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Sony's New FS-700 Revealed - 4K-ready Super 35mm Camcorder for Less Than $10k?

04.2.12 @ 7:39AM Tags : , , ,

Looks like Sony has decided to make some waves with the next model in their line of NEX cameras — the FS-700.  Building on the FS100 (Super 35mm sized sensor, interchangeable E-mount lenses, XLR inputs, etc.), with some nice additions (internal ND filters, 3G-SDI output), they have decided to throw in some very big features — up to 10X slow motion at 1080p resolution (i.e 240 fps), and an upgrade path to 4K acquisition/delivery.  It’s rumored that it will run about $8k, confirmed that it will run you about $8k (body only).  More images and a preliminary features list after the jump:

This list is from the Sony UK site, and as stated is simply preliminary.  There are a lot of questions that remain to be answered: how expensive will the upgrade be, what kind of storage/workflow will raw 4K footage require?  It looks like Sony won’t debut the U.S. version until NAB, but according to SonyAlpha Rumors the camera should be available in June, so we’ll keep our ears open as more information comes out:

Preliminary Information
This is preliminary information. All features and specifications are subject to change without notice.

The first 4K-ready Super35mm camcorder in its class – providing an assured upgrade path to 4K acquisition and delivery – with full HD 1080p for today.The camcorder will also have the capability to produce 4K RAW 3G-SDI output via a future upgrade.

Super slow motion at 10x at full HD or 40x at lower resolutions
Incredible super slow motion capability of up to 10x slow motion at full HD resolution or up to 40x slow motion at a reduced resolution, giving you creative options that were once only available with specialist high-end equipment.

E-mount interchangeable lenses offer a wide choice of lenses
The E-mount interchangeable lens system utilises an extremely short flange back distance allowing you to use a huge array of lenses via a range of adaptors giving you almost unlimited creative options.

Additional A-mount lenses available
The Sony LA-EA2 A-mount lens adaptor allows you to use the wide range of high quality alpha lenses and take advantage of the auto focus function for quicker, more convenient operation.

Built-in HD filters
The NEX-FS700E features built-in, ultra-thin ND filters, offering exceptional shallow depth-of-field on highlights. It also means less accessories to manage as no external ND filters are required.

3G-SDI interface and HDMI
A 3G-SDI output enables easy integration with highest quality recording formats.

Exceptional ergonomics
The NEX-FS700E has a refined ergonomic design with a robust detachable handle and grip.

Switchable 50 Hz and 60 Hz shooting
The NEX-FS700E is switchable between 50 Hz and 60Hz to allow 24p shooting in PAL areas and no PAL/NTSC limitations.

Selectable magnification and positioning of expanded focus
Expanded focus improvement allowing 4x and 8x magnification and a moveable area of expansion for easy focusing with shallow depth of field.

Camera profile settings storage on memory card
Up to 99 camera profile settings can be stored, allowing rapid adaptation to multiple shooting environments without time wasted adjusting parameters. Settings are also easily shared in multi-camera productions.

And of course, some images:

Is this the camera that will let Sony compete with the RED Scarlet?  What does this mean for the C-300?  What’s with Sony’s firmware strategy, are they double-dipping on their customers?  Share your thoughts!

[via The Verge and SonyAlphaRumors]


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Description image 65 COMMENTS

  • Not just 200fps in camera either. According to one blog the fs700 records full 1080p at 200fps to an external recorder as pro res 422. Samples to be released over the next few days. Panasonic camcorder announcement on the 5th too.

  • So long Sony F3, you were a great companion.
    Liking that Sony isn’t afraid of the possibility that it might destroy the market for their more expensive camera, even though i’m sure alot of F3 owners might become annoyed by this.

    • I don’t think this camera is going to “destroy” the F3 market. S-Log is a huge selling point when shooting the F3, and it doesn’t look like the FS700 will have the internals to push it. All speculation at this point, though.

      • Then explain why there is competition between the F3, C300 and Scarlet when they are fundamentally different cameras with different uses? Some people don’t seem to care about S-log when going for a C300 apparently. If this camera turns out to be everything it promises to be, then people aren’t going to bother to give a few extra thousand dollars for their selling points as they start having less and less meaning in the grand scheme of things. But you are right, at this point it’s mere speculation.

        • We don’t know what kind of dynamic range this camera will have. if this camera has the dynamic rang of the fs-100 then it will not bit into the F3 to much then. because then the 2 cameras are very different in terms of use for them.

          • My point exactly, things like less dynamic range doesn’t stop buyers nowadays from getting a C300 instead of a F3 with S-log to give you an example. I’m merely stating that the whole 4K “almost ready to shoot” 8000 dollar camera is going to make enough of an impact that will make people forget such advantages, i think most will agree that for good or bad, people crave higher resolution above all else. Thus higher impact against the F3 market or C300 for that matter, even Scarlet is gonna feel it due to lower price 4K RAW alternative. But still, mere speculation at this time of course. An exciting time to live in if you like digital cameras like myself.

