Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Sony have now disclosed the new firmware due out in March 2012 for the NEX-FS100 and the HXR-NX70.

NEX-FS100 Improvements due March 2012

1. 60(59.94)Hz /50Hz (NTSC/PAL) switchable feature. FS100E can have the 60p(59.94p), 60i (59.94i),30p(29.97p) and 24p(23.98p) recording modes
2. Camera Profile (camera setting saved in a memory card) It allows users to recall the previous camera settings easily. It also helps multi-camera shooting preparation.
3. Expanded Focus (x4/x8, selectable focus area) It allows user to select the magnification size and area to be expanded.
4. ISO sensitivity display. For users who are familiar with traditional filming term, it will be possible to switch between ISO and Gain (dB) display.
5. Focus feet, Shutter angle display. For users who are familiar with traditional filming term, it will be possible to switch between feet and meter for focus position display when an E-mount lens is used. Also, switchable between second and degree for shutter speed display.
6. Variation added for “Aspect markers”
7. Compatibility with new A-mount to E-mount adaptor [LA-EA2] with Translucent Mirror Technology Auto Focus operation is available with Sony A-mount alpha lens

HXR-NX70 Improvements due March 2012

1. Improvement of zoom rocker operation (Selectable zoom speed) The maximum speed of zooming via the zoom rocker key will be selectable for more smooth zooming.
2. Simultaneous Rec. with internal memory (96GB) and removable memory card.The secure hybrid recording can offer reliable backup recording.
3. 1280×720/50p additional recording mode. Good for web-based movie with smaller data than 1080 or for compatibility with existing 720p system.
4 Assignable keys
5. Last Scene Review feature. One-touch playback of a recorded clip
6. Face detection window can be turned off by “Display on/off” for line-out purpose
7. “Zebra” and “Histogram” can be turned on by “Display on/off” for line out purpose.
Clean output for an external recorder, monitor etc.

So there you have it Sony do listen to their customers and we can expect some fantastic new features on the FS100 and the NX70 come March 2012. As an owner of 2 NX70s and an FS100 this is fantastic news, the new features like NTSC mode, storing camera profiles to card and 4,8x expanded focus is a great enhancement.

We told Sony that the zoom rocker on the NX70 was virtually unusable and as I suspect the best we can expect is a selectable speed rather than the more desirable variable speed but being able to slow the zoom down will be a major bonus to me.

Simultaneous recording will be a great asset for the NX70 and my favourite 720 50p recording mode being added will make this a great all round camcorder. I didn’t realise that we couldn’t review the last scene on the NX70 so that will be an extra bonus worth waiting for.

This is where the internet really scores, customers world wide can now express their feelings direct to the manufacturer who can make changes like the NX70 rocker switch and with an end user firmware update their camcorder will be as good as new if not better !


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

16 thoughts on “Sony FIRMWARE UPDATE NEWS FS100 and NX70

  1. That’s really good news! I’ve had my NX70 a few months now following your reviews and very happy with it, pro camera when I need it to be solid handycam when I don’t. The only disappointment was the zoom, especially given how smooth it can be driven over LANC, and the lack of dual record.

    I think another review noted the lack of a quick last shot delete when comparing with the NX5, I can see that being very useful when you know you’re not happy and want to reshoot.

    By assignable keys are we talking being able to remap some of the physical ones? There aren’t many but the photo key for instance is largely idle in most video modes.

    As an aside I’ve partnered mine with an ADATA rugged 1T portable drive that stays in the kit bag, it’s the work of a moment to hook them up at the end of the day and clone the footage. I figure at £100 that’s about £10 for 6 hours of HD which makes the cost compared with DV tape very good. I’m just going to fill drives up and archive them in the firesafe.

  2. The FS100 firmware info was published on Abel Cine Blog on the 18th Nov. So much for “World Exclusive”. If Sony is really listening, why no PAL/NTSC switching on the NX70. After all this camera is aimed at the world wide video journalist.

  3. This is excellent news, Philip. It looks like they have made the best of the zoom rocker problem (avoiding an expensive and traumatic hardware change).

    I am particularly curious about the assignable keys feature, it will be interesting to see just how well it works. There’s one or two buttons I never use on the camera, and it would be great to be able to assign Steadyshot on/off and other options that are currently buried in menus only.

