Sony’s new PXW-FS7. First Impressions.

I was lucky enough to get a chance to go out and shoot with a pre-production PXW-FS7 in Amsterdam during IBC. Guess what? It makes some very nice pictures!

In case you’ve had your head in the sand the last couple of weeks the PXW-FS7 is a new super35mm camcorder from Sony. It uses the same sensor as the Sony PMW-F5 and a lot of the camera is, I am sure, shared with the F5. Even the menu’s are almost exactly the same. It can record 4K internally on XQD cards using Sony’s XAVC codec. When the cameras start shipping next month you will be able to record 3840×2160 UHD/QuadHD as well as HD. Next year there will be an update to add 4096×2160 at up to 60fps.

DSC04422 Sony's new PXW-FS7. First Impressions.Want to shoot slow motion? That’s no problem as the camera can go up to 180fps internally in HD and if you add an external raw recorder you can stretch that out to 240fps.

The XAVC codec options are great. You can choose between I frame for easy editing or long GoP which gives a smaller file size but needs more processing power to decode. The 10 bit 422 image quality is very similar in both cases, so choose which to use based on how much recording media you have and how powerful your edit machine is. If you still need the legacy HD XDCAM Mpeg codec then you have that too.

Extension Unit:

By adding the optional extension box to the rear of the camera you can even record ProRes HQ to the XQD cards (after a firmware update early next year). The extension box also adds the raw output needed to record raw to an external recorder such as The Odyssey 7Q or Sony R5 recorder. On top of that you also gain Timecode in and out plus genlock. To power all of this (and the camera) the extension box has a V-Mount battery plate on it’s rear. When not using the extension box the camera runs off BP-U type batteries, the same 12V batteries as used by an EX1 or PMW200 etc.

DSC04427-300x200 Sony's new PXW-FS7. First Impressions.
The right side of the FS7 showing the XLR connectors.

The FS7 has two different shooting modes. In custom mode the camera behaves pretty much like any other conventional camera where what you see in the viewfinder is what’s recorded on the cards. You can alter the cameras gamma curve, matrix and other settings, but basically what you see is what you get. The other mode is the CineEI mode (just like an F5 or F55) and in this mode the camera records using SGamut3.cine and S-Log3. The aim being to capture the maximum possible dynamic range and in this mode the cameras sensitivity is locked to it’s native ISO of 2000. As S-Log3 results in a very flat picture (that’s great for grading and post work) the camera includes the ability to add a range of Look Up Tables (LUT’s) to the viewfinder or HDSDI output. LUT’s help you better judge exposure and give a more pleasing image prior to grading. You can even generate your own LUT’s in software such as Resolve and load them in to the camera. For exposure assistance the camera has a range of tools including a waveform, vectorscope or histogram display as well as zebras.

DSC04436-300x200 Sony's new PXW-FS7. First Impressions.
The FS7’s handgrip and control unit.

Ergonomically the camera is very interesting. It has Sony’s E-Mount lens mount so you can use just about any lens you want simply by adding a lens adapter. Using a metabones or Commlite adapter you can use Canon EF lenses with ease. Likewise PL or Nikon lenses with the appropriate adapters.

Designed to sit on the front of your shoulder and supplied with a handgrip on an adjustable arm (attached via a standard Arri type rosette) the camera is easy to use. There are a couple of assignable buttons on the hand grip as well as a small joystick for navigating through the cameras menu system. A large zoom rocker will control any E-Mount zoom lenses used such as the new 28-135mm f4 lens and a further assignable dial wheel can be used to control the lenses aperture or other functions. The hand grip uses the LanC protcol so it should be possible to use other LanC devices with this camera.

DSC04472-300x200 Sony's new PXW-FS7. First Impressions.
The PXW-FS7 with the extension unit fitted, a V-Mount battery and a Vocas base plate.

