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Samuel Berger

Some guy sold his Ursa Mini Pro to buy an FS7

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The F55 rents for roughly the same as an Alexa, and they are just as busy. F5s and Fs7s tend to be owner/operator cameras so there are less of them in rental houses.

 

Sony is not a 'different way of shooting' at all. If you take the time to research your camera, which you should do with ANY system, it is simple to understand. It's not a different system of post either. There are plenty of edit systems which natively handle XAVC, and for those that don't, you can transcode to Pro-Res, which is almost identical to working with RED Raw, or any other flavor of raw. Please stop trying to make out that Sony has some weird post production pipeline, when it's clearly only you that has problems with it.

I think Tyler is slightly right when it comes to renting it out. But still, rental houses I've been to in LA, and SF all agree that the most versatile image comes from Sony.

 

Stuart well of course you would do your research about how to use a new camera system to learn how it works. But where the Alexa seems more to be related to film, and RED to computer, the Sony is the hybrid. I love the Sony, I think you are misunderstanding that. It's just the fact that the pipeline is a little different from the one already being there, doesn't mean it is a bad thing.

 

It's that old dogs new trick scenario ;)

 

C

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Stuart well of course you would do your research about how to use a new camera system to learn how it works. But where the Alexa seems more to be related to film, and RED to computer, the Sony is the hybrid. I love the Sony, I think you are misunderstanding that. It's just the fact that the pipeline is a little different from the one already being there, doesn't mean it is a bad thing.

Carl, I was responding to Tyler's oft-stated prejudice against Sony cameras, rather than your own post.

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The F55 rents for roughly the same as an Alexa, and they are just as busy.

I actually put budgets together as well Stuart. The F55 generally goes for a rate of between $550 - $650 (options depending). The Dragon and AlexaXT's are up around $750 - $850 (options depending).

 

The ONLY REASON I've ever shot with the F5 and F55 is because the production COULDN'T AFFORD A DRAGON OR ALEXA. I actually felt cornered on the last production because after spending a day getting quotes, I was depressed when our budget was only good enough for the F55. Unfortunately at the time, the Ursa Pro hadn't been released, so it wasn't an option.

 

F5s and Fs7s tend to be owner/operator cameras so there are less of them in rental houses.

Yea, they're super hard to rent. A few lower-end houses have them, but due to their ultra-low rental cost, usually they're permanently rented. I found the same with the A7SMKII and even the C300MKII, really difficult to rent cameras.

 

Sony is not a 'different way of shooting' at all. If you take the time to research your camera, which you should do with ANY system, it is simple to understand.

It sure is... I read AC, I hear how cinematographers have changed their philosophies on how they light in order to work better with the camera. Things like the rather high base ISO alter the way you work for sure.

 

I would beg to say in personal experience, it's an entirely different way of working then with an Alexa or Dragon, which I can shoot more like I do with film since the base ISO is closer AND they don't have all the bells and whistles of the Sony. They're more "straight forward" cameras, rather then swiss army knifes.

 

It's not a different system of post either.

Sure it is, Sony has so many way's to do everything, without capturing color charts on set, you can get lost very easily in post. It forces you to have a "Sony" specialist on set. Dailies watching is almost a necessity on a Sony shoot.

 

Please stop trying to make out that Sony has some weird post production pipeline, when it's clearly only you that has problems with it.

How many Sony shows have you done post on? I mean been the assistant, done the rough cut, done a final cut and color? I'm all ears.

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Carl, I was responding to Tyler's oft-stated prejudice against Sony cameras, rather than your own post.

Yes, yes I dislike the look of Sony's CMOS imagers outside of the F65. I absolutely despise Sony's "swiss army knife" mentality. I also don't like how they continue to make products that fit very niche markets and try to sell them as working some sort of magic.

 

The Canon C300MKII has a naturally beautiful imager. In Rec709 the thing looks amazing right out of the box with zero tweaks. This is the way Sony cameras use to look, they were just beautiful naturally. Today, Sony's are cold and very unnatural looking. Great for dark underlit moody scenes, not great for beautiful sunsets.

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Sure it is, Sony has so many way's to do everything, without capturing color charts on set, you can get lost very easily in post. It forces you to have a "Sony" specialist on set. Dailies watching is almost a necessity on a Sony shoot.

 

 

How many Sony shows have you done post on? I mean been the assistant, done the rough cut, done a final cut and color? I'm all ears.

Ok Tyler, once and for all, you put the Sony cameras in Cine EI mode. Select XAVC-I. Select your ISO. Select SLog3 Gamma and SLog3Cine Gamut. Set the Monitor LUT to whatever you prefer. Then you shoot. No need for color charts. No need for 'Sony specialists'. No need for excuses.

 

Post goes like this:

 

Shoot XAVC 4K

Transcode to Pro-Res HD for dailies and editorial

Relink to XAVC OCN for color and conform.

