Firmware version 2.0 has just been released for the Sony PXW-FS5. This update adds the automatic ND filter option as well as zebras that go rom 0 to 109% so now you can use Zebras with grey cards for S-Log and raw exposure…… Oh yes, of course you need firmware version 2 if you want to get the raw option for your FS5.
The raw option allows you to record 12 bit linear DCI 4K (4096×2160) at up to 60fps to a compatible external recorder as well as 120fps 4K raw in a 4 second burst plus up to 240fps slow motion 2K.
Also the GPS will now work (provided you have the handle attached), so footage can be geotagged for future reference and the cameras internal clock can be synchronised to the GPS time signal. This may be useful for multi-camera shoots as at least the time on each camera will be exactly the same.
Sony’s little PXW-FS5 is slowly maturing. The next firmware version will add support for automatic operation of the cameras variable ND filter. The Auto ND function can be used in conjunction with Auto Iris to get an incredible automatic exposure compensation range. Great for day to night timelapse etc. The Auto ND function has to be assigned to one of the cameras assignable buttons before it can be used, but it’s a great feature to have.
In addition Zebras will go down all the way to zero. So you will be able to set zebras to 50-55% for log skin tones or 41% for S-log3 grey card exposure etc.
GPS will work too!
All of the above will be free. For an extra $600 you will be able to get the raw output option. This will allow the camera to record to an external raw recorder in full DCI 4K (4096×2160) at up to 60fps. Yes, that’s right 60fps! In addition there will be a 4 second HFR burst capability that will allow you to record 4 seconds of 120fps 4K raw. If all that isn’t enough then in 2K you will have high speed recording at up to 240fps. However there won’t be any non high speed 2K modes, so no regular 30fps 2K raw.
Just like the FS700 and FS7 the raw is 12 bit linear, so not as good as an F5 or F55, but still a very nice option to have. All of this should be coming some time in June. Don’t forget for raw you will need an external raw recorder such as the Convergent Design Odyssey or the Atomos Shogun.
After a brief teaser campaign Sony have now released details of a new raw recorder for the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 cameras.
The AXS-R7 is a new more rugged dual slot recorder that works with A series AXS cards (that’s the newer smaller size, not the original large size cards). Being dual slot it should allow for relay recording.
The new recorder has a lot more processing power than the original to support new functions such as cache recording up to 30 seconds and has a more rugged housing with dust and moisture filters. One of the new features coming with this recorder is the ability to record at up to 120 fps in 4K raw. For this new faster AXS cards will be needed and these will be released at the same time as the recorder this summer.
To support the new recorder the F5/F55 cameras will get new firmware. Version 8 will also introduce the ability to record XAVC class 480 which in 4K is 480Mb/s at 24/25/30p and 960Mb/s at 50 and 60p.
So all in all a series of significant upgrades for these cameras that continue to just get better and better.
Here’s the full Sony press release:
Basingstoke – February 25th, 2016: Sony’s next generation of CineAlta products provides enhanced features for production professionals now shooting in 4K RAW with large sensor cameras; handling large files can be done easily while maintaining the highest levels of image quality.
The new products include an upcoming RAW recorder, the AXS-R7 for the F55/F5 and higher-speed AXS memory cards. These are complemented by the newest firmware (Version 8) for the F55 and F5, continuing Sony’s development and support of the CineAlta platform by adding new features and capabilities directly based on user feedback.
“These new technologies answer the question of ‘why shoot in 4K 16-bit RAW’? And, demonstrate Sony’s commitment to the F5 and F55’” said Ainara Porron, Marketing Manager, Cinematography, Sony Professional Solutions Europe. “Working in 4K RAW and High Dynamic Range (HDR) opens up new creative possibilities for production professionals who are not prepared to compromise on image quality.”
New RAW Recorder
Compared to previous Sony 4K recorders, the new recorder doubles 4K RAW recording from 60 FPS up to 120 FPS from the F55 camera. For shooting at higher frame rates, the recorder captures 2K RAW at up to 240 FPS from the F55 and F5, for playback with 10x super slow motion.
With the recorder, 4K shooters can take advantage of RAW cache recording at 23.98p for up to approximately 30 seconds while in standby mode, an important feature in documentary or wildlife production where capturing spontaneous action is required.
The new recorder is designed for rugged field performance. A metal filter separates and seals the recorder’s ventilation shaft from the electronics to prevent the entry of dust and water. The recorder’s camera connections are more secure, with a large top bracket that accepts four widely spaced 1/4-inch screws.
The additions to the CineAlta line also include new high-performance versions of Sony’s AXS memory cards (1TB and 512 GB capacities) with sustained read and write speeds of 4.8 Gbps, and 44 minutes at 59.94p or 22 minutes at 120 FPS. The dual-slot recorder also accepts current A-series of AXS media, but the new cards are designed to support the write speeds required for 4K RAW 120 FPS recording for those who require that level of performance.
