Review of Sony FS700! Both parts now live!!

ETHICS STATEMENT: I made this in my own time (and it took A LOT of time!) for the readers of my blog. I was not paid by any manufacturer to do this. The FS700 was supplied to me on loan as review cameras for 3 days by Sony Europe. I asked for the camera so I could review it. Sony as always have given me a free hand to be as honest as I want. No stipulations other than to say it’s a pre-production camera. I really appreciate that.

I have never and will never be paid by a manufacturer to review a product. My opinions are my own and always will be. If you think otherwise then you are wrong! 🙂

There are a few shots of my dad smoking a cigar in the video and I do not approve of smoking. It is bad for your health and my dad volunteered to do his signature shot for this video. I am trying to get him to quit. 

There are adverts for this product on this page as well as other adverts for other companies. This helps me make these reviews. I did not get paid to do this and it has taken over a week of my time to do it. If you decide to purchase this camera or other products clicking on my affiliate links help me make these happen. So thank you!

EDIT: Part 1 now up with part 2 to follow. It is at the bottom of this post.

My BAFTA/ RAINDANCE winning documentary “How to start a revolution” is available to buy on Amazon. You can purchase it below.

I own far too many cameras. Most do similar things, just some better than others. One camera I used to own but now no longer do (for previously documented reasons), the Red Epic, I miss enormously. Not for the problems associated with it but for the image and especially the slow motion. I was able to shoot 120 FPS at 5K and 300 FPS continuously at 2k cropped. I miss that. One of my favourite pieces I made in this mode was the Turin Brakes video “Chim Chim Cher Ree”.

You see we love time-lapse, we love slow motion. Why? Because it is something we cannot see with our own eyes naturally. I love to use both and am very much obsessed with ultra slow motion right now. The slowest I have ever shot, or the fastest frame rate to be correct, is 5000fps at 720p on the Phantom Flex. Mostly at 2564 at 1080p. You can see it in my piece “The Redneck Hippy”. Now I used the slow motion to give visuals to a story. Videos with slow motion just for the sake of it are very common, and I am as guilty as many. In fact, I will be posting one such video on this page. Why? Because I love the way things looks shot at ultra high speed. Should everything we watch have a story? Nope. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy visuals and evoke emotion that images can easily do (photography anyone?). BUT a story IS better for sure. Just don’t get your knickers in a twist if there isn’t a story! Let’s just call it “test footage,” there I just made up a phrase! 😉 But all kidding aside, the piece “Two Forty from Brighton” below for me sums up a weekend at an English beach perfectly!

We will see a lot of slow motion, ultra slow motion, soon. Why? Well the new Sony NEX FS700 is about to come out, and it shoots 1080p at up to 240FPS, or at lower resolutions at 480 fps and 960 fps. This camera will also cost around £6k+Tax. Crazy stuff. As soon as people get this camera they will use this feature to death. Why? Because it’s bloody fun, that is why and we love to over use our new toys. Of course after a short time the owners will start scaling back their slow motion shooting and just use it when they need to. I am pretty sure of that. Then of course other manufacturers will bring out their cameras with high frame rates to compete. GREAT! Competition is the best thing! Without it we would not be shooting on super 35mm sensors for a few thousand dollars right now!

BTS photos by James Miller
Sarah Estela shooting review on the C300
BTS photos by James Miller
BTS photos by James Miller

My review is in video form and yes, it focuses heavily on the slow motion modes but it also focuses on the image itself, the improvements and lack of improvements in the camera, low light and a lot more. It’s very in depth and I hope it is rather educational too! I don’t cover 4k as I didn’t have the feature enabled yet.

The FS700 is not a replacement for the excellent-image-producing but a wee bit plasticky and frustrating FS100. It’s a model up. Is it worth the upgrade? Have they improved on some of the more annoying aspects of the camera? Will I buy one?!

Both parts of the review are now up. Part 1 covers the slow motion function and initial impressions. Part 2 goes into the improvements and cons of the camera and analyses the image as well as takes a look at low light performance.

I have not been paid to do this review so if you do want to buy any camera gear if you could use any of my affiliates on my site it would help me take the time off to do things like this. Over a week of work went into this so I would be very grateful! Thanks.

