Sony is expanding its FS Series Super 35mm professional family with the addition of the new FS7 II camcorder. The new model builds on the original FS7’s strengths by adding advanced features including Electronic Variable ND technology, a lever lock type E-mount, and a new mechanical design for faster and easier set-up.
Since its introduction in 2014, the FS7 has become one of the most widely used cameras in a range of production applications, and the original model remains in the Sony line-up. The new FS7 II now gives creative professionals a broader range of creative tools, with new features all based on end user feedback.
The new FS7 II camcorder is designed for long-form shooting and production applications, especially fordocumentaries and independent filmmaking. Amongst the many enhancements outlined below, the FS7 II can also record in BT2020 colour space, hence making it ideal for today’s 4K broadcast productions.
FS7 II dramatically improves the experience of shooting with Sony’s ultimate documentary camcorder and simply one of the world’s most versatile Super 35mm camcorders. A host of enhancements, from an all-new lens mount to world-leading Electronic Auto Variable ND system and enhanced ergonomics, transform the possibilities of what you can do.
Shoot and move. Handheld, shoulder-mount or suspended from a gimbal. FS7 II delivers the spectacular imagery you expect from Sony.
Freedom to shoot & move with
Electronic Auto Variable NDShooting with FS7 II is a truly liberating experience – shoot and move with no need to worry about changing light conditions, no time wasted fiddling with exposure settings or changing filters. Sony’s unrivalled technology continuously adjusts the density of the electronic ND Filter without losing resolution while maintaining colour balance. See FS7 II in action for yourself to discover how Sony has transformed shooting on the move.
E mount flexibility extended
E mount offers unsurpassed compatibility with both Sony and third-party lenses. And for FS7 II there’s an all-new lever lock design. Simply put the lens in place and rotate the collar until it locks in place. A lens release lever provides added security. Some larger lenses may no longer need a rig, while on those occasions where a rig is used – the process of switching lens can be simplified to save time. And of course, the E-mount can take cinema lenses and SLR lenses with a third party adaptor, as well as Sony’s E-mount and A-mount lenses. Whatever your lens requirements, FS7 II has you covered.
Shoulder mount comfort and control
FS7 delivered a revolution in ergonomics, but Sony listened to cinematographers to make FS7 II even more comfortable to use, especially when operating for hours in the field. The number of assign buttons is increased from six to ten, all extra large, while the LCD monitor arm and mic holder can be swapped for left-eye shooting. The telescoping arm offers even more settings, allowing the camcorder to be mounted closer to your body and you no longer need a tool for adjustments.
You can be sure the remarkable Sony smart grip is always at hand with all the key controls at your fingertips.
180 fps High Frame Rates
High Frame Rate shots can turn everyday actions into slow-motion ballet, a visual feast of elegant movement. The FS7 II delivers a maximum of 180 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting in Full HD. If your project plays at the cinematic 24 fps, you get beautiful 7.5x Super Slow Motion. There's no sacrifice in bit depth and no "windowing" of the sensor. So there's no crop factor, no loss in angle of view. The camera also performs Slow & Quick (S&Q) motion from 1 to 180 fps in 1 fps increments. So you can alter the narrative by selectively speeding up or slowing down the action.
Luxurious colour at money-saving bitrates
Long-form projects shine with Sony's XAVC™ L (Long GOP) recording system. Record luxurious QFHD at 59.94p/50p at a maximum bit rate of 150 Mbps. Or take advantage of the superior grayscale rendition of 10-bit High Definition, plus the uncompromised detail of 4:2:2 colour – all at budget-friendly data rates of 50, 35 or even 25 Mbps in HD mode. You can also record on-board 4K (4096x2160) at cinema standard 24p, 59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 23.98p or 25p. The camera captures different colour spaces, including the wide ITU-R BT.2020 for Ultra High Definition.
Other formats include XAVC I (Intra) 4K at 600 Mbps, QFHD (3840x2160) and Full HD (1920x1080), plus the well-accepted MPEG HD 422, Apple ProRes 422 (with XDCA-FS7 extension unit, sold separately), and even outboard RAW recording (with XDCA-FS7 and outboard recorder, sold separately).
For all of the inside details and FAQ's regarding Sony's new PXW-FS7 II please click here.
