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Sony NEX-FS700 comes to Australasia
[Fri 17/08/2012 09:31:00]
Press release from Sony Australia
An audience of video and television professionals packed out an Auckland studio in late July, breaking into applause as they were treated to images from one of the first Sony NEX-FS700 cameras delivered in Australasia.
The footage was shot and presented by Tim Pierce, a Queenstown-based cinematographer and director who attained his reputation capturing imagery of some of the world’s most talented athletes for major global clients, and more recently directing television commercials.
The Super Slow Motion capability of the Sony NEX-FS700 revealed an unexpected gracefulness to snowboard maneuvers and drew attention to otherwise unnoticeable details such as the extreme flexing that the boards themselves undergo.
Pierce commented, “Super Slow Motion opens a new creative toolbox that allows me to highlight certain elements which are missed when action flashes past the camera at normal speeds.”
The new camera extends the line-up of Sony NXCAM interchangeable E-mount professional camcorders and is centred on a new Exmor™ Super35 CMOS 4K sensor, and is capable of recording up to 145 minutes of normal speed AVCHD at 28Mb/sec to a 32GB memory card.
Before the NEX-FS700 camera, slowing action by any more than about half speed was the preserve of high-end specialist cameras, but the new camera will shoot up to 200 frames per second (fps) which is 8x super slow motion at Full HD for 50Hz productions. Speeds up to 960 fps can be reached at reduced resolution.
Pierce said, "I have mainly been shooting at around 200 fps, in 1920 x 1080 HD. At 200 fps you get just under twelve seconds recording time offering a full 90 seconds of playback at normal speed.”
A bonus of high speed shooting is that handheld action shots are smoothed, a difference graphically illustrated by Pierce with handheld helicopter to helicopter footage that dramatised the tenuous grip that thin rotor blades have on the air.
Pierce says he has yet to try the auto focus function because his existing lenses don't have that capacity, but points to the design of the camera's Sony E-mount which encourages the widest range of third party lens adaptors for virtually any large sensor lens. However, he says focusing is critical with a large sensor camera and the expanded focus function on the NEX-FS700 LCD touch screen has proved its worth.
Discussing his love of the large sensor look, Pierce said, “Like many filmmakers I often find myself shooting action sports or documentary footage single-handedly. This is where the compact size, quick set up and convenient ergonomics of the Sony NEX-FS700 give me confidence in the audio and video configuration, leaving me free to concentrate on what is happening in front of the camera.”
Pierce finds the post process equally trouble free, with a simple import of the AVCHD footage straight into the timeline in his edit suite.
To test the low light performance of the camera Pierce shot sequences at ISO 1600 to 2000 without any noise concerns, and he warned the audience at the event that he was deliberately seeking a grainy look in his footage of artist and illustrator Bel Jones, posted on Vimeo. The clip generated renewed applause for its unique super slow motion shots of the artist's long hair flowing like water.
In a business sense, Pierce says the professional NEX-FS700 camera impresses clients more than DSLR, even before they see the footage. Depending on the look, he intends to make full use of it on a variety of shoots, supplementing the onboard codec with off-board recorders when the client requires a broadcast quality data stream.
Thanks to the camera's Exmor™ 4K sensor, in the future the off-board recording through the 3G-HDSDI output will be boosted to 4K, a move designed to protect the value of the investment in a world where cameras are rapidly advancing.
However, even right now, out the box, for Pierce the camera is a simple value proposition. He concludes, "The price point of this camera has given me the opportunity to create images that I otherwise would not have been able to even contemplate."