Small Production Footprint: Cameras
My choice of cameras were from Sony: a single NEX FS100 and three NEX7 DSLRs. (One DSLR was destined for the helicopter platform that never eventuated leaving it spare.) I totally love these cameras, even with their kit lenses. The NEX7s are a great camera and I’ll be keeping at least one for future personal use – for both still and video use. Audio quality is good enough to use to sync with second system audio, or with a directional microphone, good enough for field voice recording.
The FS 100 is more of a mixed story. By itself its ergonomics aren’t good. Todd Mahoney first favored a classic rails rig incorporating his Cowboy rig , but ultimately used it more on a heavy duty monopod we had available, at least around the boatyard.
Beth, on the other hand, tried the rig, but ultimately used the FS100 on the Cowboy rig alone.
The FS100 is more sensitive in low light than the NEX7, but was ultimately not small enough for much use in the cabin, or generally on board, which was in line with our expectations. It would have been perfect (with ND) for our off boat location stuff. It was great around the boatyard and under low light conditions. I’m in two minds as to whether or not I’d invest in one again. (And if you’d like to buy a near new FS100 email me!)
Since I returned, Sony have announced the NEX AE50, which is very close to an FS100 in a more traditional “video camera” form factor. This, I think, would be the perfect compromise. There’s even a hands-on over at DSLR News Shooter.
GoPros – we always had two GoPros (the one I’d purchased, a loaner from Alan Spalding) and frequently a third from Todd. I don’t need to upsell these – the Hero2’s image quality is outstanding for the price, and they fit in places you just can’t get a camera otherwise. I’m looking forward to the wireless back and remote controls, something that wasn’t released far enough in advance for us to explore.