But not just any C100 shooter. Slavik Boyechko is the co-owner of Video Dads, a two-person team with deep documentary experience — their work is lovely. And they’re not ditching just one C100 for the FS5 — they’re swapping out all three of them.
What makes it especially interesting is Slavik’s rationale:
1. The Canon C100 has better autofocus than the Sony PXW-FS5 XDCAM [B&H|Amazon] but only when using STM lenses [B&H|Amazon] – and he’s not thrilled with STM lenses. I understand his reservations about the STM lenses especially when it comes to speed and manual focusing, and his assertion about STM lenses with Canon’s autofocus align with comments Chuck Westfall shared with us at Canon Expo 2015 – see especially the video beginning at 21:16.
2. Slavik isn’t abandoning Canon glass [B&H|Amazon], but instead using the by-now-classic Metabones SpeedBooster [B&H|Amazon]. Since he’s chosen to return to manual focus in any case, he gets all of the benefit with none of the downside of the Metabones (poor autofocus, unless you’re using the Sony a7r II [B&H|Amazon] or Sony a7s II [B&H|Amazon] in which case they're even better than native Canon bodies with Canon glass.
3. The Sony FS5 has better color depth.
4. The Sony FS5 has a higher bit rate.
5. The Sony FS5 has a better and more flexible LCD and EVF combination.
6. The Sony FS5 is lighter.
7. The Sony FS5 is better in low light.
8. The Sony FS5 has better color indoors.
Your mileage may vary.
Slavik makes no mention of Sony’s menu system – the bane of many reviewers – and my personal experience with Sony’s menu system and grip (I’m just finishing up an in-depth review of their FS7) isn’t stellar.
But with all of this written, it’s clear that Sony continues its roll and Canon continues to become more vulnerable in what is likely its highest margin imaging product line.
We’re looking to going hands-on with the FS5 soon.
The Sony FS5: A C100 shooter’s verdict
For me, ergonomics and ease of use in a fast-paced professional doc environment are the biggest priority when I’m thinking about cameras, which is why I’ve used the C100 for a few years now (I have three of them). Small rigged-up Sony a7 cameras and the FS7 just haven’t done it for me, but a few hours with the FS5 and I’ve already decided to sell the Canons and move all our productions to it.
In HD, the FS5 has the C100 beat in just about every aspect, except autofocus. The AF on the Canon cinema cameras is really, really good, and on the Sony it’s just too slow and unpredictable to depend on. However, AF on Canons work best on the new fly-by-wire STM lenses, and to be honest those lenses are really not that great to use so you sacrifice a lot in order to get the best autofocus performance. Because the FS5 has only mediocre autofocus, it makes for an easy lens decision – leave the kit 18-105mm lens behind and use a Canon 24-105mm with an E-mount adapter. It feels good to get back to manual focus anyway.
Sony FS5 Autofocus Backyard Test
With a Metabones 0.7x Speedbooster, the Canon 24-105mm morphs into a 17-73mm (plus the crop factor), and in HD the FS5’s digital ‘Clear Image Zoom’ extends the long end 2x to 146mm. AND it becomes the equivalent brightness of a f/2.8 lens. So an affordable 17-146mm f/2.8 IS lens pretty much makes it a workhorse on the FS5.
Read full article at Newsshooter “The Sony FS5: A C100 shooter’s verdict”
(cover photo credit: snap from Newsshooter)
And always with the ambition of authenticity, humanity and wit.
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