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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!

Links:

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  • 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.

  • 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!

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

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

      • 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.

  • Steven Huber on 04.11.13 @ 10:49PM

    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.

    • Johann Bauermeister on 04.11.13 @ 11:37PM

      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!

      • Anthony Marino on 04.11.13 @ 11:49PM

        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.

        • 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.

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

    • VINCEGORTHO on 04.12.13 @ 1:27AM

      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.

      • 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.

        • 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?

          • 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.

      • Gary Simmons on 04.17.13 @ 3:09PM

        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.

        • 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.

    • Rick Patino on 04.12.13 @ 1:49AM

      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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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

  • Couple of other details here -

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=pVKO1hQCI4g&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DpVKO1hQCI4g

    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?

    • @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

      • 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.

  • Anthony Marino on 04.11.13 @ 11:33PM

    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…

    • Anthony Marino – when using the Pix 240 with the FS700 are you still able to record up to 200 fps on the Pix? I’m shooting in PAL. I basically want to be able to shoot HD 1080 footage at 200 fps and record onto external recorder at higher mbps, bit rate and colour specs… possible?
      Thanks

      • Anthony Marino on 04.7.14 @ 11:57PM

        Hi Claire, I don’t thinks it’s possible with the pix 240. It doesn’t do burst mode it only captures 60/50i out of the camera. Plus I dont think they have any licensing agreement from Sony, While you can’t beat sound device preamps and it captures great video I think your best bet to capture HFR is with the odyssey 7q. 240/200 FPS RAW in a pristine 2k,10 bit package.

  • 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.

    • 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…

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

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

    • 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.

      • The Odyssey is 1300.00

      • 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.

        • 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.

  • Homer Simpson on 04.12.13 @ 1:20AM

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

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

    • “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…

      • Scarlet to Dragon upgrade is $9500.

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

          New 4K Epic Dragon is 24K.

          • Sorry, that was supposed to “new 6K Epic Dragon”

          • 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.

      • It’s the same cost to go to dragon (scartlet or epic) the only people getting it cheaper are early adopters, who get it for 8500.

        • I will bet that by next year NAB not a single person in the world would have a working Scarlet with Dragon update. It took two years for Dragon update on Epic, and there is still none working. They are still “working” on firmware even on that Epic update.

          FS700 upgrade is coming in July. Sony delivers on time, unlike Red.

    • Besides, there is no date on when Scarlet update will be available. We have been hearing about Dragon update for Epic for how many years now? Even now even with Eplic no in the work is hooting with Dragon Epic. They say they are still working on “firmware” on that.

      Scarlet wll be behind even that. Come back once you have Scarlet with Dragon in hand (I won’t hold my breadth on that).

  • It’s already a great camera in my opinion. @Steven Huber I recently shot this video clip in the forest of Utrecht on the FS700. Coming from DSLR shooting it was a breath working with it. To me this doesn’t look ‘video’ at all. https://vimeo.com/62929123
    Im curious what rental prices will be once upgraded to 4K. I can pick one up right now for 140 euro’s a day with a 50% discount from the second day and on.

    • I hate the whole ‘looks like video’ / ‘doesn’t look filmic’ because it messes with your head. Its such an un-quantifiable aesthetic that ultimately rests with personal taste.

      Im going to be honest – I liked the clip, nice framing and use of slow motion etc but to me personally there were many shots that did look more video than film. Something to do with the cadence or motion in parts and the highlight roll off particularly at the end (face) mixed with how sharp the FS700 is…just isnt quite ‘the look’ where film is concerned.

      Ultimately though does it matter? You could have shot that on a BMCC with 13 stops of dynamic range and lovely color science but without the slow motion – that’s all it would have been – just another pretty clip. Short of an Epic, the FS700 is the best tool there is for a project like that.

  • Blackmagic 4K done.

  • Chris Lambert on 04.12.13 @ 9:42AM

    A price drop, free 4k slog update and it not costing over £3k to go 4k might tempt me from the BMPC. seriously impressive.

    All the video look people if your getting DNG files which I hope I’m correct in assuming will be similiar to the BMC as in can adjust WB, Sharpness, Tint etc. That will surely go along way to correcting the over video look a large amount of the footage I’ve seen has. But with phenominal low light performance and 15stops?!

  • Anthony Marino on 04.12.13 @ 10:20AM

    Ok friends, just got off the phone with Sony professional tech support. I asked whether or not the fs700 upgrade is via firmware or hardware. After a pretty long time on hold the rep came back on said according to his notes from NAB he saw it only requires a firmware update to kick it into 4k mode. The gentleman was familiar with the Juan Martinez video on vimeo and said he will look into it further and get back to me. He went on to say as far as the hardware upgrade he was under the assumption Juan meant Sonys external recorder. But I guess we’ll know in good time…the one good thing I got from my conversation was that there’s no hardened fact the camera requires a hardware upgrade, at least not to the reps knowledge. So I’m hanging on to that, because if for some chance I gotta send my camera back after all this time waiting for the upgrade they might as well keep it. I would have to think Sony doesn’t want that kind of negative publicity after advertising firmware update only never mentioning the hardware part besides external recorder.

