Sony FS5 Firmware 1.1 Allows Simultaneous Internal 4K Record & External HDMI or SDI

The Sony FS5 is a bit of a peculiar camera.

While the specs seem great on paper, there are some major obstacles to actually using it on a production while trying to record 4K. With the new 1.1 firmware, Sony at least partially addresses these issues, as it's now possible to record 4K internally while sending out a signal from the HDMI or the HD-SDI. Unfortunately, you've got to pick which image you'd prefer to see, as when you're recording 4K internally, only one of the following outputs is enabled: SDI, HDMI, or Viewfinder/LCD.

You can download the update on the Sony site, and here are some more details on the output situation — it's clarified a bit better in the notes part (thanks to News Shooter for their terrific coverage of this camera and firmware update):

Sony FS5 Firmware 1.1 New Features

According to those in the know, this camera is hardware limited from being able to send a signal to all outputs simultaneously. We've come to expect all cameras just to be able to do this no questions asked, but obviously some corners were cut in order to make the 4K hardware cheaply enough and still offer all of these other features. If you're using this camera in a film set situation, it's likely that you'll need an additional external monitor to hang off the camera if you want to give your operator an image, and your AC an image on the side of the camera for pulling focus (unless you both don't mind fighting over a monitor). If you are recording to one of the fantastic external recorders out there, this isn't really an issue, as they are pretty much all capable of giving an HDMI or SDI signal for an additional monitor.

Hopefully it's something Sony can address in the future, but if you're an owner, or might be an owner, I wouldn't expect this to change anytime soon if it's even possible to send images to all outputs at the same time.     

Your Comment

19 Comments

I like my FS5 but there are a few choices that Sony made with the camera which annoy me. First, the base ISOs are too high. 3200 in S-Log and 1000 for everything else. That's just silly high, especially considering that it uses the same sensor as the FS7 which has a base ISO of 2000 in S-Log. It's no wonder that this camera comes with a variable ND- you're gonna need it with base ISOs like that.
What's annoying is that Sony did it just to cripple the camera so that it wouldn't threaten their higher end models.

December 22, 2015 at 11:25AM, Edited December 22, 11:35AM

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Andrew W
DP/Director/Idiot
262

This is a peculiar camera? Did you really think Canon was the only one who cripples the low end?

December 22, 2015 at 11:27AM

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JG
DP Potomac Media
168

Sure, this is just such a strange thing for Sony to have done. It would have almost been better if they just made it HDMI or SDI only and then figured out how to allow HDMI/SDI plus LCD/EVF simultaneous.

December 22, 2015 at 11:39AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department
5895

Very true, but with RED and BMD releasing some impressive cameras at very competitive prices, Sony and Canon need to step up their game.
By making the base ISOs so high in the FS5, I think Sony is going too far.

December 22, 2015 at 11:49AM

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Andrew W
DP/Director/Idiot
262

At least this enables shooting 4K on a gimbal.

I estimate 1 or 1,5 year from now a FS5 mk2 will arrive that adresses all kind of things users run in to now. Just like with the EX1 :-p

December 22, 2015 at 11:35AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9511

That is the main reason I purchased the FS5 over the FS7 or URSA Mini 2.6K. I certainly would have preferred to pay, say, $500 more to have lower base ISOs and 10-bit 4K over HDMI though...

December 22, 2015 at 11:52AM

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Andrew W
DP/Director/Idiot
262

These high-resolution cameras are overkill! I mean 2.6K? Who needs that?!

(To be clear, "2.6K" seemed like a good opportunity to make fun of all the 4K naysayers)

December 22, 2015 at 3:30PM

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Cassidy Hilton
Freelancer
229

Who knows, maybe you can pay that for such an upgrade later ;-)

December 23, 2015 at 3:16AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9511

We need a firmware update to bring XAVC to the FS700!

December 22, 2015 at 12:03PM

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Alex Vietinghoff
Cinematographer, Editor
175

FS700 is EOL now, you're not going to see any development for that camera anymore.

I wish it wasn't so, since it's my workhorse camera...but let's be real!

December 22, 2015 at 2:37PM

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seanmclennan
Story Teller
893

Any idea when FS7 firmware 3.0 will be here?

December 22, 2015 at 12:50PM

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Apparently January, but we'll see.

December 22, 2015 at 1:14PM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department
5895

The fact that this ability wasn't available at release, along with a few other quirky decisions, makes me question where Sony was intending this to be used. It's like a professional body with the feature-set of a consumer video camera.

December 22, 2015 at 7:22PM

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J.M. Anderson
Director of Photography
558

Sadly it doesn't fix the macro-blocking / smearing issue in 4K... :-(

https://vimeo.com/149878142

December 23, 2015 at 9:50AM

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Alex Kalimát
Photographer ~ Filmmaker
159

An interesting video test, but not surprised. The lesson is... that if you need to shoot quality 4K you don't buy a camera shooting 4K in consumer grade 4:2:0 8-bit. The S-Log helps in tonal distribution, reducing the macro-blocking, but the color still looks like crap in 8-bit.

December 25, 2015 at 9:28AM

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Razor
VFX Colorist
477

WTF is "QFHD"?

Sony, give up the obscurity.

December 26, 2015 at 1:18AM

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David Gurney
DP
2429

Will this 1.1 firmware allow output of 4k @ 10bit 422? Thanks for your time in advance.

December 31, 2015 at 7:36AM

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if you had the choice between buying the fs7 or fs5 with the Atmos for external 4k what would be your choice(price would be about the same at least here in Switzerland) I mean for just hd the fs5 is perfect when it comes to size(I own a ronin and a drone) and the picture is stunning but 4k is not acceptable. Fs7 is the whole package. What would you recommend for someone that wants to be able to deliver very good 4k but also has to consider size and shoots a lot of project in HD? fs5 with Atmos, Fs7 with GH4 or... Thanks for your imput. Ron

January 15, 2016 at 12:01PM

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Ronny Steck
Director of Photography,
88

Hello all,
1- How can i Recording 4K on FS5,Will i need to special SD Card or i Can Record with normal Card??
2- why i dont have 4K i Have just 2160/60P 100Mb with XAVC??
3- what the best number of Shutter Speed for 200fps??

Regards
Ramzi

February 26, 2016 at 4:45PM

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Ramzi Alkaysi
Director of Photography
175