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Red Bull First Descent: Michoacรกn The NEX-FS700 Reborn

The FS700 in THE GREATEST SETTING in college football


LETTER from the EDITOR In January of this year, we launched our premier issue of CineAlta Magazine; primarily an end-user-written digital publication covering our higher-end camera systems at Sony. With stories covering multiple cameras, applications and workflows, the 150+ page initial issue set the tone as a wildly successful educational piece, which can easily be viewed, shared and downloaded. In the “Letter from our Editors” introduction, we asked our readers - those who work with the equipment - to submit stories of their experiences with these cameras. Our 4K CineAlta® products have been a huge hit, and the response we received really caught our attention; but they also presented a problem...where to put all these great stories.

Here is a preview to what’s inside: Few cameras are as capable as the FS700. Add the fact that it can be handheld in tight spaces, carried around in a backpack, adapted to handle still lenses and yet still deliver incredible imagery - even in high-speed - made it the perfect fit for “Red Bull’s First Descent: Michoacán”. Read about Interpret Studios’ experience with the camera, through the words of DP Matt Katsolis, as they captured professional kayakers tackling unexplored waterfalls in one of the most dangerous areas in Mexico. Links to view the web series are also provided.

With that, the Sony Action Magazine is born. This magazine intends to broaden user’s experiences with Sony’s professional large sensor and 4K motion picture camera systems designed and strategically priced for wider audiences including, but not limited to traditional digital cinematography. The CineAlta Magazine will stay more focused on higher-end, F series camera systems such as F65, F55 and F5.

What do you do when you have a new stadium opening in one of the most beautiful settings in the world? You make sure that you’re not compromising the quality of video you’re feeding into the new video boards. That’s the decision that Terrence Santos made for University of Washington Athletics. Terrence gives a no-holds-barred account on his decision to choose the FS700 and its 4K RAW option as their main production camera. Links to both 4K and HD sample content are provided.

In this issue, we focus on the immensely popular FS700 camera, its wide range of capabilities, and its continuing evolution.

By itself, the Convergent Design Odyssey7Q makes for a magnificient on-board display. It just so happens to

Chiyoko Yannette Senior Marketing Manager Professional Solutions of America Sony Electronics Inc.

also be a full-blown recording system that, when attached to an FS700, creates an entirely new camera system. Mitch Gross of Convergent Design details the extreme flexibility that the Odyssey7Q adds to the FS700 system. What’s better than the FS700? According to skateboarding cinematographer, Eric Bragg, that’d be the FS700 with the 4K upgrade. Find out why in his “4,000 Reasons Why I like the FS700” article, as well as why it’s the go-to camera for skateboarding cinematographers. In an “Employee Spotlight,” Sony Senior Sales Support Engineer, Mike DesRoches, takes you “Full Circle” on an interleaved story about a father’s legacy of sharing content and meeting people through the use of Sony equipment. Do you have a great story that involves our Sony professional products? Let us know about it and it could end up in our next issue. Send your stories to production@am.sony.com. Also follow us at @SonyProUSA on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you. We hope you’ll find this magazine entertaining and informative.

Thank you for reading!


Table of Contents

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Red Bull First Descent: Michoacรกn

The FS700 in THE GREATEST SETTING in college football

The NEX-FS700 Reborn

4,000 Reasons Why I Like the FS700

Full Circle


First Descent

RED BULL 1

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By Matt Katsolis

Director/DP, Interpret Studios

Twitter: @interpretstudio Instagram: @mattkatsolis Website: www.interpretstudios.com

Red Bull First Descent directed by Chad Carter Story produced by Mike DesRoches Pictures by John Rathwell/Red Bull Content Pool www.redbull.com/firstdescent


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Matt Katsolis and his team take the Sony FS700 to rivers hidden deep within Mexico, and come away with not only great experiences, but beautiful imagery.

Red Bull Media House and Univision Communications, Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, present the story of six professional athletes who have come together to find the holy grail of adventure kayaking in Michoacan, Mexico, in a new video series premiering March 11 on RedBull.com and Univision.com.

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Red Bull athlete

Dane

Jackson

Red Bull athlete

Rafa

Ortiz

Pro

Joel

Kowalski

Pro

Pro

Pro

Seth

Juan

Ciaran

Ashworth

Antonio de Ugarte

Heurteau

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hen most people think of kayaking, it conjures up imagery of a relaxing weekend with friends or families paddling through quaint rivers or lakes, taking their time casually meandering down gentle bodies of water. When you then add the company Red Bull into the mix, with their motto “Gives you Wings” and think of the content they produce with the world’s top athletes, you know it’s going to be much more than a casual paddle downstream. Enter the concept behind Red Bull’s new TV series, First Descent: Michoacán, featuring the world’s best kayakers seeking out unexplored rivers and waterfalls in one of the most dangerous areas in Mexico.

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For years, Red Bull Athletes Dane Jackson (the 4 time world champion), Rafa Ortiz, and their close friend Joel Kowalski have dreamed of the rivers hidden deep within Mexico. Mexico is divided into 32 federal entities, of which 31 are states, and of those states, Michoacán is the least charted. Kowalkski, a native of Ontario, Canada, has been researching the possibility of gaining access to these modern day uncharted locations for almost 4 years. Utilizing Google Maps (and plenty of Red Bull), Joel spent countless hours in front of a computer performing his due diligence to plot a strategic mission to enter into the region, descend the river and see firsthand what had yet to be discovered. The trip had been planned years


First Descent

All of our search results pointed to potential danger, including vigilantes and drug cartels. This wasn’t going to be a typical production trip.” back to TOC

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earlier, but due to the drug cartels in the region and prevalent violence, the journey had been called off numerous times, being deemed too dangerous. While Joel had been putting in his preproduction work, our crew at Interpret Studios was brought onboard and our work began; choosing the right tool for the job. In our line of work that ranges from Documentary Films, Episodic Television, Music Videos, Sports, and Commercial spots…it can be a big tool box to choose from. We had shot in Mexico numerous times, primarily on the coasts doing work in the surf industry, but never had been inland to the southwestern region of Mexico. When we began our due diligence to find out more about where we would be shooting, the research wasn’t promising. All of our search results pointed to potential danger, including vigilantes and drug cartels. This wasn’t going to be a typical production trip. The more we learned about the logistics of the trip, the company moves required of us, the climate and terrain, we knew it was going to be very difficult to pull off cinematic imagery in a hostile region. Knowing we had to keep a small footprint, not draw too much attention to ourselves, and do hike ins to access points ranging from .5 miles to 2 miles in jungles, the cameras needed to be light weight and capable of everything we needed to capture. With varying elevations through mountains and valleys in order to access the rivers, and 7

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Chad Carter spearheaded the production, and made the final decision that the Sony FS700 was the key tool for accomplishing our goal of cinematically capturing the journey.”


