Sony FS7 Camera
– Both HD and 4K (UHD) internal recording. UHD is recorded at 3840×2160 pixels. UHD is also sometimes known at QFHD (Quad Full HD).
– 10-bit 4:2:2 recording. Many other cameras (including my last camera, the Canon C300) record in 8-bit. 10-bit creates smoother gradients, such as in shots of skies.
– Slow motion recording at up to 180fps in HD or 60fps in UHD.
– 14 stops of dynamic range, which is competitive with almost every other camera on the market.
– Optional shooting in Sony S-Log.
Most importantly, the FS7 simply shoots beautiful images. Shooting in Sony S-Log3 allows for a wide range of manipulations of the 10-bit image in post-production. And since the FS7 records very robust codecs internally, there’s no need for an external recorder, which makes shoots faster and lighter.
TWO THINGS TO DECIDE
If you’ve never worked with footage from the FS7 (or F5 or F55), there are two key things to decide before the shoot. I’m happy to talk through these decisions with you if you’d like.
Do you want to shoot in 4K/UHD or HD (1920×1080)? UHD creates an image exactly four times larger than HD. It’s great for future-proofing your content, and also gives options for editing in HD, since you can crop the large image to create close-up shots in HD. The downside of UHD is the massive data storage. I own six 64GB Sony XQD cards, which in total will capture about 190 minutes of UHD footage at 24fps. Capturing more footage than that will require either hiring a data tech to offload footage during the shoot, or occasionally pausing the shoot to offload footage, double-check it, format the cards and shoot onto them again.
Do you want to shoot in Sony S-Log or traditional video (Rec. 709)? If you have an S-Log3 LUT in your editing software and you have the time and ability to use it, I’d recommend taking advantage of shooting in S-Log. If not, I can easily shoot in a mode that gives you traditional, great looking footage in Rec. 709 color space that needs minimal (if any) color grading.
S-Log essentially remaps the gamma (tone/brightness) of the image to allow you to retain information in the shadows and highlights. Before color correcting, S-Log footage looks “flat,” with little contrast or saturation. What is required is editing software that can apply an S-Log3 LUT (Look Up Table) to the footage, which is then tweaked to taste. Premiere Pro CC and FCP X (and FCP 7 via plug-ins) have the ability to apply a LUT, as does color grading software like SpeedGrade and DaVinci Resolve. You can download Sony’s S-Log3 LUTs by clicking here, and add them to your editing program via effects programs like LUT Utility. I don’t recommend color-correcting S-Log footage without a LUT, because it can be tricky and very time-consuming to get it to look right using only basic color correction tools. If color-correcting S-Log is not for you, I can shoot in a mode that bakes the LUT into the footage, so you walk away with great looking footage that you do not need to color correct at all if you’d like. The downside is that this method limits the wide possibilities of image manipulation in post-production. But for simpler projects or projects with tight timelines, that often isn’t a concern. Please feel free to contact me to talk through what’s best for your project.