 

Pretty damn simple.

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Ok Tyler, once and for all, you put the Sony cameras in Cine EI mode. Select XAVC-I. Select your ISO. Select SLog3 Gamma and SLog3Cine Gamut. Set the Monitor LUT to whatever you prefer. Then you shoot. No need for color charts. No need for 'Sony specialists'. No need for excuses.

 

Post goes like this:

 

Shoot XAVC 4K

DIT transcodes to Pro-Res HD for dailies and editorial

Relink to XAVC OCN for color and conform.

 

Pretty damn simple.

 

Sounds like a lot of work. May I suggest Super 8?

 

Stick cartridge in slot.

Close door.

Point camera.

Pull trigger.

Edited by Samuel Berger

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Sounds like a lot of work. May I suggest Super 8?

 

Stick cartridge in slot.

Close door.

Point camera.

Pull trigger.

Very funny ;)

 

Once you have setup a Sony they actually run pretty smooth.

 

I have only dealt mostly with RED up here in SF but all units I have used has always had one crash per set, at least. Doesn't matter which silly name I am using. And the menu might be better designed, but touch screen...that's still idiotic.

 

And blaming poor post-knowledge on the camera is hardly a solution Tyler. C300 looks great for some things, but a good grade, with footage from the R5 recorder, and the F5/F55 looks great.

 

C

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but a good grade, with footage from the R5 recorder, and the F5/F55 looks great.

Also wrong. Correctly lit and exposed footage looks great straight out of the camera. if you're relying on a good grade to get good images, then you're doing something wrong.

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Also wrong. Correctly lit and exposed footage looks great straight out of the camera. if you're relying on a good grade to get good images, then you're doing something wrong.

Ok, Stuart I'm trying to really get to a middle ground here as well. I do think that it looks great out of the camera, but I think the RAW footage gives an amazing image as well.

 

I did say that the RAW image with a good grade looks amazing, that does not mean the other doesn't, or does it?

 

C

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Your statement gave the impression that Sony cameras only look good when shot in RAW and graded, which is not the case. I'm glad that you agree that they can look great straight out of camera if you treat them right.

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And blaming poor post-knowledge on the camera is hardly a solution Tyler.

Post knowledge? I work with XAVC all the time. It has nothing to do with "lack of knowledge" it has everything to do with it being a crap codec.

 

XAVC is an .h264 variant and where it differs from the Long GOP variations, it has exactly the same problems with dispersed/hardware decoding.

 

This means, a very simple 10 bit XAVC 4:2:2 file @ 29.97 4k will playback fine as one stream, but add additional layers/streams and you're cooked. Doesn't matter how fast of a machine you have, doesn't matter how good your storage is. Heck even Avid's wonderful XAVC integration, still requires transcoding.

 

Pro Res for instance is a multi-threaded codec, so it disperses its decoding on the processors. Cinema DNG and RED code are both GPU intensive decoding, so they playback fine with a decent GPU even with multi-layers.

 

XAVC-I was designed specifically to be an editing codec, it's Sony's "competitor" to Pro Res HQ. Yet, it's a complete failure for that, you have to transcode to either 1080p XAVC which works a lot better OR Pro Res. Then when you relink to the camera originals (they are not negatives), you still have all the same issues with playback, especially in DaVinci. Good luck doing powerwindows or multi-layer finishing.

 

When you shoot RAW, you always need to transcode. When you shoot standard Rec709 media like XAVC-I, the only reason you should need to transcode is to save space on editing system, outside of that, there is no excuse for such a shitstorm of a codec. Anyone who works with Pro Res can attest to how bad XAVC is.

 

C300 looks great for some things, but a good grade, with footage from the R5 recorder, and the F5/F55 looks great.

The C300MKII looks much warmer and natural in every way. I've shot quite a bit with it in standard Clog mode and it's always impressed me. It's unfortunate it too is an XAVC-I camera.

 

The external recorder on the F5/F55 that creates raw files, is cool... but like all Raw formats, you're stuck transcoding at some point.

 

Pro Res XQ is a far better camera origination format and the only reason Sony doesn't have it is because they wanna force customers into using their codec, rather that what the customers may want to use. This is what I keep tell people about Sony... they FORCE you to do what they want you to do and put up road blocks if you wanna do anything else. Buy this special adaptor, buy this special software update, work with this special card and card reader, work with this special ingestion software, work with that special propritary codec, yada yada yada.

 

Arri, Red, Blackmagic and a few other brands, figured out that Pro Res was a necessity, so they integrated it. Capturing directly to the codec you will be editing is a lifesaver in post, it can save WEEKS of rendering time.

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the main problem with F5/55 is that editing programs like FCPX can't handle the raw natively and it also takes lots of hdd space.

