Our New Camera

In late January we purchased a new camera, the Sony PXW-FS5, with a zoom lens. After a fruitful 2015, we were ready for something new, and we were intrigued by the FS5’s ease of use and high quality slow motion feature. It took a day or two to figure out the basics of the camera.

Later that week, we’d find out that the first subject it’d professionally shoot would be Akon (!) for a Chamber of Commerce undertaking. Akon was a really cool guy (as one might expect) and he had the entire room captivated and laughing for the entirety of the shoot.

Akon at our Video Shoot for the Chamber of Commerce

By this point in time, we were already comfortable with the camera, and we were particularly excited about its in-camera 4K Ultra HD capabilities. Because the FS5 gives us the option to shoot in 4k, but then edit in 1080p, we’re able to essentially “fake” a two camera interview shoot—having both a close up and a wide shot with no loss of quality. This will save our clients money on both the production and post-production sides of things.

Another feature of the FS5 that will save our clients time and money is its two Internal XLR inputs. With two XLR inputs, we can record high quality audio with our wireless lav or shotgun mic (or both, simultaneously) directly hooked into the camera. This reduces the amount of time spent in editing since we no longer need to manually sync the audio and video.

We’ve also appreciated the camera’s mobility, particularly when we had to bring it onto our plane ride to San Diego for a client’s shoot in February. While it’s not quite as small as a DSLR, the FS5 was very transportable. This has also made our lives easier for events, convention shoots, man on the street interviews or any type of shoot that requires a lot of moving around.

A shot from our convention shoot in San Diego, which featured Dick Vitale as a guest speaker

A shot from our convention shoot in San Diego, which featured Dick Vitale as a guest speaker

Among the camera’s other notable features are its dual memory card slots. This allows us to film in continuity for longer periods of time than ever before (very helpful for events, speeches, live performances, etc.) The FS5 is also the first Super35 camera with a built-in variable ND filter, so even in bright conditions it’s able to shoot with a shallow depth of field, without the need for additional filters or a matte box.

Upon ordering the camera, we were a little nervous about some of its Codec issues we’d read about online. However, those problems were fixed with a firmware update right before we’d purchased it, so this ended up being a non-issue for us.

Perhaps our favorite thing about the FS5 is its in-camera 240fps ultra slow motion setting. This can add dramatic effect to nearly any video project. The FS5 shoots up to 240fps in 1080p resolution. Here’s a short sample of some of our slowmo footage.

Posted on April 28, 2016 in Video Equipment

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