Sony’s newest addition to its large sensor line is a complete camera system that delivers long-form recording capabilities with 4K resolution in a compact, hand-held design. The new PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super 35 camcorder combines the flexibility of native E-mount technology, the recording efficiency of the XAVC-L codec; the transfer speed and intelligence of XQD memory cards; and comfortable, handheld ergonomics, including a new “Smart Grip.”
The new camcorder is designed for a range of long-form shooting and production applications, from “cinéma vérité”-style documentaries and reality TV to magazine shows, commercial and corporate applications.
Native E-Mount; A-Mount Lens Compatibility
The PXW-FS7 is a native E-mount camcorder designed to give users maximum lens options and flexibility, smooth and silent iris, focus and zoom control, with auto exposure and SteadyShot stabilization. An extremely shallow, 18 mm flange-back distance enables the use of a range of 35mm lenses. Sony’s optional LA-EA4 A-mount lens adaptor allows compatibility with a wide range of high-quality A-mount lenses.
The new camera will be available in two versions: body-only, and the PXW-FS7K version with a new servo zoom E-Mount lens FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS (SELP28135G).
The new E-mount lens is the world’s first 35mm full-frame interchangeable power zoom lens. It features constant F4 value, independent rings for iris, zoom and focus control, and is dust- and moisture-resistant. The SELP28135G has SteadyShot stabilization, minimum focus breathing and is enabled with Sony’s new Super Sonic wave Motor (SSM) to reduce zoom noise while shooting.
The PXW-FS7 is compatible with Sony´s new XAVC Intra and XAVC Long GOP formats, each supporting 10-bit 4:2:2 recording (XAVC-I, 180fps; XAVC-L, 120fps). Recording in UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution, slow motion up to 60fps and Full High Definition (1920×1080) with 60/50 progressive frames is possible. A firmware update in early 2015 will enable native HD recording in the Apple ProRes HQ 422 codec, when using an optional extension unit (XDCA-FS7).
Through the XDCA-FS7’s FS-RAW interface, the PXW-FS7 is capable of 4K/2K RAW recording with Sony’s HXR-IFR5 and AXS-R5, or with a compatible third-party external recorder.
The PXW-FS7 features 2 XQD card slots that support simultaneous recording and relay recording. To support the FS7’s Slow and Quick motion and internal 4Krecording, a new 128 GB XQD G series with ultra-high speed transfer up to 440MB/s (read) and 350MB/s (write) has been developed. XQD cards are also available in 64 and 32GB capacities.
The camera includes a low-pass video filter, progressive pixel reading and advanced camera processing to give users a broad span of creative treatments and options such as high speed recording, high resolution and high sensitivity, with less aliasing and less rolling shutter.
The camera’s 4 built-in ND filters allow full exposure control in a range of lighting conditions, without requiring external ND filter equipment. S-Gamut3/SLog3 & S-Gamut3.Cine/SLog3 are supported for flexibility of post-production options.
The camera’s 11.6 million-pixel Super35 Exmor CMOS sensor delivers enhanced sensitivity, shallow depth of field, a high signal-to-noise ratio for fantastic low light performance.
The new camera is designed to provide a range of creative shot options. It can be used hand-held, and is also designed for balanced shoulder-mount use without the need for additional rigs. The flexible viewfinder mounting system lets users easily relocate it for changing shooting positions.
The supplied Smart Grip provides easy access to key camera functions including focus magnification; the user menu; REC start/ stop; and zoom. Its assignable wheel allows control of Iris, Focus, Audio Level and Gain.
The camera’s image sensor and signal processor are contained in an environmentally sealed chamber. Heat is directed to an external radiator with a fan for active cooling.
Sony is also introducing an optional accessory, the VCT-FS7 light-weight rod support system featuring 15mm rods and an adjustable shoulder pad. This lets shooters use additional peripherals and easily attach follow focus systems or an external recorder.
Key features of the PXW-FS7
- Sony’s Super 35 Exmor CMOS Sensor
- Native E-Mount; Compatible with A-Mount lenses (LA-EA4 A-mount lens adaptor required), 18 mm flange back distance
- On-board UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) and Full HD (1920 x 1080) recording
- Wide choice of recording systems
- XAVC (Intra/Long GOP)
- MPEG HD, 4:2:2, 50 Mbps (HD only)
- Apple ProRes codec (with future upgrade and extension unit, sold separately)
- RAW recording (with extension unit and outboard recorder, sold separately)
- Slow & Quick Motion for over-and under-cranking
- Dual XQD card slots
- 16-bit analog-to-digital converter
- ISO 2000
- Supports S-Gamut3Cine/S-Log 3 encoding
- Die-cast magnesium frame
- Environmentally sealed electronics
- Wireless operation with CBK-WA100, sold separately
The following are planned availability and suggested list pricing for the PXW-FS7 and accessories:
- PXW-FS7 4K XDCAM Super 35mm Camcorder (body only) – October 2014, suggested list price less than $10,000.
- PXW-FS7K 4K XDCAM Super 35mm Camcorder (with FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS lens) – December 2014, suggested list price less than $13,000.
- XDCA-FS7 Extension Unit – December 2014, suggested list price less than $2,500.
- SELP28135G FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS lens – December 2014, suggested list price of $2,500.
- VCT-FS7 Light-weight rod support system – December 2014, suggested list price less than $1,200.