Expanding on the original FS7, Sony’s PXW-FS7M2 XDCAM Super 35 Camera System is a flexible 4K camera system. Designed as a camera that is at home on productions as diverse as “Cinéma Vérité”-style documentaries, reality TV, commercial, and corporate applications It features a Super 35mm sized sensor that allows you to capture images with cinematic depth of field. The camera incorporates a stronger locking E-mount that is fully compatible with E-Mount lenses, and supports all electronic connections. The locking mount reduces lens play, and allows you to use most 35mm lenses including PL, EF, Leica, and Nikon via optional adapters. This stronger E-mount is ideal for using heavier-long cine-zooms without the need for additional lens support.
Just behind the lens mount sits an electronic variable ND system that provides a clear filter and 3 user definable presets. The variable ND can be adjusted to provide between 2 and 7 stops of ND. The camera can capture footage to optional on-board XQD media cards in either DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) or UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at up to 59.94 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.
- The 4K Super 35 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 4:2:2 for HD and the choice of 10-bit 4:2:2 or 8-bit 4:2:0 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.
- Signal Processing
- The Camera supports two signal processing modes; Cine-EI and Custom. Cine-EI offers three color grading spaces for electronic cinematography production. The Custom mode supports Rec-709 and Rec BT-2020 at UHD 3840 x 2160 with Y, Cb, Cr color subsampling. You can set the PXW-FS7M2 to record onboard and monitor on a BT 2020 compliant monitors via HDMI 10-bit 4:2:2 or SDI at 10-bit 4:2:2 with a 709 monitor LUT applied.
- Locking E-Mount
- The PXW-FS7M2 is equipped with a locking E-Mount that provides improved stability and strength compared to a standard E-Mount. It features a safety interlock system that helps prevent accidental disengagement of your lens from the camera body. The locking mount also reduces lens play compared to a standard E-Mount and the locking mount is strong enough to support long cine and ENG zooms that normally require a lens support.
It accepts optional E-Mount lenses from Sony, Zeiss and other manufacturers. The shallow flange distance of the E-Mount allows you to mount most 35mm lens types such as PL, Canon EF, Leica, Nikon, as well as many others with simple mechanical adapters.
- Electronic Variable ND
- Behind the lens mount sits a retractable clear filter. When you engage the internal ND filters, the clear filter retracts and a stepless electronic ND filter drops into place maintaining the proper flange focal distance. You can program the electronic ND filter to act as three individual filters and rotating the filter knob will step between these presets.
Additionally, you can manually adjust the density of the filter from 2 to 7 stops. One of the advantages of the electronically variable ND filter is that you can use the iris on your lens to set your depth of field, and then make exposure adjustments with the ND, as it does not introduce any color shift as the strength of the ND changes.
- Magnesium Construction
- 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 also incorporates a shoulder pad and is designed to sit on the operator’s shoulder by extending the support arm of the SmartGrip, which allows the camera 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, and it has been re-designed for additional extension adjustment.
- Redesigned Viewfinder and Mic Holder Mount
- With the PXW-FS7M2 the viewfinder and mic holder mount has been repositioned. The viewfinder and mic holder now attach to a replaceable 15mm rod. This allows you to swap out the included rod with a longer rod (not included), allowing you to move the position of the viewfinder or mic holder relative to the camera. You can adjust the position of the viewfinder so a left-eye shooter can use their left eye, while the camera is resting on their right shoulder.
In addition, the viewfinder itself now rides on a square mounting rod that ensures level operation.
- Internal Recording
- The PXW-FS7M2 records internally in both DCI 4K and UHD 4K at up to 59.94 fps, and in HD up to 180 fps using XAVC-I or up to 120 fps with XAVC-L. DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) can be recorded internally without the need of an external recorder.
- Media Card Slots
- The camera features two XQD media slots that support simultaneous or relay recording. The XQD card slots are shallower on the PXW-FS7M2 compared to the FS7, making inserting and removing media cards easier.
- Genlock and Timecode
- Genlock and timecode breakout is available with an optional XDCA-FS7, this also allows for raw and ProRes recording with optional recorders.