TWO new large sensor cameras from Sony PMW-F5/55 (Feb 2013)

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

 

Here are the first pictures of the new Sony PMW-F5 and enhanced F55, looking a lot more like a mixture of an ARRI and a RED ONE, this camera means business.

The new PMW-F55 and PMW-F5 CineAlta 4K cameras deliver unprecedented creative options for HD/2K*/QFHD*/4K (PMW- F55) and 2K*/HD (PMW-F5) production. Both offer multi-codec support featuring Sony’s new XAVC MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format, the SR codec (MPEG4 SStP) and the industry-standard High Definition XDCAM 50Mbps 4:2:2 codec.  In-camera recording is on Sony’s New SxS media, SxS PRO plus, which can be used to record XAVC in HD High Frame Rate and in 4K at up to 60fps (in the PMW-PMW-F55), and XAVC HD High Frame Rate in the PMW-F5.

In addition to on-board recording onto SxS PRO+, the PMW-F55 and PMW- F5 can also be connected to the new AXS-R5 RAW recorder.  Slow-motion imagery at up to 240fps** (PMW- F55) and up to 120fps** (PMW- F5) can be captured as 4K RAW files on newly developed AXS memory.

The PMW-F55 features a global shutter to eliminate rolling shutter skew and flash band, and features a wider colour gamut for exceptional colour reproduction. The cameras are further distinguished by wide (14 stops) exposure latitude, high sensitivity, and low noise.

New Options for Monitoring

The PMW-F55 can connect to the new 4K 30-inch LCD monitor, PVM-X300  using four 3G-SDI interfaces to monitor pictures at 4096×2160 resolution at up to 60p while recording and playing back XAVC 4K images.  Similarly, it is also possible to connect directly to the 84” BRAVIA 4K LED TV for large-screen monitoring of the camera’s 4K 60P images (at resized horizontal resolution of 3860 pixels).

PL Lens System – The Second Generation

The PMW–F55 and PMW-F5 cameras continue Sony’s efforts to offer the most flexible lens options.  A PL-mount lets users choose cinematic lenses from suppliers such as Angénieux, ARRI, Canon, Carl Zeiss, Cooke, FUJIFILM and Leica.

Sony is also launching a second generation of cost-effective PL mount prime lenses. Each is certified for 4K capture, and is designed to minimize geometric distortion, vignetting and breathing.  A 9-blade iris delivers beautiful bokehs and the focus rings rotate 240°.  The new lens series includes focal lengths of 20, 25, 35, 50, 85 and 135 mm.  For easy lens changes, each has the same T2.0 aperture, the same external diameter, matte box diameter, and gear locations for follow focus and aperture. All are the same height except for the 135 mm lens.

Shooters can use stills lenses by removing the supplied PL-mount adaptor to reveal the native FZ mount.  This makes it easy to accept commercially available adaptors for third-party lenses, including Canon® EF, Canon FD, Nikon® DX, Nikon G, Leica® M and even 2/3-inch B4 lenses. A third option is the use of Sony FZ-Mount lenses with auto focus servo zoom (model SCL-Z18X140.)

Viewfinders

Using a new digital interface, PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 users can take advantage of a new series of high-quality OLED and LCD viewfinders. The DVF-EL100 OLED viewfinder measures 0.7-inches with 1280 x 720 HD resolution, superb brightness, contrast and response. The DVF-L350 3.5-inch LCD viewfinder offers 10 times the contrast of previous Sony LCD viewfinders, with a flip-up eyepiece for direct monitoring. A third option is the full HD DVF-L700.  This compact 7-inch LCD viewfinder enables high resolution when shooting in 2K and 4K, with pixel-to-pixel 1920 x 1080 representation of HD images.

New RAW Recording System

Sony is also unveiling the AXSM™ Access Memory System for 2K*/4K RAW recording, based on Sony’s unique recording technology.  Optimised for this new platform is the AXSM memory card (512 GB capacity, model AXS-512S24), using the generic file system exFAT. Users can record 4K RAW data up to 60 fps and 2K RAW up to 240 fps**, with a 300MB/s sustained transfer speed. PC-friendly operation is enabled through use of the AXS-CR1 card reader, offering a USB 3.0 interface for high speed transfer.

Additionally, the new AXS-R5 RAW recorder directly docks onto the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55, for an extremely elegant and compact recording system for 2K** and 4K RAW recording.

New Recording Media

The cameras support Sony’s new high-speed, enhanced versions of its SxS PRO memory cards: the “SxS PRO+(PLUS)” series (in 128 and 64 GB capacities, models SBP-128B and SBP-64B). Based on the format long used in Sony’s XDCAM EX camcorders, the cards support XAVC 4K and XAVC HD high frame rate recording, and can be directly inserted into the cameras.

New Battery and Charger

The PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 cameras take advantage of Sony’s new BP-FL75 battery pack, which uses Olivine—Lithium Iron Phosphate—instead of conventional Lithium Ion cathodes.  The result is a substantial increase in charge-discharge cycles, compared to previous Sony batteries. The Olivine battery works with Sony’s BC-L90 quick charger.  The new battery supports outstanding mobility for on-set shooting enabling two times higher speed charging than current chargers and a maximum 150 minutes of consecutive shooting.

The PMW-F5 and PMW-PMW-F55 cameras are also compatible with Sony’s BP-GL95A, GL65A, L80S and L60S batteries, which use the BC-L70 and L160 chargers.

Shoulder Rig

Delivering advances in ergonomics specifically requested by cinematographers, the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 feature Sony’s newest shoulder rig for extra stability and comfort.  The rig is sturdy, lightweight and uses industry-standard rosettes on both sides for quick and easy attachment of third-party hand grips and other accessories.

Here are the headline features of the F5:

  • Full HD & 4K
  • Super 35mm 4K CMOS Imager
  • 4,096 x 2,160, 11.6M total pixels, 8.9M effective pixels, Bayer Pattern
  • High sensitivity (ISO 2000) and low noise (S/N 57dB with noise reduction off)
  • High Frame Rate of up to 120fps
  • Internal Recording to SxS media
  • Modular Design
  • RAW Recording capability to a new modular “dockable” external recorder, the AXS-R5
  • 50Mb/s / 4:2:2 Broadcast Friendly HD
  • New XAVC Codec for efficient 4K
  • Shoulder Pad & Class-leading OLED HD viewfinder & mount options to provide a genuine shoulder-mount camcorder
  • Dual lens mount as standard – Arri PL & Sony FZ
Enhanced features of the F55 (otherwise identical to the F5):
  • Higher frame rate of up to 240fps (Full HD RAW) or 60fps (4k RAW) with optional  AXS-R5 recorder
  • Internal recording at up to 180fps onto SxS media using XAVC Codec (HD / 4K)
  • Simultaneous XAVC and MPEG 2 recording capability – onto the same SxS media card
  • Slightly reduced sensitivity of ISO 1250 when compared to F5
  • Global Shutter (Eliminates rolling shutter effect)
  • F65 Colour Gamut

Sony have finally fought back with this modular 4K camera system that will if the price is right have a major impact on not only the likes of the Canon C500 but ARRI and RED as well.

No prices yet.

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2 comments on this post

  1. At last Sony in back in the race. Let’s hope the pricing would be less than the Red Epic and rental house like us would be prepared to stock up few units.

  2. Me and Me says:

    If they want to keep competitive better the price not to be that high compared to Red.

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