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  1. #1
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    Default Investing in a new video camera

    I am planning to buy a new video camera for filming coaching videos (yes, this does mean what you think it means ).

    I have my eye on the Sony NEX-FS700RH. This is quite an expensive camera, and probably at the limit of what I'm prepared to spend.

    I am not planning to use the 4K feature, and I understand that this camera requires additional, expensive equipment to record in 4K.

    I know there are some serious camera buffs here, so I would appreciate feedback on this choice. I have two main questions:


    • Is the lens worth it?
    • Are there any other cameras I should consider?


    To elaborate about the lens: the 700RH is the model that comes with a lens included. This costs about £1000 more than the model without a lens. I do not have any lenses, so I would have to get something. Should I consider getting a different lens, or should I just get the standard one?

    As this is video work, I will want a zoom lens for convenience, although I do not expect to use it dynamically -- i.e. I expect to zoom in and out between shots, but not during a shot.

    Obviously there is no point buying an expensive camera and then using a cheap lens. But this is potentially an area where I might save money.

    What about other cameras? This camera stood out because of its slow-motion feature, and apparently it has a high image quality and good low-light performance. I will be filming on quite brightly lit badminton courts, but they are still badminton courts and not the same as sunlight.

    The court I plan to film on has LED lighting, so hopefully slow-motion shots will be free of light flicker.

    I will probably hire the camera for one day and test it before I buy it.
    Last edited by Gollum; 04-07-2015 at 12:44 PM.

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    Hefty investment. What are the advantages of that compared to a panasonic GH4?

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    Oh, I should mention that my current camera is a Panasonic TM700. I am hoping that this new camera would be a substantial upgrade in image quality, and in particular cut out the annoying "dancing pixel" grain, which is an artefact I get with the TM700 even in quite good light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    Hefty investment. What are the advantages of that compared to a panasonic GH4?
    I don't know, as that wasn't a camera I'd looked at. However, I will now take a look. Thanks.

    As a very quick initial reaction, I imagine the video image quality is better and the GH4 lacks the slow-mo. GH4 looks like a DSLR rather than a camera dedicated to video. But that is a very, very quick and under-informed reaction.

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    Don't worry too much about low light performance, as you can and should always use additional lighting by courtside.
    Last edited by visor; 04-07-2015 at 03:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    Don't worry too much about low light performance, as you can and should always use additional lighting by courtside.
    So far we haven't, which keeps things simpler. But maybe we should. Any particular recommendations? This is an area I haven't looked into much.

    After all, I just got a 3 metre microphone boom, so the inevitable kit increase has already started...

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    Not sure why slow motion is a feature you particularly value. It can be done through software.

    GH4 is favoured by many videographers hence the suggestion. I have not used one personally but apparently it's very cost effective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    Not sure why slow motion is a feature you particularly value. It can be done through software.
    Software interpolation is never as good as originally recorded 240 fps... which becomes 1/8th speed when played back at normal 30 fps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    So far we haven't, which keeps things simpler. But maybe we should. Any particular recommendations? This is an area I haven't looked into much.

    After all, I just got a 3 metre microphone boom, so the inevitable kit increase has already started...
    Probably easiest and cheapest is to attach an led video light panel onto the camera. These days led lights are quite cheap and energy efficient.
    Last edited by visor; 04-07-2015 at 08:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    Probably easiest and cheapest is to attach an led video light panel onto the camera. These days led lights are quite cheap and energy efficient.
    Thanks, we might look into that. Not sure how well it would light the whole court for demo shots though.


    Not sure why slow motion is a feature you particularly value. It can be done through software.
    As visor said, it's not the same.

    I've done slow motion through software, and even with the original footage at 50 fps (i.e. twice "normal"), it's nothing like high frame rate source footage. Even with Premiere Pro doing smart interpolation, you just get a blur with fast racket movements.

    I'm not sure how much of a gimmick it would be. I think it could be quite useful, in small doses, for badminton demos. But obviously you have to use it in small doses or it becomes irritating!

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    Having had a bit more of a look, I can say that the GH4 is a very good recommendation. I can see why people like it for the price.

    I still think I'm going to get the FS700, but...we'll see. The GH4 will be discussed first at any rate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    I am planning to buy a new video camera for filming coaching videos (yes, this does mean what you think it means ).
    Good! Looking forward to the videos!

    I know nothing about video cameras, I'm more into still photography so can't offer any advice. But was wondering if you have considered getting a used one to save a bit of cash for lenses/equipment etc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by R20190 View Post
    I know nothing about video cameras, I'm more into still photography so can't offer any advice. But was wondering if you have considered getting a used one to save a bit of cash for lenses/equipment etc?
    Yes absolutely, and good suggestion.

    We have had a quick look at second hand prices for the FS700, and perhaps surprisingly they don't seem that much different from new. This seems to be a camera that holds its value.

    We got a great deal on a massive, ex-BBC shotgun microphone though. My dad was in full bargain hunting mode for that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post


    As visor said, it's not the same.

    I've done slow motion through software, and even with the original footage at 50 fps (i.e. twice "normal"), it's nothing like high frame rate source footage. Even with Premiere Pro doing smart interpolation, you just get a blur with fast racket movements.

    I'm not sure how much of a gimmick it would be. I think it could be quite useful, in small doses, for badminton demos. But obviously you have to use it in small doses or it becomes irritating!
    OK. I could see its use in high speed shots with pros but with mere mortals....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    OK. I could see its use in high speed shots with pros but with mere mortals....
    I think it still might be useful. Not so much, "watch this amazing player in slow motion and be humbled by his brilliance". Rather, "see how the shot is actually hit; see the difference between two techniques".

    ...although I might rope in a pro on some occasions. May have to bribe him with cookies or something. We'll see.

    But it's one of those things we won't really know until we experiment with it. We're still very much learning how to do good video. This could end up being an expensive gimmick.

    I also may experiment with it as a coaching tool, although really an iPad is so much more practical for quick feedback.

    The other interesting thing about this camera is the potential upgrade to 10 bit 4K external recording with an Odyssey 7Q, which makes it a broadcast-quality camera:

    Quote Originally Posted by Philip Bloom
    So the ProRes HQ is just stunning, and it’s true 10 bit as it’s come from a 12 bit source NOT an 8 bit source. Also the downsampling to HD is so much better as you can see from the detail shots than what the Sony FS700 does internally. The difference is huge for both. Remember it can only do this as it can output a 4K 12 bit signal.
    I say potential upgrade because it's way over my budget right now.
    Last edited by Gollum; 04-08-2015 at 08:17 AM.

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