Director and cinematographer Jason Wingrove’s commercials and shorts have picked up gongs at festivals worldwide, garnering Clio, Axis, MADC, ATV, AWARD, ACS, Worldwide Film Festival and Cannes advertising awards. Recently this talented Director/DOP made the decision to use the Sony FS7 as his camera of choice.
Wingrove explained, “I’ve used the FS7 on dozens and dozens of high end commercials now from small clients and products to big ones. The reasons for this are many and varied. First and foremost for me is the full frame option. In my opinion it’s a huge boost to the beauty of the images.
“I’m addicted to the look of full frame since the 5D days but a professional camera that could capture a similar look has long been in my sights. Along with a sensible, accessible codec, low media cost, slow motion options and 4K acquisition are almost a prerequisite now. Most of my work is professionally colour graded too so a huge part of the decision was to use a camera with great dynamic range and files that give me all the flexibility in grading I’m used to. The FS7 delivers all of the above.”
Sony’s PXW-FS7 has been a popular camera with cinematographers, due to its full frame look and versatility.
He continued, “With the E mount on the FS7 I can now use speed boosters to give me the full frame look without any issues and my images have never looked better or sharper. I was also after something that worked ergonomically as I shoot 99% handheld so the FS7’s size and weight were ideal.”
Flexibility and functionality are vital elements when choosing a cameras for your shoot. Each shoot, comes with its own set of unique challenges. So when it comes to purchasing a camera, you really want one that will cover a wide spectrum of functions.
For Wingrove, he found the FS7 fulfilled most of his requirements with the E-mount, adding “Full size XLRs with manual audio levels rather than via menus, 4K up to 60fps and 180fps at HD. That’s all I need for now.
“Also media is very easy to handle and I get no push back from producers or post about the format or amount of data. The FS7 is also light, flexible and very affordable so for me it’s the best bang for buck out there. My clients and I are loving the images and constantly complimenting them so that’s all the validation on camera choice I need.”
The combination of using the FS7 with a speed booster, the 4K images and slow motion Wingrove feels he has all the tools he needs to capture great footage, adding “As I said, clients are loving it. Probably one of the best comments was from my colourist who said the images looked like that German camera that costs ten times as much. I have to say I agree with him.”
For most shoots Wingrove uses 4K XAVC and shoots custom mode explaining, “I don’t like to fiddle with things too much on the day, I just change the white balance occasionally and that’s it. Set and forget is how I like it. Technology that helps me make great images but stays out of my way and lets me get on with it.”
He used the camera on his recent TVCs, saying “I’m using slow motion 90% of the time, handheld all the time and often using it in rigs or gimbals. I shoot dialogue often but always with a sound department in tow, transmitting from their sound cart to the camera.
“Most of the time I’m shooting pretty pictures to music, a mixture of portraiture and product shots. I shoot almost exclusively uncontrolled natural light and the dynamic range of the camera makes it all look great.”
In summarising his decision to only shoot with this procam, Wingrove concluded, “The FS7 compares extremely well to other cameras in its class. It has the dynamic range very similar to anything out there, including the larger more expensive cameras, and I’m not even shooting in Cine EI mode with should give me even more.
“I have some unique custom-made lenses that really come into their own with the full frame field of view so regardless of all the other pluses, the final image is a combination of all I’ve mentioned – dynamic range, clean codec, full frame and slow mo results and my clients love it. As I’m directing first and shooting second I need a camera that gets out of my way and lets me get on with the main game.”
Excerpts from Press Release.