  • Unless I’m mistaken, it looks like they kept the same flawed viewfinder design.

    Later this year may be a good time to buy a FS100.

  • Which means one of two things:

    1. The FS100 price will go down and it will be easier for me to buy it.
    2. A miracle will happen and I can afford this.

    Hoping for the latter.

    • jheeze you apple haters are ridlouicus. you’re just jealous because apple are fricking amazing. They have successfully created so many revolutionary devices (ipod iphone ipad NOT FORGETTING THE ALMIGHTY APPLE MAC) and no one has matched their ease of use and quality as of yet. stop hating

  • OMFG ITS FINALLY HAPPENING!!! Frame rates above 60p at 1080p WOOHOO!! But still after all is said and done…200fps, 4k etc id still be more interested in improvements to image quality in terms of codec, highlight roll off, low light and dynamic range. Wonder if we will see a new model F3 with all the FS700 features plus slog goodness?

    I know its been said before but DAMN this is a good time to be shopping for a new camera!

  • While all other manufacturers havent matched Sony’s 1080p 60p yet here they come again with 240fps at 1080p?!?! SonY have once again revolutionized the spec list at this price range. They have just shot over the specs of every single 1080p camera in existence, and is offering an easy entry into 4k RAW format later. C300 and RED should be really worried now. With Sony’s imaging department getting a full pillar status, this technological innovation aggresiveness is changing the landscape.

    Hope they will employ F65′s real RAW format for their 4k so we can grab stills from them as needed, and that external recorder will offer direct to Proress 4:4:4 at the same framerates as its internal, that will revolutionize workflow. Thank you Sony for moving us forward.

    • Slow your horses till some more info comes out. I think this camera will be fantastic and have a lot of applications but the initial specs are not going to murder any pro cameras out right now at least with the current fs700 specs. c300 and f3 and scarlet are being used for broadcast and films where people are more concerned about color space, color reproduction, dynamic range, and highlight roll-off, than about 4k or high frame rates. The big IF is if the camera will have the same 4:2:0 avchd 8 bit codec. That codec can’t replace 4k 12bit from the scarlet, the 4k 12bit subsampled 1080p 8 bit from the c300, and 2.5k subsampled 10bit from the f3.

  • Pricing is 7,900 euros according here

    That other camera with a built in projectore is awesome too.:D

  • Matthew Linnell on 04.2.12 @ 11:31AM

    April Fools!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come on. This is way to good to be true. If it wasn’t for the pictures I’d be certain this is a joke.

    I totally agree with the comments about codec and color space over extreme slow-motion.

    Built in ND is huge and my biggest issue with me Fs-100 besides the placement of the LCD which I CAN NOT believe that they would keep. It’s such a great LCD that is placed in a nearly impossible to user place.

    Can’t wait to see how this plays out.

  • James Fisher on 04.2.12 @ 12:09PM

    I heard about the Sony F5 too.. I am just waiting to see what the next NAB has to show…

  • Michael Locke on 04.2.12 @ 12:23PM

    Still with the ProRes option? For What? DNxHD PLEASE! (et tu AJA!)

  • Are there no XLR inputs??

    • James Fisher on 04.2.12 @ 1:50PM

      line 4 :
      ” the FS-700. Building on the FS100 (Super 35mm sized sensor, interchangeable E-mount lenses, XLR inputs, etc.), with some nice additions (internal ND filters, 3G-SDI output)”

  • That is great. I hope to see an improvement in the video format. Something that will allows us to push the color correction in post….

  • My question would be: what numbers will have to be crunched to output and record this avalanche of data?
    It is very exciting, indeed, on paper but, what sacrifices will have to made by way of codec and color space to record 200fps of 1080P? There are few recorders available that can ingest this type and amount of information. And, they are not what you’d call cheap. Nevertheless, pretty exciting news.

  • and what happened to the FS200 thru 600?

  • omgz 1080p 480fps! I will own this camera!

  • Jordan Carr on 04.3.12 @ 12:14AM

    As predicted, RIP Canon.

    There is the famous quote “If you don’t cannibalize your own brand, your competition will.” Canon played it safe, year after year…..and now they are a joke at almost every price point.

    The next 4-5 years will be very difficult for Canon – unless the NAB 4k Cinema product is spectacular.

    Good lesson to learn (something apple does well – they had a huge lead with the ipad2 but didn’t rest and continued to push) for companies.


  • It always bothers me that camera manufacturers don’t release dynamic range info. It’s one of the most important things about an imaging device, because it has huge implications for lighting and camera angle when it comes to location work for narrative film.

  • Won’t this camera will still be plagued by bad lense availability like no IS or autofocus? Sonys lenses are not that good + expensive?

    • There is a lot of adapters you can use for that camera, you can use Lenses from Nikon, Nikkor, CCTV, Canon EF/FD, Sigma, M42, Lecia, C-mount lens… more… Not just Sony lenses, this is why it is a creative kind of camcorder.

