Sony FS7 launched, portable Super35 4K camera, exclusive hands-on video

Sony FS7_1Sony just announced the new PXW-FS7, a new 4K XDCAM camera with a Super35mm CMOS sensor. Unlike some other site’s speculation, this is not going to replace the FS700, it’s rather a new category of Sony camera.

I was lucky enough to be invited to London by Sony in August for a hands-on with the still very secret FS7 camera alongside some other bloggers and some YouTubers, where this video was shot.

The FS7 has a unique new compact design meant to be used on the shoulder “out of the box” with a built-in adjustable grip and handle which features zoom control (for compatible lenses). No rig required.

It can shoot 4K in XAVC Intra and XAVC Long GOP formats (up to 600Mbit/s) in 10-bit 4:2:2 in up to 60 frames per second. It can shoot slow motion in up to 180fps in proper 1080p resolution. According to the press release, support for QFHD 3840 x 2160 resolution will be available by the date of launch, but 4096 x 2160 resolution support will be provided by firmware update scheduled for early 2015.

SonyPro_FS7_1

When saying “4K” Sony really means Quad Full HD (QFHD or UHD), which will be upgradeable to real 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels) in early 2015. The native sensitivity of the sensor seems to be ISO 2000 (like on the F5), but this has yet to be confirmed by Sony.

Sony decided to go with 2 XQD card slots instead of SxS Pro+ due to the fact that XQD cards offer the high speed required for internal 4K recording at lower prices.

sony fs7 gripThe camera has 4 built-in ND’s which are mechanically switchable with a dial similar to the one on the F5 and F55. The LCD viewfinder comes with an attachable loupe which seems to be the same Sony used on the FS100 and FS700 (yes, really – unfortunately … I wish they would have gone with a new mechanism that can be attached easily with one hand).

Sony also announced an extension unit called XDCA-FS7 (don’t you love those names?) which enables the FS7 to natively record ProRes 422 (in 1080p), and it features a 4K/2K Raw output which works with Sony’s HXR-IFR5 and AXS-R5 recorder as well as the Convergent Design Odyssey Q7.

Sony FS7

With its α Mount System, the FS7 makes use of Sony’s Silent Focus Technology and Electrical Iris Control, and Sony also ships the FS7 (as “FS7K”) with its new powered E-Mount zoom lens FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS. (I wish this lens would be wider though, it’s really not wide enough for documentary applications on a Super35mm sensor).

The new lens is fully powered and can be powered through the grip, it includes steady shot stabilization and features a new kind of motor (SSM – Super Sonic wave motor) for reduced zoom and focus noise.

The Sony FS7 is expected to be available in November for around $8000.

Here is the full Sony press release for the FS7 for download. And here is the full brochure on the Sony FS7 as PDF.

We will update this post with more information continuously.

rode_banner 640x70filmconvertMusic courtesy of The Music Bed | Ryan Taubert – Kings

 

Watch it on Vimeo

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Reply
Mac September 12, 2014

Yes! But FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS could be used on A7s. Perfect.

Reply
Arie van Dam September 12, 2014

Looks interesting. Hope the build quality is better than the FS700.
But it is a shame that they didn’t put in a fullFrame sensor.
There is no FullFrame camcorder on the market yet. This machine with a Sony A7s sensor with a Global shutter would be awesome and a big hit !!

Reply
viktor September 12, 2014

If you want a fullframe sensor in a camcorder why not buy the VG900 ?

Reply
Arie van Dam September 13, 2014

Because it has a horrible image quality. Worse than a 5D II.

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pablogrollan September 12, 2014

I wouldn’t rule out a possible FS8 (much higher price tag) with the A7S sensor. It wouldn’t have global shutter since it would mean a loss of dynamic range and killing the F55, but the fact that the new power zoom cine lens is full frame means they probably have plans to push full frame video…

Reply
V. Anand September 12, 2014

I think this camera will be a big hit with indie film makers, when the full 4k update comes. Hopefully it performs like a mini F5! Congrats Sony!

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Newry WeddingVideos September 12, 2014

Hi, Do you know if the Sony FS7 will have Center Scan crop mode the same as PMW-F55 and PMW-F5 camcorders so Super 16mm lenses and B4 2/3” lenses can be use. I don’t think the FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 lenses will be useful because the wide focal length on the FS7 will only be 42mm.

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Jeremy Wilker September 12, 2014

Based on this article:
http://provideocoalition.com/awilt/story/122-slides-on-the-sony-pxc-fs7#When:06:49:00Z
It looks like perhaps there is a non-FE version of the lens as well? Is this true?

Reply
B detroit September 13, 2014

I love the scale of technology coming out with these prices. It’s just going to get better.

Reply
Bill G September 16, 2014

It would be interesting to know if the hand control meets standard sony LANC control protocol and if it would control other cameras like the A7 or even the F5/F55? If it does not now, Im sure firmware updates could be written to allow it to work!