First Descent

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First Descent temperature differences mimicking that of a desert with highs in the 70’s and nights in the low 40’s, the cameras would need to be rugged and handle being exposed to the elements. Irreducible complexity is an argument used in physics or biology describing a characteristic of certain complex systems which need all of their individual component parts in place in order to function. Essentially, all parts are vital to ensure that the process ensues flawlessly and any additionally parts or elements only hinder the process. At Interpret Studios, this is an unspoken modus operandi for us. Take only what is necessary to produce the story, and anything else will slow us down or get in the way.

After our first hike into Banana Falls, a stunning 130ft waterfall..”

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Red Bull Media House wanted to capture the audience’s attention by bringing them into the moment as the athletes pushed themselves to their limits in this unchartered territory. Interpret Studios Senior Producer Chad Carter (Director) spearheaded the production, and made the final decision that the Sony FS700 was the key tool for accomplishing our goal of cinematically capturing the journey. We were taking Canon® DSLR’s with us for the timelapses, and since the Sony FS700 is capable of utilizing Canon L-Series Glass, we would be able to combine the two cameras and only have to carry one set of zoom lenses. As the trip began we had no idea what we were getting into but quickly realized how important the decision to use the FS700 was. We own various cameras, ranging from RED Epics to Panasonic® Varicams, but we had the foresight to realize that while they are great cameras in their own right, those camera options weren’t practical for this production, so we left them behind. After our first hike into Banana Falls, a stunning 130ft waterfall hidden in a remote valley in Veracruz, Mexico, we couldn’t have been happier to have brought the FS700. To have a Super 35mm camera that is also lightweight enough to hike with inhand, with no add-ons, no Anton Bauer batteries, and no massive shoulder mounts were all huge advantages for us. We literally couldn’t have acquired the caliber of imagery without it.


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Certain areas required our film crew to descend on ropes and rappel into an access point with a clear shot.�

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First Descent

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The FS700’s ability to capture full frame 1080P footage at a mind blowing 240 frames per second while being handheld mere inches from the edge of a plunging waterfall exceeded our expectations.”

Although we were high-fiving with the quality of footage captured by the Sony, we weren’t as fortunate with our single rotor RC Helicopter with a Sony HDR-PJ710 mounted on a custom gimbal that, after a two hour hike into our access point, flew for a total of 6 minutes. It was at that 6th minute when an updraft of air from the base of the waterfall sent it skyward into an overhanging tree with vines. The vines entangled the RC Drone’s six foot rotor, and sent the drone 130ft straight down to the base of the falls, which immediately swallowed the drone…never to be seen again. Day 1, drone gone. Ouch. However, we walked away with excellent FS700 imagery in the can and made it out safely. We switched to the DJI Phantom drone helicopter with a GoPro 3 after we lost our big chopper. 13

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First Descent the fullest every day, they also live it to the fullest every night and weren’t scared of heading out to local establishments to celebrate the day’s victories. The FS700 was small enough to hide under a jacket when necessary, turn up the ISO at dusk or dawn in low light scenarios, and capture every situation it was presented with. The stakes continued to be raised as the athletes would push their skills and run rivers and waterfalls that had never been explored before. They would descend a waterfall via a portage, literally exiting the water and taking a rope and carabiner with their kayak strapped on. Once they reached the base of a fall, they’d determine the depth of water below the falls to see if it was a passable drop or if it fell on shallow rocks and needed to be passed. The footage we were able to capture during this process was nothing short of stunning. Certain areas required our film crew to descend on ropes and rappel into an access point with a clear shot. Knowing I could take the bare essentials - the FS700, 2 batteries, and 3 lenses - was critical for quickly getting in and out. If I would have had more weight on my back, not only would rappelling been more difficult, but I also wouldn’t have had such quick setup times to capture the shots as the kayakers made their way down stream.

From that evening forward, we took the elements of Mexico more seriously and only took what was absolutely necessary; most days foregoing our fluid head tripods for a monopod. As we left Veracruz and headed to Michoacán, we were blessed with safe travels minus the occasional police check point. Even though the police carried semi-automatic weapons and wore mirror-like aviator glasses, once we told them what we were doing, their demeanor changed and they were actually quite receptive to our mission.

Each night we would reconvene at our hotel and give the athletes playback on select shots from the day. These moments were probably the encouragement that fueled us to go to bed at midnight then wake up a few hours later at 5am and start all over again. The kayakers would fully hoot and holler as they viewed their launches off a massive waterfall and boof at its base, then ride away clean despite the seemingly impossible task. To play it back side-by-side with our real-time footage was not even comparable. The FS700’s ability to capture full frame 1080P footage at a mind blowing 240 frames per second while being handheld mere inches from the edge of a plunging waterfall exceeded our expectations.

As we arrived and got settled in, the beauty of the area was quickly interleaved with an unmistakable sense we’d want to be cautious, and aware of our surroundings. Being that these athletes live life to back to TOC

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First Descent

The Sony FS700’s “S&Q” button, which can be set in a moment’s notice and also supports this “post trigger” feature, was invaluable.”

We often shoot with the Phantom Flex and Phantom v1610 high speed cameras and live and die by the post trigger feature. Whether it’s following a bullet passing through a wind shield or a rock star jumping off stage, it is vital to have a post trigger option since, as an operator, you aren’t sure when the action will take place. The Sony FS700’s “S&Q” button, which can be set in a moment’s notice and also supports this “post trigger” feature, was invaluable. Sometimes the flow of the river would slow or speed up the path of the kayaker as they dropped the falls. We would wait to watch them appear from the bottom of the falls out of the whitewater, then hit the trigger and capture the prior 8 seconds of footage. This couldn’t have worked any better. The workflow was seamless - recording to an SDHC card via the internal codec, transfer and transcode the footage nightly, watch dailies then make backups. The stability of the codec, as well as the ease and quickness of use was refreshing, especially when thinking back to problems we’ve had with other cameras over the years. As we passed into the final days of our 3 week trip, we mostly had the wind in our sails - so we thought. One night, however, we were driving home after a long scouting day. In a narrow winding mountain pass, we encountered what appeared to be a rockslide. After all of our vehicles jammed on their brakes to avoid crashing into the debris, numerous men wearing ski masks descended the hill side carrying AK-47 rifles. Our local guide who stayed calm despite the situation instructed us to turn on the lights inside the production vans and show our hands to them that we had nothing to conceal or hide. After a 5-minute conversation, which seemed like an eternity due to the guns pointed at us, the would-be attackers asked what we were doing in this remote region of Mexico at night. Our guide kindly explained we were a documentary crew following the world’s best kayakers descend the Michoacán rivers for the first time. They explained (in Spanish of course) that they were vigilantes who were sick and tired of their families being harmed and taken advantage back to TOC

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Minus that run in, we were quite fortunate and really have positive memories of the locals who were so excited to see foreigners immersed...”

