We already discussed XAVC, which will likely be a new codec that Sony will be introducing when they announce new cameras on October 30th, but now it seems the details for their upcoming cameras have been outed. Nothing is concrete until the cameras are released (of course), but Matt Ryan on the REDUser forum reportedly attended a Sony Demo Focus Group where the new F5 and F55 cameras, as well as a 4K recorder, were all introduced. He not only mentions many of the specs, but the current pricing information as well. Read on for more details.

Here's what Matt said (bold is my emphasis):

The New sony camera is the F5 ($22-$25,000 range)!

They are skipping the 4 model number and going to 5...They are aiming for the C300/500/Scarlet market with this.

Compression Schemes:

50 Mbps XDCam @ 422
80 Mbps XAVCHD @ 422
120 Mbps iframe compressed not XD Cam
220 Mbps "SR" @ 422 (only on new "SxS Raw+" Memory cards.... these are new!)

You can only record the full 4k frame with the R5 SR Recorder, otherwise you will record windowed footage.


120 frames per second in HD (1080), codec: XAVCHD

No on board 4K. Must use R5 recorder using a NEW type of memory card to record 4K and/or RAW.

R5 Recorder Suggested Price at the moment is $19,000! Not to mention the recording media. May change before the release.


There is also an F55 4K camera coming too, and that is what Sony is calling the direct competitor to the Epic. They think the Epic is way behind the F65...Seriously...

They will also be announcing a new set of lenses much better than their previous ones and at a t2.0 (set of 6 made by a famous lens company exclusively for Sony)...

He also went on to say this later:

I was at the demo, I'm telling you what the specs and approximate pricing was as it has not been officially set yet. This is how Sony operates in regards to pricing...I was at the Sony Hands on Demo focus group....

So this is big news, and it means my original could be pretty close to the mark in terms of what I thought would be introduced. I thought 50mbps was a minimum on this camera, and that it would not be sold for anything less than $20K. I also think the other possible codecs make this a killer option. Even though you would need high-performance SxS cards, having 220mbps would ideally make an external recorder unnecessary, so unless you need RAW (which the SCARLET has for a slightly lower price), this is the best compressed recording you'll get at this sensor size.

Of course, not all of these details are final, as Matt says, so we'll still have to wait for the official release, but it does seem to indicate that Sony would like to crush both Canon and RED if they can. I think if their 4K recorder is anything over $5,000 (which it very well could be), not many FS700 users are going to jump on it. Spending the price of your camera once again just to get 4K probably doesn't make sense for most users, unless it's a future purchase way down the line to keep the camera relevant. It would, however, make sense as a rental, because you could keep using 1080p for most of your needs, and when you really need 4K, you've got the option. I think this makes it a bit more flexible compared to Canon's options, but those Canon cameras definitely have size on their side.

It will be interesting to see what happens with this F55 camera, and how this slots in under the price of the F65 (which is close to $100,000 for a full package). They can't make that camera too good, so it likely would not be oversampling to get down to a true 4K, but if they think the EPIC is way behind the F65, then you can expect that the F55 would do at least 60fps at 4K, if not higher. The other big question remaining is how this recorder will compress footage. I can't imaging that they would charge so much money for a recorder that simply recorded uncompressed, and it's likely that it will use a similar codec to the one used on the high-end F65.

What do you guys think? Will the F5 take away potential sales of the RED SCARLET, or do you think needing an external recorder will make many forgo RAW altogether? What about taking sales away from the C500? What do you guys think the specs will be on the F55 camera -- will it compare to the RED EPIC?

Let us know in the comments below.

Link: Worth Competitor for the EPIC?? -- REDUser Forum

[via Sony Alpha Rumors]