Want to learn more about the FS5?

Want to know more about the FS5? check out my 2 hour seminar held at Vocas in the Netherlands. Primarily about the FS5 but from about 1 hour in I go into a lot of detail about gamma curves, log and exposure in general.

79 thoughts on “Want to learn more about the FS5?”

    1. No, you don’t loose any dynamic range. What you do is shift the dynamic range, so you will have a bit more shadow range and a bit less highlight range. But these cameras have so much over exposure range that loosing a bit off the top is rarely a problem and the gains in the shadows make the footage easier to grade.

  1. Thank you Alister for the great explanation of the log curves and the FS5! You really game me food for thought about when to use them. I am currently a GH4 shooter experimenting with VLog, so I will have to look up their curves. No wonder the night footage I tested was so noisy!

    How is the FS5 in lower light situations with the correct profile being used? I am really contemplating order one of these cameras. I think the FS7 would irritate me with the slow menus, and perhaps be a bit to large for what I am working on at the moment. I do find it strange that the sensor on the FS5 only outputs 8 bit on an external recorder at UHD.

    So I take it Resolve would also be better than Avid Media Composer Symphony for color grading because of the process limitations you speak of? I cannot find the exact answer, but I have a feeling Avid is only 32bit with dedicated hardware.

    1. I suspect the FS5 is using the same processing as the A7 cameras which is where the 8 bit limitation comes from. With the right gamma curve the FS5 performs very well in low light.

  2. It’s a great seminar. I got everything that I wanted to know about this camera and more. Thank you! FS5 seems a perfect companion for me! Great explanation with “compressed” piece of paper!

    Although, only thing that that confused me is future raw update. I already commented about it in your forum, but I thought camera can output only HD raw. In the begging of video you said it will output 4K raw. Sony representatives tell that raw will be though 3G/HD SDI. But how it’s possible to output 4K raw though HD SDI? Or 4k raw will be via HDMI or some sort of other accessories?

    1. The raw output will be exactly the same as the FS7 and FS700 which output 4K raw over a single SDI. Raw needs 1/3 less bandwidth than RGB or YUV video which is why 4K can be sent over a single HDSDI and don’t forget that it is possible to send a lot more data than 1.5Gb/s over a BNC cable.

      1. Thank you! It’s great news for me that this small camera at some point can produce similar quality as FS7 and F5! Of course with external recorder and batteries it will loose its main advantage: mobility, but for some certain projects, like short films, having inexpensive camera that can shoot 4K raw is great.

      2. With the RAW output of the FS700 I can record 4k 422HQ on my Shogun, and do the same with 2k.
        When you say the RAW output of the FS5 will be the same will I also be able to record the RAW in Slog2 Pro Res HQ on the Shogun?

  3. Hi Alister,
    One of the most objective gear reviews out there and useful to boot!
    I’d like to pick up on your grading comments though. Of course a dedicated grading tool is preferable ,, however, have you ever compared your graded clips in resolve to those round tripped back to your nle timeline, like for like? I find that there is a difference between the two. I favour FCPX but I’ve seen the same difference in Premier. It leads to ask ‘why prat around with the export import export import faff’, when there the results aren’t maintained through re-exporting the xml files.
    Have you, or others found this?

  4. Hi Alister

    This presentation was invaluable learning for me. Thank you so much!

    I was wondering what computer/hardware setup you are using when editing 4K Raw footage shot on location? And roughly what is the workflow you are using (as I wouldn’t have thought a laptop would be able to handle that level of data)?

    Thanks again,


      1. On the point of editing with XAVC-L, is there any loss if you transcode the footage to a more usable codec like ProRes first?


  5. Thanks for this Alister… lots of really useful information.
    I’m interested in getting better results from using Resolve for colouring / grading, you mention a six hour tutorial from DaVinci which I can’t seem to find, can you point me in the right direction?

    1. I was referring to the tutorial that used to be included in the download package. It looks like since the release of V12 they re no longer including the tutorial which is a great shame.

