Ever since Sony officially announced their modular cinema cameras over a year and a half ago, the F5 and the F55 have been subject to a veritable plethora of firmware and hardware updates that have taken the functionality of these two already feature-packed cameras to a whole new level entirely. First it was replaceable optical low pass filters, then it was the ability to use s16 glass, and most recently was the announcement that the cameras would soon offer ProRes and DNxHD recording. And Sony is still at it, pumping out major firmware updates with oft-requested features from their users. Recently they announced v4.o of the firmware for these cameras, and few interesting new features are in the works.
The list of new features is a relatively meager one compared to a few of the previously mentioned updates. However, there are a few interesting features that should have power users of the F5 and F55 excited. Check 'em out:
- Picture Cache: Cache recording up to 15 seconds in 50Mbps 4:2:2, up to 8 seconds in XAVC HD, 2K, and up to 2 seconds in XAVC QFHD, 4K
- User generated 3D LUT's
- Simultaneous recording with HDCAM SR and 50Mbps 4:2:2 to SxS PRO+ cards
- User menu customization, with up to twenty fequently needed menu items in a single list
- VF markers supporting seven colors
- REC start / stop with lens RET button
- Zoom and focus control with CBK-DCB01
- Menu control on the SUB display
- F55 - HDMI v2 supporting 4K on 29p, 50p and 60p, QFHD on 29, 50p and 60p
The features that have me most interested here are the ability to import 3D LUT's into the camera and the picture cache. With 3D LUT's becoming a more integral part of the digital post production process, allowing people to load these LUTs into the camera will allow DP's and directors to get a much better sense of what their final images will look like before handing them off to a DIT. And picture cache is always an awesome feature when you're shooting sporadic subjects in either a narrative or documentary setting.
The update is scheduled to be released on April 4th, and as always, it will be available to download from the Sony website.
What do you guys think of the new features in version 4.0 of the F55 and F5 firmware? What features would you like to see added to these cameras in a future update? Let us know down in the comments!