April 11, 2013

Fast & RAW: Sony FS700 Achieves 4K Via External Recorders, 120FPS Burst & 240FPS 2K

Since its release last year, we've know that Sony's FS700 -- the high-speed 'little brother to-be' of the F5 and F55 -- had 4K capabilities awaiting in its future. This option, with 4K RAW speeds up to 120fps burst shooting and 2K RAW up to 240fps (continuous) is made possible by a 'middle-man' interface/adapter module, the HXR-IF5 along with the AXS-R5 recorder. What we probably didn't expect was support for 2K CinemaDNG at up to 240fps, or even 4K DPX at a more modest 30fps (still -- it's DPX) by way of another external recorder, the Convergent Design Odyssey7Q. Click through for further details from Sony, some speculative pricing on the R5, and a quick look at these beastly additions to the FS700 system.

First, here's the video straight Sony's Vimeo:

Pricing will be announced on the Odyssey7Q recording options in May, and the list of those options is pretty extensive. While Sony's HXR-IF5 interface module -- necessary when using the R5 for 4K RAW, because it allows the R5 to treat incoming FS700 in precisely the same way it would from the F5 or F55 -- is expected to retail at $2000. The AXS-R5 itself is priced at $5,300.

So, just to recap:

Through the HXR-IF5 into the R5 (as shown above), the FS700 achieves 16-bit 4K RAW at 24p, 30p, and 60p, with four-second 120fps burst mode, and 2K RAW at 24p, 30p, and 60p, with high frame rates of 120 and 240fps continuous. Throw away the HXR-IF5 (but don't literally do that) and replace it with the Odyssey7Q for the same resolution of 2K 240fps but in the CinemaDNG RAW format -- likely at 12-bit depth. The same depth also likely comes with the 4K DPX option, which again, maxes out at 30fps. According to a post by Convergent Design's Dan Keaton, the Odyssey7Q will not record true 4K RAW outboard:

We will be able to record 2K Raw, full resolution, at 240 frames per second, continuously (until the SSD's fill up - around 45 minutes).
And we will be able to record 4K at 60 fps. In this mode, we will get the 4K Raw from the camera, decompress it, and then debayer it, then record it. If Sony gives us permission, in the future, we could also record 4K Raw, but right now we have permission to record 2K Raw, and 4K debayered.

Note Dan's indication of 60fps there -- in the absence of proper spec sheets, I'd err on the side of caution (and assume its 30), and whatever confusion remains will surely be cleared up soon enough. It should also be noted that Convergent Design highlights the Odyssey7Q's "ability to record Raw and a Proxy file, at the same time" in Avid DNxHD-36, and potentially other proxy formats in the future. The R5 shares a comparable ability, but may end up costing more to implement than Convergent's option depending on final pricings (this seems likely). The firmware update that will tie the whole 'FS700, reborn' package together is due in July, and it's still not entirely certain whether it will be a paid one, or free.

More on the modern state of Sony and its 4K affairs is available for viewing on its Vimeo page, and be sure to share your thoughts about these advancements in the comments below!

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Your Comment

78 Comments

Wow. As an FS700 owner I always knew 4K was on the cards but it's a pleasant surprise to see the possibility of 240fps at 2K, and the various RAW formats are great. Still, after interfaces and recorders and (possibly) the firmware are purchased, this'll end up costing as much or more as the camera did. Renting remains an option, I guess. For now I'll be sticking with the onboard codecs, which work fine for my applications. It's exciting to have these options available, though.

April 11, 2013

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Also keep in that the FS700 shares the same sensor as the F5, so presumably will look the same in raw mode as the F5 in raw mode!

April 11, 2013

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Gabe

I wish 5D mark III owners (like myself), get this kind of surprise with the so promised April 2013 firmware update.

April 11, 2013

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Max

Maybe, from what ive read the 5d has a 4k sensor.

April 12, 2013

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Troy

Do you mean 4K capable? Because, obviously the 5D mark 3 sensor has a 23 mp sensor which is much bigger than 4K.