  6. I’ve seen your seminar several times and it’s really helpfull for understanding the steps, the dynamic range and when to use different gammas or curves. Thank you so much for a great seminar!

    I just have one question. Around 2:03:50 you mention there’s a 6h tutorial for Davinci Resolve. I just can’t seem to find it. We’ve upgraded from ’11 to ’12 Studio edition. But I keep searching for it without any luck…

    Thank you for a great seminar.
    Best regards – Daniel

    1. I was referring to the tutorial that used to be included in the download package. It looks like since the release of V12 they re no longer including the tutorial which is a great shame.

      1. Oh I see… I’ll see if I can get my hands on it someplace. Thank you for a quick reply and as said before, great work!

  7. Hi Alister – this was such an informative lecture, thank you! After some follow up diligence, I am now very seriously considering getting the FS5 for topside work.

    One question regarding the XAVC-L codec and the associated processing power required…wouldn’t transcoding to prores or another ‘easier to digest’ codec before sitting down to edit solve much of the issue? Or am I missing something?


      1. Understood – is because there is a potential loss of quality / usable information when moving across codecs? Or is it the inconvenience of waiting for data to transcode?

        Thanks again!

  8. quick question.. for the hyper gamma ,s you say under expose a bit.. you also say they are log gamma lite.. or words to that effect.. so why is it better to over expose Slog.. for better SNR.. but do the opposite for Hypergamma,s.. under expose..HG which are also about 10-12 stop range.. and sort of flat.. ?

    Great lecture !

    1. S-log and hypergammas are very different. Log records each stop above middle grey with the same amount of data, Hypergammas record the highlight range above around 65% reflectance with ever decreasing amounts of data. So Log will stand a controlled amount of over exposure while hypergamma will degrade if over exposed. Hypergammas are only flat if you over expose them and most people are not aware that the correct exposure for Hypergammas is considerably darker than regular gamma.

      1. Thx Alister.
        To rephrase my question from a different angle, if I am shooting with the FS5 for a project that will be delivered in 1080p, would you recommend shooting in HD mode to take advantage of the 10bit color? Or would you rather shoot in UHD 4K 8bit and down-convert in post?
        Do you feel more comfortable in using S-log3 under UHD 8bit mode if you know the footage will be down-converted to HD?

        I am asking this because I’d really love to have the FS5 match the FS7 as much as possible to save trouble in post, and I know I am usually shooting for HD delivery.

  9. Thanks so much for the review of FS5 – Brilliant.
    Got a few questions:
    I’m an A7s2 owner, and use autofocus, and love the possibility to move the flexible spot for focusing, while recording. Can you do that on FS5, and do it with the joystick?
    The subject with missing lookup tables for slog 2/3 in FS5 – Would working with Atomos or smallHD 502, solve the problem? cause they have it build in, them self?
    Would it be a possibility with 4K 10 bit 4:2:2 in a future firmware update? or is I just not possible with that hardware?

    1. Have looked further into your review, and found that 4K 10 bit 4:2:2, only come with XAVC I, so the question should rather be, will FS5 ever be able to record in that codec?

    2. 1 Auto focus center is fixed.
      2 Atomos or any other monitor with LUT capability would get around the lack of LUT’s.
      3 No, too much data for SD cards.

  10. Thank you for the above content Alister, very helpful. I was wondering if you could expand on the FS5 wifi capabilities. Is it possible to view a live image from the camera on an iOS device adhoc/without going via the internet? Regards, Jon

  11. Thank you so much for this video! I love that you can record a football match onto an external recorder and capture the precise moment of the goals in slow motion internally. Is it possible to shoot a match in normal fps onto one SD card and then record burst slow motion onto the second? All I have is an Atomos Ninja Star, and I don’t think I can shoot uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2 via the HDMI output.