But the cameras themselves look great and they are very versatile, especially in documentary use where the interchangeable lens mount is a great benefit as well as the size+weight and frame rates.

 

we have actually normally transcoded the 4k F5 raw material to xavc-i 4k 10bit for editing and it has worked fine for that.

 

One of the weakest points of the F5/55 is that damn viewfinder connector... such a bad and fragile design on a otherwise good camera :o

the menus can be tolerated easily and mostly one would set them once per production and then only format cards and adjust a setting or two if needed. I don't understand this "complicated menus is so bad thing that I cannot use this or that camera model" thing a single bit, one does not need to go through all the menu pages for every image being shot, it is more like once a day max type thing :blink:

 

Red cameras have quite excellent image nowadays (Helium and Dragon sensors) but their filesystem + folder structure is kind of dumb and complicates post a bit. plus it is slow to make previews and render offlines from the material.

sony raw is a bit faster to work with by my experience and it has the benefit of having the clips in single files rather than split to million small fractions which are all over the place like that damn cinemaDNG, such a mess and can cause additional problems in online every now and then :huh:

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Alas Tyler..you still don't take my advise.. take a day to learn the f55.. then you won't need a "Sony specialist " like the one who cocked up your last shoot ..there are literally hundreds of thousands of people getting good images from Sony cameras.. from fs7 to f65.. just take 10 mins to look at "The Crown " series.. Ive used an f55 for BBC Bristol nat history unit.. your telling me their stuff looks like crap.. empirical logic does suggest the problem lies at your door step ,if you cant ever make it work without alot of problems .. in its market the fs7 is by far the. ..market leader .. it totally dominates the REC 709 world.. by contrast the C300 II sales are tiny even after they cut the price by half !! yes 50%.. this is all rec 709 world.. how could this be if they are crap and XAVC is un editable .. either they are all wrong or you are .. ?

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Post knowledge? I work with XAVC all the time. It has nothing to do with "lack of knowledge" it has everything to do with it being a crap codec.

 

XAVC is an MPEG 2 variant and where it differs from the Long GOP variations, it has exactly the same problems with dispersed/hardware decoding.

 

This means, a very simple 10 bit XAVC 4:2:2 file @ 29.97 4k will playback fine as one stream, but add additional layers/streams and you're cooked. Doesn't matter how fast of a machine you have, doesn't matter how good your storage is. Heck even Avid's wonderful XAVC integration, still requires transcoding.

 

Pro Res for instance is a multi-threaded codec, so it disperses its decoding on the processors. Cinema DNG and RED code are both GPU intensive decoding, so they playback fine with a decent GPU even with multi-layers.

 

XAVC-I was designed specifically to be an editing codec, it's Sony's "competitor" to Pro Res HQ. Yet, it's a complete failure for that, you have to transcode to either 1080p XAVC which works a lot better OR Pro Res. Then when you relink to the camera originals (they are not negatives), you still have all the same issues with playback, especially in DaVinci. Good luck doing powerwindows or multi-layer finishing.

 

When you shoot RAW, you always need to transcode. When you shoot standard Rec709 media like XAVC-I, the only reason you should need to transcode is to save space on editing system, outside of that, there is no excuse for such a shitstorm of a codec. Anyone who works with Pro Res can attest to how bad XAVC is.

 

 

The C300MKII looks much warmer and natural in every way. I've shot quite a bit with it in standard Clog mode and it's always impressed me. It's unfortunate it too is an XAVC-I camera.

 

The external recorder on the F5/F55 that creates raw files, is cool... but like all Raw formats, you're stuck transcoding at some point.

 

Pro Res XQ is a far better camera origination format and the only reason Sony doesn't have it is because they wanna force customers into using their codec, rather that what the customers may want to use. This is what I keep tell people about Sony... they FORCE you to do what they want you to do and put up road blocks if you wanna do anything else. Buy this special adaptor, buy this special software update, work with this special card and card reader, work with this special ingestion software, work with that special propritary codec, yada yada yada.

 

Arri, Red, Blackmagic and a few other brands, figured out that Pro Res was a necessity, so they integrated it. Capturing directly to the codec you will be editing is a lifesaver in post, it can save WEEKS of rendering time.

Yes thank you for explaining what X-AVC is, and the difference in the encoding. I think all of us taking part in this discussion already knew this. But great job trying to prove a point.

 

So what you are basically saying is what Stuart also confirmed. If you light it properly, it will still look great in post. But you want to alter it a lot.

 

And then using RAW seems like you are consider it cheating? It may be complicated, but you are setting up your own boundaries here.

 

C

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XAVC is an MPEG 2 variant and where it differs from the Long GOP variations, it has exactly the same problems with dispersed/hardware decoding.

 

 

XAVC is an MPEG-4 based codec.