CVP below are my preferred European dealer and clicking below will go to my specially chosen products in their store and B&H my US preferred Dealer.


Additionally here are two bits of video. One a short clip which is just a shot at 480 FPS in 24p. Shot on a 50mm F1.2 and hand focus pulled by myself. The resolution is slightly more than halved vertically but maintained horizontally. This causes some image issues as you can see on Sarah’s hat. I found the 1/4 resolution 960fps too poor to use in this pre-production camera. The other clip is a montage of some shots I got down in Brighton. Much BTS was filmed of this and will be part of the review, explaining what lenses I used, how I used the features and things to be aware of.

I used the excellent METABONES EF adaptor for the Canon lenses and the MTF services adaptor for the Zeiss ZF ones.

The vast majority was shot on the Canon L Series 100-400mm lens. A couple on the Tokina 11-16 and the Canon 50mm F1.2.

Picture profile was all over the place, as the pre-production camera kept resetting to default. So half shots were shot on the cine gamma I wanted. The rest were not!


Music is once again from the brilliant Music Bed

Big thanks as always to Sarah Estela who shot the BTS and James Miller who came along for the ride!



MATCHES! High frame rate comparison of 240, 480 and 960FPS on SONY FS700 from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.

I have not been paid to do this review so if you do want to buy any camera gear if you could use any of my affiliates on my site it would help me take the time off to do things like this. Over a week of work went into this so I would be very grateful! Thanks.

CVP below are my preferred European dealer and clicking below will go to my specially chosen products in their store and B&H my US preferred Dealer and their link is below the CVP one. Thanks!



  1. Lovely Image, as always. You just seem to have a way with cameras.

    That last shot though. It looked like it suffered in low light, which is odd for it being the successor of the FS100.
    Is it possible to compare the two in the future?

    1. Thanks Daniel.

      Is it noisier than the FS100…i would say so. I did some comparisons which come up on the video but this is only a pre-production camera so things may change. part of problem is the almost 3x more megapixels on the FS700 means it is no surprise the low light is not quite as good!

      OH and remember this was at 1/500th of a second of the slow motion so the ISO was pushed high in the low light conditions!!

      1. 1/500 eh?
        Yeah I suppose that would have more than a minor bearing on noise and low light.
        too bad the higher megapixel count interferes with sensitivity.
        Why can’t they just make a perfect camera?
        Oh well, It’s still has an INSANELY outrageous Image!


  2. Seems like if the 4K/RAW looks good on this camera it will be one of the best choices for the price point. The slow mo alone is worth the current price tag IMO. Actually, I say all of this assuming the 1080p normal speed stuff is as good as the FS100. Guess we have to wait until Friday to know for sure!

    1. Depends on the price of the future Sony 4K Recorder that they seems to be about to announce. If it like all the others coming to the market, it will be a $15000, which is more than the camera itself.
      And don’t forget that 4K is a HEAVY worlflow (did not say “difficult to handle”, just HEAVY because large files, huge processing power required and all that jazz)

      1. $15000?!?! The Ki Pro quad is only $3995 USD. They way I understand it, the box recaptures 4k raw/de-bayer/prores all all in one with a monitor! The de-bayer in the Ki-Pro can take a lot of the weight off of a HEAVY post workflow. It’s a recorder and workflow accelerator. I could easily imagine a non (de-bayer) 4K hyperdeck @ $750ish and/or a 4k Ninja/Samurai at $2000.

  3. Wow! I love it! Really looking forward to getting this camera. I film a lot of high speed action (Mixed Martial Arts using hacked GH2), and the images coming from this pre-production camera at high speed, slow motion etc are simply awesome, especially from the price point.

    Philip you really do put together great work.

    One thing I just love about your short Two Forty from Brighton, is that every moment seemed to have its own emotion. Amplified by your sound track for sure. Quite breathtaking really.

    Slow motion in general captivates attention, because it allows us to see the extraordinary things within ordinary moments… it’s simply magical, dreamlike and such a powerful way to bring us in to the story from your point of view. Really looking forward to your review.

    Thank you for all your effort. It makes such a difference to us enthusiasts and industry people alike!

