Shooting - The Sony FS700 by David Mackenzie


The Sony FS700 - A bit of beast

So as many of you might have seen I recently shot a music clip. I shot the clip on a Sony FS700 primarily because of its ability to shoot slow motion, slow-mo aside though, I really enjoyed shooting on it. Not having having used the camera before I was little bit worried about getting up to speed and being able to start shooting quickly. Luckily though I felt at home almost straight away having shot with a number XDCams in the past. The menus and pretty much everything about the camera just felt familiar. One of my only complaints would be the form factor I found the camera a little large but this is mainly due me being so accustomed to shooting with DSLRs these days.

The adapter worked flawlessly
The adapter worked flawlessly

Metabones EF Adapter - Must Have

I really liked the metabones adapter I used with the camera, all of the EF lenses I chucked on the end worked perfectly including the Zeiss 50 F1.4 which has a electric aperture which I was a little worried about working correctly with the adapter. It did however work perfectly and I ended up shooting most of the spot on it. I have to confess I have never been a big fan of using adapters, for no real reason to be honest. Now that I have used one I am completely on board. The adapters build quality was outstanding and work perfectly.

I also REALLY love the Zeiss 50mm. I love the metal construction, I love that the focus ring has hard stops and I love that it all feels like a well oiled gun when you use it. Everything about it is very slick. The image that comes out of it is excellent with a really nice level of contrast. I highly recommend it.

I hate this logo on anything camera related.
I hate this logo on anything camera related.

AVCHD - For Fuck Sake...

My only complaint is a big one and from what I understand a pretty universal complaint. It is the bloody the AVCHD codec. It is just painful to work with, cumbersome and just annoying. It reminds of a video codec from 1995... I know there is the raw recorder for the camera which solves this problem but to be honest it is EXPENSIVE and as a rental usually rents for the same cost of the camera or more. Did I mention it makes the setup and footprint of the camera MASSIVE and rails a requirement. Go figure. I wish the camera manufactures would just leave it behind. I really like the idea of the A7R but again AVCHD...

Other, probably important stuff I liked! 

  • The image of the camera, it was pretty good despite the hassle of recording AVCHD  I was pretty happy with what we got. Although if it had a slightly higher bitrate and 4:2:2 instead 4:2:0 that would have been awesome. Again you can chuck an external recorder on it and get this but if it was in the camera it would be great.
  • I liked the EVF. Some reviews I have read online have not been that keen on the it as someone who is normally shooting on a DSLR it was pretty nice and very usable. It was nice to not have to hook an after market EVF.
  • E - Mount. I like it, Is there a lens  you can't get an adapter for? As I said earlier the Metabones adapter worked flawlessly.

Anyways that mostly sums up my thoughts, for a ~$7k(AUD) this camera really is good, the slow motion features make it unbeatable in its price range. We rented the camera for $300(AUD) a day including the adapter and really you are not going to get a better deal than that especially if you want to shoot high speed. If you get a chance to shoot with it I highly recommend it.

Here is the clip I shot on the FS700:

Here is a shot straight of the camera:

Here is a shot of the camera on set, notice the metabones and the zeiss on the end:

FS700 On Set. Photo By Peter Drew
FS700 On Set. Photo By Peter Drew

 If you want a more in depth review, Philip Bloom has a pretty good review. You can check it out here:

133... At least. by David Mackenzie

So I thought I would have a go at creating a music clip for a competition on Genero. The track was challenging and very much outside of your usual music clip territory not just for being a classical piece of music but mainly for its rapid changes in pace and the abruptness of it. As a lover of classical music I really did enjoy working on it. I was not familiar with Hilary Hahn's work prior to this so the process really turned into a discovery process for me. I highly recommend Hilary's music if you enjoy the Violin.

For me personally the track sounded more like a conflict, a fight for supremacy between the Violin and the Piano. So that is what I choose to create.

Below is my clip it was directed by yours truly, and shot on a Sony FS700 at 400 FPS. Underneath the clip are the full credits. Enjoy!



  • Directed By: David Mackenzie
  • Camera Operators: David Mackenzie, Matt Tanous, Peter Drew
  • Runner: Billy Corcoran
  • Violin Boxer: David Acland
  • Piano Boxer: Benjamin Ramjan
  • A big thanks to Joe's Boxing

The clip was cut in Premiere Pro with bit grading. I have to say was nice do something without 3d in it, I foresee a few more these projects this year. Below are couple of stills from the shoot and some ungraded footage so you can get a feel for the amount of post. I would love to hear what you think.

[ylwm_vimeo width="600" height="338"]85222766[/ylwm_vimeo]



Shooting with XDCAM EX by David Mackenzie


Hi Everyone, We got a hold of a SONY PMW EX1 for a new project that we are shooting. This is third or forth time I have shot on XDCAM and I have to say that each time I do I am more impressed the. This time around we had to get some night shots that would really test the cameras low light performance.

As usual the performance of the camera was great when we finally got our plates into post we were pleasantly surprise with the quality and the lack noise in the shots.  I will say though you really do want to make sure that you get the shot that you need in the camera after all its recording an MPEG based format at 4:2:0. That footage is great just dont expect a couple of stops worth of play in post.

Check out the sample below to get an idea, I will upload a full res plate later so you can download it and check it out yourself. If you are wondering our project was not to go and shoot Lunar Park either, when I am allowed to show you what we really shot I will!

[flv: 600 337]

Cheers, Dave