    720p is also potentially very useful. It’s less painful working with 720/50p files than downsizing the 1080p files when you just don’t need that resolution.

    Thank you once again for keeping us up to speed on this!

  4. This was sent out to all the dealers last week and I asked Sony Broadcast UK if I could blog about it when it arrived but they only got back to my yesterday (Thursday) a week later !
    I am under strict instructions not to divulge dealer information without prior permission which I adhere to, ABEL CINE are based in the USA and either decide that such information is public or have an understanding with Sony USA to be able to blog about it as soon as it appears.
    Personally I did not see any harm in writing about the new firmware as soon as it appeared but I do not like being made to look stupid after going through the correct channels and taking so long to get back to me that it becomes a history lesson rather than breaking news !

  5. Thanks Philip!

    Here is my wish for Christmas: Sony comes up with a firmware that gives the F3 internal 4:2:2/50 MB recording. Or they are going to introduce an advanced F3 model at NAB.
    Looks like they do NOT listen to the customers concerning this…

    Cheers, Roland

  6. Hi Phil and everyone;

    This firmware information leaves me even more conflicted. I bought and tested the NX70 for about two weeks before reluctantly returning it for a refund. I wrote a detailed “open letter to Sony” on avsforum – search for “Why I returned my Sony HXR-NX70U” . I also sent that letter to my contact at Sony professional support; he told me he had “forwarded it to management.”

    I really, really wanted to love the little guy. The horrible chromatic aberration at full zoom was the last straw. But now I see a deal on b&h photo, $200.00 less than what I paid for it. I am torn and frustrated. The firmware update and the lower price might be enough to make me buy another… but than CA would still be there . Arrrgh …

    Help me, Phil! Do you think that Sony could fix what is essentially a lens defect with a firmware update? I don’t know what to do!


  7. I use the NX70s a lot in corporate environments and the CA does not bother me though you are right I did not notice this when I reviewed the camera. (I had not noticed it).
    If you are a Sony man then it will be hard to persuade you otherwise but my dealings with the Panasonic 160 would have convinced me to buy into the 160 had I not invested in the NX70s plus the 160 does not produce 1080 50p with sound.
    What I have noticed is that some shots are better than others with the lens on the NX70 and by moving to a different angle helps or simply re-framing the shot.
    As I say on the whole the camera performs fantastic and for the odd CA which I might add you will also get with the majority of fixed camcorder lenses and dare I say it good prime Canon and Nikon glass, to get perfection you pay a hefty price which is why Leica and Zeiss are in the marketplace !
    Always remember WE are the most critical with our own footage and the customer NEVER tells me about “so called technical faults” they DO NOT see CA let alone know what to look out for.

  8. for the NEX-FS100 will be fantastic if they put 120fps at 720p, and HDR system, as you know this camera can record 60fps over 60p with audio, so you can make a system to choose the best exposure for dark areas first and then a second exposure for hightlights areas and melt it in an smart way as in the NEX-5 or nex-vg10, to obtain a 30p HDR with 2 diferent exposures… tada!!!

  9. I am also a user of the NX70 and my suggestion would be a quicker response on the control recording (rec), since the recording is not immediate as in the famous Sony PD170.

  10. I’m thinking of getting one of these next march, but i live a long way from the states, and i have no sony dealer in my country. Does someone know if the firmware update has to be installed by a dealer/manufacturer? Or can it be downloaded and done by a user? (I live in a PAL broadcasting region, but I love 24p)

  11. I have just upgraded and all is working well. The simultaneous recording is working like a dream.

    It transpires that the upgrade software does now work on Lion 64bit … luckily have another mac still on Leopard and it worked fine.

  12. Does anyone know if the firmware upgrade for NEX-FS100U and NEX-FS100UK is also compatible with NEX-FS100CK. I purchased my NEX-FS100CK in China and not sure if I can do that. If not, is there any other ways to do so? Any information would be appreciated. Thanks

  13. I updated my firmware for the HXR-NX70 where the issues have been address, however I now find that settings revert back (after shut down) and have to reset auto intelligence etc. I seems to be buggy and not save my preferred settings.

    Has anyone also had same issues?

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