Either way. I cannot see Canon do anything positive with the new patch other than the clean HDMI. The want to protect their 1Dc and CX00 line.

April 13, 2013

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Hubert

Great specs on the fs700 - too bad all the footage I've seen screams "video!" Sony needs to step up their game on the color science end.

April 11, 2013

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Steven Huber

I feel compelled to defend this camera! It's an absolutely fantastic piece of technology largely being misused to make skateboard videos due to its slowmo capabilies. We are getting wonderful results, with excellent detail and highlight roll off when exposed and lit properly! The sensor is fantastic, the tech making it run is blazing fast and solid as a rock.... It's a beast!

April 11, 2013

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Johann Bauermeister

I agree Johann Those who say it looks too much like video sounds like they don't know what they're talking about. Though that may not be the case from the comment above, I don't feel that way. It's got great latitude for what it is and with an external recorder and well lit 95% of us wouldn't tell the difference between an f3 or even a Scarlet. The look all depends on the hands that's using it. That whole" looks like video" comment is almost as annoying as the "doesn't look filmic" comment we see so often. Hey it's a good camera and with it's feature set if you can shoot 2k 240fps along with 4k for under $11,000 you gotta great camera no doubt.

April 11, 2013

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Anthony Marino

I agree - I love my FS700 and the look that comes out of it. I'm tired of some people complaining about the "video look." That's the Sony look and they purposely make their cameras look that way. The F5 and F55 will have the same look. The fact that I'll be able to use the Odyssey to record 2K and 4K plus use it as a wonderful view finder makes me very excited - instead of having to spend close to $7k for Sony's recorder and the HXR-IF5 - which doesn't look like it can connect to the camera to make it one piece of equipment. Odyssey is looking like the path I'm going to be taking.

April 12, 2013

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David

we will have S-Log2 too. to me those 4K/2K recording with S-Log2 is enough "cinema"!!

April 11, 2013

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freiheit

Is this your work? https://vimeo.com/51128941

Its fantastic stuff, really. So if it is, Congrats!....

April 12, 2013

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Johann Bauermeister

Oh, thanks a lot! that was my first shooting project with lovely FS700 :)

April 12, 2013

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The images look very video. It was the reason I got rid of my fs100.
Sony's F5/55 look great from the example footage released earlier but does not compare.

April 12, 2013

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VINCEGORTHO

The F5 and FS700 have the exact same sensor. With S-Log 2 on the FS700, there will be little separating them as far as "look" goes. The F5 will still have benefits in codecs but if you like the F5 you should also like the FS700.

April 14, 2013

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I have looked for but, not found, any verification that the F5 and FS700 sensors are the same.
Can you provide a link for the proof?

April 16, 2013

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dixter

yes, F5 equipped the same sensor FS700 has. I heard this from the Sony people so I'm pretty sure about this. However it doesn't mean that we can get same image quality from F5 and FS700 in RAW...they simply use the different ASIC.

April 23, 2013

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freiheit

Even the Alexa has the video look until the footage is color corrected not to mention having your lighting set up to give that cine look. Film doesn't just get its look because it's film. It's all in the lighting and post processing. It's amazing how many people still think all you have to do to have the "movie look" is run at 24 fps that is just not true. Film is also processed to give it a look do not assume it just looks that good when its shot.

April 17, 2013

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Gary Simmons

Thanks for pointing this out. The 'video look' argument is popular with folks who decide they don't like a product for one reason or other. It doesn't hold water. You can pretty much infer that those who present that argument are amateurs and have never been in a grading room. And it's unfortunate that a lot of footage out there never receives a proper grade and the camera it's shot on gets a bad rap for it.

April 18, 2013

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dixter

What a stupid comment. All digital cameras scream VIDEO unless you set up everything the right way. Including the RED and Alexa. And fyi, the Sony Cinealta line of cameras produce extremely good images. F35 shot Avatar, Real Steel, and Tron, which all looked incredible. The F65 is shooting Oblivion and After Earth, which also look amazing. This is just a case of someone trying to sound smart and failing.