The camera is a little front heavy as it sits on the front of your shoulder. When you add the extension box and a V-mount battery the balance is much better as the weight is now set much further back. With a 3rd party shoulder mount such as the new Vocas one or the dedicated Sony VCT-FS7 mount the camera can be turned into a true shoulder mount camera.

The LCD viewfinder is mounted on a thin arm that gives it forwards and backwards adjustment as well as up and down adjustment, but there is no left right adjustment.

DSC04488-300x200 Sony's new PXW-FS7. First Impressions.
The viewfinder on the PXW-FS7

Overall I think the viewfinder is the weakest part of this camera. The images in the VF are quite reasonable (its 940×560 resolution) but the mounting mechanism and loupe are not the best. Maybe this will be improved before the camera ships. I made a lot of use of one of the hand grip assignable buttons to provide focus magnification while shooting to ensure focus was spot on and it’s nice to have the focus mag function so easily accessible.

One issue I did find with the arm for the hand grip was that unless you fold it up out of the way you can’t slide the camera on and off a tripod. If you are using a base plate this is less of a problem but with a bare camera it’s a bit of a pain.

DSC04479-300x200 Sony's new PXW-FS7. First Impressions.
The XQD card slots on the PXW-FS7, also there is an SD card slot for loading LUT’s, user files and setup information.

I found the operation of the camera almost identical to the PMW-F5. There are some differences however. The FS7 does not have a 2K center scan mode for the sensor. This is used on the F5/F55 to eliminate aliasing problems when shooting above 60fps where the 4K sensor is read out as a 2K sensor. On the F5/F55 if you don’t want to use the 2K center scan mode you can fit a special 2K low pass optical filter to eliminate aliasing above 60fps, but again this is not possible on the FS7.

Another thing the FS7 doesn’t have is the large side display of the F5 and F55. For conventional shooting this is not really a big deal. But if you are using the CineEI mode where you may be using LUT’s on different outputs not having this information clearly displayed is a bit of a nuisance. In fact during the shoot with the FS7 at one point I though I was shooting with a LUT when in fact I was not. The only way to be sure of how everything is set is to go into the cameras menu system.

DSC04431-300x200 Sony's new PXW-FS7. First Impressions.
The PXW-FS7 fitted with the 28-135mm f4 servo zoom lens.

But what about the image quality? Frankly it’s amazing! For the money the images this camera produces are remarkable. It is using the F5’s sensor and it does have 14 stops of dynamic range. S-log3 is a great gamma curve and the camera is very low noise, even at it’s native 2000 ISO. It was hard to tell as most of the shooting took place at night, but initially it doesn’t look like there is any difference between the quality of the footage from the FS7 and the PMW-F5. Great colours, low noise, high dynamic range with very pleasing roll off what more can you want? One area where there will be a difference is with raw. The PMW-F5 takes the Sony R5 directly docked on it’s back. The raw form the F5 is 16 bit while the raw from the FS7 is going to be recorded on an external recorder at only 12 bits. 12 bit linear raw is really pushing the limits of what is needed for linear raw. However we do already know that the 12 bit raw from Sony’s FS700 works well, so this should be no different.

Where this camera will be really good is when combined with the new 28-135mm f4 servo zoom lens. Typically par-focal lenses with this kind aperture and zoom ratio cost in excess of $30K. This lens will be around $2.7K. Being able to zoom in and out on a large sensor camera smoothly really increases the cameras flexibility making it much easier to use in run and gun type situations. The lens is never going to be an incredible performer at this price and when wide open I did find it a little soft, but for shear ease of use it’s really remarkable. The FS7 combined with this lens will be a killer combination and that’s why I have ordered one. It’s NOT replacing my F5, I love my F5 and I think that the F5 is a much better camera for drama or studio type shoots. But the FS7 will be very handy for fast and fluid productions. In addition, for the money this camera is an absolute bargain.

102 thoughts on “Sony’s new PXW-FS7. First Impressions.”

