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Some thoughts on the possible "Sony FS700 Mark II"


Andrew Reid
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Sony FS700 Mk II

The image leaked by a Chinese site (Filmaker.cn) shows what looks like a 4K XAVC recording FS700 successor. Via RedShark News

Leaked blurry smartphone images are all over the web yet again!

This could be the FS700 successor, although in reality we don't know anything beyond that it records 4K to an internal XAVC codec and appears to use E-mount lenses, the leak offers some tantalising prospects...

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At last, a new FS700!

 

I use the FS700 on loads of music video projects for the slow motion function, however, I always get agitated with the thin codec and how the camera handles highlights (which is just downright terrible for a camera that price.) The ergonomics, haha, shall I bother? 

 

Well, it may mean the Fs700 comes down in price (cheapest I've seen is £4299.95 brand new - http://www.slrhut.co.uk/product/ID569C6/nex_fs700r-_Sony-NEX_FS700R-Super-35-Camcorder-_Body-Only_-FS700-/)

 

That said, the other functions make up for it. Bit confusing with the F5 above it though. What's going on there? 

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This has been on the cards for a while.

When Arri announced the 4K internal upres for the Amira you knew Sony were up to something major. While the two products won't compete on price, they will compete heavily in terms of customers. If this camera also does 120fps in UHD, I can see NFL Films picking up quite a few of them to go with their 125 Amiras. :-) The F5 is a more robust camera system, but this will satisfy 99% of broadcast/indie needs. 

NAB '15 should be fun.

My guess is $9995. Cripple Canon's upcoming 4K C300, take huge chunks out of whatever market is going to buy the URSA/Cion. 

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That said, the other functions make up for it. Bit confusing with the F5 above it though. What's going on there? 

 

I guess most of the F5 user base didn't initially need 4K and the ones that did went for the F55.

 

However times change and I think now is the time for all new cameras that can do 4K to have that ability!

 

Nice nod to the curved film camera design by the way Sony :)

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Could the marks on the tripod give us an approximate size? It looks comically huge to be honest at first glance, but then again it might be tiny, I can't say based on this.

My thoughts according to the information in the photo,

It's clearly taking a different form from Sony's rectangular boxes (FS100/700) and resembles a camcorder form more, a welcome change. The buttom layout is pretty good and generous on the left side of the camera, and there are internal NDs in the exact right place. The camera is taller, with a top handle (that looks very cheap?). The view finder is on top in the correct place it seems, but we still have no information on an LCD. Perhaps the viewfinder serves as both with an intergrated loop, that would be cool. Oh and it has a curvy bottom :)

I guess what will make or break the design is two things:
-what's on the right side of the camera, it needs an adjustable handgrip with access to exposure/wb controls, the C300's success is based on that damn grip so I hope they got it right!
-The size not being comically large or heavy

If both are true I can see this being an excellent design ergonomics wise.

In terms of specs, what we know is that it will shoot 4K XAVC internally, to XQD cards, which I like, they're fast, inexpensive and reliable media. That's all we know. Though It has an overcrank button as in the FS700 therefore it may be true it will do 180fps internally.

I don't expect this to be an FS700 successor at all, or an NEX successor of any sort. It's a 4K XDCAM camcorder designed for competing with the C300 broadcast/wedding/doc market. I bet they'll leave 4K raw and 240fps for the FS700 and this will be an entirely separate line. The FS700 is just getting popular now.

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In terms of specs, what we know is that it will shoot 4K XAVC internally, to XQD cards, which I like, they're fast, inexpensive and reliable media. That's all we know. Though It has an overcrank button as in the FS700 therefore it may be true it will do 180fps internally.

I don't expect this to be an FS700 successor at all, or an NEX successor of any sort. It's a 4K XDCAM camcorder designed for competing with the C300 broadcast/wedding/doc market. I bet they'll leave 4K raw and 240fps for the FS700 and this will be an entirely separate line. The FS700 is just getting popular now.

 

In other words, a big sensor and the guts of a Z100 (which does 10-bit, 4:2:2 intraframe XAVC up to 600 Mbps).

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That would make it $4,000 more than an Ursa and $1,000 more than a Cion, both of which have a global shutter.

 

So global shutter and a lower price are supposed to win it for those cameras over the Sony? I'm not so sure about that. URSA is a mega heavy crew camera, ISO 400 native so needs a lot of light, no real slow-mo capabilities certainly not FS700 240fps level and URSA as a docking station for a different camera head is again a very different tool for different jobs. So I'm not sure they are really competing head to head... maybe for 10% of jobs. The Cion shares the same BMPC sensor so again, good luck shooting above ISO 400 with that. The file sizes are also huge. 4K XAVC is very manageable in terms of file sizes. This is very important.

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That would make it $4,000 more than an Ursa and $1,000 more than a Cion, both of which have a global shutter.

