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Upgrading the Sony PMW-F3, to a F5 or FS7?

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    F5: Upgrading the Sony PMW-F3, to a F5 or FS7?

    Have had the F3 for over 5yrs, and am toying now with the thought of upgrading it to my next "five year camera".

    Part of me would like to go to the F5, as the natural progression from the F3, especially as both the F5 and FS7 go for fairly similar prices secondhand so it wouldn't cost me much extra to get an F5 instead of a FS7.

    What would be the downsides to choosing the F5 over the FS7? I'm mindful of the fact that the FS7 is by far and by the most popular camera in the low/mid end for shoots, and often gets requested by name. Having an F5 instead of the FS7 wouldn't hold me back? (yes, I can say "they look the same" to the producers/directors, but "explaining is losing" as the political saying goes)
    Am a Sound Recordist in New Zealand: http://ironfilm.co.nz/sound/
    Follow my vlog and adventures in sound: https://www.youtube.com/c/SoundSpeeding

    #2
    As far as the market, really depends on what's going on in NZ.

    FS7 might be popular in some places, but in other places it's latest and greatest only. No FS7s.

    And others...doesn't matter; use whatever you want.

    ___

    But as far as the purchase, do you really want to sink your money into such old hardware regardless of how good the deal is with so many better options for a bit more?

    Comment


      #3
      Everyone who requests an FS7 (which, frankly, seems to be about 95% of all low-mid end corporate jobs down under), is totally happy to have the F5 instead (as it's the same image in a higher-end body).

      I'd highly recommend the F5 over the FS7 for a couple of big reasons.

      - Timecode Input
      - Quick Menus
      - FZ Mount
      - V-mount plate

      It's just an easier camera to use, which is a big deal for the day to day.

      Plus, add an R5 recorder, and you can have seamless, 16-bit raw internal recording for any gig where you want maximum image quality.
      DREAMSMITHS | SHOWREEL | INSTAGRAM
      www.dreamsmiths.com.au

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        #4
        I'd look for an F55 over the F5. They sometimes pop-up as cheap as F5's(occasionally cheaper).

        Advantages over the F5:
        GLOBAL Shutter
        Better CFA
        Wider Color Gamut
        Looks better(but actually makes it harder to play well with F5 and Fs7, because the image does look better)
        Higher 4K frame rates on R7
        Higher-end camera with higher-end reputation

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by NorBro View Post
          As far as the market, really depends on what's going on in NZ.

          FS7 might be popular in some places, but in other places it's latest and greatest only. No FS7s.
          My experience is that on the higher end then easily the most common is the Arri Alexa Mini (or to a lesser extent, AMIRA/XT/LF/etc), the for the mid / low end it is easily the FS7 (or to a lesser extent F5/FS5). Just those two camera families alone probably account for around half the shoots I'm on? Maybe, feels like it! And then a mix of other Panavision/RED/BMD/Canon/etc models fill in the remainder of the shoots.

          Originally posted by NorBro View Post
          But as far as the purchase, do you really want to sink your money into such old hardware regardless of how good the deal is with so many better options for a bit more?
          If the camera lasts me five years (and I reckon a FS7/F5 does have five years left in them, for the level of work I do now and then) then the cost on a "per year basis" isn't really that much at all.

          And what options are there that are much better?
          An URSA Mini Pro? That's "different", not better.
          Panasonic EVA1? Ditto.
          Panasonic Varicam LT / ARRI Alexa Classic / Sony FX6 / etc.... they'd all be absolutely lovely, but the total cost might be even nearly double as much? Now it's becoming serious money, that's a stretch too far for me. (plus Varicam / Alexa each cross the line for me in terms of becoming "too big")
          Am a Sound Recordist in New Zealand: http://ironfilm.co.nz/sound/
          Follow my vlog and adventures in sound: https://www.youtube.com/c/SoundSpeeding

          Comment


            #6
            I got an FS7 early this year because they're still in demand. $2900 used thanks to the FX9 release. I don't know what the used prices are on the f5 or f55, but the FS7 is a better value than ever

            I'd like to say get an FX6 because it's better. But people dont know the FX6 yet and the codecs are the same
            www.AbeFilms.com

            All men are brothers

            Comment


              #7
              How much do you want to spend is the first question. If you can afford the FX9 is great. Otherwise unless you need a small camera I'd get an FS7 or FS7II which would be a more typical replacement for the F3.