  4. Just FYI – there’s a black bar at top of frame on the Two-Forty vid @ 00:34 – not sure if wasn’t supposed to be there or not, looked unintentional.

    Looking forward to the review!

  5. Great stuff, Philip. I hope in your review you discuss how this camera records slo-mo in eight second bursts and what that means to the filmmaker as they’re trying to film a live scene, like for documentary, not in a staged, narrative setting. I get the feeling folks just believe you press record and wah-la, I have 240fps footage! It’s more than that, and I hope you will address how easy/difficult it is to capture slo-mo with the FS700 in real-world scenarios. That kind of insight will help me decide whether it’s a worthwhile purchase!

  6. When you’re shooting at such high frame rates, do you still have to follow the rule where you double your frames per second and set that as your shutter speed? In other words, when you shot at 420fps, was your shutter set somewhere around 1/800? I noticed you had no motion blur. It was like you could take a still from every frame.

    1. ideally yes you would shoot double. but it depends on how much light there is around and high shutter speeds cause very nasty flickering lights as you can see in the very last shot.

      i shot, for the 240fps stuff mostly at 1/500th of a second.

  7. Every image I see of the FS700 just makes me think, “It looks like the ND filter barrel was just tacked on.” Then my mind wanders and hopes, “MAYBE Sony will make a hot adapter with the ND filters for the FS100!!!”

    A man can hope, right?

  8. I suppose you’ll be saying, “Sony has fixed all issues with the ergonomics of the FS100; the FS700 is a joy to shoot handheld.” 😉


    I’d take the capabilities of this camera in an ENG-style body any day of the week. Pity it still appears to have been designed by the Borg! I might still be forced to buy one on technical merit alone, but damn… handheld without a rig would be super.

  9. That pull focus on the thrown stones was fantastic! Super excited to see decent quality, high speed footage at an indie level price point! Now I’m entirely undecided on what Camera I’d like more out of next years crop, the Sheer flexibility of the FS700, or the unique psuedo16mm RAW BMD Cam!

  10. Hi Phil,

    Quick question for you. I noticed you are using the rather heavy Canon 100-400 WITHOUT support and with the Metabones adaptor. I have the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS Mark 2, which is about 1/4 lbs heavier. Do you think it’s OK to use these heavier lenses without some type of lens support? I’m afraid I will damage the mount when I get the FS700.

    Anyways, I cannot wait for this review as this is the camera I am 99% likely to buy next. Glad to see the Metabones is working. I’ve been trying to order one, but they keep telling me to wait until they do more tests on the FS700 🙁 But if you validate the Metabones, I’m sure it will work just fine.

    1. i had issues with that 100-400 on the metabones. not the weight with the camera. i think it was to do with the pre-prod nature of the camera and some lenses doing odd things! it kept on locking the camera up.

      should it have support. probably!

  11. Looks great Philip. Was the clip with Sarah tossing the rocks using the auto focus tracking or were you pulling focus which of course would be difficult but not impossible with a pro? That slo mo with shallow dop pulling focus is just killer. Really good stuff.

  12. Great shots!

    Have you done a post on how you interact with people? I assume you ask for permission to film but they always seem so candid so I guess you film them before and ask for permission afterwards.

    Also the long lenses help with not being physically close but with the 50mm some people still feel like you’re in their face.

    I would love an insight as to how you go about picking people to shoot and interacting with them.

  13. simply brilliant,
    Philip i will stay away from fs700 “test footage” examples from now on, that was simply enough for me im sold.
    the resolution looks gr8, this is a killer camera, back to the bank for another loan…

  14. I love the focus pull on the stones throw, thats great.

    Phil, do you have a link to where that lens can be bought?

    Canon L Series 100-400mm lens

    I can’t find one on sites like digital rev. Is that an old discontinued lens? or the contemporary model? (it reminds me of the straight 400mm, rather than 100 to 400?

  15. Nice shots! Please tell me you will bring the FS700 to Mallorca. Colourful British Beach life at its best. I miss Southampton and the Southern English coast 🙂

    Very unusual choice of music for you, sir!!

  16. I have a question which I suspect you will address in your review. When shooting at 240fps are you able to have a base framerate of 25fps?

