Extreme shooting at our FS7 II Masterclass with Jeremy Humphries

Extreme shooting at our FS7 II Masterclass with Jeremy Humphries

Last week, Anthony Corcoran from Jigsaw24 welcomed award-winning director of photography Jeremy Humphries, Chilean rose tarantula Sharon and red milk snake Stripey to our Soho digs for our Sony FS7 II Masterclass. Between them, they taught us a little about extreme shooting and how to get the best out of the new FS7 II…

Jeremy is a BBC-trained director of photography with over 35 years of experience, and has filmed documentaries in extreme and diverse locations, from South Africa and Zanzibar to the Pacific Rim and North Pole. He also trained contestants of The Island with Bear Grylls on how to use camcorders in extreme conditions. As well as getting hands-on with the FS7 II, guests were able ask Jeremy for his expert tips and tricks.


Jeremy discussed his experiences using the FS7 and FS7 II, and on how to get the best results. These included the optimum way to set up the camera, how to make the most out of the customisable pre-set buttons, configuring the LCD with colour bars, creating HDR content, tips for shooting in S-Log3, and using LUTs. He discussed the future benefits of REC2020 and manipulating depth of field whilst compensating for exposure fluctuation with the electronic variable ND filter on the FS7 II.

He also shared his expertise on shooting in extreme environments, including discussion and clips on how he recently shot Hunted and Escape to the Wild. Jeremy was full of tips that he’s developed from his extensive experience, like acclimatising your camera as soon as possible, and pointed out issues many might not have thought of, such as changing lenses in sub-zero temperatures, and condensation collecting on your LCD monitor.

In these extreme conditions, Jeremy also recommended shooting handheld as opposed to on a tripod wherever possible, to really get involved in the action. To demonstrate the benefits of this, and other tips he shared, Jeremy showed us some clips from his past work Hunted and Escape to the Wild.

To recreate the kind of environments Jeremy is familiar with, and to give our guests a taste of the ‘extreme’, we brought in a couple of friends as part of a mini tropical set for guests to test the FS7 II out on.

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We let Sharon and Stripey loose on guests, so they could get hands-on with the animals while waiting to check out the Sony FS7 II.


Guests were able to have a play with the new camcorder with our in-house Jigsaw24 experts, and compare it to the previous FS7 model. There was also quite a queue to chat with Jeremy and get some more expert tips and tricks!

When discussing the great new features of the FS7 II, Jeremy talked about how he began his career as a focus puller way back when you needed to judge if your shots were in focus by eye. The digital and technological developments demonstrated in the new Sony camcorder really put into perspective just how far we’ve come during the span of his career.

While we can’t quite get hold of a Sony Video 8 or KODAVISION Series 2000 any more, we can help out with all the latest kit from camcorders to cables. Our expert team can take you through consultancy, to implementation, to support and repairs, and we even provide accredited training courses for technical teams and end users.

Want to find out more about the Sony FS7 II or our upcoming events? Get in touch with us by calling 03332 409 306 or emailing broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and gossip, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and like us on Facebook

Sony expands the FS series with their new FS7 II camcorder

Sony expands the FS series with their new FS7 II camcorder

Creative documentary and indie film producers rejoice, for Sony are adding to their FS Series Super 35mm professional family with the addition of the new FS7 II camcorder. The original FS7 was a firm favourite with the video team here, and its new incarnation looks set to be just as well loved, adding advanced features like Electronic Variable ND technology, a lever lock type E-mount, and a new mechanical design for faster and easier setup.

Sony FS7 II camcorder at Jigsaw24

“Since its introduction in 2014, the FS7 has become one of the most widely used cameras in a range of production applications, and the original model remains in the Sony line-up. The new FS7 II now gives creative professionals a broader range of creative tools, with new features all based on end user feedback.

The new FS7 II camcorder is designed for long-form shooting and production applications, especially for documentaries and independent filmmaking. Amongst the many enhancements outlined below, the FS7 II can also record in BT2020 colour space, hence making it ideal for today’s 4K broadcast productions.

Electronic Variable ND Technology

The camcorder’s Electronic Variable ND Filter system, combined with its large sensor, delivers greater exposure control, with the option of preset or variable operation modes. Variable ND mode (clear + 2~7 stop range, in seamless transition steps up to 1/128) allows the user to vary the density of the ND filter during shooting and to transition seamlessly between steps. This also ensures an optimum motion delivery by maintaining desired shutter speed.

The camera’s expanded ND operations enables fine exposure adjustment by relegating iris to set depth of field, prevents soft focus caused by diffraction, and prevents colour shift caused by stacking multiple external ND filters. The camera can compensate for exposure fluctuation caused by iris control while adjusting the depth of field. Users can adjust exposure while keeping the same bokeh in changing shooting or lighting environments.

Preset mode lets users assign three ND settings to the filter turret, useful in selecting the most appropriate filtration range for changing light conditions, for example. Auto ND mode is also available allowing exposure to stay at a fixed level while adjusting the depth of field with iris control.

E-mount (Lever Lock type) for professional shooting

The FS7 II revisited E-mount (lever lock type) gives users the ability to change lenses by rotating the locking collar rather than the lens itself, which means that in most cases lens support rigs don’t need to be removed, saving time during a production. The new E-Mount has been designed for demanding applications in the professional environment and will fit any existing E-mount lenses in the market and other mount lenses with an adapter. The new FS7 II camcorder also supports Sony α Mount System, which includes more than 70 lenses.