      1. Thank you for your clarification. You’ve been the most helpful source on this great little camcorder thus far!

  12. I am seriously thinking about the fs5. But as a run and gunner I note the camera has no in-camera stabilization. But as I research this I find that lenses that connect electronically to the fs5 that do have some form of in-lens stabilization are few and far between, and most I’ve found are not of the highest quality.
    Not to have good lenses with effective IOS for a run and gun camera seems to be crazy. After all, even the FS700, which is far from a run and gun cam, has internal stabilization.
    Can you give me some insight into this? Are there good solutions to this perceive dilemma? I hope so.
    kindest regards,tom ridenour

    1. It’s really no different to the FS700. Any Canon lens with IS will work with the FS5 via a low cost adapter. The majority of the Sony zoom lenses have IS.

      The FS700’s internal IS only works when you have a Sony optically stabilised lens and it’s the same with the FS5. Optical IS with non Sony lenses and Optical + Electronic IS with Sony stabilised lenses.

      1. Thank you for the quick reply. My guess is that would also be the same for Minolta A mounts with a LA-EA 4 adapter, or Tamron EF mount lenses and Sigmas as well—but as i recall only a hand full of them have IS…maybe not even a hand full.

  13. Hi Alister

    Ive seen on cinema5d, that to get RAW we will need to add the sony unit onto the FS-5 similar to the FS-7 ?

    Will it be likely we will get exactly same outputs as FS700 e.g. 4k 50fps and conti 200fps ? when using external recorders like the 7Q ?

    Also is it currently 4k 10-bit 4;2;2 over HDMI ?


    1. There is so much incorrect information floating around right now.

      Nobody outside of Sony knows for sure how the raw option will be implemented. My guess would be that it will be exactly the same as the FS700 as the FS5 appears to share a lot of the FS700’s image processing.

      The 4K is 8bit 422 over HDMI.

  14. Thank you Alister for this great seminar. You explain this topic better than anyone else.

    In the video, you have raised one point that has gotten me thinking a lot in the past few days. You said S-Log3 isn’t the one-size-fit-all solution for any condition, and you don’t recommend it for low light. Are you referring to S-Log3 in 8-bit recording only? How about the FS7 with its 4K 10-bit recording? Would you set your FS7 to S-Log3 for all shooting conditions?

    My second question is: How about shooting 4K 4:2:0 8-bit for HD delivery? There are theories out there with math to prove that 4K 4:2:0 8-bit signal can be downconverted to produce 2K or 1080 4:4:4 10-bit. So in the case of FS5, if we know the final delivery is 1080 HD, would you recommend using S-Log3 for low light and treat it just like a FS7? Or would you rather recommend shooting in 1080 4:2:2 10bit for HD delivery?

    If it is recommended to use S-Log2 as the default gamma for the FS5 (with occasional CINE-gamma for low light), all of a sudden the FS5 isn’t such a close younger brother to the FS7 anymore. Imagine a shoot where we need to intercut the FS7 with a FS5, and we need to match footages shot at three different gamma settings. Do you have a solution to match them seamlessly and quickly in Davinci Resolve? How about converting everything to 709-TypeA with various LUTs, or plug-ins like FilmConvert?

    Thanks a lot Alister. I really appreciate your time and effort in sharing your knowledge with all of us.

    Jack Lam

    1. S-log is often pointless in low light as you are allocating much less data per stop than a conventional gamma curve. So if you don’t have enough light to fully expose the log curve you are wasting a lot of very valuable recording data. The same applies to the FS7 and FS5, but it’s particularly important with the FS5 in 4K where you only have a maximum of 235 shades due to the 8 bit recording.

      1. Thx Alister.
        To rephrase my question from a different angle, if I am shooting with the FS5 for a project that will be delivered in 1080p, would you recommend shooting in HD mode to take advantage of the 10bit color? Or would you rather shoot in UHD 4K 8bit and down-convert in post?
        Do you feel more comfortable in using S-log3 under UHD 8bit mode if you know the footage will be down-converted to HD?

        I am asking this because I’d really love to have the FS5 match the FS7 as much as possible to save trouble in post, and I know I am usually shooting for HD delivery.