 

the main problem with F5/55 is that editing programs like FCPX can't handle the raw natively and it also takes lots of hdd space.

Editing with Sony Raw directly, or transcoding in post are both pretty silly things to do. The cameras are certainly not without their faults, but they have one of the best raw/proxy workflows in the business. Any project shooting raw on the Sonys should be recording 1080p or 2k XAVC proxies with a show LUT burnt in for editorial.

 

It's so simple to do, and 2k XAVC will cut like butter on any NLE out there today.

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XAVC is an MPEG-4 based codec.

Sorry yes, it's a .h264 variant.

 

Editing with Sony Raw directly, or transcoding in post are both pretty silly things to do. The cameras are certainly not without their faults, but they have one of the best raw/proxy workflows in the business. Any project shooting raw on the Sonys should be recording 1080p or 2k XAVC proxies with a show LUT burnt in for editorial.

Yea with the RAW recorder, you can get away with this.

 

I also agree XAVC-I 1080p/2k does work fine with nearly all NLE's. This is because it's a pretty lightweight at that bit rate.

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I also agree XAVC-I 1080p/2k does work fine with nearly all NLE's. This is because it's a pretty lightweight at that bit rate.

All the editors I know ask for 1080 or 2k dailies regardless of what the original codec was, even if it was Pro-Res. 4k just slows them down, and it's unnecessary for editorial anyway.

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All the editors I know ask for 1080 or 2k dailies regardless of what the original codec was, even if it was Pro-Res. 4k just slows them down, and it's unnecessary for editorial anyway.

If you're working on a big production with dozens of people in the post production "team", none of this matters.

 

The way I work most of the time outside of narrative features, is to work with the camera originals as much as possible. This allows me to produce and export all the ancillary content necessary for distribution from trailers to music videos, without having to go through an extensive off-line/online process.

 

I'm one button away from an "online" in DaVinci with my workflow. As an editor, when you have that power, you never wanna give it up. Most editors don't even know that power exists because they just edit for a living and do nothing else.

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But all the fs7 users are not on big productions..and there were 40,000 units sold over a year ago.... Im not working on big productions with an f5.. everything works fine.. XAVC/XDCAM.. 4K/2k/HD ..Slog .. Rec709.. burn in LUT,s..high speed, time lapse what ever way .. it all works fine.. no problems at all. shooting or post.. only you.. ?

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it all works fine.. no problems at all. shooting or post.. only you.. ?

Na, nobody I've ever talked to on set likes Sony cameras. This is a BROAD consensus, they're just too busy working to make a fuss. Since I work from home, I can take a few minutes out of my day to comment.

 

Also, most professional editors still use Avid the old fashion way. This is because 20 years ago, when they learned how to use NLE's, the computers and storage were not up to snuff.

 

Today, we can edit with camera originals no problem, though it's smart to transcode RAW formats, with my computer and Premiere, FCPX or DaVinci, it has no problem editing 6k RED raw natively in real time. All of that time spent copying, transcoding, synching and importing goes away. Drag, drop, edit, AAF to DaVinci, color, export. DONE. Can't do that with 4k XAVC-I, it just doesn't work.

 

Unfortunately, XAVC is such a piece of poop codec, I can't even take a screen grab movie on my bay whilst working with it. The system simply can't do both things at the same time, so I can't make you a video of how nasty it is to work with. I just don't think cinematographers care... or they'd shoot with other cameras that may compromise other things. To me, the shoot is a few weeks, but the post might last months or even years. Why would you ever wanna compromise post through a bad codec?

 

At least Red thought of this and developed hardware drivers and support through nVidia which allows Debayer on the fly in real time using their cards, which are inexpensive. There is NO hardware support for XAVC, it just doesn't exist. .h264 is a poop codec for consumers, not a commercial codec.

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Sure I wouldn't say they have a good foothold in the drama world..Arri have that for ages now..Venice might a look in.. could be too little too late..but you were referring to the REC709 type shooting.. straight from the camera minimum grading .. your preferred work flow as stated .. the high end is RAW or at least Slog.. even alot of the corp shoots I do are Slog now..but the REC709 world is absolutely dominated by Sony.. hugely more than Canon these days.. so my point being.. all these tens of thousands of shoots each year by fs5/ fs7/f5/f55..from the arctic to equator .. are all being done without any problems with very good results .. yet you still struggle with them.. preference is one thing.. but to say Sony and XAVC is "crap" because you may lack the experience and thus skill levels necessary to use them as designed .. is misleading to inexperienced visitors to the site.. sorry to bang the same drum but just pure logic and weight of numbers is against you..

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REC709...grading ..RAW...Slog.. ...Slog now...REC709... Sony.. ... fs5/ fs7/f5/f55.... Sony ...XAVC ... "crap" ...

 

Crikey, how I wish people would just SHOOT FILM so we could all speak English and not Martian.

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