Sony has introduced the new PXW-FS7 Compact XDCAM Camcorder, which can record 4K and 1080p slow-motion footage internally to XQD memory cards. The FS7 fills the slot just above the well-regarded NEX-FS700 in Sony¡¯s line of professional large-sensor camcorders. It offers the same E-Mount as the FS700, maintaining the versatile lens compatibility and featuring a brand new body, designed to be more ergonomic and expandable. The body is taller, with the OLED viewfinder on the left side of the camera, for easier viewing when shoulder mounted. The handgrip has been redesigned to be more ergonomic and features a Start/Stop button, focus magnification button, three assignable buttons, a zoom rocker, an assignable rotary encoder, and a menu navigation joystick. The front of the body has an ND filter wheel with 0 (clear), 0.6, 1.2, and 1.8 density values, allowing greater exposure and depth-of-field control.
Responding to industry trends, Sony implemented internal 4K XAVC recording to dual XQD memory cards. Sony chose the new XQD G Series cards for their ability to handle the 600 Mbps data rates required by 60p 4K video while being more compact than SxS cards. For normal sync-sound recording, the FS7 can record in the standard frame rates for NTSC (23.98p, 29.97p, 59.94i/p) and PAL (25p, 50i/p) regions at resolutions up to Quad Full-HD (3840 x 2160) using the XAVC-Intra and XAVC-Long GOP formats. Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution will be available via a firmware update in early 2015. Internal Apple ProRes recording will also be made available via a firmware update with an optional XDCA-FS7 extension unit. The FS7 supports the S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine flavors of S-Log3 gamma curves to provide images with wide dynamic range and the ability to perform color grading and correction easily in post.
The FS7 can?record?internally at up to 180 fps at 1080p in the Super Slow Motion recording mode, with no time limits. This frame rate lets you slow down your footage by 7.5x when played back at 23.98 fps. The 2000 ISO native sensitivity of the CMOS sensor allows for reduced noise, even when shooting at higher frame rates. Following in the footsteps of the FS700, the FS7 can output 4K and 2K Raw to an external recorder. The sensor also has a fast readout, capable of outputting 240 fps at 2K resolution, providing a 10x slow-motion result. The fast readout speed also reduces rolling shutter artifacts common to many CMOS sensors.
Sony expects the FS7 to be available in mid-October, either as a body-only or packaged with the new E-Mount 28-135mm f/4 servo zoom lens.