        1. 8 bit can never become 10 bit despite what some people may say, so 10 bit brings some advantages, but 8 bit is still quite useable. I would never choose to use Slog3 with 8 bit.

    2. Well you can always use SLog2 on the FS7 to match them. If I was shooting HD which is 10bit I would use SLog3.

  15. HI Alliser,

    I’m interesred in getting the Fs5 as a b-cam to my FS 7 for gimbal use. What profile on the FS5 would match the Hypegammas on the FS7. I like Hg7 or HG8 for the indoor stuff I do.

    I always though I ‘d just shoot Slog and ad the LC709a LUT, but after your seminar its seems this is a bad Idea.

    Is there a way to burn in the LC709a LUT on the FS5?

    Thanks for all you help! David

    1. The FS5 does not have any LUT’s, nor does it have hypergammas. The FS5 Cinegammas are a close match to the FS7’s hypergammas. You can use log and get a great result, you just have to get the exposure right at about +1.5 stops which puts white at about 70%.

  16. Hi Alistair.
    Really enjoyed your presentation which was very informative. Correct me if I am wrong but I think at one point you said the FS5 was ok for shooting 4K TV productions.
    I’ve checked the EBU R118 doc and it says UHD cameras have to be 200 Mbits or higher and 10 bit. What is your understanding of how the FS5 fits the 4K TV camera tiering requirements.

  17. Hey Alister,

    Great tutorial with tons of info that gave me, a log rookie, a big time education. Thanks.

    A few points for clarification if you will:

    If I shoot slog3 on the fs5, does the 709(800) assist in the lcd affect my zebras?
    do I still expose the whites at 70% as I see them in the lcd with 709 assist?

    Does the SDI output show me log or the 709 assist?

    You mentioned losing the SDI output during 4K recording but do you also lose it during HD record?

    thanks again!

    1. The FS5 zebras always measure the recorded levels, even when the gamma assist is switched on, so yes if you put white at 70% you will be about 1.5 stops over (good), gamma assist on or off.

      You only loose the video output when recording 4K.

  18. Hi Alister!
    I would like to come back on the wifi and the Content Browser Mobile.
    I tried this function durning the Satis in Paris with my android mobile.
    When it is activated the image on the lcd disappear. This means that you can only control the camera throught the telephone? Very helpful if the camera is on a drone.
    But…I would love to have the possibility to shoot with the camera and at the same time send the live view to my director by wifi (and eventually also to the sound engineer and the script supervisor with their own devices). This seems not possible right? The connection is only with one device? Maybe in a future firmware?
    The only possibility I can imagine now is that I use an external monitor on the camera to see the image, connect the camera to the director device (only) and the director will hit start/stop the caméra, right?
    Many thanks

    1. I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for you on this. The camera has limited video output and processing capabilities. Perhaps the version 1.1 firmware will also address this.

  19. Firmware V1.1 has been said that it will return monitoring to the camera while recording internal 4K (QFHD).
    From the info thats available, monitoring will work for V1.1, but in order to do it (while recording 4K internally), the screen on the camera will no longer work. Its one or the other.
    Is that correct?

    I’ve read that the FS5 will never be able to record 4K internally, output to a monitor, and it’s own screen display… Hopefully not true??
    4K internal, still use the screen, and output HD somewhere?

    Could it record 4K internally, output to a monitor, and use the streaming capabilities to view on another screen?
    I know you may not have all those answers, thanks for everything!

    1. I don’t know where the rumour that the LCD will be disabled has come from. To my knowledge this is not the case. What you can’t have with the FS5 is both the LCD and the EVF at the same time.

      1. Here it is from the horses mouth!

        So sorry for the delay, i have been advised the following

        Due to system limitations, there is only the possibility during 4k recording, to have 2 video streams that can be used.

        So currently, for X70, it is configured to be used for LCD or Viewfinder and internal 4k recording.

        For PXW-FS5 it was the same case. But as we received many complaints, Japan has released a firmware update for the FS5. So now you can choose,
        either to use the LCD or Viewfinder + internal 4k recording, or internal recording + SDI (Full HD only) or HDMI (QFHD) for using an external monitor or recorder.