PMW-F55/F5 Firmware Version 8
The latest firmware update (Version 8) for the F55 and F5, upgrade license installed, enables support for XAVC 4K Class 480 recording at 23.98p, 24p, 25p and 29.97p. Leading third-party vendors already support XAVC 4K Class 480, for those creative professional requiring a higher data rate version of XAVC.
“These newest additions and updates to our CineAlta platform are all the direct result of user feedback,” Porron added. “It’s no longer about simply delivering a product. It’s about delivering the right products that can grow with a customer and fit within a workflow that is constantly evolving as production requirements change.”
More good news for Sony PMW-F55 owners. A rather obscure announcement over on the official Sony user group states that the PMW-F55 will gain the ability to record 4K raw at up to 120fps via an optional future accessory.
This is great news for F55 owners. We can hope that perhaps this option will get extended to the F5 as well (after all the FS700 and can do it for short bursts and possibly the FS5 will be able to do it too using their internal memory caches to cache 4 seconds of the 4K HFR before copying it to the R5 or Odyssey). I do hope that the F55 4K raw isn’t limited to a 4 second burst and that it’s the full 16 bit raw that you get at up to 60fps.
Quite what the optional accessory will be I don’t know, but my guess would be a new raw recorder or new faster AXS media, but it could also be an internal upgrade allow the high speed raw to be passed to the existing R5 and AXS media.
NextoDI will be showing their new NVS-25 storage bridge at IBC. This is the next step in their range of portable backup devices for solid state media. The current devices like the NVS2825 are brilliant for backing up media such as SxS or P2 cards. But as 4K becomes common and file sizes increase there is a growing need for fast, simple to use devices that can backup large files to high capacity hard drives and SSD’s. The new NVX25 is modular in design and can take adapters for most media types including SxS, XQD, P2, Red, AXS etc.
The device has two internal drives and a 3rd drive can be connected to it by USB 3. It can make up to 3 copies (1 to each drive) at the same time extremely quickly. It will CRC check your copies and produce a log of what has been copied. There is a 5″ screen to control the unit as well as for viewing playback of your backed up media. It even has an HDMI port to connect it to a larger monitor.
Finally an affordable way to securely backup large 4K files and raw on location without needing a computer. Very exciting!
It’s very easy to create your own 3D LUT for the Sony PMW-F5 or PMW-F55 using DaVinci Resolve or just about any grading software with LUT export capability. The LUT should be a 17x17x17 or 33x33x33 .cube LUT (this is what Resolve creates by default).
Simply shoot some test Slog2 or Slog3 clips at the native ISO. You must use the same Slog and color space as you will be using in the camera.
Import and grade the clips in Resolve as you wish the final image to look. Then once your happy with your look, right click on the clip in the timeline and “Export LUT”. Resolve will then create a .cube LUT.
Then place the .cube LUT file created by the grading software on an SD card in the PMWF55_F5 folder. You may need to create the following folder structure on the SD card, so first you have a PRIVATE folder, in that there is a SONY folder and so on.
PRIVATE : SONY : PRO : CAMERA : PMWF55_F5
Put the SD card in the camera, then go to the File menu and go to “Monitor 3D LUT” and select “Load SD Card”. The camera will offer you a 1 to 4 destination memory selection, choose 1,2,3 or 4, this is the location where the LUT will be saved. You should then be presented with a list of all the LUT’s on the SD card. Select your chosen LUT to save it from the SD card to the camera.
Once loaded in to the camera when you choose 3D User LUT’s you can select between user LUT memory 1,2,3 or 4. Your LUT will be in the memory you selected when you copied the LUT from the SD card to the camera.
Hot off the press from NAB is the announcement that the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q will be able to work directly with the FS700 to record 4K and 2K with from the FS700 with 2K raw going up to 240fps. This is really great news. I’ll be posting a video blog about this later in the week. for now here is an extract from the official press release
LAS VEGAS, NAB Booth C11001, April 8, 2013 — Sony is announcing that its affordable 4K production camcorder, the NEX-FS700, will support a direct connection to Convergent Design’s new Odyssey7Q. The combination will allow recording of 2K RAW at up to 240 frames per second, with 4K video enabled via a single 3G connection.
The NEX-FS700 can achieve a high frame rate of up to 240 fps recording in 2K RAW while recording to the Odyssey 7Q. The 240 content fps is recording continuously, without windowing the imager or line doubling the signal. This assures full resolution at all times without windowing artifacts.
The direct connection to Convergent Design’s new Odyssey 7Q complements Sony’s own newly announced recording solution using the AXS-R5 RAW recorder and the new HXR-IFR5 interface unit. Now professional users have even more flexibility in choosing a workflow that meets their needs for today’s diverse client requirements.
“The addition of RAW and 4K recording unleashes the full power of the FS700’s state of the art 4K imager, vastly increasing the potential applications for the camcorder and resulting in tremendous flexibility in post-production,” said Peter Crithary, marketing manager for large sensor technology at Sony Electronics. “Now, interoperability with the exciting Odyssey 7Q in addition to our own recording technology gives users a wide range of cost effective choices when working with diverse workflows.”