IBC 2014: Plus info on my free talks, Critics and more! Sony FS7 officially confirmed!

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IBC 2014: CRITICS Day 1 from Teradek on Vimeo.

IBC 2014: CRITICS Day 2 from Teradek on Vimeo.

IBC 2014: CRITICS Day 3 from Teradek on Vimeo.

It’s that time of year again. Well actually these shows happen around the world almost non stop, but IBC is massive, probably second only to NAB in size. Broadcast shows like this are a great chance to check out new gear, but for me, I like them as I can connect with people new and old.

New kit is also often announced, and in fact Sony are announcing a new camera there (yes another one) this week. More on that later.

If you have never been before, it’s in Amsterdam and it’s every September. I missed last year’s one but am coming this year. Photokina, the (mainly) photography show is directly afterward in Cologne. That show is truly massive, but I won’t be going to it this time, that would most likely do my head in. These shows are exhausting, especially if you are working there which I am!

ADOBE

At the show I will doing a number of talks. I will be at the Adobe stand talking about how I use their software and how it fits into my workflow on a shoot. This is at 11:30 and 2:30pm on the Friday and 11:30 on the Saturday.

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MILLER

On Saturday at 1:30pm in Hall 11 stand 11 D30, I will be on the Miller stand giving an updated version of shooting and using 4K in the real world! I will be showing examples of course, and I will go into details of the pros and cons!

Also do check out the Miller charity raffle in aid of the iABM education foundation. Enter and get a chance to win the gorgeous LP’54 classic wooden tripod from Miller made to celebrate their 50 years on the business.

 

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RISING STARS

On the Sunday I will be doing an hour long talk and Q&A for the Rising Stars programme, a fantastic initiative to help the new generation get started in the industry. The conference is part of IBC and features some amazing speakers like Professor Brian Cox. I am giving one of the keynotes on the Sunday at 2pm about what you may or may not need to make great content. I will be sharing my experience and success and failures, so you can hopefully benefit from me doing this all for you first! 🙂

To register for the Rising Stars programme click the link here or the image below! If you can’t work it out you are clearly not at all an office type and therefore must clearly be creative, the downside is you won’t benefit from the conference because of this! 😉   Screenshot 2014-09-08 12.46.56Screenshot 2014-09-08 12.49.25

CRITICS

Last but not least, on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 4pm live each day is the 2nd return of Critics. After our mega sell out stadium live shows at NAB in April, we are back for hour long shows where Steve Weiss pulls his punches and gives rubbish critiques and I give him grief for it. You can see it live here and later on Vimeo with the link on the bottom of the flyer!

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IBC NEWS

The FS7 is official. Check out the first hands on with my buddy Nino Leitner. More on his Cinema5D site!

EXCLUSIVE: cinema5D Sony FS7 hands-on from Nino Leitner on Vimeo.

From the Sony press release:

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Amsterdam, September 12, 2014: Sony has today launched the PXW-FS7, the first 4K XDCAM camera to feature a Super35 CMOS sensor. Capable of shooting in 4K Quad Full HDi (QFHD) and super slow-motion Full HD, the latest member of the XDCAM family has been designed for documentary, music video, online content creators and corporate filmmakers looking for beautiful picture quality and an unrivalled choice of recording formats.

The 11.6 million-pixel Super35 ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor within the PXW-FS7 delivers stunning sensitivity, shallow depth of field, a high signal-to-noise ratio and fantastic low light performance. The camera has the ability to record QFHDi with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling up to 600 Mbit/s, with support for a variety of recording formats including XAVC Intra, Long GOP, MPEG HD422 and Apple ProRes 422 available early 2015 by firmware update.

Ergonomic design ideal for one-man operation in demanding conditions

The new camera has been purpose-built to provide a versatile range of creative shot options while sitting comfortably on the shoulder, even after hours of operation. The supplied grip, easily adjustable viewfinder and fully-sealed, die-cast magnesium chassis have been designed to provide robust usability in dusty or humid environments and for ‘run and gun’ applications.

“Filmmakers around the world have told us they want a package which links high quality codecs, unlimited slow and quick-motion recording and the flexibility to switch between various lenses, but without the need for a rig,” explained Bill Drummond, Strategic Marketing Manager, Sony Professional Europe. “We’ve built the PXW-FS7 to give customers a vast range of production, style and format choices in a form factor which allows the operator to do it all, right from their shoulder.”

