By Heidi McLean, Crew Connection
In an industry where gear plays such an important role, you know a piece of equipment is worth a look when it becomes the consensus choice of the pros. For many, the Sony FS7 has achieved that status among cameras currently on the market. For the scoop on this topic, we interviewed Tammy Rogers, a seasoned production manager with a pulse on what video service clients and providers are talking about.
Crew Connection: What makes the Sony FS7 so appealing?
Tammy Rogers: My boss landed on the Sony FS7 after extensive research. It inches close to the 10K range, but with the benefits it offers clients, crews, editors, and DPs; it has shown itself to be a true standout among other 4K cameras. It pairs well with the C300s and can record up to 110 minutes of 4K footage on the device itself. By extension, that means it can recover information from the camera if you accidentally pull out the card. Anyone working with footage for a living knows that having a backup for your backup is always a good idea. Sony’s launch video covers more of the FS7’s standout features.
CC: Why is 4K so important?
TR: The benefits are endless. Just like a lot of crews and editors, clients have 4K on the brain. One benefit is being able to shoot interviews on one camera instead of two. With 4K, we can film one wide shot and the editor can pull a close up shot because the resolution is so high. It saves a lot of time on set, which in turn saves money. DPs like the settings on 4K cameras (like the Sony FS7) because they can manipulate the settings the way they want. 4K footage also allows editors to go in and control backgrounds, colors, etc.
CC: What accessories take the FS7 to the next level?
TR: If you are planning to use multiple cameras on a shoot or need 12-bit 4K/2K RAW output to an external recorder, the optional extension unit is crucial. It features timecode I/O and genlock. It also has a built in 1080p ProRes 422 encoder as well as a V-mount battery plate. One of your old BP-90 batteries will power the camera all day. We never leave home without it. We have also had great success with an MTF B4 to E-mount adaptor, which allows us to shoot run-and-gun B-roll using our Fuji HD wide angle ENG lenses. A Canon lens adapter is also a good investment because, like the E-mount adapter, it allows you to use other lenses already in your inventory.
The FS7 is user friendly and ergonomic. While it comes out of the box already easy to throw on your shoulder and shoot, we added a Zacuto shoulder mount to ours to add a touch of stability and make it just a little easier
The 4K ProRes recorder offers a major benefit to the client, too. Even before leaving the shoot, the crew can hand over a pro-res file of raw footage to the client, who can then hand it to their in-house editor—closing the gap between the shoot and post production.
CC: What lower cost alternatives do you recommend checking out?
TR: While the cost of DSLRs is very appealing, once you add audio equipment and lenses, the price tag goes up. So if you're looking at buying and the FS7's price tag puts it out of reach, the Sony EX3 is a good option. It is very versatile and easy to operate. We’ve used it to shoot webcasts, interviews, and more. Even golf demos on the field. And with a price tag under 5K, it’s a great investment for a reliable workhorse.
The bottom line Choosing a camera is no small feat, but it sure helps when you know what the market is asking for. At Crew Connection, I have the unique benefit of hearing from our internal crew coordinators (who match clients with video service provides) as well as from clients and the content creators themselves. While I am not an affiliate of or partner to any particular camera brand, I’ve taken special notice of the FS7 because I just keep hearing about it—from clients, crews, editors, and now Tammy. At this point, the Sony FS7 tops the current list of cameras you should take a look at.
Tammy Rogers is Sirius Video’s senior production manager and has an amazing knack for being the perfect liaison between clients and crew. She listens to the client's desires and books a production crew that is an ideal fit in experience as well as personality.
Looking to work with Tammy or another one of our talented video service providers? Contact our crew coordinators at 303-526-4900, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign in to CrewConnection.com to search for, chat with, and book one of our highly-vetted content creators.
About Crew Connection
Crew Connection puts a world of video service providers and editors at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Visit CrewConnection.com, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at email@example.com.