A Morning With the Girls, and the FS700

As a father of twin girls, I see a lot of “cute” things.  As a filmmaker, I wanted to document and show the world how adorable they are! And what better way to do it than in slow motion!

The FS700 has been a popular camera around the office these days. Most of us are intrigued with its high frame rate capabilities and it’s ability to allow us to produce slow motion video. While others are more interested in it’s image quality and high dynamic range. One evening I decided to bring it home to film the next morning with the girls.

I was very pleased with the camera overall, but there were a few features I did not find very effective. Here a few things to consider when shooting with the FS700:

High Frame Rate

– The slow motion function of this camera is impressive when recording full-1080p video at both 120/240fps. Once you reach speeds of 480 and above, your resolution drops to 720p. Because I wanted to see my beautiful girls in full 1080p, I never shot them above 240fps.

Shutter & Flicker –

The higher your frame rate, the faster your shutter will fly; this will decrease your exposure, so make sure you bring sufficient light to compensate. Our Ikan LED panels were very effective in providing the output we needed and nullifying the flicker you see in the image, as a result of shooting under florescent lights. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a baby bottle being filled at 480 fps, it’s pretty amazing!

Bring Nice Glass –

The stock lens has a long range but gets considerably slower as you move down the barrel (18-200mm, f/3.5-5.6). In addition, the focus and zoom rings on the stock lens are rigid and uncomfortable to use. The expanded focus is also not sharp at high magnifications, though, adapting better glass helps enhance the sharpness. Fortunately, Metabones has an adapter for Canon lenses, allowing us to mount out L-series lenses, which produces a much sharper and truer image.

Video Monitoring –

The EVF onboard the FS700 is a decent size but I found the expanded focus to be soft and not very reliable. Sitting atop the body directly behind the handle puts it an inconvenient position on the camera. The camera does have a peaking feature which is accurate, but, if you’re like me, you don’t like to see the peaking overlay on your image. It’s better to rely on a confidence monitor when checking focus, to ensure your focused where you want to be.

9 Second Rule –

This is not in reference to your food dropping to the floor, rather, the length of time you can record at a high frame rate.  At first, I was bothered by this limitation; nine seconds doesn’t seem like very much time. But if you plan out your shots ahead of time, it should be all you need to capture your video. My girls were fairly cooperative all morning, and usually nailed the shot within 2 or three takes!

Overall, I was very pleased with the FS700.  And now I have footage I can use to embarrass my girls when they’re teenagers!

For a more in-depth view at our first impressions of cameras, checkout Rob’s video here

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