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IronFilm

Is a Sony FS700 still worth buying in late 2018??

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Years ago I posed the question:


I ended up going ahead and buying it! In hindsight that was absolutely the right decision for me, no regrets!

The old F3 to this day is still seeing usage! Just wrapped up a weekend of shooting with *two* of them side by side, for a feature film I'm being DoP for:


But now I am starting to wonder, shall 2018 be the year I move on from it?

What do people think of the Sony FS700 in the current marketplace as relevant in 2018 vs similar priced 4K competitors? Because with its price on eBay at around US$1.5K (or less! :-o ) it is extremely appealing, in fact I think I'd buy it asap if not for a couple of drawbacks:

#1: no time code.

#2: needs a large bulky power sucking 7" monitor/recorder. (I see Atomos will be shipping soon the Ninja V, if only they had a SDI version that might be *perfect* for me!)

 

A secondhand URSA Mini 4K is around the same ish price as a FS700 + Recorder, but I really don't like the BMD 4K sensor. (Ditto doing a RED ONE MX for around the same price, no thanks!)

A secondhand Canon C500 / Sony FS5 / URSA Mini 4.6K / Kinefinity KineMAX 6K are all other possible possibilities as well, but would come at a significant price leap vs a FS700.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I used the FS700 on one shoot, I found it to be a horrible experience vs all other options used these days. Would not recommend this camera at all. The LCD is useless, even worse then the canon c series. The menu is soo bad (its a sony after all). The image is not up to the ask either if you ask me(internal). 

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Did the KineMAX ever get ProRes? I'm fairly sure it didn't, but worth checking. 

https://www.newsshooter.com/2015/04/30/kinemax-6k-gets-8990-kit-price-will-gain-apple-prores-options-in-near-future/

 

18 minutes ago, zerocool22 said:

The LCD is useless, even worse then the canon c series.

Not a problem. I wouldn't  use it. Just like I don't use the one on the F3. It is merely for navigating the menu, like the side panel on an Arri or an F5 etc 

 

19 minutes ago, zerocool22 said:

The menu is soo bad (its a sony after all).

I've used a FS700. Own a F3, and shot plenty with the FS7. 
Yeah Sony's menus are different, but that is ok! The extra complexity is not a bad thing, it is a feature, as it allows more capabilities with tonnes of options. 
And I feel once you own the camera you get used to it, and very very familiar with the menus. 

 

21 minutes ago, zerocool22 said:

The image is not up to the ask either if you ask me(internal). 


I wouldn't use internal, just like I don't with my F3. 
Unless it is for a very casual shoot. (like when I do some of my vlogs for YT with my F3)

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I actually really considered getting one just like 2 weeks ago. We are working on shooting food videos more frequently and together with an external recorder the high frame rate options in raw are incredible. In Germany it's still like 2000 € used, then the 7Q/ShogunInferno on top, need for sturdier stabilization, etc. made us hold of for the time being as hobbyists.

Seeing how you probably wouldn't make that much use of slow motion for narrative film making, I would probably opt for a camera with a "nicer" image. Personally I actually liked the Ursa Mini 4k image (as I did the BMPC4k). Since the Ursa Mini Pro is out I also see clear price drops on used UM4.6k which would probably be my first choice if I was in that type of business.

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I have seen some pretty cheap prices on used Sony FS5's as of late. With the newest firmware they are hard to pass up, and they are really pretty damn small.

And the Sony FS700 color science leaves a LOT to be desired.

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5 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

I have seen some pretty cheap prices on used Sony FS5's as of late. With the newest firmware they are hard to pass up, and they are really pretty damn small.

Indeed, they can be a good solid chunk cheaper than a FS7 which might cost 50% more. 

Even so, a FS5 is still going to cost some triple the amount of a FS700! Not sure I wish to pay that just for 4K 8bit internal, better ergonomics, and ambigously better colors.

 

5 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

 And the Sony FS700 color science leaves a LOT to be desired.

One of the pros in favor of the F3



 

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:


Even so, a FS5 is still going to cost some triple the amount of a FS700! Not sure I wish to pay that just for 4K 8bit internal, better ergonomics, and ambigously better colors.

 



 

FS5 looks like can be had for $3000ish.. so that only 2x the price.  The electronic ND is really helpful.

 

This guy really utilize his FS5 to the best potential 

 

But it does come down to what you need and what not.

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1 hour ago, ntblowz said:

FS5 looks like can be had for $3000ish.. so that only 2x the price.

