Sony’s FS7 first was known as the FS700 mkII by the internet, but those rumours turned out to be false when it was revealed as a new camera altogether and more positioned as a little brother to the Sony F5. It’s rare that I get excited about a camera as most of them are so similar overall but the design form had me interested from the first leaked photos. While it isn’t a revolution, but it has done a very good job of liberating some of the best features of a lot of other cameras. Here’s what I like about it:
F5 sensor. Ok, it’s not the global shutter F55 sensor, but at this price point, I think we can’t complain.
Internal 4k. Technically, it’s internal UHD, but most people are going to call it 4k so I won’t nitpick.
High speed. 240fps at 1080 *MADE* the FS700. While the FS7 retains most of the high speed of the FS700 it also shoots 4k… er… UHD-60fps. That’s nice.
Viewfinder in the right place. Thank God Sony moved away from the rear LCD of the FS100/700. That was awful. This EVF is good enough for the price and allows some flexibility in positioning. Some people will complain, but at least we’re back in the right spot where you can operate it without a second monitor.
Ergonomics. Many cameras (looking at you Blackmagic) seem to be designed by someone who has never used one. In fact, I haven’t seen a camera with a layout I liked since the tape based JVC HD100. This style is a retro-leap for Sony, at least in this price range of camera, back to a pseudo-Super16-ish shoulder mount. For the most part, it works, depending on how tall you are. The control arm will feel too short for anyone over 6′ tall and you have to pull focus right beside your chin. If you got used to using the wacky ergonomics of a DSLR, you’ll get used to using this. At least you don’t have to build a shoulder rig just to hold it steady, though many people will prefer to use this with a rig, as with just the single handle, it will fall over if you try to sit it down with the arm out.
I can come up with a lot of little complaints, but I won’t as the reality is that this is probably the best camera on the market under $14,000… and it’s only $7,999. Given the specs and the price, I’d be very surprised if this didn’t turn into a legacy camera like the EX1.
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