April 12, 2013

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Rick Patino

The main question is - what type of dynamic-range will RAW bring to the FS700. I doubt it'll be the 14/15 stops that is being said in various places. Would be amazing if it does though.

April 11, 2013

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Voltaire

Well, the FS700 has the same sensor as the F5, so in raw mode they should look identical...which would mean the F5's 14 stops of DR.

April 12, 2013

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Gabe

This was reported on another not to be mentioned site. Additionally, what not discussed here is costs.

Odyssey7 and 7Q = $1200-$2200
Media = $1400/card minimum
RAW Licence (depending on manufacturer) will be separate and different = $2000-$3500 per

Do the math this is not an "inexpensive" RAW option

April 11, 2013

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DMW

Den from F-Stop academy talked about SSD card:
http://www.fstopacademy.com/blog/4k-recording-for-sony-nex-fs700-two-opt...

Let's hope that "1GB=$1" thing even go cheaper when it's available!

April 12, 2013

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freiheit

I'm curious where those figures for the codec licensing came from. Everything I have seen from Convergent Design is saying "we don't know yet". Since CinemaDNG is an open standard, I couldn't imagine who the licensing fees would be going to.

April 12, 2013

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I wish I could elaborate but I was quote directly while sitting in front of reps computer

April 12, 2013

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DMW

Convergent Design is well aware of the Ki Pro Quad and is unlikely to price a full package (recorder & codec) outside the range of $4K.

April 14, 2013

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Couple of other details here -

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=pVKO1hQCI4g&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DpV...

In the NextWave interview, the Sony rep says it will also require a physical hardware upgrade (send in your camera) in addition to the firmware upgrade, and they don't know how much it will cost. The upside is that it will get S-Log too.

It's exciting, but also a little unnerving how uncertain some of this information is. Sony has been planning this for years, right? Why all the mystery?

April 11, 2013

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@Jay from Jay good point ive also searched the web up and down for pricing on codecs and still have not found any information on pricing for codec, even convergents site states that one will be able to purchase or rent but still nothing on pricing yet.

Ultimately sounds good but waiting for dust to settle and waiting for final true pricing on codecs, and what the odessy will be capable of doing, because they stated that Sony will not allow them to record raw, so wouldnt this eliminate DPX

Also you made another valid point, i also have seen elsewhtere where a physical update may be needed

so it seems that it may be a physical or firmware update from sony (no price yet)+ odyssey(2300)+ codec license(no price yet) , then add in cost of Proprietary SSD'S etc

And when asked at NAB about what bit rate and dynamic range, Convergent was still not concrete , their answer that was given so far was that dynamic range stops and bit depends on codec and fps, too much unknown variables going on here

April 12, 2013

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JayClout

Much pricing was kept unannounced due to the uncertainty of the demand. More sales means lower pricing. Since the Odyssey7Q received so much excitement, it is like that pricing will be very competitive.

April 14, 2013

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All I gotta say is thankfully there's another option to record higher quality footage. If I was forced to use that big ass oversized, expensive recorder I would've sold my fs700 yesterday. It's been a mystery for almost a year and things still aren't totally clear. I'm getting my use out of the camera, with the pix 240 it works really well. But without a reasonable path to upgrade I definitely saw myself out growing this camera a lot faster than I originally thought. Now we gotta wait till july to see what 4k is really gonna cost, ah jeez. We shall see...

April 11, 2013

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Anthony Marino

Amen

April 12, 2013

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Yeah Im totally confused - waaay too much speculation - what you do and dont get, how much it costs, what the end result will be. Get your shit together sony, Look at Black Magic - $4995, $2995, $995 BOOM - thats it, all you need to know.

April 12, 2013

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Peter

Black Magic will be available (MAYBE!) during late summer. Sony FS700 will be about 1,5 years old at that time. You can not compare modern tech items which have that much age difference.

And about that "Sony look":

http://vimeo.com/60927476

Now people, tell me what is wrong with that footage...

