Below is a little compilation of 4K clips shot with the FS700. Shot over a couple of very nice summer days the shots really show the incredible dynamic range available when you shoot linear raw. Linear raw, also know as “linear light” or “scene referred” captures the light coming from the scene exactly as it is. That is without any gamma. Gamma mimics the way out own visual system works and is used to save data by compressing highlights. But the light in the real world is not actually like this, it’s linear (it’s just we don’t perceive it that way). Linear raw provides amazing contrast in both the shadows and highlights, so grades beautifully.
One issue however is that when your capturing such a big dynamic range (some of the shots have in excess of 12 stops) but showing it on conventional monitors that can only show at best 10 stops (about 8 stops for LCD, 10 for OLED) the image will look flat if you try to keep all of the original range. So sometimes, even though it might not actually be over exposed, you still need to allow your highlights to blow out for the pictur to look natural or real. I find grading shots with big dynamic ranges quite a challenge. The shots on the river with brilliant white boats under dark trees were tough to get right, but you can really see the dynamic range where I’ve been able to pull meaningful picture information out of the deepest shadows while still keeping clouds in the bright blue sky.
The 12 bit raw from the FS700 is remarkably good. I do feel that I have to be just a little bit more accurate with my exposure and grading with the FS700, but maybe that’s just psychological? The FS700 for some reason is a bit noisier than my F5, especially in the colours and shadows, probably due to the less than ideal use of only 12 bits rather than 16 bit, but it’s not something that concerns me, it’s still a highly useable image if you expose nice and bright.
Ergonomically the FS700 with IFR5/R5 for location or run and gun is a bit of a disaster which is a great shame. Mount the recorder on some extended rail contraption and you have a very long and very heavy camcorder and you can’t use the Sony viewfinder because the recorder is in the way. For my shoots I used an Alphatron EVF.
Exposure with the FS700 and raw is pretty straight forward. You can use S-Log2 in a picture profile to allow you to view the cameras full range, but the image will be very flat. Or you can use any of the other gammas (or a full blown picture profile) as a kind of fake Look Up Table to approximate various final looks. This all come out on the HDMI out and has no effect on the raw recording. At the same time you also get an additional HDSDI output on the AUX out of the R5, this is always S-Log2.
So here’s the clip. I’ll write more about working with raw and the FS700 after IBC when I’ve been able to get the latest news on the Convergent Design Odyssey, the other way to record 2K raw and 4K compressed from the FS700.
Select “Original” under the quality setting to see the clip in 4K.