Shooting the Newport Ragtime Band in 4K on Sony PXW-FS7

Shooting the Newport Ragtime Band in 4K on Sony PXW-FS7

A couple of friends and I ordered FS7’s about the same time with the Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 G OSS Lenses. We were looking for a project to test them out on, and realized the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra had their 2015 Valentine’s Day Gala coming up.

The Unfortunately one of us couldn’t make it, but we were able to have two FS7’s there along with some GoPros. We shot in 4k but delivered in HD to allow us to crop in and simulate multiple cameras. For the most part it worked well, although since we were nearly open at f/5.6 we had some depth of field issues. For the most part it worked. If I were doing this again I might want to use faster glass but stop down a bit to allow more depth of field for the artists who were moving around. For this purpose though we wanted to test out our new Sony zooms.

Editing in FCPX, I graded these shots with the built-in color board. We shot in Cine EI mode, using S.Gamma3.Cine/Slog3. I have used Color Finale, the LUT Utility, and the FCPX built-in LUT applier, but for my taste in low light manual grading works the best. Since we had some very low light areas and were shooting in Cine EI mode without the benefit of in-camera noise suppression, I used Neat Video to clean up the noise in post.

A word to the wise: do ALL of your editing, grading, titles, and everything before you apply noise reduction. Processing noise reduction for five multi-cam angles in 4K requires enormous CPU power and really slows things down. For the most part with my Mac Pro I don’t have to worry about render times, but with noise reduction it is a fact of life.

You will note the 3D title treatment at the end of the video, a feature of FCPX version 10.2. You’ll see our logo animated along with the text. If you want an easy way to animate a 3D logo in FCPX or Motion, make it into a font. Thanks to Mark Spencer and this tip in his new course at Ripple Training.

In general we were impressed with the FS7 and the 28-135mm zoom. Definitely both are keepers. You can read more about the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra at

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  1. April 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    RT @swainhart: Shooting Newport Ragtime Band in 4K with 2 @SonyProUSA FS7s and delivering in HD simulates multiple cameras:…

  2. April 16, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I animated our logo using lesson 33 of @markspen and @RippleTraining’s new course on Creating 3D Titles.

  3. April 16, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    RT @swainhart: I animated our logo using lesson 33 of @markspen and @RippleTraining’s new course on Creating 3D Titles.…

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