Both of which have 11 stop DR and native ISO of 400 or so. I think design wise, the Cion looks amazing. Specwise, it seems to be using the same chip as the URSA. As someone who has fully embraced the advantages of high ISO's and available light (subsequently smaller lighting packages), these camera as an owner / op are dead to me.

 

There's a reason the C300 despite all its shortcomings is everywhere.

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"Sony have the best technology and best specs on the market right now."

 

Andrew not sure how you draw that conclusion. Of all the testing I've done, Sony still has deficient color accuracy compared to the leading players. In short, to look good it requires more work in post. There's a reason why in feature and episodic, Arri dominates, followed by Red's slim market share. I'd have expected F5/55 to take over the unscripted market from Canon having better ergo and a relatively slim power draw. But again I believe the the baked in color profiles don't make for as quick from camera to deliverable as Canon (despite its 8bit and clipping). I'll be going out on a branded content campaign for three weeks with an F55. I know we'll pull a better image than Canon (not Arri) but we have the time in post. This week I was working a major broadcast show with C300's. They need to turn around massive amounts of footage to air a few days later. They don't have time to deal with funny color science.

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Where this new Sony will get a lot of play is with 3 Axis gimbals. Even though the weight of an F5/55 is well within the specs of your full size gimbals, they're too long with battery and raw module. This camera looks small and should be a hit with what's fast becoming a set standard. I may get one for that reason alone.

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There's a reason the C300 despite all its shortcomings is everywhere.

 

Yes. Hype, brand appeal and the momentum built by Canon in DSLRs, plus a total lack of decent competition in the first two years it was released. And also, the price - $15k upon release - was considered 'entry level' by the pros who bought it, thus it's cheap.

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They are successful because they hit the sweet spot of boring industry workhorse tool where outright performance (i.e. higher bit depth than 8bit, higher frame rate than 30fps, larger sensor than S35, specialist features like support for anamorphic in 4:3 mode, global shutter, etc.) matters much less than the quick client turnaround from small file sizes. As long as it has a Canon badge, EF mount, S35 sensor, ok low light, ok colour, ok ergonomics, then it hits the sweet spot for a lot of pros - even though overall it is rather a middle of the road camera and not actually that special.

 

What Canon set out to do is make 'a really good HD camera'. They did that.

 

The next step is to create a really good 4K camera.

 

I'm also still waiting for the really good run & gun large sensor camera, because the ergonomics of pretty much everything out there sucks for that.

 

Manual focus needs a revolution so it is more usable on the small cams.

 

After all this time I am still waiting for a really good full frame camera that you can focus properly in video mode.

 

I am waiting for a camera with a decent built in screen which is large enough and high resolution enough to nail focus in 4K from without resorting to a slow magnified focus assist or a dreadful peaking implementation.

 

I am waiting for a camera that has a built in electronic fly by wire follow focus control, ergonomically integrated to the rest of the camera grip, without having to add a follow focus via your rig.

 

Ergonomically, cameras are rife for a revolution, so let's have it...

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Since Panasonic just announced a compact 4K camcorder for under $4000, I'm anxious to see how Sony will price this one.

 

That camcorder though, has a smartphone sized sensor. It doesn't do the same job. I have shot with it and didn't like the image. Large sensor interchangeable lens cameras are a league apart so the pricing of the small chip fixed lens stuff won't have a bearing.

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They are successful because they hit the sweet spot of boring industry workhorse tool where outright performance (i.e. higher bit depth than 8bit, higher frame rate than 30fps, larger sensor than S35, specialist features like support for anamorphic in 4:3 mode, global shutter, etc.) matters much less than the quick client turnaround from small file sizes.

 

The FS700 also has small file sizes (C300 has larger with 50mbps mpeg2), and a cheaper price but - in the end - the only thing FS700 was used for was low budget high speed shots. FS100 was quickly forgotten. A boring industry workhorse is something that the industry professionals need but a pro will use all the tools they can so you can spot an FS700 working alongside the C300 on a gig. That's because using the FS700 is actually quite cumbersome and while it captures slowmo shots the C300 can capture everything else.

 

What I wonder is why there are still people buying 1/3" sensor "pro" cameras for an exorbitant price?

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Yes. Hype, brand appeal and the momentum built by Canon in DSLRs, plus a total lack of decent competition in the first two years it was released. And also, the price - $15k upon release - was considered 'entry level' by the pros who bought it, thus it's cheap.

Not sure how long you've been shooting for a living, but Canon never had a brand appeal in the pro market except in ENG lenses. Regarding hype, the image on the C300, if you know how to shoot it, is excellent, especially in low light or night shooting. It also delivers a file size that's broadcaster and doc friendly. Most of us who use C300's for a living didn't choose it because we loved the 5D. It had the right features for the job.

I'll agree on one thing - it had no competition when it came out.  And to this day, the competition is slim. While overall, I prefer F5 and it meets Canon on price, too many production companies are still trying to make a ROI on their Canons. Also, for run/gun, shoulder V mount batt cameras aren't always ideal.

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