1080p Field Test: Sony FS5 Vs Sony A7S Vs Samsung NX1 from Tim Shoebridge

Tim Shoebridge is at it again… This time it’s a field test with the Sony FS5, Sony a7S and the Samsung NX1 camera:

1080p Field Test: Sony FS5 vs A7S vs Samsung NX1 from Tim Shoebridge on Vimeo.

This is a quick field test of the Sony FS5 shooting in 1080p/25 mode compared to the Sony A7S and the Samsung NX1. The FS5 and A7S were both shot in SLOG-2 using a Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 FE lens. The A7S was shot in APS-C crop mode to give the same approximate field of view as the other cameras. The Samsung NX1 was shot in the flattest profile available using the Samsung NX 60mm f/2.8, which was the closest lens I had to 55mm. All cameras were set to 3200 ISO, 1/50th shutter speed and an aperture of f/8. Sharpness was turned right down in the profiles of all cameras.Everything is shot in 1080p @ 25fps.

In terms of post-processing. changes were made to white balance, exposure and gamma curve to make the images of all three cameras as similar as possible. A LUT was then applied from DELUTS pack 1-3 by James Miller. No sharpening was applied in post.

The scene is the view of St Paul's Cathedral when shot from the Millennium pedestrian bridge. It was late afternoon and the sun was low in the sky, just starting to set, and diffused by light cloud. I shot the FS5 footage first, followed by the A7S, and then the NX1. Lighting was generally constant but become increasingly darker.

My conclusions:

The FS5 SLOG-2 image is very flat, flatter than A7S SLOG-2. Perhaps this is down to some of the other profile parameters not being identical, or maybe it is the codec. Anyhow, the FS5 footage was very hard to grade and I couldn't achieve the same level of richness and luminosity as the NX1 without pushing the blacks down too low. This would tend to indicate to me that the NX1 image has a wider dynamic range.

The A7S SLOG-2 image was also harder to grade than the NX1, this is to be expected, but at least the colours of the A7S were generally truer than the FS5, although the levels of red were highest among the three cameras. Overall though, the crop-mode of the A7S yields the softest image. This could possibly be enhanced with some sharpening but I chose to not sharpen any of the footage to be consistent with the comparison.

To my eyes the NX1 image is head-and-shoulders better than the Sony cameras. The colours are most accurate, and there is a luminosity and clarity to the image that is just lost with the very flat profiles of the Sony's.

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