Sony FS5 Plays Vital Role in ‘Breathing on Everest’ Documentary

Sony’s FS5 reached the summit of one of the tallest mountains in the world along with videographer and producer Sierra Johansen. Breathing on Everest is a documentary about the obstacles and living conditions faced during the climb of Mount Everest. The documentary, which is being submitted to film festivals this fall and working toward a 2019 premiere, had an extremely low-budget with the majority going towards travel and expedition costs. After going to Nepal twice and filming at base camp, Johansen relied on the FS5 to capture the footage. or what has become a deeply personal documentary.

“I was first introduced to Sony’s FS5 at a demo during the DOC NYC film festival,” she says. “Meredith Gaito [collaborator] and I were attending panels at the festival with our thinking caps on determined to find ways to finance a return to Nepal. The Canon I shot on during our first trip had been broken in an avalanche and the Panasonic I owned would need an additional Interface Unit before I would consider it for our main camera. I needed a replacement camera that offered lots of benefits and wouldn’t break the bank. I immediately liked the FS5. It combined the features I needed, and then some.

Johansen compliments the camera’s lightweight and agility during the trek to the summit. “The ergonomic design of the FS5 made it easy for me to film during the 10-day trek up to Mount Everest base camp. I could watch my step and film at the same time without falling too far behind the expedition group,” she says. “The small size of the FS5 was also a plus when I was filming backed up into the corner of a tent as Nick and his fellow climbers discussed their strategies on the mountain. I am glad I could strip the camera down even smaller by removing the handle and hand grip as needed.”

Other notable features include:

  • Slow motion and time-lapse capabilities
  • Auto focus
  • ND filters to adapt to various backgrounds and sun exposure
  • Accessible with other accessories such as E-mount lenses

After producing this project, Johansen feels that the FS5 made the film possible. “I pushed this camera to the limits operating it in harsh sunlight and freezing temperature. I had the camera out at 1am in 10 degrees Fahrenheit,” she says. ” One of my favorite moments of the trip happened when I was alone filming one night. As I stood next to the recording FS5, I felt so incredibly lucky and thankful for the experiences that I have been opened up to because of this film.

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