First Descent of, so they were taking back what was rightfully theirs. They went on to explain what a dangerous area we were in and how we were driving in the middle of a war zone between drug cartels and vigilantes, and that we should depart immediately. Naturally, and thankful to be allowed to leave, we took their advice and left…immediately. Minus that run in, we were quite fortunate and really have positive memories of the locals who were so excited to see foreigners immersed in Mexico who also appreciated their natural resources. In turn, we were grateful for their hospitality - taking time to really talk with them and show them imagery from our adventures. When it was all said and done the journey was a complete success. Joel, Rafa, Dane and the other athletes’ research had paid off in significant dividends, yielding numerous rivers and waterfalls that had never been ridden before. We achieved our dream and vision of documenting their adventure in a way that rewarded their hard work, planning, and risk of descending the unknown rivers and falls. The story will be delivered in a five episode web series, First Descent: Michoacán, starting in early March 2014.

To watch the first episode of First Descent click here


The FS700 in THE GREATEST SETTING in college football By Terrence Santos

Manager of Visual Content Development & Production University of Washington Athletics Twitter: @uwtsantos

Story produced by Mike DesRoches

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here appears to be no better setting to watch a live college football game then the picturesque environment set before you at Husky Stadium, literally deemed by us here at the University of Washington as “The Greatest Setting in College Football”. Just minutes away from the heart of downtown Seattle and all the city’s offerings, the stadium is nestled within views of waterways, lakes & stretches of mountain ranges capped by the regal sight of Mt. Rainer. This is what the tens of thousands of Husky fans have grown up seeing every Saturday in the fall. With only 3 major expansions in 91 years, Husky Stadium was due for an overhaul. From November 2011 to September 2013 all but the north grandstand was torn down and rebuilt. The construction teams charge was to maintain tradition and innovation while ensuring the projects high standard on sustainability. This would equate to an even greater in-game experience for all involved. It is this in-game experience where my team & our Sony FS700 come into play. The renovation brought with it 3 large Daktronics LED video boards and peripheral fascia and a 270-degree ribbon. Of all these my focus, and the whole stadium’s, was on our Main East board, our largest monitor. It measured out to be 31.2 feet tall by 108 feet wide. In pixels this is 728 by 2520, basically two 16x9 screens side by side. These unique dimensions offered up challenges for us. Upon hearing the pixel count I immediately noticed that the pixel count widthwise was beyond HD. Second was the screen’s aspect ratio. Photo credit: Scott Eklund, Red Box Pictures

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The Greatest Setting

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UW purchased their FS700 4K kit as part of a overall purchase which included five HXC-100 and two HXC-D70 cameras.

A year prior to Husky Stadium’s completion we had installed new LED boards in Hec Edmondson Pavilion where our Basketball, Volleyball and Gymnastics teams compete. Those offered up a similar challenge of dealing with screens that didn’t fall into the 16x9 square hole. Cropping was a factor but not huge and pixel count was not an issue as our main boards in the arena came up closer to 1280x720 HD. Ours are 1296x624. The control room processor pushing the image to these monitors would maintain a16x9 ratio and then fit the image into the board length-wise. So regardless of resolution (1920x1080 or 1280x720) keeping the aspect ratio meant either scaling down or up of the image which also meant there would always be sections of the top and bottom that would be cropped off. With the dimensions being so close to 16x9 it was rather minimal but kept us aware of framing when we shoot. Every now and then text and heads would be chopped off if we didn’t references our safe zones in the edit. These little nuances did have us prepped to deal with the Main Board in Husky Stadium. How did the FS700 get introduced into all of this?

Some may call it OCD but with a little background in photography I have always been opposed to stretching images out. I think many reading this article share the same view. If you are not familiar with this term/practice do you ever remember viewing a YouTube video and the image getting worse when you view it in full screen mode? There can be many reasons as to why it’s low quality, but that decrease in clarity is mainly due to the image being stretched beyond it’s native size to fit into the size of your computer screen. A more harsh comparison is what happens to tattoos as people age. You get the picture. So we have this board in Husky Stadium that is 600 pixels longer than HD with the option to not have to scale up or down like the Arena. We could go pixel for pixel and maximize the full potential of this monitor. When we were presented with the dimensions in early 2013, we were shooting with 2 Canon® 5D Mk III’s, a great full-frame camera that gave us the cinematic image we wanted. As documented by many others this camera does have its limitations with audio inputs, frame rates to name a few and now for us in resolution. back to TOC

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Having worked with RED I knew resolution wise that was one option. I did have my hesitations. From my experience I’ve come to know RED as a light-hungry camera. Not an issue for live-game action or lighting setups. Not great though in a documentary run and gun type setting. I needed the step up in resolution without losing the flexibility and low light capability of an HDSLR. Add to that list of requirements is what I like to call budget sensitivity. Going through all the reviews and spec sheets, the FS700 stood out. It would cancel out every HDSLR limitation and also present the ability to film in 2K and 4K at high frame rates. At its price level and paired with a Metabones Speed Booster lens adapter it looked to be a monster and it was in more ways than one. Some good, some really challenging. The AXS-R5 recorder and HXR-IFR5 interface arrived in time for our first and most important shoot of the season, our football team’s introduction video. Also on time and most importantly were two BP-FL75 batteries. What was not on time and not available to rent in the area was a rail support system for the camera and these components. A Lowel Pro shoulder bag was converted to sling the recorder, interface and battery on the shooters side or placed nearby with the 3G-SDI tether. This served our shooter’s mobility well.

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The added weight was just something to have to take a break from at every pause in action. Control wise it did take a bit getting used to having settings located in three different parts of the menu in the camera when shooting at highframe rates. We also learned to keep a watchful eye on the interface to ensure it was properly recording. What we found was that switching back and forth between normal and S&Q (Slow motion) functions could trip up the interface/recorder if done too quickly. If this happens the camera will not notify you because it does not take any information in from the interface. It will just continue to record and send out digital information through the SDI. This is not as big of a problem if you are shooting at 24/30/60 frames as the camera can also record HD proxies on the FMU, an immediate back up. Shooting high-frame rate in 2K or 4K does not provide this same capability. Good thing for us we caught this quirk early on. The shoot went on smoothly with this knowledge. The only other cause for concern was the amount of heat the interface/recorder generated. We had one portion of the shoot, which was an exterior, and closed the shoulder bag to protect from any rain. This lack of ventilation quickly brought up the internal heat so we most definitely kept it stowed but not covered from then on. Photo credit: Stephanie Viskovich, Delta 9


The Greatest Setting

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The Greatest Setting

Photo credit: Scott Eklund, Red Box Pictures

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To be working with 4K at the “entry point of the FS700 was astounding. Even when adding the cost of interface and recorder we weren’t even close to the cost of a fully decked out RED.

