I have been given an official statement from Sony about the image artefacts that some people are seeing from the PXW-FS5:
“Sony has investigated the PXW-FS5 image artifact issues reported by users. Our engineers have been able to duplicate these issues and identify their root cause. Sony plans to provide a firmware update. Our goal is to issue this revised firmware toward February/end.
To ensure that users achieve the best results from the FS5, Sony is also preparing guidelines to help professional shooters take full advantage of the FS5’s features, including S-Log and S-Gamut.”
My understanding is that this primarily relates to the edge tearing issue as well as the blocking type artefacts that can be seen, particularly at higher gain levels. It’s great to see solid proof that Sony do listen to us. They always have done, but often simply went away and investigated and fixed the issue without actually saying anything.
It does still need to be remembered that in UHD the camera is an 8 bit camera and this firmware update will not change that. Nor will it change the recording bit rate. I also do not expect to see a change of the cameras base ISO, so don’t expect to see any significant difference to the cameras noise levels. So while I am sure the firmware will bring a useful and welcome improvement to the image quality, you will still need to be careful how you shoot with the camera, especially in low light or with S-log in UHD. The user guides that are being prepared will hopefully address these areas.
Sony are making a very big effort to become more customer focussed. On Monday I was asked by Sony Europe to present a free webinar for customers that have registered their cameras with Sony Prime Support. Over the coming weeks and months there is going to be a lot of new content in the form of user guides, webinars, tutorials, videos etc on the Sony website. So if you haven’t bothered to register your camera with Sony Prime Support, now is the time to do it as this will give you free access to all this new content as it becomes available.