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Wildlife Comes Into Focus with Sony’s FS700

For the past nine years I have been filming wildlife documentaries for the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and other networks. Digital technology has created a golden age for documenting wildlife, and a camera like Sony’s NEX-FS700 with super-slow motion and 4K imaging opens windows into worlds that could not be glimpsed before.

Combining super-slow motion with the ability to shoot 4K raw in a single camera at an affordable price makes the FS700 a reliable, practical tool to go beyond HD. The full-sized Super 35mm sensor allows amazing depth of field. It is also my first camcorder with interchangeable lenses, so it’s a far more versatile tool. It’s terrifically compact and light and has great battery life—all essential for operating effectively in the field. Most important, the pictures it produces are just extraordinary.

Photos by Shannon Benson

My primary use for the FS700 is shooting super-slow motion. This delivers the most beautiful look and feel, especially when using the Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 lens. At 240 fps, you gain new insights seeing cobras spitting, lion and cheetah hunting, and leopards climbing trees. These and other animal behaviors are simply too fast for the unaided human eye, much less traditional film, to fully capture.

Russ MacLaughlin, cinematographer (@russ_wildlife)