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Post was not as smooth initially. With this initial introductory, more like a crash course in Sony RAW, I had my fair share of headaches. I do want to note that since then Sony has made tremendous strides in making post a more efficient process when working with their RAW footage. I love RAW, the control over the image in post is phenomenal. As with many shooters I would like to do what I can to help that whole process during principal photography but issues come up especially when time and budgets are very limited. Having RAW images greatly increases your chances at overcoming these limitations. Our team works with the Adobe Creative Suite, which includes Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator. So in dealing with RAW, photography is a streamlined experience. All this to say that my experience with RAW images, photo and video, up to this point have been for most part a great experience. 27

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Back to post on the football shoot. What I have as an edit station is a 1st generation Mac® Book Pro Retina® with two Apple® Thunderbolt displays and a Belkin Thunderbolt Dock. Doing research I read that Sony RAW can be imported straight in to Premiere without issue. This, at least for me was not the case. Trying to play back any footage basically stalled the whole system. I reverted to the other option of working through Sony’s RAW viewer. I can say, when images were brought up in the viewer, I was very pleased with what I saw right off the media cards. Without getting technical or scientific, I saw huge differences in overall texture and color. It was sharp in resolution but not what we call “video” sharp. Going through the viewer at this point in time did have some drawbacks. To get footage exported meant exporting DPX Sequences. The downside to this was that to do so automatically set your Color Profile to S-Log2, which is actually great in that you get a 16-bit flat image with all that color information to work with. What’s not great was that it automatically set the native ISO to 2000. I didn’t ask why at this point, as there were other issues to deal with, storage being one.

have not even spoken “onI the subject of Sony’s customer service, which has been exemplary, every step of the way with every issue I faced.


To view the University of Washington intro shot with the FS700 click here

I can tell you that I really tested our IT guys as I was quickly going through our servers and external hard drives for space. And for good reason as backups became working files just as quickly. I was working with G-RAID drives that have never failed on me. I had 4 fail on me, 3 of those were to be restored but the data was lost. The other ended in absolute failure and could not be restored under our own power. With a tight turnaround we did not have the time to seek assistance from outside professionals. I just brought up my backups and trudged ahead. Come to find out after the fact that the possible reason the drives were failing was a Thunderbolt connection issue with my displays, which would freeze the system and corrupt the drives. I have not run any diagnostics to prove this but in discussions with our IT department and doing some deductive reasoning we found it to be the most likely cause of the drive failure and the other issues I was facing. In the meantime I was using additional iMacs to export DPX Sequences to lighten the load on the MBP. Image wise, the native ISO at 2000 was workable. One of the first FS700 4K shooters I found online

suggested using noise reduction software but I just didn’t want to deal with it. Especially since our footage came out very clean after a basic levels and curve adjustment. To be working with 4K at the entry point of the FS700 was astounding. Even when adding the cost of interface and recorder we weren’t even close to the cost of a fully decked out RED. This doesn’t mean it is without challenges. There is an obvious difference in size. Working initially with HDSLRs, form factor was something to get used to. I’ve already discussed weight. When our rail system did come in the length of the camera and components supported was multiple times that of a Canon 5D. If you were to throw on a long lens like we do, a Canon 100-400mm, you’re looking at a very lengthy rig. We rarely use the rail system in this fashion. We have stuck to the shoulder bag even on set where we have a controlled environment. This is a practice that has come from shooting ingame action, having to stay mobile and keeping our overall usage of space minimal. There’s not much to work with on a basketball baseline.

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The Greatest Setting

...there hasn’t been anything thrown our way that we haven’t been able to produce beautiful imagery for through our FS700.

Photo credit: Scott Eklund, Red Box Pictures

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The Greatest Setting

Photo credit: Scott Eklund, Red Box Pictures

To go back to the image, the 4K footage I have filmed with this camera is what we all have seen 4K come to be in its great and stunning clarity. Having 4K in RAW is that more powerful for us. We are one of the very few in-house creative departments in collegiate sports, or even sports in general. Despite the issues we’ve faced, many if not all, are being resolved. Now having the FS700 with 4K RAW recording on hand has given our in-game experience multiple steps up in quality and excitement. Add to that its high frame rate option and this camera has enabled us to draw the same charged drama and emotion in our fans that we’ve seen high-end production houses and top tier studios only draw. The small investment we’ve made has most definitely taken us very far in regards to our creative visual content. 31

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After the start of the 2013 football season, UW Athletics purchased a second FS700 camera. To view the Washington Husky Football regular season highlight video, click here

I have not even spoken on the subject of Sony’s customer service, which has been exemplary, every step of the way with every issue I faced. My service rep would duplicate every issue I had to a tee to help discover solutions to the problems we were facing. That’s outstanding and rare to me. No camera is perfect. Well maybe the F55 is close but I can say now having gone through this fall sports season refining our workflow that our FS700 is our workhorse. From cinematic lighting setups, green screen work, live action sports, documentary run and gun, you name it there hasn’t been anything thrown our way that we haven’t been able to produce beautiful imagery for through our FS700. I don’t think one can afford to ignore this camera. It offers so much more than many others at the same price point. back to TOC

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TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTS The Greatest Setting Sony NEX-FS700 • E-Mount Interchangeable Lens System, compatible with Canon EF and other lenses with simple inexpensive adapters. • Compatible with Sony’s SEL-P18200 servo zoom lens • 4K “Exmor®” Super35mm Sensor • Full HD Slow Motion up to 240 fps • RAW recording: 2K up to 240 fps and 4K RAW up to 60 fps via a single 3G-SDI cable. Note RAW recording requires an upgrade and optional HXR-IFR5 & AXS-R5 RAW recording system, both sold separately • 3G HD-SDI output • Four ND Filters: Clear; 2, 4 and 6 Stops • 60/50Hz switchable • Intuitive user interface

Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Smart Adapter • True electronic integration of aperture diaphragm - let camera automatically choose aperture in P or S exposure modes, or dial in yourself on the camera body in A or M modes. • Powered by camera body. No external power source required. • Wide open button (opposite of depth-of-field preview function) makes manual focusing easy. • The tripod foot is detachable and compatible with Arca Swiss, Markins, Photo cam ball heads. • High performance 32-bit processor and efficient switched-mode power supply.

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HXR-IFR5 Interface Unit • Docks to the AXS-R5 Access Memory System recorder. • Receives the uncompressed bitstream carrying RAW sensor data, metadata, timecode and start stop commands from the NEX-FS700U via 3G-SDI • Controls 4K/2K RAW recording and playback • Coordinates simultaneous recording for seamless on-line/off-line capture: you can simultaneously record 4K on the AXS-R5 while recording HD on the NEX-FS700U, both with identical, start frame, stop frame and time code • When attached to the HXR-IFR5, the AXS-R5 can act as a stand-alone playback unit for confidence monitoring and review through the on board HD SDI 422 output. This system supports recordings made by the NEX-FS700 and the PMW-F5 / PMW-F55.

AXS-R5 2K/4K Recorder • Fully integrated with camera menu and user interface. • Uses AXS-512S24 High Capacity Access Memory Card • Records: 2K or 4K 16-bit linear RAW @ 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 50 and 59.94 base frame rates. (FS700 RAW is 12-bit). • 2K S&Q 1~240 fps RAW to F55, F5 • 4K S&Q 1~60 fps • Real-Time HD-SDI monitoring output (10 bit 4:2:2) • 4-pin XLR DC power imput • Single Accessory 4-pin Hirose DC power output connector • Simultaneous 2K or HD proxy recording in camera head with identical file name, timecode and start stop timing. • Compact size

BP-FL75 Olivine V Mount Battery • Sony’s new BP-FL75 battery pack, uses Olivine – Lithium Iron Phosphate – instead of conventional Lithium Ion cathodes. The result is a substantial increase in charge-discharge cycles, compared to previous Sony batteries. • The Olivine battery charges in half the time of conventional lithium-ion batteries with Sony’s BC-L90 quick charger.

