Sony’s Cinema Line gains a new member the ILME-FR7, a PTZ camera that opens new creative and cinematic possibilities for content creators, from filmmakers to live event or music video producers.
Sony announced the latest addition to its Cinema Line, the ILME-FR7, an E-mount interchangeable lens camera with a full-frame image sensor and built-in pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) functionality. Its versatile remote control and cinematic features open creative possibilities in studio, live production and filmmaking settings. The FR7 will be showcased for the first time on Sony’s booth at IBC2022 in Amsterdam from September 9th to 12th.
A high-performance full-frame image sensor and the expressive scope of Sony’s extensive E-mount lens lineup work with remote pan/tilt/zoom control, high flexibility in zoom capability and wide angle shooting to break through location and space limitations. It also offers the cinematic look and operability that have made Sony digital cinema cameras push the boundaries of the filmmaking industry, plus versatile connectivity and efficient multi camera workflow support.
Here is some more information, shared by Sony, about the new camera.
“The cinematic look and feel is rapidly becoming the norm in broadcasting and live production as it opens up new ways to tell a narrative,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “In parallel, over the last 2 years, we’ve seen a steep rise in content created remotely or in small locations where access is difficult. At Sony, we are always listening to our customers. We are thrilled to announce the FR7 that combines the flexibility of a standard PTZ camera with stunning visuals through advanced cinematic features.”
Uncompromised Image Quality in a PTZ Form Factor
The FR7 features a back-illuminated 35mm full-frame CMOS image sensor Exmor R with approximately 10.3 effective megapixels and wide 15+ stop latitude in a pan tilt zoom (PTZ) camera for the first time. In addition to wide dynamic range, low noise, and cinematic full frame bokeh, this amazing sensor also delivers high sensitivity that allows ISO to be expanded up to 409,600 when shooting in low light.
The FR7 features Sony’s E-mount and can mount a wide range of E-mount lenses, including the G Master series with stunning resolution and bokeh effect. A choice of focal lengths ranging from 12 mm to 1200 mm gives users comprehensive creative control.
A number of Cinema Line features are built into the camera to deliver a cinematic look and feel including:
- The Sensitivity setting allows ISO to be expanded up to 409,600 when shooting in low light.
- A 15+ stop latitude allows smooth highlights and low noise levels.
- A number of preset scene files are included including S-Cinetone for natural mid-tones that are essential to healthy-looking skin color, plus soft colors and gorgeous highlights. Since the target look can be created while shooting, time can be saved in post-production. In the Cine EI mode, base sensitivity can be set to either ISO 800 or ISO 12800 to match lighting conditions and to minimize noise while maintaining a consistent look. This mode is ideal for post-production, as it allows the use of Sony’s original S-Log3 gamma, wide S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine color spaces.
- Shooting up to 120fps 4K (QFHD) and 240 fps FHD slow-motion is possible, again creating that emotional possibility offered by a cinematic look.
Easy Operation for Storytelling from New Angles
With a new dedicated web application, pan, tilt, zoom, focus, record, playback, and all camera settings can be intuitively controlled from a tablet or computer web browser. Multiple people can monitor FR7 footage remotely at the same time. Multi camera monitoring is also enabled, allowing multiple cameras to be viewed remotely on one device.
With its integrated remotely controllable pan/tilt mechanism, the FR7 can be mounted on a tripod, on a ceiling with the dedicated CIB-PCM1, or in other locations with limited access so that subjects can be unobtrusively followed and recorded from unique viewpoints. It is also compatible with Sony’s RM-IP500 remote controller for multi-camera production, expanding creative potential while reducing the need for dedicated staff in production studios and other shooting situations. A single RM-IP500 unit can remotely control up to 100 PTZ cameras and provide precious joystick-controlled pan, tilt, and zoom operation.
The supplied infrared remote controller will also support the FR7’s simple operation.
Variable PTZ Movements for Smooth Camera Work
Pan and tilt speed can be continuously varied from 0.02 degrees per second to 60 degrees per second, supporting a wide range of stable and smooth camera movements. The pan angle range is from -170° to +170°, and the tilt angle range is from -30° to +195°.
Up to 100 Preset Camera Positions
The FR7 can memorize up to 100 camera position presets. The built-in web application and optional RM-IP500 remote controller allow up to 100 camera position presets to be recalled. Presets include camera direction, zoom, and focus, and can be recalled at the touch of a button.
The FR7 will also support S700 protocol via Ethernet, enabling control of this product from Sony’s Remote Control Panel (RCP) and Master Setup Unit (MSU) with a firmware update.
Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking
Fast Hybrid AF and pan/tilt/zoom functionalities combine to focus on static or fast-moving subjects precisely and smoothly over a wide area, to avoid blurred images, even when a shallow depth of field is used.
The integrated BIONZ XR engine realizes detection performance for pinpoint eye focus even when subjects are looking at steep angles, allowing the operator to concentrate on composing the best shot. Touch Focus can be used to initiate focusing with Real-time Tracking on the desired subject when using the FR7’s web application, with Real-time Eye AF if an eye is detected.
Sony’s Built-in Electronically Controlled Variable ND Filter
The built-in electronic variable ND filter allows seamless ND adjustment. An Auto ND function keeps exposure constant by automatically adjusting the ND filter to match changing light. Remote control is also possible, allowing exposure control at a distance from the camera.
Versatile Interfaces for Various Production Workflows
The FR7 is built to integrate and adapt to many workflow scenarios, from simple plug and play to more complex high-end productions, thanks to a comprehensive selection of video inputs and outputs, IP streaming, power supply, and synchronization with other devices.
Internal XAVC Recording and External RAW Output
A rare feature in a PTZ camera, the FR7 also features dual media slots that support CFexpress Type A and SDXC memory cards. The ability to record high-quality XAVC-I footage with metadata makes the FR7 an excellent choice for a wide variety of video production applications.
CFexpress Type A cards are particularly well suited to high bitrate 4K movie production, with high-speed write capability that ensures stable recording of high volume, high frame rate data. Simultaneous recording, relay recording, interval recording, and proxy recording are also supported. The SDI output can deliver a 16-bit RAW signal to a compatible external recorder (sold separately).
Professional Video and Audio Interface
HDMI Type A and 12G-SDI connectors are provided for video output as well as optical output*10 for long transmission.
The AUDIO IN (XLR type 5-pin) connector will receive signal from an external microphone or audio device. AUDIO CH-1 and CH-2 use a single connector.
Camera control, video and audio transfer, and power supply can also be carried out via a single LAN cable, simplifying cabling requirements.
The FR7 LAN (network) connector supports a variety of streaming protocols, including RTSP, SRT and NDI |HX, perfect for working in an IP based environment.
The FR7 can be powered from an external PoE++ (Power over Ethernet Plus Plus) device via a standard network cable, eliminating the need for separate power supply cabling.
Multicamera Production Synchronization
The Timecode IN connector receives timecode for synchronization with an external device, while the GENLOCK receives synchronization signals in multi camera setups.
Additionally, red/green tally lights are provided on the camera’s side panels, allowing performers and staff to easily identify the on-air and preview cameras in multi camera setups in studio or on location.
Pricing and Availability
The new Sony FR7 will be available in November 2022 for approximately $9699.99 USD and $12,399.99 CAD. The FR7K, which includes the FR7 and SELP28135G lens, will be available for $12,199.99 USD and $15,699.99CAD while the CIB-PCM1 ceiling bracket will be available for $119.99 USD and $159.99 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.