              Comment


                #8
                Well "better" might be "different".

                After thinking about it more...

                I guess if you're interested in the F5, you probably don't care about higher resolutions, AF, IBIS, the latest color science, internal RAW and/or about 20 other hype or not-hype features (depending on your mindset)...

                ...and...

                Based on your posts from the last few years you appear to really dislike Canon for whatever reason - and you're probably not interested in a mirrorless camera - and you're not looking to spend much...so maybe a used F5 or FS7 is at the top of the list just by default.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I was googling the R7 to see how it differed from the R5, but google also showed me this, $5K+ for a F55?

                  https://www.mpb.com/en-us/used-equip...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by James0b57 View Post
                    I was googling the R7 to see how it differed from the R5, but google also showed me this, $5K+ for a F55?

                    https://www.mpb.com/en-us/used-equip...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
                    Yup! That pricing doesn't even surprise me. Been seeing that kind of pricing before for the F55 this year. Jump on eBay, you can see not one but two right now that are cheaper (ok, only by fifty bucks) than the one you linked to! And they've sold for even cheaper in the past.

                    Here is a F5 for a whisker under $4K:
                    https://www.mpb.com/en-us/used-equip...it/sku-974486/

                    Originally posted by NorBro View Post
                    Based on your posts from the last few years you appear to really dislike Canon for whatever reason - and you're probably not interested in a mirrorless camera - and you're not looking to spend much...so maybe a used F5 or FS7 is at the top of the list just by default.
                    Am not anti-Canon, I just think they're overpriced / underdeliver.
                    If a C300mk2 could be found cheaper than a FS7 (or a C200 priced the same as a FS5) then Canon would be back in the running again.
                    A year or two ago I was even seriously considering hunting down a cheap C500mk1, but the fan noise in 4K put me off from buying it. (being a sound mixer, I want my camera to be quiet!)
                    Am a Sound Recordist in New Zealand: http://ironfilm.co.nz/sound/
                    Follow my vlog and adventures in sound: https://www.youtube.com/c/SoundSpeeding

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by IronFilm View Post
                      Yup! That pricing doesn't even surprise me. Been seeing that kind of pricing before for the F55 this year. Jump on eBay, you can see not one but two right now that are cheaper (ok, only by fifty bucks) than the one you linked to! And they've sold for even cheaper in the past.
                      Nice! I hadn't looked at used camera prices since last year. (other than the F35, which I always keep an eye on.)

                      Despite its age, the F55 seems to have kept pacing with its value. Having offered a fairly good ROI its whole life span (for the right buyers, as I don't think it had much appeal outside of TV)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If you consider either F5 or FS7 I'd say go for the FS7 100% Especially now when users are dumping their FS7 in order to purchase FX9 or FX6. I picked up another FS7 dirt cheap barely used with a lot of additional stuff so there's great deals to be done.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Seeing that the F5 and FS7 run virtually identical internal hardware at the front end, the same sensor and processing you'll find very little difference in the images from the two of them. I find if you are working one out and shooting with the internal codecs, no external recorder, etc the FS7 is hard to beat for the solo op. I've used both and bought the FS7 because of the following pluses that worked for me.

                          1) FS7 comes with 4K/UHD standard. 4K/UHD was a later paid option for the F5. Though there seems to be a few second hand F5's around with the 4k upgrade.
                          2) Lens options. The FS7 uses the E-Mount. Whilst not the greatest mount in the world it opens up the whole world of E-Mount lenses from Sony and various third-party manufactures. The F5's FZ mount cannot be adapted for E-Mount. Although both cameras can use PL and other types of lens mounts with adapters. At least with the FS7 you have access to a reasonably priced Sony 18-110mm S35 servo zoom if you need a zoom. Which I did. A zoom that has virtually nil distortion or CA. Also if you ever want AF and stabilization it's available on the 18-110mm along with many of the other Sony lenses.
                          3) FS7 uses cheaper XQD cards for media. (You may have SxS cards from your F3 but unless they are the later faster cards they won't handle some of the 4K framerates on the F5)
                          4) FS7 uses cheaper smaller lighter BPU batteries. Easier to work and travel with.
                          5) FS7 can use Sony's hot-shoe wireless mics or dual XLR adapter to give you extras soundtracks to work with.
                          6) Over the years the ubiquitous old FS7 has become very much of an all-around workhorse, a bit like the Betacams were for many of us a number of years back. I've not had anyone amongst my broadcast, corporate, and doco clients knock back an FS7... well not yet so far
                          7) The FS7 return on investment over a number of years is generally very good.
                          8) Reliability? Hundreds of hours here locally and around the world and the FS7 has never let me down. Just make sure it has the latest firmware to get the best out of one.

