Sony FS5 review after a year of use

I have had my Sony FS5 cinema camera for just over a year now and I have had the chance to put it through it’s paces during that time. I have used it on corporate shoots, events, short films and even a reality show.

This camera was expensive costing my $6500 but I feel that it was worth every cent. Having a 4K camera with no record limits like I have on my Sony A7ii along with advanced audio with the two XLR inputs and built in variable ND filters make this an amazing camera.

The cons of this camera are the LCD screen as it is not of the highest quality and I really wish that it had a built in sun shade or the ability to attach a loupe like the FS7 has. The other con are the upgrades that you have to pay for like the Raw and HFR upgrades for $500 each. Sony has provided me with a free HFR upgrade so I can record constant 120FPS internally to the SD card instead of 8 second bursts. They have since released the FS5 mark ii that has all of these upgrades included so I wish that the current owners could get the raw upgrade for free or at a reduced cost.

Other then that I highly recommend this camera. I have left my video review below.

A new chapter starts now!

Hi everyone. I am excited to type out this blog post as a goal that I have been working towards for the past few years has finally been achieved. I am finally 100% my own boss. Yes you heard right, yesterday was my last day working at the camera store.

For the past 2+ years I have been working at Peace camera and when i was not working at the store I was spending every waking minute working on building my business. Over the past few months I have been fortunate enough to land some pretty big jobs that will pay me enough that I can dedicate all my time into the business.

To say I am excited would be an understatement. I am beyond excited to now do what I love to do as a full time business. With this change is a reboot of my YouTube channel. I plan on putting out a new video every single week starting with the one that I will link at the end of this blog post.

I want to personally thank everyone who has been supporting me throughout this journey especially my family. I also have some amazing friends who have had my back this whole time and I love you for it.

Please make sure to stay tuned as I will be putting up a new blog post every week to go along with the corresponding video. I am going to end this now and I look forward to the journey ahead.

Know what your worth and charge for it!

In this weeks blog post I want  to talk about an experience I had last weekend and the mistakes I made and I encourage everyone of you to not make the same mistake.

I was contacted a few weeks ago by my friend Jess and she was hired to shoot a sweet 16 party and they also wanted video so she contacted me to ask if I can do the video for the client. When she told me it was a sweet 16 party I thought to myself a bunch of teenagers running around eating cake and dancing to some music and I can get some cool footage and put together a nice little highlight video for them and that would be it. I quoted a price for that and was hired to do the job. 

Fast forward to last Saturday. Jess and I meet up at a Starbucks before the event to go over a game plan and I was feeling good. I only brought my Sony A7ii with me as I didn't think that I needed to break out the FS5 cinema camera. We walk into the venue which was the clubhouse for the community. As we were setting up we met with the client and he told us that he was expecting 100 people and that there would be quite a few performances on the itinerary. Now this is where I realized that I had undercharged. To me that was almost like a wedding where I would be charging around three thousand dollars. (now I am not going to say what I did charge but just know it was low) The event lasted just over 4 and a half hours and I shout about 70 gigs worth of footage. The client paid me and I went home. 

That night all I could think about was why I did that job for so little money. Was it that as I am trying to build up my business that I wanted to get as many jobs as possible? Did I really need the money? Did I feel that I was not worth more? All these questions kept me up that night. And the only answer that I could come up with to these questions was that I did not ask enough questions or the correct questions to accurately quote the job. I just assumed what a sweet 16 party would be like. Now don't get me wrong the ceremony was very nice and the entertainment was good but now instead of editing a 10 minute video it is going to be more like an hour long video that I need to edit.

So at this point now as I am copying all of the footage over to my computer I decided that I will not make this mistake again. Yes I would like more work but I need to get paid what I am worth to do that work and not just give a low bid to get any job I can. I sat and thought long and hard about what my rates are going to be and stick to it and if the client does not want to pay that amount then they can find someone else. 

So now I have decided what my rates are going to be and I am going to be sure to ask as many questions as possible to be fully informed of what the client is expecting and then give my rate according to the answers to those questions. 

Fast forward to this past Friday and I was asked to give a quote for shooting an engagement party. They wanted 6 hours of coverage all shot in 4K and will possibly need to hire a 2nd shooter for the event. I gave two quotes one for just me and one for 2 people and I stuck to my guns on the price and I am waiting to hear back to see if they are willing to pay that price. If not then I move on to the next client.