That is one way to look at it.  "only 2x the price"
Another way to see it: this is DOUBLE the price!  :scream:

Additionally quite a few of the FS5 2ndhand ones don't have the 4K raw upgrade, so that is another $500 cost. 

When spending any amount on a camera is probably a silly idea for me :-/ Given that I'm focused on sound now instead. But a $1.5K FS700 does tempt me....

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49 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

That is one way to look at it.  "only 2x the price"
Another way to see it: this is DOUBLE the price!  :scream:

Additionally quite a few of the FS5 2ndhand ones don't have the 4K raw upgrade, so that is another $500 cost. 

When spending any amount on a camera is probably a silly idea for me ? Given that I'm focused on sound now instead. But a $1.5K FS700 does tempt me....

Yeah but you can't record 4K internal on a FS700 can you now like the FS5 can? You had to use a Odyssey 7Q+ and they sure as hell don't give them away cheap.

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

Meh, the FS5 is only 4K 8bit 420 so I wouldn't use that too much anyway. 

And the satellites for space is cheap and does the core 4K FS raw functionality.

 

Cheap! I think not! At least not here. They are crazy money yet. I can buy a new Atomos Inferno for the same or less new and it does 4K 60p! But they are HDMI only.

1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

Meh, the FS5 is only 4K 8bit 420 so I wouldn't use that too much anyway.

 

You want a Steak Diet on a Hot Dog income LoL. I know you probably don't eat meat either.

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2 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Cheap! I think not! At least not here. They are crazy money yet. I can buy a new Atomos Inferno for the same or less new and it does 4K 60p! But they are HDMI only.

Shogun original on eBay for US$700 ish maybe

 

2 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

You want a Steak Diet on a Hot Dog income

Yup!! No other reason why I'd be interested in the FS700

I don't do paid camera work often enough to justify more expensive cameras anyway. 

2 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

LoL. I know you probably don't eat meat either.

I eat ONLY meat.
(sometimes, once did a meat only diet for a month straight)

 

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8 hours ago, IronFilm said:

I don't do paid camera work often enough to justify more expensive cameras anyway. 

I eat ONLY meat.
(sometimes, once did a meat only diet for a month straight)
 

Yeah that does restrict ones buying power unless you are rich!

I am not as big of meat eater as you would guess. I east to live, not live to eat. But a really good steak, hard to find really often, is a treat as they say.

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9 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Yeah that does restrict ones buying power unless you are rich!

Well the audio side of my business is going along ok ish, I reckon I can spare a couple of thousand USD for a camera (although an Inferno + FS700 is more like US$3K+! Maybe I won't get a recorder, and shoot only internal but rent an Inferno when the job justifies it), and I'll probably make back half of that from extra little camera jobs here or there from owning a FS700 over the next year. Thus in a way I'd only be squandering US$1K on this hobby side of filmmaking for me. (as that is what I accept the camera side of films is for me now, a hobby that I love to do. While my professional career is the audio side of filmmaking)

Have a couple of friends of mine who are considering a camera purchase as well, am thinking if one of them goes for a FS700 as well then that will solidify my decision to go with a FS700 as then we'll both have a matching camera we can borrow from each for matching A / B cam multi camera shoots. (plus my own F3 will remain as an awesome zero budget spare cam that can match ok with a FS700)

 

9 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

I eat to live

I kinda "eat to live" myself, forced to follow this diet strictly due to a few medical issues which are fine and cleared up so long as I watch what I eat. (thus times when I restrict my diet to only meat for spells, so as to get flare ups back under control)

 

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I keep nearly buying an FS700, but by the time add the raw upgrade (or buy one with) and a Shogun (preferably latest to get ProRes RAW and 50/60p) I keep deferring to the Pocket Cinema 4K that is coming out. Smaller, better form  factor, does RAW and 4K in camera and has that 5" monitor built in. It's basically a Ninja V with a camera bolted on front. These are the same or less than a FS700 alone is. Plus it will likely have better low light than the FS700 and better colour etc. 

To me this camera outdoes the FS700 / C500 as good cheap 4K RAW options simply with the much smaller forn factor (plus don't have to deal with powering multiple devices etc). 

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1 hour ago, MdB said:

Smaller, better form  factor, does RAW and 4K in camera and has that 5" monitor built in. It's basically a Ninja V with a camera bolted on front.

This is why I hope for a "Samurai V" (of a SDI accessory for the Ninja V) to make the FS raw configuration simpler/cheaper. 