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The NEX-FS700 Reborn. Pairing the camera with the Odyssey7Q creates a new camera system.

By Mitch Gross Director of Communications Convergent Design

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he FS700 is a versatile camera, with a host of functions and capabilities. It is primarily designed as an HD video production camera, with lots of builtin image controls and HD recording to inexpensive media in convenient, small-sized files. But the camera can also output several different types of signals that greatly expand upon its internal capabilities. When paired with the Convergent Design Odyssey7Q monitor/recorder, the integration makes for a powerful complete camera system. 35

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Here are different ways in which the FS700/Odyssey7Q kit is so powerful: • ADDITIONAL RECORDING FORMATS • IMPROVED IMAGE ANALYSIS TOOLS • HEADS UP DISPLAY / INTERFACE


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The NEX-FS700 Reborn

Additional Recording Formats FS700 RAW and the Odyssey7Q The FS700 can be switched from shooting HD to outputting RAW data. On the original FS700, the camera must be sent to Sony Service for an upgrade. For the newer FS700R the upgrade is included. RAW RAW data is the information pretty much straight off the camera sensor, before it is turned into HD video. The camera’s sensor is actually 4096x2160 in resolution, from which the camera derives the 1920x1080 HD video for its internal recording. By accessing the sensor directly, much more information can be extracted and captured. 4K RAW The Odyssey7Q can record the FS700 4K RAW data information directly, up to the camera’s max frame rate in that format of 60p (or a short burst of 4K@120p). The material can then be processed and manipulated in post, where the advantages of both time and viewing environment can be utilized to get the most out of the RAW camera data. 4K VIDEO If the resolution advantages of 4K are desired but not the additional post workflow of RAW data, the Odyssey7Q can accept the 4K RAW signal and process it in realtime into 4K Video. This signal can then be recorded by the Odyssey7Q in a high quality video codec that can be used in popular post programs.

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Taking the 4K RAW data signal from the FS700, the Odyssey7Q can turn this into 4K Video and then super-sample to a high quality HD Video signal.

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The NEX-FS700 Reborn

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4K to HD VIDEO This format is a high quality D signal derived from the FS700 4K RAW signal. How is this different from what the camera does internally? The FS700 used alone is designed to shoot HD video that can be used professionally but is highly efficient, taking up very little memory and will not be manipulated much in post. To do that Sony employs AVC-HD, which is an 8-bit, 4:2:0, 25mbps codec. Let’s take a moment to define that. 8-bit Think of this as how precisely a color is defined. The more decimal places the more precise the definition. A building could be described as 25 feet tall, or it could be described as 25 feet, 2 and Ÿ inches tall. In 8-bit, each color (Red, Green, and Blue, aka RGB) is defined on a scale of 256 steps. A complete color definition is RxGxB, or 256x256x256, or about 16.8 million colors. That sounds like a lot, but 10-bit means 1024x1024x1024, or more than one billion colors. This is called BIT DEPTH. 4:2:0 This refers to how often different colors are sampled within the signal. For the most part, lots of the pixels in an image are the same color as the ones just around them. So if a color is sampled only occasionally, it can still be enough to make an accurate appearing image while taking up far less memory in the file. But a 4:2:2 has much greater color sampling and 4:4:4 means that every bit of color is being sampled to the full Bit Depth. This is referred to as COLOR SAMPLING. AVC-HD This is a compression format, also known as a codec (short for COde/DECode). After the image data is gathered at a given Bit Depth and Color Sampling, the information must still be dramatically compressed so that it does not take up too much memory. Some codecs use interframe compression, which samples information from adjacent parts of an image to see what is repeated and can be omitted. There is also intraframe compression, which compares a series of frames (aka Group of Pictures, or GOP) and only records the changes between them. AVCHD is a mixture of both, and is able to capture HD at just 25mbps (mega bits per second). Compare this to some popular editing master codecs that are commonly used at bit depths of 220mbps, and it becomes clear how heavily compressed AVC-HD is. This is referred to as BIT RATE.

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The NEX-FS700 Reborn

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It allows for excellent images that are inexpensive to record and easy to store...

In order to save space and improve speed, the signal recorded internally by the FS700 is heavily truncated in all possible ways. Bit Depth, Color Sampling, and Bit Rate are all sliced as small as Sony could in order to allow for long record times on small, inexpensive memory cards. The image looks great as long as you don’t do anything to it, but if you attempt to adjust the colors or alter the brightness and contrast, the additional information is not there and the image can quickly fall apart. So with the internal recording the FS700 performs very well if you get your lighting and exposure correct while shooting and adjust your camera settings appropriately. It allows for excellent images that are inexpensive to record and easy to store and move in post. But what if you wish to be able to manipulate them more in post?

Taking the 4K RAW data signal from the FS700, the Odyssey7Q can turn this into 4K Video and then super-sample to a high quality HD Video signal. This can then be recorded in the Odyssey7Q in a 10-bit Bit Depth, 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 Color Sampling and at a much larger Bit Rate. This results in a far richer HD video signal than the FS700 can deliver on its own. 2K RAW, UP TO 240FPS CONTINUOUS The FS700 can also output 2K RAW, which the camera internally derives from the original 4K image data. By reducing from 4K to 2K internally, the FS700 can shoot as fast as 240fps, and the Odyssey7Q can capture any of these frame rates. This is an enormous amount of data, so much so that while the FS700 can natively take advantage of high speed in compressed HD, the recording media cannot keep up, requiring the use of an incamera memory buffer for short high speed bursts. The Odyssey7Q can accept the 2K RAW high frame rates continuously, so that one could shoot up to 20 minutes at 240fps. That’s 200 minutes of material when played back at 24fps. Additionally, when in the 4K RAW mode, the FS700 can utilize its internal memory buffer to shoot a short burst at 120p and then play that out to the Odyssey7Q in 4K RAW. back to TOC

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The NEX-FS700 Reborn

ADDITIONAL IMAGE ANALYSIS TOOLS The FS700 offers Peaking or Expanded Focus for assistance in focusing the image, and a Histogram or Zebra for judging exposure. The Odyssey7Q adds to all off these imaging tools. In addition to Peaking, the Odyssey offers two more edge enhancement modes, with sensitivity controls in the high, mid and low frequency ranges, plus the choice of marking these edges in different colors for clarity in viewing. The Odyysey7Q Pixel Zoom is similar to the Expanded Focus, but can also be used while other imaging tools, such as several of the exposure tools, are engaged on the Odyssey7Q. In addition to the Zebra, the Odyssey7Q has numerous more detailed exposure tools.

