PARK RIDGE, NJ — 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 footprint. 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, hand-held 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, commercials and corporate applications. The PXW-FS7 is a native E-mount camcorder designed to give users maximum lens options and flexibility, and smooth and silent iris, focus and zoom control, with auto exposure and SteadyShot stabilization. An extremely shallow, 18mm 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). According to Sony, the new E-mount lens is the 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 two XQD card slots that support simultaneous recording and relay recording. To support the FS7’s slow and quick motion and internal 4K recording, a new 128GB 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 64GB 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 four built-in ND filters allow full exposure control in a range of lighting conditions, without requiring external ND filter equipment. 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 high-quality, low-light performance.
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.
The PXW-FS7 4K XDCAM Super 35mm camcorder (body only) will be available in October, with a suggested list price of less than $10,000; the camcorder with FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS lens will be available in December, with a suggested list price of less than $13,000.