Right then. I wasn’t planning on really doing this, but inspiration struck earlier today when my good friend and assistant Louis was over, so we mounted the FS700 onto the Ronin. This took A WHILE. The FS700 is a bit too long in the body, “brain” section, so balancing it is constrictive as there isn’t much room. It’s certainly not “tall” like a RED, but rather long.
With the kit 18-200 e-mount, it was a bit easier as there wasn’t much weight on the front end. I shot with this at first… but in the higher frame rates, it was just too slow and too noisy to be usable in the dark. It’s certainly no A7s, but that wasn’t the purpose of this test. Next, I mounted my favourite lens, the 16-35mm f/2.8 with the speed booster, so a registered aperture of f/2. This cleared up the image IMMENSELY, but of course I lost autofocus (tho it wasn’t reacting too well anyway), but more importantly, it added enough weight to the front that balancing was a problem.
A real problem. I tried to search online for anyone else having mounted the fs700 with such a setup, but found nothing. So hopefully this helps some, as I was able to find a solution. To offset the extra balance on the front… I used the grip relocator from Westside AV, along with a number of old counterweights from my ancient Glidecam pro 2 (it’s like 15 years old). Not the most eloquent solution, but the only way I could figure out how to get some more weight on the back.
All was good, until I started to hook up the 7Q. The issue with this is that the SDI sticks out directly from the back, which gets in the way of the arm. Using a 90 degree BNC connector helps… except that fraking port cover sticks out and keeps getting caught. Only a large amount of tape to hold it in place solved the issue. This sucks, but it worked.
The entirety of the footage is not stabilized, and aside from applying BCC8 flicker fix (which didn’t remove the flicker fully… so you can imagine how bad it is otherwise) there is no noise reduction. I used the Slog 2 to Rec709 LUT and dumped up exposure slightly, but otherwise, no changes to the footage.
Aside from just finding out a way to mount the fs700 to the Ronin, I also wanted to test out the new 120fps 4k burst from the July 7Q update. It wasn’t the best of settings, no, with just crappy hallway lighting. But I wanted to see how it would react. For some reason, the 4k burst mode seems to have a green stripe/block on the left side. I didn’t notice this while shooting, but you can see for yourself in the video. It may simply have been a poor connection that got loose (that 90 degree BNC has given me problems in the past)… but I can’t be sure. Hopefully Convergent Design can help.
I was quite happy about the D-TAP in the Ronin power box… this saved me needing to mount additional batteries for the 7Q, and is a great idea. I kind of which though that one of the D-TAPs was up by the battery, instead of under the baseplate.
The biggest issue I can already see is that the moment I add a wireless follow focus, I don’t think I’ll have enough weight to counter it. Another small issue is that when panned up for balance on the 2nd axis… this lens hits the bar, and so I have to guess and can’t do it properly.
In the end, the fs700 IS capable to be flown by the Ronin… but not only does it become just too heavy… it also has other issues with the balancing of it. I’ve heard the DJI will have different plates and accessories for other cameras in the future, so hopefully this can be fixed, but at the moment, I am extremely happy with the A7s purchase. Now if only I could record 4k with it.