  1. Thanks for the great review Alistair,

    Why do you think they went with an E and FZ mount? Seems to exclude the use of PL and B4 glass doesn’t it, or could you still adapt? Also the lack of center crop for B4 lens use is missing.

    Still, something tells me their maybe some annoyed F5 users out there?

    1. You can adapt from E-Mount to almost anything. You can certainly get PL adapters and the MTF B4 adapter can also be used if you really want to use a 2/3″ lens.

  2. Thanks for your first impressions on this camera.

    One question about the viewfinder, since it doesn’t shift left/right will it accommodate a left eye shooter in handheld configuration?

    I’m guessing there will be some 3rd party mounting options for the viewfinder.

    1. In the configuration shown at IBC the camera does not suite left eye shooters. However the VF mounting system is made up of rods and clamps, so it should be straight forward for someone to develop a bar and bracket that will allow you to move the VF to the left.

  3. Hi,

    I’m a big fan of your site. Could you tell me how it works when you mention applying LUTS to the viewfinder of this camera?

    I understand applying LUTS in post production but how does this apply when you’re shooting out in the field? This seems like a very advanced feature that many shooters such as myself will be new to (in this price range).

    1. The first few clips are from the 28-135mm. The rest from some zeiss primes.

      No, it’s still a 28-70mm lens, so the FOV will be the same as any other 28-135mm lens. The field of view will be roughly 1.5 time narrower on the FS7 than when you use this lens on a full frame camera.

  4. Alistair,
    Eternally thankful for bringing us folks up to speed with all your insight and knowledge.
    Does the FS7 have the same low light performance as the A7S?
    Thanks–Ajit

    1. When you shoot S-log3 you must use the native ISO of 2000 to get the cameras full dynamic range. When using standard gammas the ISO will go as low as 800 ISO.

  5. I also have the same question (about which lens(es) were used on the night shots.

    You also mentioned about the native iso of the camera being 2000? My only reference point is the PMW 200 and I understand the native iso for that camera is 350 range. What is your assessment then of the FS7(K) compared to the PMW with regard to low light sensitivity as well as dynamic range also taking into account that the PMW200 has an f1.9 lens compared with the f4 of the FS7K.

    1. Well the FS7 is 2.5 stops more sensitive than a PMW-200 and that’s a very considerable difference. However an F4 lens is about 2 stops slower than a typical f1.8 broadcast lens. As a result the net sensitivity ends up about the same. BUT the FS7 has less noise so the images can be lifted more in post if necessary. Most of the night shots were shot using zeiss primes at around f2.8.

  6. Since leaving that question I found an article which gives the full specs. The minimum 2000 ISO is only when using one of the gammas. The standard gamma goes down to as low as 800 ISO. Still pretty high but more useable. Here’s the excerpt from Adam Wilt’s 2-part article:

    Standard gammas allow gains from -3 to 18dB; ISOs from 800 to 6400. 0dB = ISO 1000.
    Hypergammas: -3 to 18dB, or ISO 1600-12500; 0dB = ISO 2000
    S-Log3: -3 to 18dB, or ISO 2000-16000; 0dB = ISO 2500″

    Info in Part 1: First Look: Sony PXW-FS7 L.S.S. Shoulder-Mount Camcorder, pt. 1

  7. Just re-read the article on my laptop, mobile phone just not the best platform for detailed information!

    Sounds like a lot of camera for the money and in line with what many people, myself included, are looking for. I’ll look forward to getting a closer look in the coming weeks.

  8. Hi Alister,

    What is your opinion about 2K / 1080p output of this camera? Is the aliasing the same issue as with Sony FS700? Are the 2K optimized OLPF filters not available from Sony or is it physically impossible to swap the existing OLPF?

    Thanks,

    Matt

    1. The HD is derived from the full 4K scan, so no issues there. 2K raw will have issues as the sensor is read as a 2K sensor and the OLPF is optimised for 4K. There will also be aliasing issues when shooting above 60fps as above 60fps the sensor is only read at 2K.

