Racing with planes – shot on Sony NEX-FS700

Here it is. In all it’s super slow motion glory. This movie got recorded a few hours after I got a pre production Sony NEX-FS700 camera. UPS should bring the camera until 12 o’clock so I thought I had some time to familiarize myself with the camera as I was scheduled to meet with the rider at 3p.m. But the camera was late. I had only one hour to go through some settings to prepare for the shoot. I checked the slow motion settings. Decided that shots over 200 fps (I shot in 50Hz mode) had visible artifacts and as I wanted full 1080p signal decided that I would not used upscaled resolution frame rates at all. I also checked picture profiles. I had a special one dialed in the camera from Frank Glencairn and that is the one I used.

For the most part handling the NEX-FS700 is the same as the FS100. I got quite used to that camera – if it had some quirks I didn’t notice them. You feel more secure with the new camera than the slightly plasticky FS100 – less afraid that something might happen to it as it is built more ruggedly. The new handle is well built and a great addition – now you can actually hold the camera properly with the handle and do some low angle shots. The camera also looks much better sealed so I wasn’t too afraid something would go wrong in all the dust that was floating around. All in all I like the ruggedness of the camera and it survived all my intensive stress tests over the weekend.

It was shot completely in 200fps, except a few shots (that is why it’s a bit long, but I wanted to show the footage so you’ll probably excuse me). Controlling the Super Slow Motion mode is a breeze. You have a button on the body which selects between regular frame rate, S&Q (slow and quick) from 1 to 50fps (or 60fps depends on the settings) – in same increments as FS100 (updated) and Super Slow Motion. I only shot at full 1080P resolution so I didn’t test beyond 240fps. Reduced resolution didn’t interest me. You can record 8 seconds at 240fps and 9.5 second at 200fps (at 50Hz setting) and you end up with 1 minute and 15 seconds of super slow motion footage. You can set the trigger to be at the start, middle or at the end of action. I choose end trigger as you can wait for action to happen. You don’t need to expect it. When triggered the camera starts to write from the buffer to the SD card and plays fact the footage at slow motion. This takes around 30 seconds (I never timed it so I don’t know exactly) during which time you cannot record more footage. You can check what you filmed though. I normally don’t like watching the footage in the middle of shoots as it wastes time, but it was nice to show the talent to see what they are doing and looking yourself in 8x slow motion is very interesting. You can of course also cancel the save operation if you feel that better action will happen and start again. If you cancel the operation the file ends where you pressed cancel and it doesn’t delete the whole file. The camera doesn’t record the sound in slow motion modes so I additionally recorded some footage at normal speeds.

I shot it with Nikon lenses. 80-200mm was supported with Zacuto lens support. I used shoot35 follow focus and SmallHD DP4 to help myself with focusing. The camera was rigged on Half Inch Rails S2 Run ‘n’ Gun rig on Manfrotto 540HD head.

Movie was edited and lightly color graded in Final Cut Studio X. I imported the footage and converted it to ProRes for easier workflow as my Mac is becoming a bit slow. Music was performed on GarageBand for iPad.

A big thanks to Klemen Jerala, Tjaša Kokalj, Dino Schreilechner and Blaž Novak for all the help.

Some of the shots were used in the official Sony NEX-FS700 film.

Photos: ©2012 Dino Schreilechner

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