Electronic Variable ND Technology
The camcorder’s Electronic Variable ND Filter system, combined with its large sensor, delivers greater exposure control, with the option of preset or variable operation modes. Variable ND mode (clear + 2~7 stop range, in seamless transition steps up to 1/128) allows the user to vary the density of the ND filter during shooting and to transition seamlessly between steps. This also ensures an optimum motion delivery by maintaining desired shutter speed.
The camera’s expanded ND operations enables fine exposure adjustment by relegating iris to set depth of field, prevents soft focus caused by diffraction, and prevents colour shift caused by stacking multiple external ND filters.
The camera can compensate for exposure fluctuation caused by iris control while adjusting the depth of field. Users can adjust exposure while keeping the same bokeh in changing shooting or lighting environments.
Preset mode lets users assign three ND settings to the filter turret, useful in selecting the most appropriate filtration range for changing light conditions, for example. Auto ND mode is also available allowing exposure to stay at a fixed level while adjusting the depth of field with iris control.
E-mount (Lever Lock type) for professional shooting
The FS7 II revisited E-mount (lever lock type) gives users the ability to change lenses by rotating the locking collar rather than the lens itself, which means that in most cases lens support rigs don't need to be removed, saving time during a production. The new E-Mount has been designed for demanding applications in the professional environment and will fit any existing E-mount lenses in the market and other mount lenses with an adapter. The new FS7II camcorder also supports Sony α Mount System, which includes more than 70 lenses.
Mechanical Design Enhancements
Like its counterparts in the FS Series family – the FS7 and FS5 models – the new FS7 II features several design and ergonomic updates for comfortable and functional use in the field. These new features are based customer feedback around the FS7.
The FS7 II “tool-less” mechanical design lets users make on-the-fly changes to the camera’s set-up and operation. For example, no tools are required to adjust the Smart Grip or viewfinder positions.
The detachable viewfinder eyepiece, which comes with a pop-up hood, provides a third stabilizing contact point when shooting handheld. Durable square section rods and lever-clamps on the LCD and camera body provide simple and precise front-to-back VF adjustment while retaining level positioning.
The FS7 II supports the XQD memory card format, designed for capturing and transferring high-bandwidth, high resolution files. The newest XQD card from Sony, QD-G256E -- with an industry first 256 GB capacity -- enables recording time of approximately 45 minutes at 4K 60P and 3.5 hours at 2K 30P. Combined with a read speed of 440MB/sand write speed 400MB/s, users can shoot for longer without needing to change media cards.
Handheld. Long form. Perfection redefined.
You asked and they delivered: an all-new E-mount lever lock design. Sony’s world-leading variable ND filter technology integrated for smooth fine-tuning of depth-of-field. A host of ergonomic refinements to make FS7 II even more comfortable to shoot with. The uncompromising image quality of Sony’s high performance Super 35mm sensor for 4K and HD capture, including superior 4K/QFHD 60p/50p with support for the BT.2020 colour space, plus fantastic slow motion pictures up to 180 fps. Just think what the possibilities are…
4K Super 35 Exmor® sensor
When it comes to image sensors, size definitely matters. Sony’s Super 35 sensor delivers "bokeh," the defocused backgrounds made possible by shallow depth of field. A common technique for directing audience attention within the frame, shallow depth of field is far easier to achieve with a large sensor. Other things being equal, a bigger sensor also equates to better low-light sensitivity and lower image noise. And with bigger sensors, the field of view is wider for any given focal length lens.
With the FS7 II sensor, size is just the beginning.
14 stops of exposure latitude deliver powerful grayscale rendition without crushing shadow detail or blowing out highlight detail.
ISO 2000 sensitivity enables you to shoot well after sunset, without tons of lighting and grip.
4K resolution. The sensor incorporates 11.6 million total pixels and 8.8 million effective pixels to deliver full 4K resolution. Even if you’re delivering in HD, your recordings will capture detail and image texture that HD sensors cannot see.
Sony Exmor® CMOS design makes for extremely fast readout, contributing to frame rates of up to 180 fps and minimized image skew.