  9. Allister,

    Thank you for your mixed lens demo video on the FS7. I’ve been wondering how the new servo might look. And, I must say that the Zeiss cp.2’s are spectacular. Not so enamoured with the servo zoom. But, I bet it’s convenient to work with. So, maybe I’d get my PL mount cp.2’s PL’s primes remounted for E-Mounts. Using older Nikon zooms (5) modified for cine by Duclos.

    I was about to change to AJA CION from Sony rather than upgrade to F5’s from F3’s for easier 4k. But, I am impressed by what I see of the FS7. That may be the ticket for my mixed bag shooting needs. May go for better zooms without servo though.

    Have you ever run into GL Optics rebuilt glass for PL and other mounts including E Mount. Rebuilt still Cannon and Sigma glass for cinema. Looks quite good. Have you ever used one?

    Must add that I appreciate your well thought out comments on most things camera. Please stay with it.

    Rk

    1. They were Zeiss Loxia’s which are E-Mount and cheaper than CP-2’s.

      Not used the GL optics re-housed lenses so I can’t comment. Obviously it won’t change the image quality.

  10. Hi,
    it was mentioned the FS7 sensor is the same as the F5. does that suggest that in some future upgrade we could see Center Scan being added?

    Thanks very much. well written notes on your observations and non-biased impressions, most helpful.

    1. I doubt we will see center scan on the FS7. I could be completely wrong, but I think they will keep this as a way to differentiate between this camera and the F5.

    1. We didn’t test autofocus. It’s not something I use. Autofocus and video rarely play well together, especially when you have a large sensor and thus shallow DoF.

  11. Many thanks Mr Chapman for review, I did read it carefully as F3 lovely owner seeing ahead.
    I´m curious about 28-135 FE mount lens, will be possible to mount it onto FZ F3 mount through a Sony adapter or third part developer?
    many thanks for your reviews!

  12. I’m not sure if I missed it in the review, but does this camera have a global shutter? BMD seem to have included one for a reasonable price and I think it should help to reduce panning judder, which this model seems to have. I realise that the frame rate also contributes to this problem but I am puzzled that global shutters are not more widespread.

    Thanks for the very useful and comprehensive review.

    1. No global shutter. Global shutters tend to impact sensitivity, dynamic range and result in fixed pattern noise, a problem that the BM cameras suffer from even with the new firmware. Panning judder is more about frame rate, shutter speed and pan speed than global shutter. The Arri Alexa does not have a global shutter but most movie goers don’t seem to notice judder issues. Probably simply because it’s shot correctly.

  13. Thank you Alister for posting this. Were any of the focus pulls from the 28-135, or just from the Zeiss Primes? I was trying to determine what the bokeh looked like from that lens. BTW, were those E-Mount primes, like the Zeiss Loxia or Touit? Thanks!

    ~Adam

    1. Focus pulls were with the primes. Bokeh from the 28-135mm is not bad, but at f4 it’s tougher to get decent shallow DoF.

  14. Thank you for posting this. Very helpful. I have a question about S-log3: can the FS7 shoot S-log3 without engaging CineEI mode?

  15. Hello Alister, I have a client who still shoots film and has a set of PL lenses for and super 16. He asked me if it might be possible for him to use his super 16PL lenses with the camera. Metabones has a PL adapter so I’m told there would be no problem with his 35mmPL lenses but he wanted to know about super 16PL lenses. I wonder if you have any thoughts. Best regards, Rene

    1. No you won’t be able to use S16 lenses on the FS7 unless you get some kind of optical adapter, which I wouldn’t recommend.

  16. Alister,

    Thanks for the review. I’m curious about the ND. Since this will only shut down to an 800 ISO, Is there enough ND to be able to use this outside in bright daylight without having to stop down hugely?

    Thanks.

  17. +1 on the ND question.