Mechanical Design Enhancements 

Like its counterparts in the FS Series family – the FS7 and FS5 models – the new FS7 II features several design and ergonomic updates for comfortable and functional use in the field. These new features are based customer feedback around the FS7. The FS7 II “tool-less” mechanical design lets users make on-the-fly changes to the camera’s set-up and operation. For example, no tools are required to adjust the Smart Grip or viewfinder positions.

The detachable viewfinder eyepiece, which comes with a pop-up hood, provides a third stabilizing contact point when shooting handheld. Durable square section rods and lever-clamps on the LCD and camera body provide simple and precise front-to-back VF adjustment while retaining level positioning.

New Sony 18-110mm Sony G lens

Sony also introduced a new E-mount, Super 35mm lens specifically designed for documentary and motion picture production. The new lens, model E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS, covers Super35mm and APS-C sensors. Compact and lightweight — 2.4 lbs (1.1Kg) — with an 18 to 110 focal range (6x zoom) it uses a new fully mechanical/servo zoom switchable system, capable of snap zooms and entirely devoid of lag. The focal range is optimised for Super 35 and APS-C sensors.

The lens is compatible with Sony α Mount System cameras, including the α7 series interchangeable-lens cameras and professional Super 35mm 4K camcorders like the FS7 or FS5. Although perfectly suited for still image taking, filmmakers will fully appreciate the lens’ extended creative capabilities for shooting motion images.

The lens benefits Smooth Motion Optics (SMO) design from Sony, which is developed to optimise performance during motion image capture. This lens design eliminates undesirable characteristics and artifacts that do not affect still image taking, but can severely limit a lens’ usefulness for motion shooting, such as:

– Ramping: F stop gradually diminishes when zooming tight.

– Not holding focus while zooming.

– Breathing (angle of view variation while focusing).

– Optical axis shift (image moves in the frame while zooming).

*Due to a change in the SELP18110G specifications it is no longer compatible with the SEL14TC and SEL20TC teleconverters.

XQD Cards

The FS7 II supports the XQD memory card format, designed for capturing and transferring high-bandwidth, high resolution files. The newest XQD card from Sony, QD-G256E — with an industry first 256 GB capacity — enables recording time of approximately 45 minutes at 4K 60P and 3.5 hours at 2K 30P. Combined with a read speed of 440MB/s and write speed 400MB/s, users can shoot for longer without needing to change media cards.”

– The Sony FS7 II is planned to be available in January 2017, and you can pre-order it from us now here.

Want to know more about the Sony FS7 II camcorder? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Event Roundup: FS5 Fiesta

Event Roundup: FS5 Fiesta

Hosted by pro storm chaser Alister Chapman, our FS5 Fiesta brought some of the hottest Sony camcorder kit to Soho. Guests got the lowdown on the cameras and learnt some handy techniques and tips to boot, all while enjoying tapas and a few beers. 

First off, we’d like to thank everyone who made it there on the day! Alister kicked off the event by imparting his filmic wisdom, dropping his knowledge on lens options, variable ND, clear image zoom, super slow mo, picture profile settings, gamma curves, Cinegammas, S-log and S-log2 and much more. As a storm chaser and someone who’s been apart of the Sony ecosystem for years, Alister knows all about Sony camcorders and the intricacies of using them and we’re confident our guests will be making use of the cool tips he was dishing out.

FS5 Fiesta 3 blog

Alister wasted no time showing the audience how to get the very best out of the Sony PXW-FS5, and demonstrated some impressive footage of the Geysir in Iceland where he’d made use of the super slow mo and end trigger settings. The Sony PXW-FS7 also made an appearance, as guests had the chance to get their hands on both of Sony’s video cameras and put their questions to the expert. Atomos brought along their Shogun 4K recorder and monitor, while Rotolight brought their NEO lights kit along to the event. In addition, we had some top of the range lenses from Zeiss on display, which work perfectly with Sony camcorders – remember, every top quality camera is only as good as the lens attached to it!

FS5 Fiesta 2 blog

As I’m sure you’d imagine, the tapas went down a treat and our guests walked (or stumbled) away with some extra camcorder knowhow they can put to the test themselves.

Here’s what some of you had to say about our FS5 Fiesta:

If you’d like to find out more about Sony camcorders, call us on 03332 400 888, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com, ‘like’ us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24. Want to come to one of our upcoming events? Find out what we’ve got coming up here.

JVC GY-LS300 goes slow mo with new free firmware update

JVC GY-LS300 goes slow mo with new free firmware update

Just before Christmas, JVC released a firmware update for their GY-HM170 and GY-HM200 that included slow motion recording. And now, they’re slowly rolling it out to the GY-LS300 4KCAM handheld Super 35 camcorder too, with a firmware update slated for April.

The slo-mo upgrade will allow the GY-LS300 to record HD footage at up to 120 frames per second, and also drives the Prime Zoom feature, which enables fixed-focal (prime) lenses to zoom in and out without losing resolution or depth of field.

Other features in the firmware include the J-Log gamma setting, which expands dynamic range by 800 percent with film-like latitude and a built-in HD streaming engine with WiFi and 4G connectivity for live transmission to hardware decoders or content delivery networks (CDNs). The camera records 4K, HD and SD footage in a variety of formats to dual SDHC/SDXC card slots.

JVC GY-LS300 on Jigsaw24

About the JVC GY-LS300

With its small form factor, 4K capabilities, live streaming functionality, pro audio and, above all, small price tag compared to equivalent cameras with similar features, the GY-LS300 is ideal for event and corporate videography.

– The new JVC GY-LS300 firmware update will be released in April 2016, and you can download it then from JVC’s Pro Firmware Update page.

Buy the JVC GY-LS300 at Jigsaw24

Want to know more about the JVC GY-LS300? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook