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First Footage from a 4K-Enabled Sony FS700 & How Much It Will Cost to Upgrade Your Camera

sony_nexfs700The Sony FS700 made quite a bit of noise at last year’s NAB, not only for its extremely high frame rates, but because the camera was going to get 4K RAW support at some point in the future. While concrete info was almost nonexistent at that time (and for many months later), the details have started to emerge, and it looks like 4K on the camera will only come with a paid hardware upgrade. We’ve also got more details from Convergent Design about their new monitor/recorder the Odyssey, and how that fits into Sony’s 4K/2K recording plan, as well as some of the first footage available showing off the 4K RAW mode.

Thanks to Jason Rosete for sending this my way, here’s the first footage from 4K on the FS700, using Sony’s recording solution:

Here’s a refresh about what the Sony 4K upgrade will enable:

Dan Keaton from Convergent Design has been talking about the Odyssey 7Q in the DVXuser forum, and what they’ll actually be able to get after the Sony hardware upgrade (this is slightly abbreviated from the full post):

1. As Mike Schell reported earlier today, the HD-SDI output is 8-Bits effective in the 10-Bit HD-SDI format.

2. The upgraded Sony FS700, in 2K Raw outputs 12-Bits linear. This is very good.

To obtain 12-Bits linear in a camera, one needs the image sensor to be greater than 12-Bits, say 14-Bits, but for image quality reasons, (and maybe some other reasons), the output is 12-bits.

Thus, when the Odyssey7Q records from the Sony FS700, in 2K Raw, up to 240 fps, we will be recording in 12-bit linear, in the Cinema DNG format.

Our test recordings have been at 12-Bit Linear Raw, in the Cinema DNG format. We have been recording in this format for a few days now.

And we have been using commercially available software to work with these industry standard files with great success.

We are planning, in the future, to take the 2K Raw 12-Bit output, decompress it, deBayer it, then record it compressed in Avid DNxHD (and another very popular codec later), in HD at the full 10-Bits.

He later mentioned where they are in terms of recording on the FS700:

Yes, we should be able to record 2K Raw, at lower frame rates, using just one 240 GB, 480 GB, or 960 GB SSD.

As I calculate it, 120 fps in 2K Raw, 12-Bit Linear, is around 385 Megabytes per second.

This is just slightly over our desired limit (which establishes a safety margin) of 380 Megabytes per second.)

And these calculations do not always consider the small header for each Cinema DNG file.

We will know more as we proceed with our testing, but up to 100 or more frames per second should be safe.

Later, we may find that 380 Megabytes per second is too conservative, if so, then we may be able to support 120 fps in this mode.

In case you have not heard, we are now successfully recording from the FS700, 240 fps, in 12-Bit Linear Raw, continuously, and the resulting Cinema DNG files are playing back perfectly in a normal Non-Linear Editor. I understand that the images are looking very good.

How much is it going to cost in total if you’re going to upgrade to 4K on the FS700? Thanks to FreshDV’s Matt Jeppsen for tweeting this from Cine Gear:

Convergent Design folks say that Sony will be charging $400 for the 4K firmware update.
Matt Jeppsen

Here are some prices, with max frame size and frame rates, as well as a similar card size for both:

Sony 4K Recording Solution

Total: $9,650

Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q

  • 4K Uncompressed DPX at 30fps, 2K RAW up to 240fps
  • Sony Hardware Upgrade: $400
  • Odyssey 7Q (Odyssey 7 will not have FS700 option): $2,300
  • Convergent Design 480GB SSD: $1,200
  • Odyssey FS700 Support: $1,500 (or $75 per day rental)

Total: $5,400

The cheapest memory option for the 7Q will be $600, and if you only wanted to rent the codec a handful of times throughout the year, that would bring the price to below $4,000 for the Odyssey. The SSDs for the Odyssey should be readable in any SSD reader, which is an advantage over Sony’s proprietary card reader. It should also be noted that Convergent Design has decided to include Avid DNxHD free with both the 7 and 7Q, instead of it being a separate option. If they are approved by Apple, they will also be including ProRes, but that may not happen until late this year or early next year.

So it will definitely be more cost-effective to use the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q with the FS700, but you will be missing out on 4K RAW as well as higher frame rates at 4K. For more information on pricing, check out the PDF link below.

What do you think about the pricing? Which option will you be choosing for your FS700?