    Also, how do you feels this compares to the FS700? Other than the slog3 and 4k internal, they seem relatively similar. Its a $2k difference (which is 30%).
    I am trying to decide between the two (looking for versatile unit for studio, commercial and doc work) and since there isn’t a whole lot of people who have had a chance to work with the FS7, I was hoping you would share your $.02.

    Thanks.

    1. It’s a night and day difference, the FS7 is a 100% better camera. FS7 is 10 bit 422, has LUT’s, Cine-EI shooting mode, hypergammas and far superior ergonomics. Yes FS700 is cheaper and still a very good camera but the residual value of an FS7 will be higher.

      As well as the built in ND you will most likely need to use a bit of extra ND for many outdoor shoots when shallow DoF is what you are after.

  18. Alistair,
    I’m awaiting delivery on my FS7 right now but one issue concerns me that i haven’t heard much about . As I understand it at the moment you are locked out of color controls like Kelvin , and white balance in CINE EI but you can use LUT’s for viewfinder and can even bake-in the LUT’s like the 709 Type A that is supposed to look much like an Alexa. This sounds great to me as I have many clients who don’t want to do a great deal of grading – but being locked out of color controls defeats that purpose.
    On the other hand- if you shoot Slog 3 in the non CINE EI mode you do have access to color controls but you can’t use the LUT’s for viewfinder or baking-in looks.
    So that mode is hamstrung by lack of access to LUT’s .
    Why ? Why not give the DP more access to his image?
    Even if my client will do grading I want to be able to give them guidance about how I intended the color to look.
    Is there a technical reason they cannot allow access to color controls and LUT’s at the same time?
    Frankly this puts me at a disadvantage even to a RED where I can monitor my shot as intended and send that look to clients very easily.
    Lenny

    1. The reason is that the CineEI mode is designed for post production heavy LUT based workflows that include both XAVC and RAW. If you change the white balance in the camera then the white balance of the raw debayer algorithm would also need to be changed (white balance changes the RGB gain of the sensor, so the RGB gain of the decoder would need to change to match). This would then mean an almost infinite number of debayer processes would have to be included in any raw software to account for every conceivable white balance setting. Red works as it does as they are baking in a color offset in to the raw, this limits the extent to which you can alter the white balance in post and can result in more noise in the blue channel if the white balance is biased towards tungsten/warm light.

  19. Thanks for the review it´s very helpfull,

    I just get the new FS7. Will you please help me with the right metabones, I have canon lens as 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8. I had read that the speed booster ultra is not going to work properly, so I´m not sure if I should get the previous speed booster or the Mark III. I am very confuse about it and I will really appreciate if you can help me with this matter. Thank you very much in advance. Sergio.

    1. At the moment there are some slight issues with all the metabones adapters on the FS7. There is new camera firmware coming out this week and this may address these issues.

  20. Hello! I’ve read your review, and it is great. But I have a question about high ISO’s. You said that the footage looked identical to F5, but is this also true for High ISO noise? 6400 ISO in F5 is excellent, and up to 12.800, quite usable. Is this the case with the FS7?
    Thank you for your time!

  21. I have researched some more and found this written in Sony’s website under specifications :

    For FS7
    Optical System : Bayer
    S/N Ratio : 57 dB (Y) (typical)
    Sensitivity (2000 lx, 89.9% reflectance) : T14 under the following conditions: Video Gamma, 3840 x 2160; 23.98p mode 3200K

    For F5
    Optical System : Super35mm Single Image sensor
    Pickup Device : Super35mm equivalent Single-chip CMOS
    S/N Ratio : 57dB DNR off
    Sensitivity (2000 lx, 89.9% reflectance) : T13 @ Odb, Standard Gamma, 24p (3200K Light Source)

    I am coming from a dslr backround so I need help understanding… What do the above say about High Iso noise in these cameras? What about the sensor?

    Thank you!

    1. Every time you double the ISO of a camera you are adding 6db of gain, so the noise will also increase by 6db. 57db is a very respectable noise figure for a 4K video camera. The noise and sensitivity of the FS7 and F5 is almost identical (the difference between T13 and T14 is tiny). However small signal processing differences may mean that the noise will look a little different.

  22. Hi Alister,

    Thanks for the review.
    Can you get a raw output from the hdmi 2.0 or 3G-SDI with out the extension unit? Essentially what I’m wondering is can you record straight out of the camera to say an Atomos Shogun or an oddessey 7q and get 4k proress or 4k raw direct from the camera to an external recorder with out the use of the extension unit?

    Darrin

    1. Raw is raw unprocessed data from the sensor, it is not a video signal in the traditional sense, so you cannot get raw out of the normal HDMI or SDI connections. You need the extension unit to get the raw output.

  23. Hi Alistair,
    To day I received my FS7. I went to use it with my EX1r compatible WASSABI batteries and it turns on but after about 30 seconds, the eve goes black and an error message comes on saying change batteries. Is this just Sony wanting to cash in on batteries by making aftermarket batteries incompatible?

    Daniel

    1. Yes, I have some 3rd party batteries that also do not work with the FS7. My old Swit batteries with the fly lead work fine though.

  24. Hi, great review. I like to know with the kit lens 28-135, when zooming in and out, does it keep focus. I will be using this camera mainly for wedding documentary shooting.

  25. Thanks for all your fine reviews Alister!
    I am looking to replace my old EX1R and wonder about low light sensitivity with the next camera. Perhaps PMWx200 vs this large chip FS7? The specs for the EX1r on Sony site show 2000iso so might it be similar to the FS7. I don’t seem to be able to compare with the specs.
    Best regards,
    Paul

    1. An EX1r is about 340 ISO and noisier at the native ISO/0db than the FS7 is at it’s native ISO of 2000. Sp the FS7 is about 2 stops more sensitive. The PXW-X200 is also around 350-400 ISO (same sensors as the EX1R) but has a bit less noise due to improved signal processing.

      But you must consider what lens you will be using. The X200 lens if f1.8, the Sony 28-135mm for the FS7 is F4, so low light performance will still be a touch better on the FS7, but not such a big difference. However put an f1.8 lens on the FS7 and you have a clear winner.

  26. Thanks for the footage Alister, there are a lot off terrible footage examples on the web right now, only a few examples convince. Iam on the fence to buy a new camera but we need real world examples. Not washed out s log with problems. I am most impressed with the new varicam but that is out off reach. I really hope the fs7 will shine.

    Greetings Rob.

  27. As so many others have said, thank for all the inforation and advice that you are giving.

    A couple of questions:
    1) No mention appears to have been made regard the response time if auto iris is pressed, is similar to other cameras or does it take a long time comparable to adjustment by the iris wheel? I’m not talking about full time auto iris, but just quickly getting the iris into the right ball park.

    2) If using auto iris to get into ball park as above, does it compenasate for the different types of mode of operation?

    The reasoning behind these questions is whether using auto iris will speed up the process compared to the long winded adjustment by the iris wheel.

    Thanks in advance,

    Geoff

    1. Iris response appears unchanged with the new firmware, but it is more stable and less prone to loss of iris control. Iris does not change when you change modes or gamma.

  28. Alistair, have you had any further looks at the SELP28-135G? There is some very keen pre-order pricing here in Australia, and Cinema5D gave it a favorable rap. I’m think of more as a full-frame lens for the A7S rather tahn the FS7. The parfocal and other video feature sure make it attractive, but if it’s not sharp wide open, then that’s a deal breaker. I would expect the DOF would be a bit shallower on a FF sensor which is a bonus.

