A firmware update coming in December promises a couple of features you can argue ought to have been there at the beginning, but that’s just not the way camera roll-outs work these days. Here, the next in our not-quite-sure-what-we-should-name-it-what-are-your-suggestions-but-for-now-called “Not Everyone Likes the Concept of Minimum Viable Product.”
If you’re not a software engineer or product designer, you may not be familiar with minimum viable product (MVP), the idea that you release a product into the market knowing that it doesn’t have everything it could, but believing it will be good enough to release.
This approach allows companies to get revenue flowing in sooner and large scale consumer feedback faster than any other– and just may block a competitor who waits longer to get it more right (“Oh, you have 8K too now? That’s so five minutes ago.”).
The flip side is that if you underestimate precisely what “minimally viable” means or place your customers too far into the role of beta testers when they’ve already paid full price, you run the risk of alienating your market and tarnishing your brand.
See our post on the Zano mini-drone.
I think that Sony has pretty well nailed the concept, and even when it’s something not minor, I’d guess most people understand that Sony is being pretty darned aggressive, innovative, and committed to bringing customers superior value.
Thus, better late than never, Sony is introducing center scan, movable focus points and more — all good stuff.
New Sony FS7 Firmware Update for 2K Center Scan & More in December
Moveable Focus Magnification
This is a big deal for me personally as an FS7 owner and shooter – right now, the FS7 only has a center magnification function for focus checking, which is a big problem when you are shooting and your focused subject isn’t exactly in the center of the frame. You can’t really reframe while shooting an interview but there is no way to check the focus on the eyes on the subject in front of you without moving the camera (because in 99% of all interview shoots the eyes of your subject are not centered in your frame, of course). With the new firmware update, this will finally be freely movable around the screen, which really should have been possible since version 1 of this camera. It also took Canon a long time to introduce this feature via firmware update in their C300 camera back in the day though. (However it’s a standard feature on such much less expensive cameras like the Sony A7s – why do these very basic and essential features often take so long to implement?). Of course, this only works for the standard screen (EVF) on the FS7, not the external ports like HDMI or SDI (and it shouldn’t in my opinion – this is a feature that monitor and EVF manufacturers like SmallHD and Zacuto have implemented into their monitoring devices directly).
Full list of enhancements
Check out Sony’s full list of enhancements by heading over to their appropriate page or here:
PXW-FS7 Firmware V3.0
Upgrade is free of charge and available during 2015 (TBC)
New Features & Improvements:
● Support for adjusting the Focus Magnification area position
● Support for “2K Full, “2K Center” setting in Imager Scan Mode
● Support for Interval Recording function
● Support for Noise Suppression setting in Cine EI mode
● Expand lowest value of Zebra level to 0%
Read full article at cinema5D “New Sony FS7 Firmware Update for 2K Center Scan & More in December”
(cover photo credit: snap from cinema5D)