Related Posts

  1. Fast & RAW: Sony FS700 Achieves 4K Via External Recorders, 120FPS Burst & 240FPS 2K
  2. Sony FS700 4K Firmware Upgrade Could Be Weeks Away, Priced Similar to F3 S-Log Update
  3. Sony FS700 4K Recorder Support Coming in July, and Complete F5/F55 Firmware Timeline Revealed


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  • So, people really bought a 2k camera that cost them so much to upgrade, that they could have stuck with their existing fullhd camera, or even bought another, and then a 4k camera, at a cheaper price by the time 4k upgrade is out. Or, bought a Red Scarlet or BMCC 4k. This is just a manufacturer game. I have a $69 fullhd camcorder bought last year, guess how much 4k is worth 4x$69+ (manufactures can make one by stringing together the chips inside of the $69 camera, set each to do alternating gops, assemble in memory buffer and assemble and write out synchronised results). :( Official cheap ultrahd cameras should be out this year.

    • Well, it’s the only camera that does slow motion don’t forget that, the BMCC 4K does not have slow motion, the red scarlet neither, so for 20 000 $ (buy a fs 700 + SD cards for HD + battery + viewfinder + all the material from Sony for the 4K upgrade) , you have the most cheaper slow motion camera on the market. And slow motion is so important

  • Maybe there is no clear answer to this yet, but does anyone know if you will be able to record 10-bit 4:2:2 via SDI onto a Pix-240 after the update? I could care less about raw, but recording 1080p S-Log2 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes would be pretty nice.

    • “1080p S-Log2 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes would be pretty nice.” – yes that is what i am waiting for! 10bit 4:2:2 is just the broadcast standard in Germany. So I am very curious if the firmware update will enable the FS700 to output at least this to an external recorder. 4K is a nice to have at a certain point in time bur right now…. please 10bit 4:2:2.


      • This is what I would like as well. I don’t have any clients asking for 4K, but being able to output and even higher quality 2K/HD to a Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle or something as reasonably priced would be attractive. I wonder if the upgrade allows 12bit 2K RAW @ 240pfs out the SDI to a BM Hyperdeck?

  • Just think – you could get two 4K Black Magic Production Cameras for the price of the Sony upgrade solution.

    The FS-700 does have some nifty features: high frame rates, built-in ND, and I think (although I don’t know the details) better audio.

  • Absolutely ludicrous. The BlackMagic production camera seems the way to go. The only reason Sony can sell a FEW of these is the fact that it can do high-speed. I guess I’d rather rent one for the few occasions it is needed… If BlackMagic can come with an upgraded version next year that can do anywhere from 72fps or up, at least for a limited period of time, that really would cover everything needed for 99% of occasions.

    Sony should be ashamed for charging this much for the 4K upgrade.

  • You forgot batteries and charger

  • I do agree with Myles, BMD 4K is from far a great solution. But my concern is about hand holding (reaction speed etc…) FS700 is a little better on that. As cameraman it’s a bit easyer to work on different projects with the FS700. I never used the BM, but seems to me you would use it on a “shorf film” or “advertising” something you do have time to prepare the shot! Anyway If I would have to buy one… I would go cheaper than this upgrade! Wich is really too expenssive nowadays.
    One last thing, why don’t they use SxS cards on FS700? I’d love that!

  • The cost of the upgrade to 4K is definitely pricier than anybody expected, especially the Sony option. But looking closer to what you get it is not such a bad deal after all. So, upgrading with the Sony option will run you almost 10K which added to the 7.5K cost of the camera, will set you back about 17K. But with that you’ll be able to capture 4K RAW even in slow motion, and high frame rates even if in burst mode of 4 seconds. Added to that, you have XLR audio inputs and NDs. The Scarlet can’t do that. The Scarlet is a great 4K camera but when it comes to slow motion it is very limited. And you can’t really use the Scarlet for certain types of projects that require a more dynamic camera with audio inputs. So, with the Sony FS700 you have a super 35 sensor, more flexibility and 4K RAW in super slow motion. Not bad.

    • that’s it ! It’s the best buck with its slow-mo !!! I was afraid that the slow motion disapear with the 2/4K and it’s not the case hopefully, 120 FPS in 4K? Give me that camera now !!!

  • You should update this article. Its going to cost $3,880 to get the Odyssey7Q with the FS700 codec.

    • That’s good to hear, can you point us to those new numbers? My 700 is going in for the upgrade soon.

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