  29. Hello Allister,

    Thanks so much for everything, i have been reading your blogs for a while, i’m changing my fs700 for a fs7, you convince me 😉 you are a very good person to take the time to share and answer all questions and share your knowledge, thanks a million! Mike

  30. Great review. Thank you.
    Would you recommend the FS7 for filming the Northern Lights on your field trips?
    I am wondering about two issues; perhaps there are others?
    1. Sensitivity
    2. Low temperature.
    3. Other issues
    Goff

    1. The A7s is king when it comes to filming the Northern Lights, it is substantially more sensitive and less noisy than the FS7.

      You can shoot the Aurora when its reasonably bright with the FS7, especially with a fast full frame lens and a speed booster. The camera can deal with cold temps just fine. I’ve had mine down to -38c.

  31. Allister… grateful for your thoughts on the FS7. I own a small travel magazine and shoot HD video for many advertisers. I currently own the FS700 (plus Zacuto FS700 Shooter) with the latest Sony 28-200mm kit lens, and also use the Sony adapter to film with my Zeiss 24-70mm & Sony 70-400mm. I now need 3840×2160 capabilities. A new Odyssey 7Q+ with 2 1TB drives, batteries, cables, power plate and hood will cost around $6000, plus another $800 for the Convergent Design FS software package. A new FS7 with media & batteries will cost just under $10,000. Which path would you follow to get 3840×2160? I have never used a large external monitor, and my mid-life crisis has me shooting nature, science & climate change footage throughout Arizona. Is it practical to shoot handheld or shoulder mount with a 7Q+ attached in these situations. On paying shoots, I simply pack up the car & go. When shooting for myself, I often hike and carry the gear in a backpack. Sorry for the rambling – really looking for your thoughts on adding the Odyssey 7Q+ to my current camera, or selling the FS700 & using the money toward the FS7.

    1. That’s easy. Id get the FS7. It’s compact, simple to use, no wires, no cables, one battery, needs less media so less long term storage. The FS700 + 7Q while producing great images will have you cursing and swearing as the 7Q gets in the way, moves around on it’s mount etc.

  32. Thanks for the interesting article!
    As known, PMX FS7 does not have center scan mode like F5 and F55 CineAlta.
    My question is if I shoot with 2k raw in FS7, can I resolve this problem and get results like shooting in center scan mode? Better? Other?

    1. If you shoot 4K raw with the FS7 and just use the central 2K portion of the frame, that is the same as center crop mode. 2K raw from the FS7 would have to use the entire sensor and as you cannot change the low pass filter you will get more aliasing and moire.

  33. My question was related to high FPS, but your answer here already gave me the explanation about aliasing and moire.
    (BTW I read before few days your article related to this point in another site).
    I have one last question, and please correct me if I am wrong:
    According to my knowledge, Sony claims that FS700, FS7, F5 and F55 have the same sensor (I wonder how is that when every camera has its own dynamic range?!).
    Depending on this, and when I shoot raw via these cameras, shouldn’t I receive the same dynamic range via raw recording directly from the sensor and S-log?
    I already have FS700 with odyssey 7Q+, and I am thinking seriously to buy the FS7..
    Is it possible that one day the FS700 get the S-log-3? Or it already reached its full dynamic range (its limited sensor?!).
    Thanks a lot.

    1. They do all use the same sensor. They all have the same 14 stop dynamic range when using S-Log2 or raw. But there are some very big differences in the image processing between the FS700, FS7 and F5. The FS7 and F5 are very, very close but the FS700 uses a much less powerful image processor and the compressed recordings from the FS700 are not as good as those from the FS7 or F5. If you are shooting raw (not compressed) then there is little difference between the FS700 and FS7 at normal frame rates. Both provide a 12 bit linear raw output with 14 stops of DR. There are some small differences in the raw encoding but the final images look more or less exactly the same. The big benefits of the FS7 over the FS700 include: The way you can use LUT’s in the camera for exposure assessment. It’s very high quality compressed record options. It’s superior ergonomics.