    • Big question for me is, if Sony’s HXR-IFR5/AXS-R5 combo enables the recording of 4K raw from the FS700 at 16 bits, what’s the point? Isn’t the FS700 12-bit internally?

      • Anthony Marino on 04.12.13 @ 11:25AM

        From what I read earlier the firmware update will enable the axs-r5 to record 16 bit coming directly from the sensor. How that happens is beyond my scope of knowledge. However, Dan from convergent design has said Sony hasn’t allowed them the 16 bit raw recording option yet. So it’s only 12 bit at the moment with the odysseyQ. (non raw)

        • My understanding is that the FS700′s sensor’s ADC is only 12-bit. Wouldn’t recording that to 16-bit just result in a lot of empty data?

          • Anthony Marino on 04.12.13 @ 11:41AM

            I’m assuming the firmware update unlocks the sensor to output true 16bit but only allows CD to record in 12 bit without raw. These all great questions I wish maybe someone can answer thus for us.

    • Just a guess … it might not actually need a hardware upgrade, but they may want to charge for the firmware upgrade. To keep control of the firmware, they may not put it online, which will mean you’ll have to send it in.

    • Anthony Marino on 04.16.13 @ 2:52PM

      Update: received an email from Matt Troncone, Sony support specialist and yes the fs700′s need to be serviced by Sony to enable 4k recording. In the email he stated it will take no longer than 2 hours. Either Sony pulled a fast one on us and think nobody will care or maybe the RED thing may has something to do with it??? Beast me and lets not make any mistake about it, the Fs700 was never 4k ready. This whole hardware change made it evident. It’s like saying any dslr is 4k ready all you need to do is change the board/processor and add heat sinks. I’m calling BS on Sony for false advertising the fs700. Thanks

  • I’m thinking this is a great OLED monitor that I can use as a recorder. http://eriknaso.com/2013/04/10/convergent-design-odyssey7-oled-monitor-and-recorder/
    I want one!

  • Can someone explain “16bit Linear RAW” to me? How do you get it over a single BNC cable when nearly every other RAW recorder/camera combo needs more than one to get the full RAW signal? I’m confused.

    • Internal compression of the data. If there’s a hradware upgrade, that may be, in part, what it does.

  • That’s why I’m in love with my R1MX BT. No extra clunky 4K recorder. Strip off what you don’t need, using carbon fiber rods, nikon lenses, light handles, SSDs and the camera just fly. I’m still amazed how good the sensor actually is.

    FS700 is an awesome camera, far from videoish look if you grade it properly.

    • Please point me at a few examples please. FS700 has a terrible rep in our office.

      • Sorry to know that Mark. well, I’ve used the FS700 only one time for a slomo shot actually for an ad… The Red was in another job unfortunately… But well… I did just fine.

        I really enjoyed what Mr. Bloom did with the FS100. “Protrait of a boxer”: http://vimeo.com/39453069

        I suppose he could acomplish even better results with the FS700 and a 4K recorder although all these news are in shadows yet…

        But if you ask me, I prefer red’s color science by far. RC3 is really good.

        Since FS700 shares the same sensor but not the same ASIC of the F5, I’m curious to see what this camera can do in 4K.

  • This music vid is a mix of FS700 and 5D Mark II

  • Dear Friends,

    This is Dan Keaton of Convergent Design.

    I made a post on one of the forums where I said that our Odyssey7Q could record 4K at 60 fps.

    I was wrong, and subsequently corrected my original post, it is actually 4K, full uncompressed at 30 fps.

    Our Odyssey7Q (and not the Odyssey7) can record 2K Raw from the hardware/firmware updated FS700 at 240 fps continuously. This does require our FS700 option.

    For 4K, we will be able to record 4K full uncompressed, not Raw, at 30 fps max.

    Our current plans are to release pricing for our SSD’s, and recording options in May, maybe earlier.

    The Odyssey7Q is $2,295 (US) and the Odyssey7 is $1,295, but the Odyssey7 will not handle the FS700′s 2K or 4K Modes, thus we highly recommend getting the Odyssey7Q.

    To fully utilize the 2K and 4K Modes, one needs our FS700 option.

    We are working to have the FS700 option ready for the initial shipping date of July 2013 for the Odyssey7Q.

    Respectfully,

    Dan Keaton
    Convergent Design

  • I just had a conversation with people from Sony and they said that cost for FS700′s hardware upgrade is going to be around $300. it’s based on Japanese YEN calculation and it’s not from the official announcement yet. however it sounds fair enough to me.

    so now we can do the math for upgrade.

  • Here is my Fs700 showreel. The codec still handles well if you know how to handle the light.

    https://vimeo.com/68501165