It is great when companies listen to their users. Sony obviously listened to comments about the ergonomics of the FS100 and 700 when they designed their newest XDCAM, the Sony PXW-FS7.
The Sony FS7 is an ergonomic prize. It sits nicely on your shoulder and has an extendible handle that puts controls in perfect reach for a one man shooter.
The Sony FS7 sports a super-35 sensor that can shoot Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) with a planned upgrade to full 4K (4,096 x 2,160) available next year. It boasts a base 2000 ISO so it will be great for low light situations, and it shoots up to 60 fps at UHD and 180(!) fps at 180p internally.
Thoughts on The Sony FS7
The Sony FS7 also utilizes the dual Sony XQD memory cards to record Sony’s new XAVC format, but it does require faster cards then normal, so look for some expensive media for the moment.
The Good of The Sony FS7:
– Ultra HD up to 60 fps, 1080P up to 180 fps (with full 4k coming)
– Super-35 sensor with base 2000 ISO
– 10 bit 422 internal recording up to 50 Mbps in HD (broadcast quality)
– Great ergonomics (mostly)
– E mount is highly adaptable for almost any lens 2k raw (at 240(!!) fps) and 4k raw output to Sony’s new XDCAM-FS7 unit and a capable recorder (such as Odyssey7Q)
– ProRes recording (kind of – see below )
– Reported 14 stops of dynamic range
– S-Log 3 profile (great for getting the most out of your dynamic range)
– Built in ND filters
– The Sony FS7 is under $10,000
The Not So Good of The Sony FS7:
– Expensive (for now) media
– Convenient handle folds up into an awkward position
ProRes recording requires a hardware and firmware upgrade Raw requires same hardware, plus a capable recorder. What will this do for users invested in the FS700 and F5?
Final Thoughts on The Sony FS7:
The Sony FS7 is another amazing looking product that seems aimed at Canon’s C line, and the high frame rates for a (relatively) low cost make it a great option. I don’t really understand why they require a hardware add-on for ProRes, but if Sony’s XAVC is as good as their AVCHD implementation then it should hold up well under some grading. The sample images look great, and the flexibility of frame rates and ergonomics make it an extremely well designed and thought out camera.