        For PXW-Z150 this function is implemented from the beginning.
        As we have given feedback and requested this for the X70 as well, we now announced at NAB, that we will get this feature with the forthcoming firmware update in July for the PXW-X70.
        Please find details here:

        PXW-X70 Firmware V3.0
        Upgrade will be available from July 2016

        New Features & Improvements:
        ? Support for XAVC QFHD 4K 100Mbps (3840×2160) at 30p/25p/24p, plus MPEG HD422 50Mbps (1920×1080) at 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p and (1280×720) at 60p/50p.*
        * For XAVC QFHD 4K recordings, the PXW-X70 also requires the paid-for upgrade CBKZ-X70FX software key.
        ? Support for MPEG HD422 50Mbps (1920×1080) at 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p and (1280×720) at 60p/50p, as well as MPEG HD420 35Mbps (1920×1080) at 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p, (1440×1080) at 60i/50i and (1280×720) at 60p/50p.**
        ** For MPEG HD recordings, the PXW-X70 also requires the paid-for upgrade CBKZ-SLMP software key [expected availability from July 2016].
        ? Support for high quality QoS Streaming to PWS-100RX1.
        ? Support for Ustream® direct streaming in real time. Two resolution modes are available: 1280×720 at 29.97p, 25p, 23.98p, or 640×360 at 29.97p, 25p, 23.98p.
        ? HDMI/SDI/composite output selection during QFHD recording.
        ? XAVC Salvage ? XAVC file protection with salvage recording function in case of accidental power loss.

        Hope this helps

        Thank you

        Kind regards

        Lucy Young
        Service Support Co-ordinator
        SOS European Central Helpdesk
        Fax:+441256 683830

  20. XAVC intra is 98 Mbps at 1080p23.98, and within the limits of SD card speeds. But the FS5 doesn’t support it.

    Do you think this is a potential downside to the fs5?

    1. The FS5 only has the XAVC-L codec. 50Mb/s XAVC-L is as good as, if not better than 100Mb/s XAVC-I in the majority of shots as the L version of the codec is typically 2 to 3 times more efficient. The only down side is you need more processing power, but HD XAVC-L should be manageable on most computers.

  21. Alister, can you tell, how the cine gamma curves on the FS5 match with with Hypergammas on the FS7? Unfortunately I cannot find a description of the Cine gammas on the FS5 in the style the Hypergammas on FS7 are “coded”. My main interest is to match the FS5 to the HG7 on the FS7.

    Thank you and best regards

  22. Dear Alister

    Fist I wanted to thank you for this very informative two and a half hour! You helped me a lot to get along with my new FS5! I’m really grateful for your work!!!

    I got a problem regarding the workflow with da vinci resolve: I wanted to import some S-Log 3 Files in resolve to grade them. The import is no big thing, but the files are broken. Resolve let me play the clips, but they are first half green in the browser, and when I play them in the media pool they turn half grey.

    I Recorder xavc HD 1080/50i and got mxf clips. there is no problem with the files when I play them in premiere. but as soon as I want to grade them in resolve the are broken, either if I import the premiere timeline as XML or import the clips directly.

    Could you tell me what I am doing wrong?

    I wish you all the best for 2016!

  23. I hired an FS5 over the weekend to see if it was a camera that would be worth buying. Mainly shoot industrial stuff, interviews etc. I thought the image quality was really very good – even excellent! 240fps slo mo was amazing. Comments to all above re artefacts… all my images were pin sharp and very clean… the image was very, very marginally cleaner in 4K – but the 1080p was so close you would have a job to tell the difference – the 1080p was much faster obviously in edit. One issue I had though that I can’t find comment on. I went out on Day one and my clips were all named 0001mxf, 0002mxf etc. On day two I went out with the card reformatted and the clips came back the same 001mxf, 002mxf2 etc. So pulling Day two files into FCPX I noticed that some files were overwriting without warning! I thought surely this cannot be right – but a quick ‘google’ and I found plenty of other users with this issue. Is this right or is there a fix – or am I missing a trick because this is a bit of a deal breaker? Thanks.

