So after my last test of the FS700 a few people wanted to know if the image would improve by recording to an external recorder. Well in short NO. Unfortunately the current output only enables 8bit 4.2.2 over the HD SDI output. Even though the camera will be capable of outputting a 4k 12bit RAW image down the track. I'm not going to go into all the technical reasons behind this but if your interested in finding out more there is plenty of in depth information on the Internet.
I recorded to the internal SD card at 24Mb/s in AVCHD as well as to ProRes 422 HQ at 220Mb/s on a Atmos Samurai.
My conclusion after looking at direct comparisons of the two is there is little if not any difference in image quality. Even when blowing up the image there is virtually no difference. There is certainly no improvement to the quality at higher ISO.s either. The only point to record to an external recorder would be to have a back up copy of your vision and for faster turn around time of material. It may well benefit from using an external recorder when doing FX or green screen work but I can only speculate.
Just like the C300 there seems to be almost no reason to use an external recorder with the FS700. The 8bit output offers to my eye almost zero improvement over recording internally.
On a side note it is possible to record high speed frame rates from the FS700 to an external recorder but only by playing back the material from the camera . You cannot capture High speed material while your actually filming it to an external device.
What may also be very exciting down the track for news shooters is when the 4k finally becomes enabled . In theory you should be able to use a 2/3" ENG broadcast lens without having the doubler in. By center cropping a 4k image you should be able to produce a full 1920x1080 picture. I have my doubts though as to how good the quality would be from a 2/3" lens.
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