    • I cannot remember the name, but there was a great EF mount adaptor going for around $400 for all Sony E mount cameras. It lets you control the aperture just like you would on an E mount lens, and Image Stabilization still works. Just buy that, and you will have THOUSANDS of options in terms of lenses.

    • Jordan Carr on 04.3.12 @ 1:06PM

      Bad lenses?

      Nearly every lens in the world works (and with peaking) on the FS100 and FS700.


      Learn about flange back distance and why Sony use the E-mount.

  • Rev. Benjamin on 04.3.12 @ 2:05PM

    I was underwhelmed by the c300 announcement. I was kinda like “Okay, yeah, cool” with the Scarlet announcement. But Sony firmly has my attention with this one.

  • zitilizinc on 04.3.12 @ 3:12PM

    I don’t get it. I did not see a lot of excitement related to this post. But if it was a Canon announcement it would have been different. whereas this is a major announcement by Sony here. so far the best of the year I think for under 10K camcorder.

  • Since last November when Camera Announcement Madness kicked off with the Scarlet and C300, this is the first camera of any price range that I’m actually considering making the leap to. The price point is reasonable for the features offered, and I’m sure my hacked GH2s would make very decent B cameras to this.

  • Am I missing something, they seem to be conflating raw with uncompressed. Raw is sensor data. If this “4k raw” is to be over 3G Sdi it would have to be some form of raster image not sensor data.

    • Joe Marine on 04.3.12 @ 4:56PM

      RAW is not straight sensor data (which is unusable without an A/D convertor) – it’s still going through an imaging pipeline to get to a recording medium. RAW, when camera manufacturers talk about it, simply refers to camera data that has been unprocessed (not necessarily uncompressed) and requires some sort of post software to process the metadata into a usable form.

      Sony’s goal is to make this camera produce RAW data just like it’s big brother the F65.

  • $7K would be the perfect price. At least I will get one for my production class. What about the quality of the far we can push it in post.
    check this out

  • Don’t know about you guys but, I, for one, can’t wait for the avalanche of videos of breaking light bulbs set to beautiful melodies!

    On a seriois note, though, this thing is going to bring a whole new level to $ shots.

  • Don’t forget Canon is going to announce its new cinema camera a NAB.

    • It doesn’t matter what Canon announces at NAB, somebody else will announce something better a few months later. And so it will be from now on.

  • I believe that this camera is a combination of some good news, no news, and some old news with spin. The high speed slo-mo capabilities are the real bragging point for this camera at this price point. That’s what sets it apart from the FS100, F3, Canon C300, and the Scarlet. I’ve used all of these cameras and they each have strengths and weaknesses. I think that the 4K capability of the FS700 may prove to be a marketing lost leader for those who really want 4K. They haven’t announced WHEN or HOW much a 4K recorder will cost. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it cost $8K – 10K, or more. Remember what Sony first charged for the F3 S-log (a firmware upgrade)! This may prove a little too steep for many. Also, the color and “effective resolution” will probably suffer at 4K since there will no longer be oversampling like there is currently at 1080P. I doubt that the dynamic range will exceed that of the FS100 (about 11 stops) since they haven’t touted it. The F3 (with and without S-log) and the C300 will still have the edge there. I don’t expect lower noise or any greater light sensitivity than the FS 100 (which is currently just a little less than the F3). Again, if there were improvements they would have said so. To keep this camera reasonally priced, they have recycled the basic form of the FS100. I chuckle at Sony hyping the built in ND’s and the SDI port of the FS700. These are features that should have been part of the FS100 originally! I don’t mind the boxy form factor so much except for the placement of the LCD which can be limiting for high angle shots and shoulder height handheld. The Canon C300 is much better designed ergonomically and has the lowest noise and best light sensitivity. But the slo-motion capabilities really make this camera stand out. This alone makes it seems like a good value for the money if high speed is what you’re looking for. Not revolutionary, but another good tool with some improvements.

    • Panasonic AF300 S35mm on 04.7.12 @ 5:49PM

      Well said!!

    • I think another thing that sets the FS700 apart from Scarlet is options in post. You don’t need an expensive proprietary RED Rocket to edit. So it’s a lot more bang for your buck. I guess it depends on how the 4K option rolls out. If it’s a free firmware upgrade even better.

  • Daniel Mimura on 04.11.12 @ 6:45PM

    The upgrade to 4k path is a brilliant move and Sony has been working with this paradigm already (the F3), including with that other camera they just announced for $4500 (I forgot the name). Canon and others can definitely take a lesson from them.

    On lower budget productions, you can go without the upgrade, and on bigger budget productions, you can buy/rent. It allows people to get in the door sooner.

  • I experimented with viewing your site with my iphone and the layout doesnt seem to be correct. Might wanna check it out on WAP as well as it seems most cellphone layouts are not working with your web page.

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