HANDS ON WITH THE SONY FS5 -- MY THOUGHTS

After months of debate, research, and comparisons with other camera models, I finally purchased the Sony FS5 on January 12, 2016!

(Feels a bit like I'm announcing my newborn baby.)

Here’s a rundown of my thoughts so far –

THE FS5 VS THE FS7

Why choose the FS5 over the FS7? For me it came down to the cost verses the benefits.

Size Comparison: FS5: $5599.99 vs FS7: $7999.99

Size Comparison: FS5: $5599.99 vs FS7: $7999.99

In terms of cost, we all know that buying the camera body is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you tack on the necessary accessories and adapters, the price can take leaps above the sticker price of the camera.

Even though the price was a bit steep, I have to say that this is a perfect camera when it comes to shooting run n' gun. Weddings. Documentaries. Journalism. Events. This camera has you covered.

DECIDING FEATURES

  • It’s great to see that the camera takes SDXC Class 10 U3 cards, which means that the majority of users out there won’t have to upgrade their re-writeable media.
  • The ELECTRONIC VARIABLE ND is one of the main reasons why I purchased the FS5. It’s the first on a Super35mm system, and it works perfectly.
  • CLEAR IMAGE ZOOM is seriously a nice touch… When using my trusty 24-105mm Canon lens, there would be moments when I would want to punch in just a little more... and what do you know... I CAN – with zero loss in quality. 

WORKING WITH FS5 FOOTAGE

When it comes to the codec, the XAVC-L has been easy to work with in post-processing. Most computers should be able to handle the codec, with some possible lag when dealing with 4k resolution footage.

I’m still a bit of a newbie when it comes to working with Sony’s color science. I’m used to color grading Panasonic GH4 footage, along with clips out of a Canon 5D, C100, C300. Luckily, the footage is easy to work with, and you can match different cameras with just a wee bit of effort.

CAMERA ISSUES

I have found certain issues that I hope will be addressed with future firmware updates. The main problems have to do with macroblocking and noise in the footage. I filmed a test video that confirms what many other FS5 owners are experiencing –

However, it is still relatively early in the camera’s shelf life, so I expect Sony to fix the bugs very soon.

EDIT: Looks like Sony is on top of things. They are aware of the cameras issues and commits to having everything resolved by the end of February –

http://www.newsshooter.com/2016/01/27/sony-acknowledge-fs5-issues-aim-to-update-firmware-by-end-of-february/

PARTING THOUGHTS

Overall, I’m happy with the camera. Even with its current issues, Sony has heard our cry and responded with an immediate investigation to insure their loyal customers get the best quality and results this camera should provide.

Maybe someday I will purchase the FS7 for studio work, but the way the FS7 is set up, with it's menu delay, ergonomics, weight, and not to mention the extra cash I would have to invest...it just didn't fit the bill.

If you have 5500 to invest and you’re in the need for a new camera, definitely go buy this camera. You can’t go wrong with it!

-William Kil