Designed as a camera that is at home on productions as diverse as “Cinéma Vérité”-style documentaries, reality TV, commercial and corporate applications Sony’s PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super 35 Camera System is a flexible 4K camera system. It features a Super 35mm size sensor that allows you to capture images with cinematic depth of field. The camera’s E-mount is machined from stainless steel and allows you to use E-mount lenses or with the use of optional adapters to accept most 35mm lenses including PL, EF, Leica, and Nikon. The camera can capture footage to optional on-board XQD media cards in either DCI (4096 x 2160), UHD (3840 x 2160) at up to 60 FPS or HD at up to 180 FPS.
The camera records in your choice of XAVC-I, XAVC-L, or MPEG-2. However, MPEG-2 recording does not support the high data rates the camera is capable of generating when shooting in UHD, and is limited to recording HD video only. The camera incorporates Dual XQD media card slots that support simultaneous or relay recording. An ergonomically designed handgrip provides control of many of the camera’s functions and features an adjustable length support arm.
- XQD-G-E Card Firmware
- To use the the faster XQD-G-E cards requires an update to firmware 4.00 available from the Sony website.
- Firmware 2.0
- The Firmware 2.0 update is installed on the camera, it is a free download and user install for camera owners who do not already have it installed in their camera. The firmware 2.0 update adds the following features to your camera:
- 1.Expands audio recording to four channels audio at 24-bit, 48 KHz.
- 2.Supports DCI compliant 4096 x 2160 XAVC-Intra-frame recording up to 60 fps.
- 3.Adds HD Apple ProRes codecs to enable progressive and interlaced HQ and 422 recording.
- 4.Eliminates “Magenta Cast” in WB preset mode.
- 5.Renames “Color Temp” menu parameter to “Preset White”
- 6.Eliminates need to re-enable “Steady Shot” after power ON/OFF cycle.
- 7.Retains “Paint Menu” settings after power OFF/ON cycle.
- The 4K Super35 EXMOR sensor features 14 Stops of latitude and a wide color gamut. It offers a choice of XAVC or MPEG-2 codecs. The XAVC codec can be used for 4K and HD recording, while MPEG-2 is limited to HD recording. XAVC comes in two flavors, XAVC INTRA, and XAVC Long, allowing you to encode from HD to UHD using Intra-Frame or Long GoP compression with 10-bit 422 for HD and the choice of 10-bit 422 or 8-bit 420 for UHD. XAVC intra compression is very efficient, recording at modest bit rates and XAVC Long also substantially extends the recording time while attaining very high quality and low noise.
- The PXW-FS7 is equipped with an E-Mount machined from solid Stainless Steel for stability and strength. It accepts optional E-Mount lenses from Sony, Zeiss and other manufacturers. The shallow flange distance allows you to mount most 35mm lens types such as PL, DSLR and legacy SLR lenses including Canon EF, Leica, and Nikon as well as many others with mechanical adapters.
- The camera body is made from magnesium, which is lighter and stronger than aluminum. This allows the camera body to weigh only four pounds. It’s incorporates a shoulder pad and is designed to sit on the operator’s shoulder or by extending the support arm of the SmartGrip to be held in front of the operator without requiring a support rig.
- The camera includes an ergonomic handgrip that Sony calls a SmartGrip, which features Zoom, Start/Stop and Assign controls. The SmartGrip facilitates camera operation with the right hand, leaving the left hand free to operate the lens. Both the arm and handgrip can be positioned at different angles permitting great flexibility.
- FS7 records internally in 4K up to 60fps in UHD 3840×2160 and in HD up to 180fps using XAVC-I or up to 120fps with XAVC-L. Recording Apple ProRes to the internal XQD slots requires an optional EXCA-FS7 extension box and future upgrade.
- 4K (4096 x 2160) is available when using an optional external recorder.
- The camera features two XQD media slots that support simultaneous or relay recording. The camera also has an SD card slot that is only used for saving configuration data, and cannot be used to record video.