122 Slides on the Sony PXW-FS7

Sony’s new Super35mm camcorder, introduced by Product Manager Juan Martinez

The Sony PXW-FS7 “Vérité”, being announced at IBC as I post this, is a large-single-sensor camera aimed specifically at shoulder-mounted run’n’gun work: things like documentary shooting, news, direct cinema, and (shudder) “reality TV”.  It has a compact body, an innovative “SmartGrip” on a positionable arm, and a big LCD/EVF on a flexible mounting system, all designed so you can shoot stable handheld footage without having to first build a rig. (You can read the press release or view the brochure over on Cinema5D.com.)

The FS7 uses  E-mount lenses (or just about any other glass in the world via adapters), records 8-bit MPEG2 or 10-bit XAVC — both I-frame and long-GOP — on XQD cards, and runs nearly four hours on a BP-U60T battery carried internally (though the camera will ship with the smaller, 1-hour BP-U30). The Vérité captures HD and QHD (3840×2160) at up to 60fps, plus HD slo-mo at up to 180fps. It can be run in full manual mode, in full-auto (with electronically-coupled E-mount lenses), or anything in between. You can shoot in standard Rec.709-type gammas, eight different hypergammas, or S-Log3 for maximum gradability.

It’s supposed to ship by early November for a street price around US$8,000. A docking adapter should come by the end of the year to provide additional functionality, like ProRes recording, raw output, and V-mount battery use; the camera plus adapter should be under $10,000.

Sony sent me a pre-production prototype last Tuesday, and I’ve posted a hands-on preview over at DVInfo.net

Senior Product Manager Juan Martinez also shared an “Initial Product Information” presentation, which he surprisingly said I could publish… after 3AM EST September 12, the moment when the Vérité was to be revealed.  “Some specifications may change”, he warns, but overall it’s a good overview of the camera, what it can do, and how Sony sees it stacking up against the competition.

Here it is.

 

Next: XAVC codec; XQD Storage…


Next: Handheld Ergonomics…


Next: Raw; Viewfinder; Accessories…


Next: Dimensions & Weight; Competitive Comparo; System Chart; Overview…


 

Disclaimer: Sony sent me the prototype FS7 for review, but Sony hasn’t provided any payment or other material compensation for writing this article.


Adam Wilt

Adam Wilt has been working off and on in film and video for the past thirty years, while paying the bills writing software for animation, automation, broadcast graphics, and real-time control for companies including Abekas, Pinnacle, Omneon, CBS, and ABC. Since 1997 his website, adamwilt.com, has been a popular reference for information on the DV formats. He reviewed cameras for DV Magazine and started its “Technical Difficulties” column, and taught classes and led panels at NAB, IBC, and DV Expo. He co-authored the book, “Optimizing Your Final Cut Pro System”, part of the Apple Pro Training series. He currently writes for ProVideoCoalition.com and DVInfo.net, and creates iPhone apps like Cine Meter II and FieldMonitor.

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