  34. Hi. Another issue i have found with the handgrip is that you can’t simply put the camera down without having to fold it away otherwise it falls over onto the view finder. Such a pain because i put the camera down a lot through out a shoot day and it gets annoying having to do that everytime. I’ve taken it off and now using vocas plate rails and handgrips. Operate lens and other functions with left hand.

    1. Well that’s always going to be a problem with any camera with a single hand grip. Just add another hand grip to the right side.

  35. I have a question… so if I set my fs7 to record on slog 1,2 and 3 costume or cine Ei the camera will not let me change the iso… I dont even know if it is set on the native ISO which I hope it is because i had a shoot yesterday.. can someone tell me if this is how it works and you cant change the ISO on this modes, or is it some kind of setting i have to change to be able to controll ISO?

    1. In CineEI the base ISO is fixed by design at the native ISO of 2000. If you use any ISO other than the native ISO you don’t get the full dynamic range, so the camera is locked to the native ISO so that the full 14 stop range is correctly matched to the 14 stop S-log2/3 recordings.

  36. Hello Alister,
    I tried posting this question before and not sure if i got it right.
    My kit lens Sony 28-105 power zoom only works at a slow speed. No matter what speed setting i program in the menu it is at what seems the slowest speed. My dealer told me it is a problem with all the FS7s but I find it hard to believe that no one has noticed. What is your experience with the zoom speed?
    Thank you and keep up the great work!

    1. Yes, the zoom speed is slow. That’s normal for this lens. It’s one of the limitations of producing an electronically controlled par-focal lens that is compact, has a reasonable zoom range and doesn’t cost the earth.

  37. So this camera is not made by the Cine Alta group at Sony?

    Frankly, I have my doubts if it isn’t Cine Alta. I was burned badly by the Sony HVR-V1U’s bogus audio specs. But now a happy PMW-EX3 user who actually USES the in-camera audio for more than sync purposes.

    If I could get some hard data on the PXW-FS7’s audio frequency response, and if it’s as good as PMW-EX3 (DAT quality, flat 20-20KHz), I’d buy it tomorrow. But so far, no hard data from Sony, so I sit and hold off on purchase.

    1. The FS7 was developed by the Shinegawa group. The Cine Alta group are based at Atsugi. There are many shared components and most of the base design comes from the F5 (Atsugi) but this is a Shinegawa camera.

  38. Alister:

    What has been your experience with the RAW output of the camera to an External Recorder? I have been fairly impressed with the 10-bit XAVC codec, but I do notice blockiness at times. Would love your thoughts on this. I do think the camera is quite amazing.

    1. One of my favourites is to use a Canon mount Sigma 20mm f1.8 full frame lens on a Metabones speed booster. Gives the equivalent of 14mm f1.2. There is a little bit of minor spherical abberation, so stars can be less than perfect, but it’s ver fast and very wide. Also the Samyang 24mm f1.4 on the speed booster. This gives 17mm f0.96 so it incredibly fast. Stars are pin sharp with this combination.

  39. Are Nikon lenses with electronic adjustment of apeture only, a no go on the pxv-fs7? I got a wonderfull 600 mm, I would love to use with that camera.

    Thank you.

    1. No one makes an electronic Nikon adapter for E-Mount as far as I’m aware, only ones that move the mechanical pin on the back of the majority of Nikon lenses.

  40. So here is a question concerning the 4k update and Monitor LUT. Is the LUT only an option if using 2k or lower? We have been trying to play with it on set with no luck to ddi monitors. any thoughts??

    4k xavc @23.98, sdi cables. s-log.

    1. If you are outputting 4K HDMI then you can’t have separate LUT’s on the outputs. LUT’s are all on or all off inc. internal recording. You can record 4K and have an HD output with separate LUT’s.

  41. client would like a 1080 proxy record as well . can i do that on the sd card while i am recording 4k on the other cards. or i do a separate transfer after i finished the shoot?
    this is my first foray with this camera( FS7)

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