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!