A slew of announcements about Sony's venerable FS700 and FS100 camcorders point to a major camera announcement at IBC next week.
First up, the news. Today, Sony dropped the price of the FS700 to $4000. This comes just 3 months after the price was dropped to $5000, and year after it dropped to $6000. In addition to the price drop, a purchase also nets you a free gift of a Metabones EF to E-Mount Smart Adapter. The other piece of news here is that the FS100 has officially been discontinued after roughly 5 years of dutiful service to filmmakers.
Even though the FS700 doesn't seem long for this world at present, by the standards of today's digital cinema cameras, it's still an extremely capable camcorder, especially when it's paired with an external recorder like the Odyssey 7Q+ or Atomos Shogun. It has impressive slow motion capabilities, respectable dynamic range, and the option for 4K and 2K RAW. It's clear that Sony is attempting to unload a bunch of these cameras before announcing something new, but for the bargain hunting filmmaker in need of major performance, picking up an FS700 at this price could be a major victory.
Now on to the speculative aspect of this. It's no secret that manufacturers like to offer significant price cuts on their older products before announcing a new product of some sort. And with the IBC trade show fast approaching, Sony seems primed to announce something new in the coming weeks. Indeed, a promotional teaser image shared by Sony Alpha Rumors points to a new camcorder from Sony very soon.
As for what Sony's new camcorder will be, it's hard to say exactly, although the photo above gives a pretty obvious clue. With the FS100 gone and the FS700 on life support, there's now a significant gap between Sony's lower-end cameras like the A7S and their "midrange" cinema camera, the FS7. It seems safe to say that whatever Sony announces, it will fill that gap with a camcorder in the $5,000 - $8,000 price range.
Spec-wise, it will probably look similar to the FS7, but with a few less frame rate and RAW output options. It will almost certainly have a super35 sensor (perhaps the same one as the FS7, which would mean stellar low-light performance) and several flavors of internal 4K. Anything beyond that is pure speculation. Personally, my biggest hope is that Sony builds upon the form factor of the FS7, and focuses a majority of the changes on ergonomics and ease of use.
What would you like to see from Sony's new camera? Let us know down in the comments!