      1. I find it hard to believe a camera that can shoot such a high frame rates can’t process it more conveniently (ie more intermediate options and more felxible base rate options). But I hardly mind considering I wasn’t expecting a frame rate this high to be in reach of that price bracket for some time.

  17. Some of the footage looks 3D but on a 2D monitor.

    I showed this video to a few people that are not into video.

    Simple test shot of 480FPS on Sony FS700 pre-production camera

    Everyone was amazing at how it looked 3D on just a regular HDTV set.

    This video had parts that looked 3D when the shells from the shotgun came out.

    The Redneck Hippie: English subtitled version

  18. Hi Phil,

    I read on another website that editing native AVCHD footage (FS100) with Premiere CS, the blacks get crushed a bit (obviously not good) compared to the original footage. And the only way to avoid this is to transcode the footage before editing with Premiere. Have you experienced this? It would be so nice to NOT have to transcode footage.

  19. This is truly brilliant Philip! As expected, of course, it’s a wonderful, artistic piece. It really draws you deep into the world you create. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  20. Great Stuff!

    Assuming you’re on CS6, can give me insight on the cutting side? Did you have any problems editing, grading, and exporting the AVCHD footage?

  21. I’ve been shooting like crazy with the FS100 and have been loving the outcome.
    Does the 700 out in 10 bit or 8? Do you have any info on this 4K upgrade?

    I want to pre order the 700 for sure this coming week – your review may seal the deal or kill it…

    For alot of run and gun type of stuff with the 100, I’ve been amazed with the low light images this thing captures – where sometimes just a simple LED light has sufficed.

    I have a question pertaining to the Canon MRK3 – I’ve been shooting with both cams ( the MRK3 and the FS100) on several shoots, Are there profile set ups for both cams to help them match better in post? – It’s been a bit wicked to get them to match well… And will the profile set ups be the same for the 700?

    Much appreciate all you do for the indie film community!

  22. Hi Phillip, what happened with the other film you have made in Brighton? I did not see it anywhere in your blog. This one is kind of a Sequel. Both reminds me a lot of some photographs made by Martin Parr, but with motion.
    Talking about Metabones… have you made any contact with them? Or with the people from Birger…? Guess there are many of us expecting for some “smart” adapter to use all that canon (Sigma, Tamron, etc) lenses we have when we jump insanely over our new FS700.
    (By the way: does it works the same way as it does with the FS100?)

  23. I love the focus pull with the pebbles idea. Really gives a sense of other worldliness. I’m looking forward to a full review ‘cos I’m 99% sold already. I enjoy your blog and have great respect for your take on things, so here’s hoping you don’t completely slate it :0)

  24. great work – some of your best for sure

    looks like you were getting some good serendipity and flow judging by the way your shots came together

    the bird in the bin was a classic !

    Great focus pullon the rocks

    i am feeling Velouria by the Pixies – anyone remember that music video? 1 shot focus pull and zoom out of band running at camera – shot slo motion – brilliant.

  25. You got me Philip ! lol

    I just met two days ago the lovely Peter Sykes from Sony Europe (which says “Hello” to you and all your community^^) who was in Cannes (there’s a small film festival in here this week….) to present the F65 and the FS700 cameras…

    Since I’m a moderator on your forum I thought I’ll take pictures and write a little review post… But you got me on the FS700.

    Anyway, to me, the ergonomics is still odd and the camera feels bulky. Too expansive for a camera that doesn’t record better than H264 onboard. Even with the high frame rates. The future 4K upgrade is a joke. Peter didn’t say a word about price, but I don’t think it will be free. Plus it will need an external recorder that is MORE EXPANSIVE than the camera itself (BUT they said Sony is coming with one too, maybe at an accessible price).

    So as always to me there’s no really bad camera. “Every camera for avery kind of jobs”… But not my cup of tea.
    (I’ll make a post about the luxurious F65 this week-end)

  26. Philip,

    What has your experience been with comparing the FS700 or other “native” slow motion cameras vs a DSLR (7D) with slow motion in post? Is it worth the extra price most of the time?

    Also, your footage always looks great and it shines here!

