Sony FS5 II Review and Comparison to Alpha Cameras for Wildlife Filmmaking

A little over two years ago, the Sony FS5 II compact cinema camera was released. Both the original FS5 and the FS5 II have become common names found in wildlife filmmaking thanks to their relatively low price, portability, and slow motion recording options maintaining 10-bit 4:2:2. In this review I put the camera to work for a month of filming at the onset of the autumn season and share my thoughts on the experience.

For a sampler of the Sony FS5 II’s footage, I created the short video “Autumn’s Awakening” which you can view below. There are no magic tricks behind the scenes with extra equipment, and I ran a bare bones setup of just the camera and lens on a tripod.

In summary of my review, in which I do a fair amount of comparison between the FS5 II and the Sony Alpha cameras, I gave high marks to the built-in variable neutral density filter, the cache recording possibilities in Super Slow Motion mode, the Full HD 10-bit 4:2:2 throughout all frame rates, and its E-mount for the fact I can bring my trusty wildlife-loving Sony 200–600mm along for the ride. Check out all the positives and negatives in the full review video.

Ryan Mense's picture

Ryan Mense is a wildlife cameraperson specializing in birds. Alongside gear reviews and news, Ryan heads selection for the Fstoppers Photo of the Day.

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Congrats on your beautiful Autumn's Awakening video !!

Stunning work! Thanks for sharing.

Question, why are you only shooting at HD and not 4K? And why not ProResRAW?