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: