The Sony FS700 is one camera that I was really looking forward to checking out up close and personal at NAB 2012. As you can tell from the images, it looks and feels a lot like the FS100. Most of the controls and connections are in the same location, so if you are familiar with the FS100, the FS700 isn’t a different world.
There’s quite a bit more girth near the lens mount due to the built-in ND filters, which is certainly a worthwhile addition. The second channel XLR input is also re-routed to the right front side of the camera to make room for the 3G-SDI on the back of the FS700, which should give us 4K RAW capture at a later date.
The hand-grip is definitely beefed up from the FS100 for a much more solid feel – again, a needed improvement. Notably, there’s now a zoom rocker on the hand-grip, which led to a brief argument between me and Sony rep who tried to convince me that there were already E-mount lenses on the market that featured powered zoom motors. Well, there aren’t, but there most likely will be in the not-too-distant future.
I’ve been shooting some with the Panasonic GX1 and the 14-42mm power-zoom kit lens. I’ve found the combo to work swimmingly well. If Sony can wrangle up something similar for it’s NEX line (not just the FS700, but other photo-oriented NEX models as well), I think it will hit home with a lot of shooters (both photo and video).
I think Sony is doing something special with the FS700 thanks to the high frame rates (up to 240fps at 1080p), 4K output and sub-$10k price point. I’ve heard that Sony spent a lot of time listening to end users of the FS100 in the design and build of the FS700. Looking at the camera as a whole, I think it’s pretty clear that Sony did just that.
The Sony FS700 should be available in June at yet-to-be-official sub-$10k price point. Check availability here at B&H Photo.