Sony recently released the 4.00 firmware update for the PXW-FS5, bringing three exciting new features to the wonderful workhorse camera. These features include support for Hybrid Log-Gamma ("instant HDR"), the ability to change the minimum ISO number from ISO 3200 to ISO 2000, and support for shooting continuously at 120fps in 1080p.

HDR Capability

The Hybrid Log-Gamma is an HDR (high dynamic range) standard developed jointly by the BBC and Japan’s NHK. The two countries worked together to provide an easier way to capture HDR images. For instance, the new standard allows you to shoot HDR in-camera without color grading. Metadata allows displays that support the HLG standard to show the footage in HDR as intended.

There are four new hybrid gamma modes for the camera, including:

  • [HLG] Setting equivalent to the ITU-R BT.2100 standard.
  • [HLG1] Highest suppression of noise, but overall dynamic range is narrower.
  • [HLG2] The medium Setting. A balance between dynamic range and noise suppression.
  • [HLG3] Wide dynamic range at the expense of greater noise levels.

Hybrid Log-Gamma allows you to use the following ISO settings:

  • HLG ISO 800 to ISO 32000
  • HLG1 ISO 400 to ISO 16000
  • HLG2 ISO 640 to ISO 25600
  • HLG3 ISO 800 to ISO 32000

Sony PXW-FS5Credit: Sony

Minimum ISO

The firmware also provides the FS5 with a new minimum ISO setting of 2000, matching the so-called native ISO of Sony’s FS7 camera. This should make it somewhat easier to shoot in brighter lighting conditions when using S-Log, especially with the aid of the FS5's built-in ND filtration. These new ISOs are for S-Log2 and S-Log3, however, but if those are default shooting modes, then it should be a great new feature you can get for free.

The new ISOs are as follows:

  • S-LOG2 ISO 2000 to ISO 102400
  • S-LOG3 ISO 2000 to ISO 102400

Frames Per Second

Last but not least, the new firmware update provides support for shooting continuously in 120fps High Frame Rate (HFR) recording at a resolution of 1080p. The only caveat is that you need to buy the additional license to unlock this feature (CBKZ-FS5HFR), which will set you back $499. Without the license, you will only be able to shoot at 120fps in 16-second bursts.

The Sony FS5 Version 4.00 Firmware is available for free download now from the Sony website.