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The Histogram on the FS700 measures Luma (overall brightness) only. The Odyssey7Q has Histogram modes allowing for not only Luma, but also references for the separate Red, Green and Blue (RGB) color channels. It can also be set to full screen for a more detailed display. In addition to the Histogram, the Odyssey7Q also features a Waveform monitor, which can also display Luma or RGB and can also be shown full screen. Lastly there is a False Color display mode, illustrating various exposure levels in different colors. The sensitivity ranges are programmable and the False Colors can be used at the same time as several other tools.


HEADS UP DISPLAY / INTERFACE The FS700 has many controls that, while making it a versatile camera platform, results in a camera body covered with 60 different buttons and controls. In the heat of shooting, it can be a challenge to locate an important function. The Odyssey7Q is not only an excellent monitor and recorder, it is a new interface with the camera. The OLED display has extra resolution above and below the image for onscreen controls via a touch screen. The upper tool bar is mostly record functions, while the lower tool bar is mostly image analysis tools. Once past initial setup on the camera, the Odyssey7Q can function as the main control surface to the combined camera system, with controls comfortably located so that one never need to look away from the image itself.

Once past initial setup on the camera, the Odyssey7Q can function as the main control surface...

Pushing the STATUS CHECK button on the FS700 puts a large audio meter on the camera’s LCD, which is convenient for you or your soundperson for checking levels while keeping other controls and displays clear. Likewise the Expanded Focus function on the FS700 can be used on the camera’s LCD while the full frame is available on the Odyssey7Q OLED display. Pairing the Odyssey7Q with the FS700 doesn’t just enhance the use of the camera, it greatly expands upon it, creating a new, integrated, advanced camera system.

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4,000 reasons why I LIKE THE FS700 by Eric Bragg

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Greg would have loved to shoot the entire video with film but it was too expensive and an overall pain in the ass. Danny’s part in the video blew minds and looked amazing. It won Skateboarding Magazine’s Best Video Part that year and redefined skateboarding’s limits. Here we are, 10 years later, both skateboarding and video technology have progressed to unimaginable levels. Danny Way is still building bigger, gnarlier ramps and Sony is still on top in the skate video world. The Sony NEX-FS700 has replaced the Sony DCR-VX1000 as the go-to camera for professional skateboard cinematographers. It’s lightweight, shoots super slow motion, looks excellent in low light, accommodates almost any lens, and a single battery and SD card can get you all the way through most days.

In 2003, when professional skateboarder Danny Way debuted the first Mega Ramp in the DC video, the Sony VX1000 DV camcorder was the weapon of choice for almost every professional skateboard cinematographer. Only 480 vertical lines of resolution to capture a skateboarder drop in on a ramp the size of a roller coaster, backside 360 over a 75' gap at 50mph, and then fly up 23' above a two and a half story quarter pipe!? If you’ve got the whole ramp in your shot, you’re only dedicating a few pixels to the death-defying pioneer who’s flipping his board through the air and breaking world records. Master skateboarding cinematographer Greg Hunt knew DV wasn’t going to cut it, and although most of the rest of the video was shot on the VX1000, he shot Danny’s Mega Ramp portion on Super 16mm.

I’ve been working on a full-length skate video with Danny for Plan B skateboards for a couple years now, and I’ve experimented with a ton of equipment in that time. The Sony NEX-FS700 has been by far my favorite camera to work with. That is, until now. Now that I’ve tried the Sony NEX-FS700 with the 4K upgrade. I brought the 4K recorder and FS700 on its maiden voyage to Kauai, where Danny’s newer, bigger, faster, stronger ramp resides amongst the epic landscape of “The Garden Island.” The Way and Colin McKay dropped in on the massive concrete roll-in that leads you straight into a re-imagined quarter pipe with banks and features ranging from 25' to 40'. Using the 4K 120 fps raw high-speed burst allows me to slow down tricks and show them for what they really are. The amount of detail in the image is incredible, especially when slowed down. I’ve gotten used to using 120 fps and 240 fps bursts on the FS700, but when you add 4K and the image control of 16-bit linear raw file, skateboarding has never looked better. I’ve been shooting with the FS700 since July 1st, 2012. I preordered the camera based on its stats sheet and was pleasantly surprised by its latitude, smooth highlight roll off, and overall image quality. back to TOC

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4,000 Reasons

Pat Duffy. Hippy jump. Barcelona. May 2013. FS700 w/8mm fisheye.

I couldn’t believe how well it performed in low “light. All these features are supercharged with the 4K recorder. ”

Initially, I thought I’d only throw on the 4K recorder for shooting the Mega Ramp, B-roll, and save it for larger productions. After reviewing the footage, I’d be crazy not to shoot everything with it. When we weren’t skating, I went around Kauai shooting waterfalls, sunrises, and even found a New Zealander who climbed up into a tree and jumped out 65' down into a lagoon. Kiwi Knievel jumped out in 4K 24p and then I asked him to do it again in 4K at 120 fps. The camera records simultaneously to its SD card and I was able to easily send him his AVCHD clips that night.

Danny Way. Kauai. August 2013. FS700 w/4K recorder.

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Fortunately, deciding to shoot everything in 4K from now on is as simple throwing the recorder on. Wait, I shouldn’t say 4K everything. I did shoot a lot of 2K RAW footage at 240 fps. The ability to just let 240 fps roll as long as you want to really creates opportunities I didn’t have before on the FS700 for capturing super slow motion. The fact that’s it’s raw too is just icing on the cake, or buffalo sauce on your wings for me. Not too big on sweets. I used a Small HD AC7-SDI monitor to make sure I wasn’t blowing it in 4K. With a giant, detailed image, it’s obvious if your focus is off. Focus features and false color buttons keep it clean, simple, and fast. Although sometimes I wondered if the false color feature was working because it was so hard to find anything around me that the latitude of my new pet beast couldn’t handle. The monitor definitely came in handy while I used a Nanoha macro lens and Cinevate Atlas 10 w/Moco for a little surprise you’ll have to wait to see.

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4,000 Reasons Having the option to remove the recorder and yet keep it tethered was nice when I needed to lighten the load and shoot leaning over the edge of a 30 foot drop on the edge of the ramp.

The setup was an absolute breeze. “I didn’t even read a manual or anything. The menu is simple and straightforward. Click around for 5 minutes and you’re an expert.

In skateboarding, sometimes the skater will mess up on a trick 20 times before he lands it. Maybe more. Maybe he’ll never land it. The HXR-IFR5 let’s you easily delete clips as you go along. I found myself deleting all the 4K bails right after every try, while leaving a record of everything recording to the SD card in the camera. That way, we still have a copy, but I’m saving card space and I won’t end up with a terabyte of falls to go through at the end of the day.

