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Sony FS700 vs Canon C500

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#1 dpdnb

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 07:18 PM

Sony FS700 vs Canon C500 Which is better and why?


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 10:45 PM

Well, both cameras have the same unbelievable flaws for the price range. 

 

Both cameras have a rolling shutter. 

Both cameras uses scalers to down-sample the imager. 

Both cameras use 8 bit 4:2:0 MPEG based internal recording.

Both cameras require thousands of dollars of external gear to capture anything else but 8 bit 4:2:0 

Both cameras spit out RGB down the double stream 3G HDSDI output, not RAW off-sensor. 

 

FS700 uses an "E" lens mount, which is completely worthless. You're always adapting and compensating to use any real glass on it. 

FS700 menu's and user interface is absolute garbage. Typical Sony to hide many important options and require camera pre-programming to work with them. 

 

The C500, like it's little brother the C300 is more of a cinema camera then the FS700. It has a more intuitive "cinema" mentality with the menu's and such. However, the workflow for capturing 4k 444 isn't cost effective. Canon has literally priced the C500 too high. If it were $6k then things would be different, but the kind of money Canon is asking, is absolutely insane and absurd!

 

The C500 does have better low-light then the FS700 which can get grainy. I've worked with both camera's during demo's and noticed this when trying to get an image out of nothing. However, the FS700 is fully capable of being hand-held right out of the box, where the C500's shape is really worthless. You're stuck to buying shoulder rigs in order to shoot with it, which sucks.

 

Finally, both camera's offer slow-mo. However, neither camera records slow-mo in 4k and neither camera records slow-mo externally in anything more then 2k and have issues recording on external devices. The Codex is supposedly compatible, but there have been a lot of issues with the FS700, so Sony came out with a new model FS700R which fixes them. Of course, they charge more money for the R, typical Sony style. 

 

All in all, both cameras will cost you between $25k and $40k to get a decent signal out of them.

 

In contrast…

 

The Blackmagic 4k Cinema camera has none of these issues.

 

- Global Shutter

- 4k Raw or 4k/2k Pro Res 4444 12 bit capture built-in (no need for any external recorder, drag and drop into any editor, no transcode needed)

- Super 35mm sensor with 12 stops of latitude  

- PL or EOS mount 

- Small chassis/body, easy to hand-hold and shoot quickly

 

Best part is, it's just a camera. It's not trying to be the end-all, be-all for everyone. It's simply a camera body and it does the job. Buy a rail system and a matte box for filtration and the thing is absolutely unbeatable at $2,999 USD retail. 

 

Sure the Blackmagic option has a few hiccups, one of which is the battery life and another is the lack of slow-mo. But hey, with the money you save on buying one, you can rent a slow-mo camera! 

 

Sorry for the rant… but it's annoying to think Sony and Canon still haven't figured out that people don't want 8 bit 4:2:0 color space, with a rolling shutter for MORE THAN $10k! Who are they kidding!!! Very frustrating! The worst part is, the Sony F5 and F55 are wonderful cameras in contrast. Why can't Sony take that technology and make it cheaper, it's beyond belief. 


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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 04:34 AM

I think they sort of have, in the FS7. It's really rather good, although the menu system and control panel layout is a headache. And yes, rolling shutter, but then again so is Alexa. I share your views on it, but it has sadly become the norm.

 

It wasn't until I saw the FS7 that I realised what a breath of fresh air the Blackmagic approach to UI is, but it's been the case ever since Blackmagic started making cameras. As such I would be the first to admit that the FS700 is an absolute war crime with regards ergonomics and I'd even challenge the idea that it's really that easy to shoot with out of the box.

 

In defence of the 700, the E mount has more or less the same purpose as the MFT mount; it has a shallow flange depth so it can be readily adapted to something useful. The real showoff point with the 700 was the slow mo, which was unique when it came out. And yes, the Canon Cx00 series has always been absurdly overpriced. I said this about the C300 when it came out and it's even more true now. Nice pictures, but sheesh. And the ergonomics are ridiculous, again. Given the choice I'd have bought the 700, but having the choice to buy neither and rent as necessary, that's what I did.

 

It isn't necessarily thousands to get better than 8-bit 4:2:0 MPEG-2 out of them. Notwithstanding the problems of slowmo out of the 700 being interlaced, you can throw an Atomos Ninja Star on it for very little. I've almost never shot a 700 to its internal storage. 

 

I'm not sure what people are really expecting about raw and slow mo. Having to de-buffer high speed stuff as the 700 does is a pain, even if they made it output progressive frames. And raw is completely nonstandardised, and needs to be stored losslessly. It's almost inevitable that there will need to be a manufacturer-specific recorder, at least until raw can be standardised. And that's unlikely to happen any time soon.

 

P


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 09:06 AM

 And yes, rolling shutter, but then again so is Alexa. 

They probably scan from both top and bottom of the imager at the same time and join in the middle. It's a clever technique I've seen a few companies use including Sony. So they can't "claim" to be a global shutter, but having worked with the Alexa, it's "rolling shutter" is almost invisible, where the C500's is clear as day. 


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