10 bit output from the Sony FS700R
In other news I recently procured an FS700R off of a nice guy by the name of Colin McGuire. Here's his You Tube Page and Kickstarter project for a short film series about Portals or some such thing. Quality shooting, quite entertaining and definitely recommended. I believe they're supposed to be location scouting in Bombay in February.
The reason I purchased the FS700R even though it's basically at the end of it's product life is for the slow motion footage this thing takes. With a Metabones adapter on it I plan on using it with the arsenal of Nikon lenses I've accumulated over the last 3 years. The adapter arrives on Tuesday which is the first I'll be able to do anything with it and between now and then, as I did before I pulled the trigger on Colin's camera, I've been doing a ton of reading on the FS700R.
In the course of my reading I ran across this post on dvinfo.net where one Chris Young from CYV Productions in Sydney suggested one could actually capture true 10 bit 1080 video from the camera by converting the signal from the component video output using an analog to SDI converter such as this one from Blackmagic, or maybe this one from AJA and feeding the input into something like an Atomos Samurai. I'll see if I can contact Chris at some point and ask for more detail but I thought this was interesting enough to throw out there anyway.
You might already be aware that Sony limits the output of the FS700R to 8-bit 4-2-0 stuff whether one records internally or externally via say the HD-SDI output or the HDMI output in spite of the FS700R having a 4K sensor internally. Even if one adds an external 10-bit recorder one still only gets 8 bit 4-2-0 material padded with the 2 extra bits which I believe means that you have room to spread into as you color grade your footage but you don't start with all the quality and latitude the FS700R has the potential to offer you in the first place.
To get 4K output from the FS700R one would need Sony's 4K recorder plus another thing in the middle and I've looked at the numbers and they made me throw up a bit so that's not happening for me. There is another option, Convergent's Odyssey 7Q which though cheaper is frankly still quite solidly out of my budget for now.
So that's what this post is really about, the idea that I've been chasing the past few days that one might be able to get 10 bit video out of the FS700R at a price less than several thousands more besides what the camera cost. No definitive answers here yet but if you have any information I'd love to know :)
Keywords: 10-bit 4-2-0, 10-bit 4-2-2, Analog to SDI converter, Atomos Samurai, Colin McGuire, Convergent's Odyssey 7Q, FS700R, Jackrabbit Photo, LA Filmographer, LA Photographer, LA Videographer, Mark Chaudhary, Secrets of Aperture
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