April 12, 2013

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Juhan-i

Um... last time I checked sony provides 240fps capability. So... what exactly are you accomplshing throwing that out there

April 12, 2013

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I bet when all is said and done this becomes a more expensive RAW camera than the F5. Easy.

April 12, 2013

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No way it will be more expensive than F5. Odysse recorder is less than $3000. In the interview, they said they are trying to make 4K hardware update free (or very low cost). That makes it about 10K. F5 body only (without the recorder) is more than that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVKO1hQCI4g

April 12, 2013

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Art

The Odyssey is 1300.00

April 12, 2013

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Brian

Only the 7Q gives the FS700 options and it costs $2300 not $1300 (without codecs).

April 12, 2013

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I agree, the Odyssey is a cheaper option. But you can't record 4K RAW with the Odyssey. My suspicion is that after the physical upgrade and the firmware upgrade and the Raw Recorder Adapter, and the Raw Recorder, that it will be as expensive or more so than the F5. If it's less your butchering your F5 market with a camera that can record higher framerates and do more. Unless I'm missing something (I wouldn't be surprised if I am) what does the F5 offer that this doesn't? It's less unwieldy cause it's all one piece? It's 2K in camera (but not RAW)? Better sensor/Color science? It doesn't make sense to me. so what am I missing? Otherwise their butchering their own market and I know Sony is not going to do that.

April 12, 2013

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F5 offers better ergonomics, better build quality, more solid. These things are important too. The sensor in F5 might offer better image quality too, but that part has to be tested once F700 is upgraded.

April 14, 2013

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Art

Doesn't that put it in the price range of a Scarlet with the Dragon upgrade? I'd rather get that.

April 12, 2013

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Homer Simpson

Scarlet with dragon upgrade is $20k at the base package!

April 12, 2013

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Peter

Really? The Dragon-ized Scarlet is 5K. The Epic-X with Dragon is 6K and, at $24K, would be only $4K more expensive?

April 12, 2013

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Tzedekh

Sure about that?

http://www.red.com/store/products/epic-x-side-ssd-lens-mount

$21k for the Epic X + $9,500 Dragon upgrade = $30,500

April 12, 2013

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Peter

Yeah, they've specifically stated that buying a new Epic X with a Dragon sensor already in it is $24k...$28k for a new Epic M w/ Dragon. Upgrades happen first though.

April 12, 2013

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Gabe

"Cheapest" Red Epic Dragon will be 24K $.

Basically, upgrade from old Scarlet to -> Dragon WILL COST MORE TO USER (total) that just buying new Epic Dragon.

Red is making the old users pay more... When Red Scarlet owner Stece Duncan confronted Red with that, in many posts, this was finally REAL COMMENT from Red official Jarred Land:

" Originally Posted by Jarred Land View Post
Steve Duncan.. you are full of shit.
Go piss on someone else's tree.

"

Pay10 000+ $ for Red and get threated like... Dont know what...

April 12, 2013

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Juhan-i

Scarlet to Dragon upgrade is $9500.

April 12, 2013

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Gabe

Scarlet to 6K Epic Dragon upgrade total is 28K , when you count the original Scarlet price.

New 4K Epic Dragon is 24K.

April 12, 2013

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Juhan-i

Sorry, that was supposed to "new 6K Epic Dragon"

April 12, 2013

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Juhan-i

NOT true. That Steve guy was wrong. RED is NOT giving full purchase price trade-ins on Scarlets (and never promised to) like they did with the RED ONE. If I'm not mistaken, RED is offering a $5K trade-in value for Scarlet. Add $9500 for the Epic MX upgrade + $9500 for the upgrade to Dragon after that and you get $24K, the same as buying Epic-X Dragon outright (Epic-M Dragon is more money).

Or, pay $9500 to upgrade Scarlet MX to Scarlet Dragon. Yes, you're paying more than a new body costs but that $9500 truly gets you performance in Alexa territory and beyond for 1/5 the price. Does that sound unfair to you?

Your boner for Sony is well known around here but you should be careful who you quote.

April 12, 2013

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Brian

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