                          The Negatives?
                          1) Shocking VF mount. Easily fixed with a VOCAS NATO rail mount. Been bulletproof for years now. Heaps of well-priced after-market "rigging" available for this camera. Not the best Loupe but a Zacuto one can help out there.
                          2) Sony colors? This is a subjective one. The stock look smacks of the turn of the century ENG 'look.' All easily sorted when shooting LOG by using transforms or LUTs or a combination of both in post. Also with some careful tuning in Custom mode you can create a very pleasant stock 709 "out of camera look" for a quick turnaround or live broadcast.

                          I now know a number of guys who sold their FS7s and some who wished they hadn't. And one who actually went out and bought another one when he realized what a decent job his had done for him. The "extrashot" guys, https://www.youtube.com/extrashot did a good comparison some years ago back in 2014 between the F5 and FS7 and it was clip that made me look at the FS7 as I moved away from three-chip ENG cams.

                          Chris Young

                          Last edited by cyvideo; 12-06-2020, 01:54 AM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Once upon a time I worked on a show that demanded multiple cameras jam synched.. and also gave us CN7 lenses. ($15000)

                            We were shooting FS7 . We had to add the extension back for the TC and rods to support the lens (and a wieird E-PL adapter), we also need some gubbins to get power into the zoom.

                            We had so many accesories I didnt have a enough ptap so I had to use Ptap and an external BPU.

                            The camera was 3foot long and literally felt like it was about to snap - the body was so overloaded.

                            Clearly we should have been using the 5/55.

                            --

                            The FS7 take a speed booster which with a 24-105 gives you a reasonable lens variable zoom lense for under $1000.

                            The F5/55 doesnt take a booster and makes poor use of $1000 lenses.
                            not to mention the earphone socket is wrong and the XLRs poke out

                            For light setups the FS7 is better

                            --

                            If I were dabbling in some low budget feature I think the F55 and raw could be an amazing option for the money.

                            --

                            We have not mentioned OXCN codec.. my fluffy memory says that might have been a FW upgrade to the 5/55 and might be a really good thing.. the FS7 codec is a bit thin (yes the 400mbs 4k is thin compared I guess with a C200 raw or shuchlike)

                            --

                            Of course the FX6 is coming.. AF with an 80-200 on a walker could be amazing better than holywoods best a/c. Its small light and gimbal happy, a 24-105 af is cheap. AF means you dont have to pay big $$ to get a lens that feels nice to focus. Small batteries, probably very popular soon and only a couple of G or less more expensive than the 7/5/55 used. Maybe less. Does it even have raw out?

                            Here you can see that you will understand the correct camera for you - because it depends on the use case.
                            Last edited by morgan_moore; 12-06-2020, 03:19 AM.
                            http://www.sammorganmoore.com View my feature Film

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                              #15
                              My personal opinion as an FS7 owner is that the only camera of interest now is the FX6 to ge AF.

                              AF is (or could be) amazing - not because I cant focus, but to focus on a gimbal you need an a/c, a functioning wirless setup more monitors etc etc - quite a production that is had to get paid for.

                              --

                              The agency I work with (not much onboard audio or long takes) mainly dont use my FS7.. but perfer thier own BM p4k (which has a thicker file)

                              I do get that for these short take, no audio jobs even the FS7 feels irrelevant.
                              Last edited by morgan_moore; 12-06-2020, 03:14 AM.
                              http://www.sammorganmoore.com View my feature Film

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