooster or something else? Whatever it is, it's nasty.



#10
see ya

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:44 AM

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@JHines, these Sony's capture 16 - 255 from the samples I've seen so generally you need a 32bit workflow and ensure that levels for encoding are pulled into 16 - 235, its the media player that makes it look clipped on the whole if luma is captured above 235 not the camera prone to clipping all cameras are prone to clipping.

8 & 16bit workflow generally just clip the 'superwhites', 32bit workflow allows RGB values below 0 and above 1 so no clipping, output must still be encoded into 0 to 1 for delivery. For video RGB 0 to 1 encodes into 16 - 235. RGB 0 to 1 at 8bit is 0 - 255.

Its staightforward to see how anyones NLE or grading tools handle levels using a simple test file to see whether 8bit, 16bit or 32bit workflows clip.

http://dl.dropbox.co...02/Original.mp4

The file contains levels outside of 16 - 235, dropping it into an NLE will show black and white only, apply a levels filter to squeeze into 16 - 235, if the gradients then appear and whether at 8, 16 or 32bit workflow. If they don't then that bit depth workflow clips.

#11
lafilm

Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:04 AM

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I do hope you get the Ikonoskop back for more tests. Seems if it came down in price it could give BMCC a real run for it's money. The little bit I've seen looks damn good. Perhaps the closest digital to film look.

 

Thanks for the update.



#12
Xiong

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

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I agree with your conclusion Andrew, for me personally, slowmo isnt something I'd use often and even then having a 60fps to 24fps slomo in post is all I really need. Yeah, i'm sure that 8-bit is feeling rather limiting after 12-bit but im sure its still acceptable. Really appreciate the articles Andrew, Thanks!



#13
jgharding

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:28 AM

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All FS700 here. The main issues I found were the high-ISO noise is horrendous and not easily removable. Fast lenses are good with the FS700. Noise is primarily low spatial frequency and in the blue channel.

 

Comparing directly to 550D Magic Lantern hacked bitrate (I benchmark everything against this cheap and cheerful option), the noise pattern on the 550D is amazing for reduction and detail recovery, while the FS700 is hell at high ISO. Could be a lot to do with codec too...

 

This is problematic, because I would usually under-expose a little to protect highlights, but doing so move more data into the destruction zome of the blacks...


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#14
jgharding

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:29 AM

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Aliasing is very visible in the really high-speed modes (400fps) and you can spot some in the others. I've yet to have anyone complain who isn't a cameraman though ;)

 

The above vid was shot mostly in Cinegamma (number 2 I think) and I shifted the black point up in picture profile setting to make sure less data was captured in the destruction zone ™ of the codec.

 

Even pedestalling the black and pulling out saturation and with cinegamma, I could still put a lot back in using After Effects in 32-bit.


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#15
schnorgie

Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:28 AM

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Nice post, Andrew. You may have saved me some money! Many thanks for all your enthusiasm and hard work.

 

I'd consider the BMCC, too......hard to find one actually for sale, though. Which I think, after all the promises on behalf of the company, has to give one pause....

 

I'd love to hear more about your workflow with the BMCC....cheap storage solutions, etc.; also a consideration, when shooting a lot of stuff.

 

Seems like, if I was shooting from a script and knew exactly what I was trying to get, a RAW workflow would make sense. But if you are like me, and probably throwing away 95% of what you shot, well....shooting RAW with a BMCC could get expensive very quickly, just in terms of storage/archiving.....

 

Looking forward to your review of the Hyperdeck Shuttle! Thanks again for the post and blog, which I read every day.



#16
ike007

Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

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Just the though of L lenses on a E mount Sony, gives me the willies.

Sony got their Alpha lenses, especially the Zeiss ones, that give a better look for narrative filming.

Just a though. :)



#17
/p/

Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

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Is there likely to be a Sony alpha to Sony NEX Speed Booster? 



#18
Leang

Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

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I had a lot of ideas for slow-mo shots that would have worked with the song - slow-mo is actually a great creative tool, not a gimmick.
 

 

Of course it's not a gimmick.  I recall you not having any interest in ''slow-mo'' during the introduction of the FS700, despite standard industry use since its heyday.  yes, overcranking has been an art long before we were born.  Kubrick ring a bell?  Bladerunner?  Brian de Palma....and my personal all time favorite, Mr. badass Kurosawa for the ''Seven Samurai.''  as I said before ''slow-mo'' helps any shot/scene if the Director intends to innovative the fiction during the moment.



#19
hmcindie

Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:51 PM

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The aliasing and moire is because you are shooting overcranked. When you do that the camera will lineskip the 4k sensor.

 

So the actual aliasing/moire will be pretty much the same as on the FS100 (non-existant) when doing regular HD.

 

FS700 also has great cinegamma modes which the FS100 lacks with great DR so you should be using those. There are 4 different, each with different profiles and some that use highlights that go over 100.

 

I shot this one for a friend of mine, used the FS700, 5dmarkIII and Sony nex-5n (for a couple of short shots)

 

I have a love/slight dislike relationship with the FS700.

 

A lot of that low spatial frequency noise can be removed with Neat Video but it did take me some time to build a perfect profile.



#20
Birk Kromann

Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:55 PM

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Where did you get a hold on the 25mm f/0.95? I've been looking for it the past couple of weeks but haven't been able to find it.




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