Basically the whole point of this post is to share my experience with you so hopefully you will not do the same with your work. You need to decide what you are worth and then charge that and stick to it. There are too many willing to do work for next to nothing and I think that it the wrong thing to do. Yes as you are starting out you cant charge an outrageous amount but as you gain more experience you need to be raising your prices.

I really do hope that this blog post was helpful to you out there. This experience taught me a valuable lesson and I will never make that mistake again. Now back to editing the video for the client. See you next week.   

 

The blog is back and the triumphant return of #Shapesandshit

Hi everyone I know that it's been a while since I wrote a blog post. Let me explain my absence. For those that don't know Jeannie and I broke up and that hit me very hard and I went into a depressive state. I am no longer ashamed to admit that I suffer from depression and anxiety and I went to the Dr. to get back on some meds to help with that. The medication seems to be working well and I go back to see the Dr. in two weeks to re-evaluate and see if changes need to be made.

I am also very thankful for a group of friends to reached out to me and lent an ear to listen and give advice and I am so thankful for that. I have some amazing friends and I am so happy to have them in my life and I love them for it.

Since I was starting to feel better the urge to get creative again has come back and I reached out to my friend Emma to see if she would like to do a fine art shoot with me and she happily agreed.

Now for those of you who don't know about #shapesandshit this started a couple of years ago when I was shooting my friend Emily and we were in a park and I was posing her to blend in with the shapes of the rocks and I said we are making shapes and shit and she said that I should start using it for all my fine art work. So began the #shapesandshit hashtag. I even own the domain name for it. 

So on to the shoot. Last week on our day off we went out to Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsboro NC which is an old Nascar track that has long been abandoned but turned into a park with walking trails. The old concrete grandstands are still there along with some of the buildings. I knew that if we went early in the morning when most people were at work the park would be fairly empty and we could pull off the shoot with no issues.

We arrived at the park and there was a couple doing stair climbs when I wanted to shoot so we decided to walk around to the back of the speedway to see what we could find to shoot in the meantime. We saw a bench and with nobody around we started our shoot. 

Emma is very flexible and does a lot of pole fitness so I knew that her poses were going to be epic. We shot off a few frames on the bench and was able to get this amazing shot.

 

Bendy

Bendy

After this we walked around back to the grandstands and the couple was gone so we started figuring out the poses that we wanted to do. Emma was very good in figuring out the poses and we just started shooting and we got this images which blew me away when I saw it.

 

Zen

Zen

I have this in both black and white and in color and I cant decide which one I like better. Emma likes the color version hence why I am posing it here. We did get interrupted a couple of time by walkers but since it was dirt we could hear them coming and Emma was able to cover up quickly. We continued shoot a few more poses. 

 

Backbend

Backbend

Vulnerable 

Vulnerable 

Contemplating

Contemplating

Since it was very humid we decided to start to wrap up but I had an idea for one more shot using the frame of a window in on of the concession stands at the top of the grandstand.

 

Framed

Framed

That wrapped up our shoot and for me this shoot was very therapeutic for me. I know that I am happiest when I have a camera in my hand and I am creating art. I need to get out there a lot more and continue creating on a regular basis for myself. While I am glad that my business is getting busier and I am shooting for work a lot more often noting compares to doing personal work. 

So that is going to wrap up this weeks blog post. I hope you enjoyed it

New name, Same business

Hi everyone happy Sunday and I wanted to share with you some exciting news. Since my business is expanding into video I decided that I wanted that change to be reflected in my business name. I gave this a lot of thought on what to change it to and I finally decided on David Spector Media.

I was thinking about David Spector Productions or multi-Media but after talking to a few friends of mine and they all said the same thing "Keep it Simple" I decided to go with David Spector Media.

 

I kept the same logo design and just made the changes to the text. This will keep some consistency as returning visitors to my website will see basically the same logo. I want to play around with some of the themes that Squarespace has and see if there is anything I like better.

Now the next steps are to change the name on all my social media sites and order new business cards. I will continue to keep www.DavidSpectorPhotography.com linked to the site for a while to let everyone get used to the change and update their bookmarks. 

So that's going to wrap it up for this weeks blog post. I want to get back to work on the site and other changes I need to make. I will see you all next week.