15 Dec Is this the perfect camera for shooting weddings?
The Sony PXW-FS5 is a lightweight run and gun camera ideal for filming events, documentaries and weddings. Here’s a few thoughts on it’s features and why it’s going to be the perfect camera for shooting weddings in 2016.
The Sony FS5 was released just under a month ago. It was a no brainer to invest in the camera, it ticks so many boxes for wedding videography. This camera has a 4K Super 35 EXMOR sensor with 14 stops of latitude. Essentially you are filming on a cinema camera with a far greater dynamic range than your average DSLR. This allows the filmmaker to capture a lot more colour information, rather than having 256 shades of grey you now have 1024! When it comes to grading you can really start to utilise this information to produce stunning images. This is much like a wedding photographer shooting RAW and having more ability to finesse the colour and details of images in post.
The primary selling point of the FS5 is how light it is. It weighs about 0.8kg without a lens or accessories; this is less than some DSLR cameras. As it is small, light and compact you’re able to be discreet and it won’t be a pain in the arm to carry all day. It has a handgrip that works perfectly for run and gun style and documentary filming. You won’t need a large rig or add on any microphone inputs as all the audio can be recorded on camera with 2 XLR outputs, which works perfectly for a shotgun and radio mic combo.
The battery life is incredible. The Sony BP-U batteries aren’t cheap, but on the FS5 they really do last a long time. This is so important for all day or weekend shoots, especially for wedding ceremonies or speeches. You do not want to be missing out on a key moment, fumbling around trying to find spare batteries!
The same goes for the media, they’re widely available and relatively cheap. There are two SD card slots so you have the ability to either relay record from one card onto another without missing a beat, or you can dual record onto both, ensuring the footage is backed up on two separate cards – just in case!
Another key feature is the inbuilt variable ND filter. Most professional video cameras have an inbuilt ND filter. These are essentially sunglasses for the camera. So when it’s a sunny day you put them over the lens so you can shoot with the aperture wide open allowing more light in and a greater depth of field. On the FS5 you have a variable ND filter. So let’s say it’s one of those bright sunny days but the occasional cloud drifts in front of the sun. Using the variable ND filter you can brighten or darken the shot seamlessly without altering the shutter or aperture. It works very well if you’re moving from a dark indoor location to outdoors and want to maintain the same focal length. This is a huge advantage for weddings where conditions are often changeable and moving in and out shade is frequent.
Other highlights include a sharp LCD viewfinder that can be adjusted to different configurations; you can easily shoot high or low angle shots without straining your neck. How about some super slow motion? The camera can shoot up to 200Fps in HD 10bit 4:2:2, just incredible! The camera has brilliant low light capabilities, not quite as impressive as the Sony A7S but pushed to 6,000 ISO it will still produces great images with limited light available.
I have been on a couple of test shoots and recently shot a short obs doc on a Bristol Protest on my personal website. It’s still awaiting its wedding debut and I cannot wait to shoot the first wedding of 2016 on this incredible camera.
Image credit: Sony