All the inside details on Sony’s stunning new Super35 4K XDCAM Camcorder.
When will FS7 II be available to buy?
First shipments are due during January 2017. However regional availability may vary according to local regulations - please contact your Sony Specialist dealer for more information.
Is FS7 II a direct replacement of FS7?
No. A key design goal of FS7 II was to extend the capabilities and feature set of the original design even if that meant a slightly higher price point. It was always intended that FS7 remain in the line-up for customers who don't need the higher spec of FS7 II. However, the PXW-FS7K bundle (which features FS7 with SELP28135G lens) will be discontinued.
What's the core concept of FS7 II?
The FS7's success came from listening to our customers, understanding what they wanted from a camcorder - not just the specifications, but crucially how they wanted to work with it. Released in 2014, the FS7 swiftly become the standard for LFS documentary cameras.
The concept for FS7 II was to further develop its shooting versatility and creative flexibility with a Variable ND filter – extending the performance of the large format sensor – and to refine its ergonomic design with close attention to voice of customer. The latter included significant new additions, such as an all-new lever lock E-mount and many refinements such as the updated telescopic arm and updated LCD hood.
We also worked with partner divisions who delivered an all-new S35mm power zoom lens (available separately and also bundled with PXW-FS7M2K) and a new 256GB G-Series XGD card for extended shooting time (available separately).
What are the differences between FS7 and FS7II?
• Electronic Variable ND filter which enables fine exposure adjustment by relegating iris to set depth of field while keeping the same bokeh in changing shooting or lighting environments.
• New “lever lock type” E-mount for professional movie shooting capable of securely supporting large zoom lenses.
• New SELP18110G Super 35mm lens - specifically designed for documentary and motion picture production – is included in PXW-FS7M2K.
• The FS7’s telescopic arm was incredibly popular, but we’ve enhanced it by eliminating the need for tools to make adjustments and better support for waist-level operation. (This enhanced arm is also available separately for the original FS7.)
• Numerous ergonomic refinements:
o “Tool-free” mechanical design has been introduced to adjust the Smart Grip and viewfinder positions.
o FS7 II now has 10 user configurable buttons, 7 on the camera body and 3 on the handgrip, in part to support variable and auto ND functions.
o Updated LCD hood to shut out external light for better viewing.
o Updated XQD card slot that makes it easier to change cards, even when wearing gloves.
o Power LED light. This helps avoid accidentally leaving the camera on and draining the battery.
What are the benefits of the FS7 II’s Variable ND Filter?
With the variable ND filter, you can control DoF (depth of field) and adjust exposure without changing the iris setting. Conventionally, we need to change iris setting when we want to adjust the exposure level and that changes depth of field. With the electronic variable ND filter, we can change the ND setting only and retain the beautiful bokeh (background defocus).
Is the image sensor the same as FS7?
Yes. The high performance 4K sensor, originally derived from that in PMW-F5, is a central benefit of FS7 II.
How do you pronounce “FS7 II”?
Is this FS7 II compatible with HDR?
Footage recorded using S-Gamut3/S-Log3 can be converted to HLG/PQ by using a RAW Viewer software.
What was the relationship with the SELP18110G team?
The E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS power zoom lens for Super 35mm/APS-C format was designed from the ground-up for shooting 4K video. There was an obvious cross-over with the design goals of the FS7 II and both teams were talking to the same customers as well as with each other throughout development.
What makes SELP18110G a perfect partner for FS7 II?
Delivering 4K image quality is one of the most demanding tasks for any lens. SELP18110G's intricate design consists of 18 elements in 15 groups, including 6 aspherical elements and 3 ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements and features a 7 blade circular aperture.
SELP18110G is also the second lens in Sony's line-up to use Smooth Motion Optics (SMO) technology to prevent focus breathing, focus shifts and axial image shifts while zooming.
The lens also features three separate rings to control focus, zoom and aperture, with optimal torque for a satisfyingly responsive, professional feel. Both servo and responsive manual mechanical zoom are fully supported and the zoom ring direction is switchable to match individual user preferences. Additionally, the lens length remains constant during any changes, making it easy to use with matte boxes and other lens accessories. Also, in a first for Sony α lenses, a 0.8mm pitch focus gear is built right onto the ring, providing direct compatibility with standard focusing accessories.
Other benefits include a dust- and moisture-resistant design, built-in SteadyShot Optical Image Stabilisation and quiet operation.
How does the E-mount (lever lock type) compare to conventional E-mount?
As the lever lock mount locks using a rotating collar, there’s no need to rotate the lens itself – which can simplify changing lenses and working with rigs.
Can we use all α lens without rig/lens support with E-mount (lever lock type)?
Yes. However, please note, that A-mount lenses cannot mount to the body directly as an adapter is required. So especially with A-mount lenses that use a tripod collar, we recommend you screw the collar to the rig.
Is E-mount (lever lock type) compatible with all existing E-mount lenses?
Yes, you can use all existing E-mount lenses and mount adaptors.
We are sorry, but we cannot comment for third-party companies.
Is the E-mount (lever lock type) fixing method the same as PL mount?
It is very similar. But the rotatory direction of the ring is reversed.
Why have Sony revised the compatibility information of the teleconverter lenses used with the SELP18110G?
As Sony have technically pursued uncompromising optical performance with the SELP18110G, we have had to take a decision to not recommend use with teleconverter lenses.
Why was a new 256GB XQD card announced alongside FS7 II?
As part of developing FS7 II, we were aware of feedback from our customers who wanted a higher capacity card - so they had more flexibility when shooting 4K footage, particularly for long-running events such as music concerts or sports events. The new 256GB card will reduce or eliminate the need to swap cards during shooting.
There is a unique partnership between the FS7 II engineering team and our colleagues in the media division. All G-Series XGD cards provide 440MB/s data transfer speed (read) to dramatically reduce backup time, as well as higher durability with increased shell strength thanks to Sony’s unique technology.
What devices are compatible with the 256GB XQD card?
It can be used with Sony’s PXW-FS72, PXW-FS7, PXW-Z100 as well as some Nikon DSLRs. To use with PXW-FS7 and PXW-Z100, a firmware update will be required.
Does this model support MCX-500 tally display function?
Not at this time.
Does FS7 II support the RM-30BP Remote Commander?
Yes. The RM-30BP can control most camera functions including:
• Lens control: one push auto / manual focus, iris and zoom control
• Camera control: recording / display functions, shutter speed, white balance - including six assignable buttons
• Playback and multi camera control (up to 3 cameras)
It can also be used handheld, placed on a table or attached to a tripod arm for operation.
Can you disclose a firmware roadmap for FS7 II?
Not at this time. The engineering team will review customer feedback and announce any future plans when appropriate.