  27. Hi Philip, great video 🙂 There a bunch of us Aussies who love your stuff 🙂

    Just a quick question on the slow motion, I couldn’t seem to find online, but do you have to conform the footage in post, or does the camera actually shoot it in these frame rates for you?? And does CS6 conform high frame rate footage post production like Cinema Tools did for FCP?

    Thanks mate… 🙂


    1. In PPro, one should use the ‘interpret footage’ option within the bin. Then you can pick any frame rate you want, or perhaps, pick the CORRECT frame rate for your sequence. That’s how I do it with my 7D 60fps shots.

      Philip, can you confirm this method with FS700 footage?


  28. Dude, I’m literally on pins an needles waiting for this review. I’m very anxious to know if I’m going to be buying this or the FS100. I’m particularly interested in low light situations with the added megapixels.
    It’s 12:30 pm here in Texas (6:30 London time), and I’m starting to go crazy.
    Thanks for all the reviews, Philip. Just from this site alone I feel like I’ve learned truck loads.

    One question, is the stock lens worth the extra money if I don’t have a decent zoom? Or should I buy a different zoom in a similar price range? I plan to shoot docs.

        1. really looking forward to part two just a quick question, will it be up today, its late here in London, but if its up soon i will wait up with anticipation, I have already pre ordered the FS700 and am itching to know if its a winner

  29. Outstanding review Philip – my hat’s off to you and your crew for putting together such an in-depth and varied presentation. This is setting a new standard for getting information out there – no reason it shouldn’t look as good as anything else!

    I’ll admit I wish my 5D2 shot at least 60fps because we do all love the look of that slo mo, but hey, it’s damn helpful to have help figuring out what I should rent when I just have to have that capability on a shoot. Your videos, reviews, and information are always a welcome tool in my belt.


    San Luis Obispo, California

  30. To say “very nice” doesn’t begin to describe the joy of your footage (particularly the seagull “head bob”). Questions: Are the HD-SDI and HDMI signals out compressed? Does the native AVCHD out have significant moiré issues? Is the native footage from either the 700 or 100 suitable for grading and then to DVD/Blu Ray (or even broadcast), as is, or will it be a “must” to record it directly to a ProRes recorder? Finally a general question: In your opinion, is there a significant quality difference in recording to ProRes from HDMI versus HD-SDI? Thank Phillip you for time and dedication to help us all !

  31. Im going to purchase mine at the end of the summer. Because that’s when I’ll have the money to. lol. I can’t wait. Can ask, what was the tripod legs and head you were using? It looked very stable and mobile. I need to invest in some mobile legs.

  32. Phil: Thanks so very much for such a truly amazing review. I cannot wait for part II !! (like waiting for Godfather II)

    I have 2 questions for you:

    1) Is it possible to record those 240fps uncompressed externally?

    2) Which recorders are capable of recording 240fps(from the FS700 or any other HD-SDI or HDMI source)?

    Your input very much appreciated!!



    1. i don’t think it is BATman 🙂

      As far as I know if converts to AVCHD in camera then writes to card, you then have to play that avchd file into the pro res recorder. I could be wrong!

      1. Alister Chapman’s test shows it outputs uncompressed to external recorder at either 50/60p or 25/30p (set PAL/NTSC).

        Recorders like the Gemini can record the former, and eg. Nanoflash the latter. The 25/30p drops every other frame of the slow-motion so you only get half the slow-motion effect with the Nanoflash – still very useful.

  33. Thanks Philip great review so far. I am an FS100 shooter myself and bought one only three months before the FS700 was announced, yes a little bit of me cracked when I heard however it costing almost double the price made me feel a little better. Look forward to seeing the pros and cons between the two and if it’s worth upgrading.

    For anyone looking at getting an FS100, I shoot with one, I love it, needless to say my HDSLR’s are currently collecting dust on the shelves as a result.

  34. c300 or fs 700?
    I shoot longform-documentaries (on an af100/nano) and think about buying either an c300 or an fs700.
    I don’t need slomos and 4K, 10 bit – I do need 422. So C300 seems to make more sense.
    But most important thing: highlight-roll-off, dynamic range, lowlight, zoomlenses with constant f2.8 and IS – and simply “the look” that comes out of the camera (not using any log-settings – I am no cc-expert and don’t want to become one).
    which would you prefer? which camera produces the “nicer image”?