 

 

1 hour ago, MdB said:

Plus it will likely have better low light than the FS700

FS700 was a great lowlight camera for its time (although the F3 took the edge over it). 
But yeah, interesting to see how it is against the modern generation of lowlight cameras. I suspect the new sensor in the GH5S/BMPCC4K/Terra4K will be clearly better. (any head to to head 4K raw FS700 vs GH5S out there? I assume the GH5S comes out ahead)

 

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4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

This is why I hope for a "Samurai V" (of a SDI accessory for the Ninja V) to make the FS raw configuration simpler/cheaper. 

 

 

FS700 was a great lowlight camera for its time (although the F3 took the edge over it). 
But yeah, interesting to see how it is against the modern generation of lowlight cameras. I suspect the new sensor in the GH5S/BMPCC4K/Terra4K will be clearly better. (any head to to head 4K raw FS700 vs GH5S out there? I assume the GH5S comes out ahead)

 

I don't know if the RAW stream can just be converted from SDI to HDMI, so yes will need to wait for a Samurai V. 

FS700 was pretty good at the time, but was behind the Canons and by modern standards is well behind. DR might be a different story though. 

Still I can't justify $2.5k + $1.5k AUD for a used FS700 setup over $1.6k for a 'better' camera with everything integrated. A C500 as a proper 'cinema' camera might be a better choice for those users where the extra syncing and monitor outs etc are really useful. 

Also if you need an ENG setup half the time and cinema the rest then the FS700 might be a better option with the optional 18-110mm f/4 G. 

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3 hours ago, MdB said:

I don't know if the RAW stream can just be converted from SDI to HDMI, so yes will need to wait for a Samurai V. 

No. It can not be. (or at least I highly doubt it)

But the Ninja V has an accessory port which can be used for various purposes, and one of those Atomos mentioned is adding an extra SDI port to their Ninja V recorder. 

3 hours ago, MdB said:

 FS700 was pretty good at the time, but was behind the Canons and by modern standards is well behind. DR might be a different story though. 

Behind how?!

Look at Canon's competitor of the time: C300 mk1
Would I buy it now??? Hell no!! (not unless you offered it to me for an insane sub $1K price)
But the FS700 is still competitive enough for me to consider even 2018, but a C300mk1 is completely out of the picture. 

Even vs the modern cameras, I could happily use a FS700 raw if on a tripod alongside a F5 or FS7 no problem. 

3 hours ago, MdB said:

Still I can't justify $2.5k + $1.5k AUD for a used FS700 setup

But what if it is AU$2K + AU$1K? Now we're talking about a set up which is a whole grand cheaper, more appealing now?
 

3 hours ago, MdB said:

A C500 as a proper 'cinema' camera might be a better choice for those users where the extra syncing and monitor outs etc are really useful. 

I would, but a C500  lacks the HFR, is noisy, has unfortunately an EF mount (or PL), and the worst deal breaker: is still much more expensive!

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25 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

No. It can not be. (or at least I highly doubt it)

But the Ninja V has an accessory port which can be used for various purposes, and one of those Atomos mentioned is adding an extra SDI port to their Ninja V recorder. 

Behind how?!

Look at Canon's competitor of the time: C300 mk1
Would I buy it now??? Hell no!! (not unless you offered it to me for an insane sub $1K price)
But the FS700 is still competitive enough for me to consider even 2018, but a C300mk1 is completely out of the picture. 

Even vs the modern cameras, I could happily use a FS700 raw if on a tripod alongside a F5 or FS7 no problem. 

But what if it is AU$2K + AU$1K? Now we're talking about a set up which is a whole grand cheaper, more appealing now?
 

I would, but a C500 is lacks the HFR, is noisy, has unfortunately an EF mount (or PL), and the worst deal breaker: is still much more expensive!

Dismiss C300 on spec if you want, but it still creates great images. IMO better than an FS700. C500 does that plus RAW and yes it does HFR with 7Q. Downside of the C500 is that it doesn't do much wtb the Shogun. Handling and image wise? Better than FS700 hands down. Noisy? Better than FS700, FS5, FS7 etc. 

FS700 was technically ahead at the time. It still technically ahead. Luckily that's not the only thing to consider. 

As for $2k + $1k that's still basically 2x Pockets. Plus here $2k only gets you a non-RAW FS700. $1k will get you a Shogun or Shogun Flame though, but $1500 for an Inferno for 50/60p and ProRes RAW.

I think the FS700 is a great cam and offers a shedload for not much. But the Pocket is about to kill that market. I nearly bought both C500 and FS700 multiple times and the BM pulls me back each time. 

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