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Kauai sunrise. Aug 2013. FS700 w/4K & SmallHD AC7-SDI monitor

Wow, am I still talking about this camera? The bottom line is, the trip was a success. We spent 3 weeks getting tricks and making them look good. I tried to surf once, but I think I’ll stick to skateboarding and camera toys. I’m looking forward to incorporating the 4K FS700 into all of my scheduled productions this year and of course coming back to the island to watch Danny and Colin throw themselves in the air. Editors note: The FS700 has been updated with RAW output capability, and the models are now NEX-FS700R, and NEX-FS700RH

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Full CIRCLE By Mike DesRoches

Senior Sales Support Engineer, Sony Electronics Inc. Twitter: @DesRochesSony

He’s actually hiding the camera behind his back! 51

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I

’m 41 years old, turning 42 the day before NAB 2014 opens its doors to nearly 100,000 attendees. Like many who grew up during that home video boom of the late 70’s/early 80’s, lots of me and my siblings’ lives were caught on tape. Scratch that…seemingly ALL of our events/games/moments were recorded for “posterity.” “Captain Video,” as our father became known by many in and out of the family, had quickly become a full-blown video junkie. Allow me to take a step back. An always-with-asmile-on-his-face industrial chemical salesman by trade, our father was an unconditionally loving man who came from that “would give you the shirt off his back” generation. He was also notoriously frugal, which made sense given the timing of his modest upbringing, and the fact that he and our mother were supporting a family of six. Looking back on this, what surprises me is the initial investment, as the early two-piece cameras and recorders weren’t exactly inexpensive. During the format wars, he no doubt tested our Mom’s patience when he “needed” both a VHS deck and a Betamax deck. My siblings and I loved the vibrant colors the Betamax deck offered when watching visual spectacles like “Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure,” but as history would ultimately prove, not just in our home, the practicality of the longerrun-time - although visibly inferior - and lower-cost-ofownership (i.e. packing numerous games/events on a single tape) of the VHS format won out.

During the 80’s, virtually all his free time was spent with a camera in his hands and a substantiallysized deck over his shoulder (which would help explain the bad back that quickly developed). He certainly wasn’t the greatest videographer off all time, and quite frankly I don’t think he really thought or cared much about framing during the earlier years…it was more his way of being present and showing his love. Furthermore, he never really had a major awareness for the flow of these games and events; often yelling “Slide! Slide!” when there was an uncontested play at the plate, or literally climbing up on the risers with the choir during my sister’s performance at the local auditorium (not to mention the whipping of the cable around the stage to the off-stage recording deck, and obliviously exposing his plumber’s butt to the audience while he buried the lens in the singers’ faces). Yes, this was Captain Video in all his well-meaning glory. Eventually, out of necessity, Dad graduated to a one-piece camera. It was in order to capture my brother’s graduation from the USMA at West Point where he earned another nickname, “Oneeye DesRoches,” coined when my brother hit a frustration point on the second day and barked “(Jeez), Dad, I haven’t seen your right eye since you arrived. Put the (dang) camera away!” Thankfully, he didn’t. That trip was a proud time for the family, and Dad wasn’t going to miss recording one bit of it. The beauty of the campus, with its grand lawns, historic architecture and strategic perch overlooking the Hudson River is where I believe his attention to framing finally kicked in.

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Full Circle

Over the following years, our Dad’s joy of capturing video overshadowed his interest in chemical sales. He became the unofficial school videographer, capturing our local school’s games/shows/events regardless of whether we were in them or not. Since he was using basic equipment, he did it out of love and still wasn’t really concerned about overall quality. The people received copies for free so they didn’t care either. This all changed in the mid-90’s when I started working at Sony and was able to get “CA DesRoches” (a family-internal nickname, which you can deduce for yourself) a discount on a new Sony camcorder. This changed everything for him. Always one who appreciated the finer things in life, but rarely opened his wallet to purchase them – as evidenced by the large jugs of Gallo wine that always graced the fridge in our garage), the significant employee discount afforded him filet mignon at a Salisbury steak price. The overnight difference in how good his content looked sparked raves from the recipients of the shared content. Much to Mom’s dismay (as one who likes things tidy), that kicked Dad’s thirst for delivering content into overdrive. He effectively quit his sales job and focused fulltime on shooting video, by starting his own videography/edit business out of the home (his office quickly became a veritable storage locker for video equipment and videotapes).

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Once he had it, that DSC-TRV950 was never far from his reach.


In hindsight, it was at best rudimentary, manually performing tedious front-panel controlled tape-totape cuts long into the night. That said, as proof of his development, he dropped some cash on an Amiga workstation for high-quality titling and eventually had a Video Toaster, too. He loved every minute of it; always sure to lay down some vinyl-sourced music bedding that usually paired nicely with a wedding or event…although Sinatra as a foundation to swimming highlights or a brother’s wrestling match may have missed the mark. Still, he was doing what he truly loved. Dad continually hit me up for discounts while further outfitting his equipment needs: wireless mics, receivers, tripods, batteries, tapes, tapes, and more tapes. He was taking on so much work, that he had to buy multiples of everything. Eventually, shooting on 8mm (then MiniDV) and laying off to S-VHS masters became the preferred house solution. My company sold all those types of media and he made use of that discount as much as possible. Gary DesRoches Video was more about the heart and soul that was poured into the final product… until the DSC-TRV900 came out. That was the next bump in quality that took it to the next level for him. Then his favorite, the DSCTRV950 hit the market. That was his workhorse long after he and Mom retired to San Diego and he just focused on capturing the family and grandkids. back to TOC

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THE BIG GAME Full Circle

I’ve been with Sony since ’95 during my time as an intern out of San Jose State University’s school of Radio, Television and Film. I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. Specifically, I wanted to be Al Michaels. While at the university, I was also a closer on the baseball team - the relief pitcher often handed the ball with the game on the line. That adrenaline rush is something that former athletes often yearn to recreate somehow, sometimes to no avail. Over my now 18+ years with Sony, I’ve functioned in numerous roles and for the past 10 years have been a Sales Support Engineer in our Professional Solutions of America group. Like my father, I love working with people. Also like my father, I’m not shy. Some might view me as a ham. I need not be incentivized to get up on stage and prove my singing voice is average at best. What I find special is that, in my role, I’ve long been empowered the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of acquisition and production technology. I’m also enabled to have much of that equipment available to me. Those benefits, combined with a job function that puts me in front of people, speaking on a regular basis to convey information on said technology and building relationships with these people supplies that coveted adrenaline rush. 55

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If you can’t BE him, MEET him…and root for the LA Kings.

During my time at Sony, I’ve had the privilege of working with scores of news organizations, production companies, corporations, sports organizations, as well as hundreds of individuals in the industry and have built countless relationships that I truly cherish. I’ve presented before countless thousands of people thus far in my career, and find the most joy in learning from and/or sharing knowledge with them, and ultimately providing added value to those I work with. It’s that connection through mutual education that really resonates with me. The past few years have seen a massive spike in new technology that’s packing incredible technology into smaller and smaller form factors. Low-cost cameras, like the DSLR, are enabling a new generation of ridiculously capable filmmakers. Different from the Super8mm film that my brothers used to toy with when we were kids, in that everything is much more immediately accessible.