    1. This is a known “feature” of the FS5 and many of the other cameras that use the same encoding chip set. File numbers will start from 1 on new cards. There are many cameras from many manufactures that do the same.

      I agree that this is not ideal.

      But the real problem is with software that overwrites files without warning, this should absolutely NOT happen. No software should ever overwrite another file, same file name or not, without a warning and there will be many, many instances where you can have the same file names, for example any AVCHD files, not just from Sony camcorders. So this is really an FCPX issue.

      1. Ha Ha! I like that – a feature!

        I am desperately trying to buy a 4K video camera coming from DSLR – so far none of the cameras I have tried/hired have had this file numbering issue actually.

        Certainly my Canon 5D and GH4 are fine. the Sony X70 I had to return as it did not monitor out in 4K… the JVC LS300 was an interesting camera – great image but no OIS only with a handful of cheap kit lenses. I am not even bothering with the Ursa Mini as you can’t get them – and they have no ND filters. Tried the Panasonic DVX200… not a great image in my opinion and very cheap build quality – something you may win in a Christmas Cracker… So I arrived at the FS5 as pretty much the last camera standing. Loved it – really great hand held – great image – great Slo Mo – great build – all the buttons just where you want them…. but this really annoying file naming procedure. As the X70 does not label files like this and I gather nor does the FS7 why on earth is the FS5 brought down with crazy feature? I have been looking at cameras between £2K and £5K – any suggestions welcome! Thanks

        1. The PXW-X70 has exactly the same clip naming system as the FS5. If you format a card in camera, numbering will start again at 0001. This is because formatting the card removes the XML file that contains the clip numbering information, so the camera does not know where to start. You should manage your media using Catalyst Browse.

          So when you copy your media from your card to a hard drive do it via Catalyst Browse and copy all the files into the same destination folder. Catalyst Browse will ensure your file structure is correct, it will check for media errors before the card is offloaded and warn you if there are any problems (and in most cases allow you to repair most common media errors). If it comes accross duplicate file names it will append a “-1” or “-2” to the file name during the copy process thus eliminating the duplicate name problem.

          Copying via Catalyst takes no longer than via the file browser or explorer and it is more secure. Finally delete the clips off the card using Browse if you wish the next clip number to start where you left off.

    1. Alister, Do you think there is any chance Sony will provide “offset” gamma display assists in a future upgrade to help with overexposing Slog, i.e. a gamma assist that is -1.5 stops so that Slog that is overexposed 1.5 stops will appear in the viewfinder reasonably similar to the Slog pulled down 1.5 stops in post? It would be nice to be able to overexpose and not be watching the overexposed image, given that the FS5 does not have Cine EI.

  24. Thanks Alister; you’re 2 1/2 hours in Netherlands was a real eye opener. I have the A7Sii (which I really like a lot) and am looking at buying the FS5 before the year is over. Have you had a chance to use the announced E PZ 18-110mm f/4 lens? I realize it will shoot a cropped image on the A7S but looks like a pretty sweet (if expensive) run and gun lens for the FS5. Any thoughts?

    1. I have not had a chance beyond playing at various trade shows to use it in anger. It should be a great lens, but yes you are right you will need to use crop mode on the A7. However for video this is not a huge disadvantage and the ability to crash zoom etc should make this a good combo.

  25. Hi Alister, thanks so much for doing this seminar (2 years ago I know I’m late here but I’ve just bought an FS5) In the video you mention 235 steps in 8 bit, is it possible to explain this as I thought 8 bit would give 255 steps? Thanks for all your work I’ll be spending a lot of time on your site now that I’ve upgraded to this camera 🙂

    1. With S-Log2 the bottom 16 code values are reserved for sync so black is at code value 16 and the S-Log2 peaks at code value 250. With standard video black is still CV16 and white is normally CV235 with CV235-255 used for super whites.

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