High Frame Rates up to 180 fps
Slow down time with HFR shooting to reveal the beauty and drama of everyday motion. That’s why the FS7 II provides continuous recording at Full HD at frame rates of up to 180 fps. When you play back at 23.98p, you’ll enjoy extraordinary Super Slow Motion of up to 7.5x. Compared to burst mode, the continuous recording of the FS7 II reduces mistimed shots and extra takes. The camera also provides Slow & Quick motion from 1 fps to 180 fps, in 1 fps increments. This enables time lapse effects to make the clouds race by or flowers bloom before your eyes. And for even higher frame rates, you can attach the XDCA-FS7 extension unit and connect an outboard recorder, both sold separately, for 2K RAW recording at up to 240 fps. This creates 10x Super Slow Motion when played at 23.98p.
RAW recording, Apple ProRes 422 and multi-cam with Sony’s extension unit
To keep the PXW-FS7 II small, light and easily hand-holdable, Sony engineers reserved some functions for an outboard module, the XDCA-FS7 extension unit, sold separately. The unit adds significant capabilities:
External RAW recording. To preserve the maximum in colour, contrast and resolution, the XDCA-FS7 enables RAW recording when connected to outboard recorders, sold separately. The XDCA-FS7 supports the vivid colour of 12-bit linear RAW at either 4K or 2K resolution. A single BNC cable connects the XDCA-FS7 to compatible RAW recorders including Sony’s HXR-IFR5/AXS-R5 combination and the Convergent Design® Odyssey 7Q+ equipped with the Sony FS RAW option. In addition, the Atomos® Shogun Inferno and Shogun Flame support Apple ProRes and CDNG recording from the XDCA-FS7 output. Even when you record outboard RAW, you can still record time code-synchronized Full HD on-board, a convenient proxy for offline editing.
Apple ProRes 422 recording. Sony understands that some workflows are committed to the Apple ProRes 422 codec. That’s why the XDCA-FS7 supports Apple ProRes 422 and Apple ProRes 422 HQ – 1920 x 1080 recording to an XQD™ card in the camera.
Multi-camera operation. The XDCA-FS7 also provides Genlock and Timecode In/Out for multi-camera shoots.
Handheld comfort takes another leap forward
The FS7 is renowned for taking handheld shooting to another level. Placed against your chest or shoulder, comfortably steadied by your right hand. The built-in shoulder pad makes for stable shoulder-style shooting, while the curved back sits comfortably against your chest. Now with FS7 II we’ve refined these elements to be even more flexible to you.
Sony’s remarkable smart grip
The result of thousands of hours of user research, Sony’s Smart Grip is a highly adjustable control centre located on a pivoting, telescoping arm. The smart grip includes Zoom, Start/Stop and a range of Assign controls, including a dial you can use to adjust Iris. So you can operate the camera without taking your hand off the grip. The shape is comfortable hour after hour. And the angle of the grip can be adjusted at the press of a button.
Sony designed the FS7 II to the same exacting standards as the FS7 for real-world shooting. The frame is magnesium, for high rigidity and light weight. Buttons, dials and other parts are sealed to prevent dust and water spray from entering. Cooling is an urgent requirement in a high-speed 4K camera. That’s why Sony engineers developed special heat pipes that whisk heat away from the electronics and into a remote heat sink. An air duct cools the heat sink while isolating the electrical components from exposure to dust and water spray.
* Requires that all ports and covers are firmly closed. Dustproof certifies to IEC 60529 IPX5 standard.
Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe
The FS7 II takes advantage of Sony’s flexible Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe, which provides power, signal connections and coordinated on/off switching to compatible Sony accessories. For example, you can connect and control Sony wireless microphone systems such as the UWP-D11 or UWP-D12 or attach the HVL-LBPC light.*
*Accessories sold separately. HVL-LBPC light does not draw power from FS7 II.
Support for 4-channel
Audio Input and Recording
The FS7 II supports 4-channel audio input and, in applications such as interview, this function enables the simultaneous use of an external microphone for recording ambient sounds, the built-in microphone for voice memos by the operator, and two optional UWP Series wireless microphones for voice of interviewer and interviewee. In addition, using an optional XLR adapter “XLR-K2M” or ”XLR-K1M” – with two extra XLR inputs – even more devices can be connected. And with FS7 II, the control cover now folds down flat to lessen risk of accidental damage.