My friend Mike Lawson was in New York in March 2015 for the first Sony PXW-FS7 seminar taught by Dave Kincaid at Abel Cine. I must say I am impressed with Abel Cine. They are a cut above all other camera outlets anywhere.
I can’t really call Abel Cine a store, as they are so much more than that. They are the only authorized Zeiss service center in the country. They prepare cameras for rental every week to the big studios. In NYC that means Saturday Night Live. The 6 hour class was worth it and as time goes by I am sure it will get even better.
After the class, Mike and I, with his wife Sangmi and my granddaughter Eva and her parents hit Times Square to put to use what we learned. You may remember Eva from my post Chasing Eva with the 70D. There wasn’t a lot of Chasing Eva this time as it was just so cold. But you can tell by the video she was a very good sport.
We shot in the available light, using Cine EI mode, S.Gamut3/Slog3. For the most part we shot at f/9.0. I used the Metabones Speedbooster Ultra with my Canon 16-35 f/2.8 zoom (the non-IS model). Instead of applying a LUT I hand graded it to take advantage of the 14 stops of dynamic range in the low light footage. While not as good in low light as the Sony a7S, it is certainly respectable. For the most part noise is kept to a minimum.
Again I urge you to download the 4K original at Vimeo to get an idea of what FS7 footage looks like. To see it with the best advantage you need to check it out on a 4K TV. The prices now are so low on these TV’s that they are within range of about everyone’s budget, that is if you are going to buy a new TV anyway.
This was shot with the Firmware v. 1.10. It has a decidedly magenta cast. Rather than fix it, I left it in. Since this was shot, Sony has fixed 95% of the magenta issue with Firmware version 2.0. Such is the world of early adopters… we are in a sense beta testers. Cameras are released without beta testing, as all testing is done by the factories.
One tip for FS7 users, get Doug Jensen’s training. Another valuable tip for FCPX users, look in the Info pane, using Setting menu, and you can use the built in Slog3 LUT which requires no rendering. Very fast.