Sony FS700 & BMD 2K Cinema Camera

Looks like the cameras indy filmmakers will be using are only getting better and cheaper by the year. What started with the Canon HDSLRs are now transitioning to full 2k and 4K feature rich digital film cameras by both industry titans and new comers. With these soon to be released tools, not only are we getting the filmic look that indy filmmakers want but are getting an incredible dynamic range for full color control along with the highest of resolutions used by big studio productions.

With the successor of the Sony NEX-FS100, the $8,000 FS700 will no doubt make some waves with such features as super slow motion full-1080p (i.e. 240fps), built-in ND filters, XLR input, 3G-SDI and Super35mm CMOS sensor capable of producing full 4k RAW footage via a future (software) upgrade. 

The FS100 caught my attention probably not as much as it should have. But the FS700 is a head-turning, affordable beast of a camera. Now, the only thing that has me worried is… the quality of the 4K footage that it’s suppose to produce. I’m just a little confused as to why Sony didn’t just release it 4K out of the box, instead of 4K-ready. Just seems a little odd. There could very well be nothing to it. But still it’s questionable.

Here’s sample footage:

But Sony isn’t the only one shaking up the indy world. The company most famous for there coloring software, DaVinci Resolve are breaking new grounds with Black Magic Design‘s very first, 2K Cinema Camera. I was shocked at first when I heard the news… a software company making a camera? After grasping that concept I realized… holy crap… it’s 2.5K out of the box… for $3000!!!! My mind was blown, how is this possible? I was excited to say the least. 
It’s possible because BMD CC is aiming at indy filmmakers who’s budget lay between a mid-level DSLR and say Canon’s 5D Mark III. The Cinema Camera sports a capacitive touch screen LCD for camera settings and “slate” metadata entry and records in 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps and features an odd sized sensor that sits between a Super16mm and a Micro 4/3 sensor, which automatically brings up questions of low-light performance. The crop factor of that sensor size will roughly be around 2.4, appose to most popular DSLRS which is 1.5. Something to take into consideration as far as your existing lenses are concerned.
When BMD was designing the CC they had workflow in mind, along with 13 stops of dynamic range, 12 bit RAW uncompressed, you can record directly to AppleProRes, AvidDNXHD or  Quicktime formats. The CC completely uses open standards. Thunderbolt connection for live scopes (and charging), removable 2.5″ SATA SSDs (Solid State Disc) for on-board recording, 1/4″ inch microphone inputs, compatible with ZF and EF glass, BNC 3 Gb/s SDI out,   and… DaVinici Resolve 9 software thrown on top. So it’s a $3000 dollar camera with $1,500 worth of free software. 
Here’s some sample footage: 

Ultimately every Filmmakers need is different. And if the FS700 holds true, it will be perfect for me because of the possiblilities it will give me with special f/x. Also, I just like having more options on hand, I’m one of those guys who over compensates :). I will hold out for the Sony FS700. But without a doubt BMDs Cinema Camera looks to be an amazing tool, certainly for any curious would-be filmmakers out there. I’m all for variety and these cameras exhibit exactly that.

-Eric Chacón

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