Sony Interview: FS5 II, What’s REALLY New?

I spoke with Claus Pfeifer from Sony about the newly announced FS5 II and the other new cameras. And I asked the tough question: What’s REALLY new about the FS5 II?

A few hours ago Sony announced the FS5 II, an update to Sony’s little FS7 brother (see our report here). Some of our readers were asking: What’s REALLY new about it though? It seems to use the same sensor and have the same exact body as the original FS5. And while the FS7 II at least got the Vari ND feature that the FS7 was missing, the original FS5 already had that.

RAW for “free”, Better Color Science & “Instant HDR”

Sony is teasing the integrated RAW output functionality in the FS5 II, which was a payable firmware upgrade in the original FS5 – a welcome addition of a feature becoming standard, especially with the newly announced ProRes RAW (article here) and the upgrade of the Atomos Shogun Inferno and Sumo19 recorders to support ProRes RAW recording (article here). Now also the formerly payable high frame rate output and internal high frame rate recording capabilities are included with the FS5 II.

Other than that, Sony is particularly teasing a better color science in this camera. This is interesting especially as it sounds almost like their past color science wasn’t that great… this might be marketing speak but we will see in practice what it really means. The same is true for the Instant HDR workflow which was already there with the HLG support in the original FS5.

Still no 10-bit 4K internally

Unfortunately, the camera still does not record XAVC-I or any other 4:2:2 10-bit in 4K internally. The internal XAVC-L codec hasn’t changed.

Pricing and Availability

While the original FS5 will stay in the market, it should drop in price around $800. At the same time, the new FS5 II will inherit the price of the original FS5, around $5000 body-only. To sum it up, I would say that basically the FS5 II is getting the RAW and high frame rate updates for free from the start, something which you had to pay for in the FS5.

Do you see a reason to upgrade your FS5 to the FS5 II? Did you expect more from the new version of the camera? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Pedro Hofmann Reply
Pedro Hofmann April 9, 2018

is SONY trying to kill the FS5 advantage? Maybe just to protect the FS7 II, because they would have had to upgrade the FS5 in a way, which would make the FS7II obsolete.
Didn´t you listen to your Clients Sony? If you see the EVA1 (4K 60f intern, 422 10bit, better AF, high framerates, Dual ISO) or even Canons C200 (also 4K 60f intern, Raw light, high framerates, excellent AF, touchscreen…) and the FS5 II even without 4K intern 60f? No changes to the existing nice AF system from the new Sony cams?, external RAW?, what about Pro Res RAW?, same shitty screen, still no 422 10bit internal??? I can´t believe it – as a FS5 user I am really shocked about this cosmetics which totally misses the market. Hopefully they will bring out a REALLY upgraded A7sIII, otherwise I will sell all my Sony equipment and switch to Panasonic. They are much more innovative. Only in low light Sony still shines, but not on the FS5. It is useless above 3200 ISO.

Marc-Ferdinand Körner Reply
Marc-Ferdinand Körner April 9, 2018

There is nothing new – exept the black ND-Dial.

Ari Kirschenbaum April 9, 2018

Called it. I knew they wouldn’t bump this up to 10bit. But I was totally shocked how they added nothing, Color Science?!!! Lowering the price by including most of the paid upgrades isn’t really a Mark II.

Listen to their customers?
#1 beef everyone (I had one and sold it) had with this camera – 8bit 4:2:0 codec.

All they had to do was make the UHD 10bit 4:2:2 and it would have sold like hotcakes. They didn’t even have to do 60fps, or 4k DCI, just a bump in codec.

Oh wel,l I guess one shocking release a year is enough (a7III) for Sony.

Doesn’t look good for a7sIII…if they didn’t even put a 10bit codec in one of their cinema cameras and then put it in their fixed lens 1″ camcorder.

Lorenzo Huskamp April 9, 2018

This is so, so disappointing. This is basically nothing but a software tweak sold as a new camera product.
Yes, they probably wanted to protect their FS7II, but let´s be realistic: The FS7II itself was not a groundbreaking update either. ND-Filter, new mounting system…
If i remember correctly, the sensor of the FS5II is still the same as it was in the FS700, which is 6+ years old!
This is not how Sony should treat the market, a market filled with great cameras in the sub 8000$ league: C200, EVA, Kinefinity, Blackmagic…

Shame on you Sony!

Dushyant Kumar Reply
Dushyant Kumar April 9, 2018

There was absolutely no need to make this camera , instead should have spent more time on a7s3

Tim Naylor Reply
Tim Naylor April 10, 2018

If this didn’t get 10bit 4k, you can be sure as hell the A7s III won’t be getting it.

Max Kopp April 10, 2018

I’m sorry, but i have to call Bullsh** on this! That is one of the biggest let downs i have ever had! I love the FS5 and use it all the time, but this??? Why make a mark 2, if all you do is upgrade the software?? Shame, Sony, Shame (*bell sounds*)