Either someone has made a mistake at Sony or they are planning on announcing prices soon, but a Sony Japan site has listed a press release showing prices for not only the F5 and F55 cameras, but also the AXS-R5 4K recorder and some of the other accessories. While these are currently listed in Japanese Yen, doing a rough conversion can yield us pretty close to where we might be seeing these actually retail for. I had already speculated based on a number of different sources what the prices might be, but this is the first time we've gotten a real source from Sony themselves. Click through to check out all of the listed prices.
Here is what we know so far, with prices including and excluding Japanese tax (I used Google for the conversions):
- PMW-F55: $36,000 or $34,285 w/o tax = 2,887,500 yen or 2,750,000 yen w/o tax
- PMW-F5: $21,600 or $20,571 w/o tax = 1,732,500 yen or 1,650,000 yen w/o tax
- AXS-R5: $6,152 or $5,859 w/o tax = 493,500 yen or 470,000 yen w/o tax
Some of the other accessories that prices were listed for:
- 6 PL Mount Lenses: $29,422 or $30,893 w/o tax
- 3 PL Mount Lenses:$16,332 or $17,148 w/o tax
- OLED Viewfinder:$6,607 or $6,938 w/o tax
- 3.5" LCD Viewfinder:$3,864 or $4,058 w/o tax
- 7" LCD monitor:$5,360 or $5,628 w/o tax
- AXS Memory Card: None
- AXS Memory Card Reader: $772 or $811 w/o tax
- BP-FL75 Battery: $585 or $615 w/o tax
- Charger: $947 or $994 w/o tax
Before you take these as fact, we should first realize that not only are these just MSRPs, and not the final price, but that they are rough conversions, and often the prices in Japan are slightly higher than they are in America, anywhere from 5%-15%. What was interesting to me, however, and it's the reason I listed the camera prices with tax first, is that the prices were only rounded to the nearest dollar, and they were almost perfect conversions.
My previous speculation on the price for the F55 is likely going to be off. Even if the price doesn't change in the conversion, around $34-$36K is far cheaper than the $50K number I had seen thrown around. Now looking at these numbers, I think we do have a better sense of where they will be priced. The key thing to look at with the two cameras is not necessarily the price, but the percentage difference between the two. Many resellers had been listing the F5 and F55 at only $5,000 or so apart, and if you're in the market for a camera, it would be a no brainer to find the extra $5K and get the F55 -- since it is a far superior camera. So if you just take percentages, the F5 is about 60% of the cost of the F55. I would think it's going to stay this way even when it's released here.
I actually am leaning towards the F5 still being around $18-$19K and now I think the F55 will actually be right around $30K, maybe a little more or a little less. I think if you look at Sony's pricing, they will want to keep the F5 just far enough away from the F3 (which they will still be selling), and the F55 can't be too close in price or it's going to defeat the purpose of having two camera models in the first place. So if you look at the prices without recorders, the F55 is roughly half the cost of the F65, and the F5 is roughly half the cost of the F55. The FS700 would also be roughly half the cost of the F5. That's certainly intentional on Sony's part, and it fits into their pricing scheme better than some of the initial price numbers I've seen which had the F5 and the F55 at around $20K and $25K respectively.
Of course, none of this could be right, but it is coming from a Sony press release on a Sony site. It also included the clearest explanation of what framerates the cameras were capable of, much better than I've seen so far from Sony:
So, if you're looking at those framerates on specs alone, the EPIC has the F55 beat at 4K (150fps to 60fps) and the F5 has the SCARLET beat at 4K (60fps to 24fps). Specs aren't the only comparison, but when you look at those numbers alone, and then consider you have to also add in the ~$5,000 R5 recorder to do any RAW at all, the EPIC certainly looks like the best bang for the buck at under $20K if you want a RAW camera (though the EPIC would need another $6,000 and the Dragon sensor to compete with these cameras in lower light).
For the FS700 owners out there, it's going to cost at least $7,000 to get 4K RAW up and running using Sony's hardware. Since the firmware update from Sony will allow 4K from the 3G-SDI, and based on the picture below, it doesn't seem like you would have to use anything from Sony to actually record the signal (from ProNews via Cinescopophilia):
Here is our first good shot of the HXR-IFR5 adapter that will allow other modules to be attached to the FS700 (as I've pointed out before, it's not a recorder by itself, just a module adapter):
The adapter and the firmware update will not be out until the Spring at the earliest, but for many FS700 owners, having to pay double just to get RAW may not be feasible. We may actually get the final US prices when the cameras are "introduced" in full later this month, so you'll have to stay tuned to find out.
What do you guys think? Are these prices where you were expecting? Does this make the offerings from RED more appealing, even if those cameras do not have compressed framerates and ND filters? How about FS700 owners, would you pay $7,000 for Sony's solution, or might you look elsewhere -- or even not at all? Let us know what you think below.
Link: Sony Japan Press Release