Going up for aerial shots with the FS700 and an ActionCam mounted to my dome

Much like the transitions my Dad encountered from film to video, the two-piece recording systems to one-piece camcorders - in the professional arena, I’ve witnessed countless formats, the conversions from analog to digital, SD to HD, tape to tapeless, small format to large format sensors, and now the HD to UHD (QFHD, 4K and up) implementations. Each has ratcheted up the excitement level, respectively. But in all my years in the industry, there’s been nothing that has been as exciting, relevant, or individually affordable than when Sony released the FS700 camera - a native 4K resolution Super35mm sensor capable of outputting 2K or 4K RAW video, or internally recording HD at various frame rates (steps from 1 fps to 960 fps - 240 fps in full HD), while also functioning as a still camera and boasting the flexibility to mount virtually any lens type. For a person who thrives on maximize bang-for-the-buck, like my Dad did, the FS700 is the greatest thing since boxed wine.

Mike DesRoches presenting at the YouTube Space LA

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Full Circle

(Roaming the sidelines. Working with Neal Williams and an F55, Faux Steadicam work with the Manfrotto monopod)

When the FS700 came out, it immediately appealed to me as the perfect highlight reel camera. So, I got a hold of one and, as a person who travels extensively to meet with our customers, started taking it with me everywhere I went. I began to reach out to my various sports contacts, and shooting games, events, and general content. Doing it all for free, and handing off the copies to expose them to the greatness of the camera and our new technologies. Walking away with my own copies of the content, it allowed me to educate the concepts of large formats (for shallow DoF applications), 4K and HD resolution, lens options, and high frame rate (HFR), all in one camera that I could carry in my backpack. 57

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Ultimately, I started scheduling my customer visits to towns around when their local teams would be in town or around for the weekend, and then shooting for them and giving away the content. I figured, “Why not? I have to be in that town, anyway, I might as well shoot the game that night, or stay an extra day or two on the weekend and meet with more customers and expose more people to what we had to offer in 4K/HFR/Large Formats.” While at these events, I’d invariably bump into people asking “Hey, what camera is that?” Or, “Is that the FS700?” I’d show them, and they often marvel at what the camera can do.


I won’t argue, being on the sidelines, on the field, in the dugout, up against the glass, in the locker rooms (unlike my Dad, I do have a good sense of game flow, and have gotten pretty good at being in the right place at the right time, and getting “the shot”…although it didn’t happen immediately) is all pretty cool, and feeds some of that desired adrenaline, too. But, it’s a LOT of work. You’re showing up hours before the game, and literally all over the place to get in the optimal position, then getting home and having to charge batteries and manage the media. All of this on my own time, on top of my real job. It makes you really appreciate the work that the various video coordinators do, as well as the production people pumping out the

video content overnight to get it to the coaches, or agonizing all week trying to get their highlight video just right. In my case, I shoot, copy the files from the FMU to an SD Card (takes up to about 40 minutes depending on how much I shoot and the speed of the SD Card), and then head out. I never edit or color correct the footage I shoot. Therefore, when I present and discuss the footage, it’s “as I shot it,” conveying the various camera settings, lens choices, etc, without any audience concern for “produced” content.

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Full Circle

Backpack contents, including my PS3 and my favorite white touk

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One of the best things about the camera, as I see it, is the overall economics of the unit. It’s relatively small, records to inexpensive SD cards, runs on the standard batteries, doesn’t draw much (I can shoot an entire football pre-game, game, post-game, and copy the files using less than two batteries the larger NP-F970 and the smaller NP-F770), and the lenses aren’t huge, either. Also, the file format it shoots - I only shoot in HD, and mostly S&Q or Super Slow Motion modes - is encoding down to 24Mbps. That’s right, 24Mbps for HD full 1920x1080 resolution encoded video! As a point of reference, that’s 1Mbps LESS than the standard definition DV format. A full game eats up less than 20GB. The native codec (AVCHD) is also essentially a Blu-ray format, so I can natively decode those files on a PS3, which I also carry in my backpack with me everywhere I go. The PS3 houses a 500GB HDD that provides me an HDMI output where I can wirelessly

control playout of video files that I’ve copied from the FS700’s media to the PS3’s drive. I also use it to display slideshows of still images I’ve shot on either the FS700, or the Sony A99 camera that I sometimes bring, as well. For games/events, I bring only my filled backpack and my trusty Manfrotto 562B-1 monopod. The lenses I typically use are the SEL18200 (the stock lens that came with the camera prior it to being shipped with the servo zoomable SELP18200), the SEL2418Z, the SEL1628 w/ Fisheye adapter, and the SAL70400G w/ the LAEA2 adapter. I also travel with various HDD’s for backup. Since August of 2012, I’ve shot over 65 games and the file size is so economical that I’ve backed it all up on a single 1.5 TB HDD (naturally, for security, I’ve backed it up to other drives, as well).

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Full Circle Along the way, I’ve had a front row seat to some incredible events. So much so that family and friends that knew my father often have remarked how excited/proud he’d be seeing me out there, and all the people/friends I’d get to meet. What’s great is, by doing what he loved - providing content - most of the people I’ve worked with have either added the camera to their Sony arsenal, or made it their first Sony purchase. Scores of teams now swear by the camera as the source of much highlight reel “gold.” Numerous production companies use it as their “go to” camera, including

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as a shoulder mount. Many of them, having been exposed to the larger sensor formats and the value they add are now looking at more fullfledged production applications with the F5 and F55 cameras. I’ve even happened upon some old friends along the way. One instance was an old baseball coach from college, who’s been a scout for the New York Yankees for the past 10 years. The LA Angels were hosting the Yankees and Coach Keith had his two San Diego-based 1st and 2nd round draft picks with him. Turns out, the 2nd round pick was the son of a Sony team member in our Rancho


Bernardo headquarters. I stuck around and shot some high speed footage of him taking batting practice, for the first time as a member of the Yankees organization, in the same group as his boyhood idol, Ichiro. Naturally, I provided the footage to the proud pop, because not only was it the right thing to do, but that’s what Dad would have done. After all, what’s more important than family? I felt like I was watching my Sony nephew taking hacks in that batting cage. Heck, I was super excited to be there for that!

...best things about the camera...small, records to inexpensive SD cards, runs on the standard batteries...

Speaking of family, this April will be the 7th anniversary of Dad’s passing. Last summer, while visiting my Mom, I was going through some of his old equipment that had been boxed up. One thing that caught my eye was a familiar looking battery. I pocketed it and brought it upstairs to attempt a charge. I was super happy when it not only worked, but it had his old label on it. What’s most amazing is this battery (NP-F950), which he used with his beloved TRV950, works with the FS700!

Since that time, shooting game action has been even more of a thrill…as in my mind’s eye and with that battery, it’s like Dad and I are hanging out. Meeting people and providing content. Essentially doing what we love…together. back to TOC

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Š2014 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Features, design, and specifications are subject to change without notice. The values for mass and dimension are approximate. Sony, AXSM, BRAVIA, CineAlta, Digital Betacam, HDMI, SRMemory, SRMASTER, SxS, SxS Pro, TRIMASTER, Vegas, XAVC, XDCAM and the Sony logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation. Mac is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Action Magazine