Sony has announced its next generation of affordable (?) (relatively speaking?) S35mm cine cameras, the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55. They use the same FZ lens mount as the PMW-F3, but sport 4K-capable sensors.
Even more importantly, these cameras have a compact, modular layout eminently suitable for shoulder mounting and building into usable rigs, and a side-mounted, hotkey-driven, operator-oriented menu system that looks more like the UI on an Alexa or an F65 than those on an F3 or other cameras with their roots in ENG.
They also have sensible, short EVF eyepiece tubes, unlike the extenuated telescopes on the PMW-EX3, NEX-FS100/700, and NEX-EA50.
Is Sony finally waking up to the realities of designing LSS cameras for real-world use? Similarities to EPIC’s morphology and modularity may be noted; please feel free to do so (grin). I find these designs very encouraging, myself.
Prices haven’t been announced yet, but according to EOSHD.com the F5 is expected to be competitive with the Canon C300 (around US$15,000), and the global-shuttered F55 with the C500 ($25,000). Delivery is scheduled for February of 2013.
A selection of early coverage (so far, mostly press releases in various stages of rework):
Disclosure: I have no material relationship with Sony or any of the websites mentioned above. No one has offered any payments, freebies, or other blandishments in return for a mention or a favorable review.
The image used appears to be a Sony pre-release press image; I’ve seen it suddenly appear on multiple websites. I’ve copied it and resized it for PVC under an assumption of fair use, but I make no claims to authorship or ownership, and I’ll yank the image if the owner so desires.