Sony PXW-FS7 Confirms Multi-front War on Canon

by Hugh BrownstoneLeave a Comment

Time for TUMS, Canon: The new Sony PXW-FS7 — an on-board 4K, Super 35 sensor, 10 bit 4:2:2 and up to 120fps cam — is a direct challenge to the Cinema EOS line at an aggressive price point, adding to what should be Canon’s gastrointestinal distress over the A7s.

OK, the headline and lead are a touch florid. But this new Sony PXW-FS7 is one very interesting camera.

Don’t take our word for it. Take a gander below, and tell us what you think: is our headline really just hype, or is this another wakeup call to Canon?

Shooting the Sony PXW-FS7 Launch Videos

From Den Lennie at F-Stop Academy:

More recently my team at our production company Lennie Motion helped create the Sony A7s launch films and after the success of those films (in excess of 1 million plays across various platforms You Tube and Vimeo) we were thrilled to be working with Sony again. We specialise in making launch films for the film and TV Industry and so with James also on board from Hangman we headed to Japan in early August for a 15 day trip.

We made 3 films in total. An HD film, a 4K film and a BTS film. We had 3 days of location scouting and camera testing followed by a 4 day shoot (2 days a piece for each the HD and 4k productions) and then 7 days of post in Tokyo. So all in all a pretty tight turn around.

Shooting the 1080p film

For the 1080p film we made a documentary in a Kimono making factory. I say factory but it was more like a serene, quiet artists residence with talented individuals crafting hand painted Kimonos that sell for in excess of US $20,ooo.

We wanted to maintain a true small footprint as far as we could (bearing in mind this was an early production model at the time of shooting and so we had a number of camera engineers on location with us to ensure everything was functioning as it should)

As a result we did end up with quite a large crew at times, but the essence for me as Director was to try to not interrupt the flow of the process and shoot around it as you would in a real documentary production. This camera is small and light so you can use the same tools you might use when shooting with say the NEX-FS700. James and I love to be small and nimble when we shoot.

Watch the “1080p Film” HERE.

Read Den Lennie's full article on F-Stop Academy “Shooting the Sony PXW-FS7 Launch Videos”

Sony PXW-FS7 Features and Specifications

Sony's Native E-Mount System: the smarter choice for moving pictures.

Sony PXW-FS7 emount

Unlike still photography, motion pictures benefit from lenses with ultra-quiet and continuously variable power zoom and iris. That's what Sony's new generation of E-Mount lenses delivers, superb optical quality along with auto focus and the perfect balance of build quality, affordability and light weight. With an extremely shallow, 18 mm flange-back distance, the camera's E-Mount also accepts an extensive range of PL, Canon EF and other SLR glass via third-party adaptors.

Explore Sony's α-mount system

Exceptional 10-bit 4:2:2 imagery at just 50 Mbps.

Sony PXW-FS7 xvac

Long-form projects shine with Sony's XAVC-L recording system. Here's the superior grayscale rendition of 10-bit recording, plus the uncompromised detail of 4:2:2 color—all at a budget-friendly 50 Mbps (HD mode). Other options include on-board 4K (3840 x 2160) recording, the same 113 Mbps XAVC-I recording as Sony's high-end F55, well-accepted MPEG HD 422, the Apple® ProRes™ codec (with future upgrade and extension unit, sold separately), and even outboard RAW recording (with extension unit and outboard recorder, sold separately).

Next-generation memory.

Sony PXW-FS7 next_generation_memory_2

Long-form programs need media that's both reliable and affordable. As specified by the CompactFlashAssociation, XQD™ memory cards score big on both accounts. Reliability comes from in-camera recovery. You get very low cost per minute compared to CFast™ cards. And robust communication between the camera and the card's controller enables read/write speeds up to a sizzling 600 Mbps.

Shoulder-mount comfort without rigs—or rigmarole.

It's ironic that so-called affordable cameras need to be outfitted with expensive rigs, cages, hand grips and accessory viewfinders before you can put them on your shoulder. The PXW-FS7 is different. It was designed from a clean sheet of paper to balance beautifully on your shoulder. Zoom, Start/Stop and Assign controls are comfortably located on the sculpted, telescoping hand grip. Sony supplies a proper viewfinder that's perfectly offset to the left with a huge range of fore-aft adjustment. Want more? A viewfinder extension box (sold separately) and a 15 mm rod mount provide even greater flexibility.

Key capabilities

  • Sony's Super 35 Exmor® CMOS Sensor
  • Sony α-mount system with 18 mm flange back distance
  • On-board 4K (3840 x 2160) and Full HD (1920 x 1080) recording
  • Wide choice of recording systems
  • XAVC (Intra/Long GOP)
  • MPEG HD, 4:2:2, 50 Mbps (HD only)
  • Apple Pro Res codec (with future upgrade and extension unit, sold separately)
  • RAW recording (with extension unit and outboard recorder, sold separately)
  • Slow & Quick Motion for over-and undercranking
  • Dual XQD card slots
  • 16-bit analog-to-digital converter
  • ISO 2000
  • Supports S-Gamut3Cine/S-Log 3 encoding
  • Die-cast magnesium frame
  • Environmentally sealed electronics
  • Wireless operation with CBK-WA100, sold separately
  • GPS

Learn more about the Sony PXW-FS7 HERE.

Sony PXW-FS7 Review

Via asbroadcasthk YT Channel:

(cover photo credit: snap from F-stop Academy)

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh is the founder of Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions. He and the team write, direct, shoot, score, and edit web-centric films; conduct photo shoots; and write copy, white papers and blog posts. Hugh also writes screenplays (he recently optioned a TV pilot) and just published his first eBook (Apple's iPhone: The Next Video Revolution). If it's about telling stories, it's in their wheelhouse.

And always with the ambition of authenticity, humanity and wit.
Hugh Brownstone

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