A couple weeks ago, I traveled to Las Vegas for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention. It’s held every April and all the major gear and software vendors (and countless smaller companies) show off the best of what they’ve got in the world of video and film production. And then on top of that there’s the educational elements, this year I took part in the “Post | Production World” (P|PW) set of sessions, and I also traveled out there with a good friend from school, Jared. It’s always interesting to get a different perspective on what we see at the show. As most of my experience is video production and most of his is audio, we look at different pieces of the convention through a different lens so to speak.
Of course I could go on forever about what I learned at any one year of the convention, but I'm going to try and keep as concise as possible and limit it to just this week and next week's posts. Lets see how well I do at that. This week I'm going to focus on the gear, next week I'll dig into some of the other stuff I learned out there.
The Sony FS5 is a camera I've had my eye on since they announced it. For the type of projects I generally gravitate to, its just about perfect (at least on paper), and as I've been saying for a while now - if I had a project that justified it, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Well, I haven't bought it, but a couple weeks ago we (TPC) rented a couple FS5s for a project we were shooting for Bloomberg. Of course I also took the time to learn the camera a little ahead of time and shot some test footage down in Galveston.
Disclaimer: these are my thoughts after having my hands on the camera for about 3 and a half days of shooting, and then quickly running my test footage through post. While it gave me a good idea of the camera's capabilities, its by no means completely comprehensive. I always tell anyone who asks, never just buy a camera you've never used - find an excuse to rent it for a few days and shoot some tests. LensProToGo has them available to rent at a great price.
That out of the way, here's what I've learned - we'll start with the how it performed in the setting we rented the cameras for, and move on to the fun stuff in a minute, so if you came here for slow-motion and beachfront off-roading, just scroll on down past the news gathering.
Thomas Meek is an independent filmmaker living and working in Houston, TX