αMount System offering a variety of expression

The PXW-FS7 features Sony’s revolutionary α Mount System, which benefits from Silent Focus Technology and Electrical Iris Control. Sony has also launched the PXW-FS7K, including the brand new powered zoom E-Mount lens FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS (SELP28135G), ideal for the requirements of today’s video production teams. Customers also have the flexibility to use other lenses with a 3rd party adaptor.

Key features of the PXW-FS7

Super35 ‘Exmor’ CMOS sensor with 8.8 million-effective pixels. The PXW-FS7 is able to capture great image quality without needing significant lighting support. It has high-speed image readout characteristics, such as 240 fps while recording 2K RAW on an external recorder, responsive sensitivity (ISO 2000) and a high signal-to-noise ratio. The PXW-FS7 supports QFHD up to 60 fps at launch, with an upgrade to 4K 4,096 x 2,160 resolution due to be made available in early 2015.

Flexibility across recording codecs. The PXW-FS7 is compatible with Sony´s new XAVC Intra and XAVC Long GOP formats, each supporting 10-bit 4.2:2 recording for Full HD recording. Recording in QFHD resolution, SlowMotion up to 180fps or even Full High Definition with 60/50 progressive frames is possible. By using the optional extension unit XDCA-FS7, the PXW-FS7 is capable of natively recording in Apple ProRes 422 codec, planned to be available in early 2015 by firmware update. In addition, thanks to the XDCA-FS7’s Raw interface, the PXW-FS7 is capable of 4K/2K Raw recording with Sony’s HXR-IFR5 and AXS-R5, or with a compatible third-party external recorder.

A vast range of creative choices. The PXW-FS7 features 2 XQD card slots that support simultaneous recording and relay recording. The camera includes a low-pass video filter, progressive pixel reading and advanced camera processing, enabling a broad span of creative treatments, and benefits such as high speed recording, high resolution, high sensitivity, less aliasing and less rolling shutter. To support FS7’s S&Q motion and internal 4Ki recording, a new XQD G series with ultra-high speed transfer up to 400MB/s (read) and 350MB/s (write) has been developed. The XQD card G series is designed specifically to further enhance the PXW-FS7 workflow. In parallel, the camera’s built-in ND filters offer exceptional shallow depth-of-field, allowing users to further expand their shooting styles without requiring external ND filter equipment. S-Gamut3/SLog3 & S-Gamut3.Cine/SLog3 are supported for flexibility of post-production options.

Easy mobility and choice of shooting style. Sony has also today introduced the VCT-FS7, a light-weight rods support, featuring 15mm rods and an adjustable shoulder pad. This enables the use of additional Matte boxes, the easy attachment of Follow Focus systems or of an external recorder. In addition to the on-shoulder operation, the PXW-FS7 can also be set-up on a tripod and as a handheld camera. The supplied handgrip provides easy access to relevant functions.

 αMount System enables auto exposure and SteadyShot stabilization during shooting. The PXW-FS7 uses the E-mount lens system and comes supplied with a new E-mount lens FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS (SELP28135G), which is the world’s first 35mm full-frame interchangeable power zoom lens i.. The new E-mount powered zoom lens features constant F4 value, independent rings for Iris, Zoom and Focus control and is dust and moisture resistant. The SELP28135G has steady shot stabilization, minimum focus breathing and is enabled with Sony’s new SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) to reduce zoom and focus noise while shooting. Furthermore, Sony’s optional LA-EA4 A-mount lens adaptor allows compatibility with a wide range of high-quality A-mount lenses, benefiting from the PXW-FS7’s auto-focus function for quick and convenient operation.

 

ORIGNAL POST

I don’t do rumours as a rule but I am breaking it because:I mentioned this briefly but it’s confirmed that Sony is releasing a new 4K professional camera at IBC, confusingly called the FS7 which makes it sound higher end than the F5 (I address this further down). It was leaked onto a Chinese site with the picture below.

A: It’s officially teased now by Sony and

B: Because of the implications

C: The leaked photo is genuine.

D: Numerous sources have confirmed this with me.

Now, I had been hearing mutterings about this camera for a while. I am not under NDA so I am not in the “official” know but I do know many people who are under penalty of death if they talked about this due to their NDAs. They wouldn’t tell me squat, naturally! 🙂 Despite this, through a number of other sources I am pretty confident most of these rumoured features are true. So much so that I put a fiver on at paddy power and if all these come true I could make a hundred quid! 🙂

Super 35mm sensor, whether it’s new or not I don’t know.

E mount so you can put a METABONES EF adaptor or even better a Speedbooster for effectively full frame image. 

XDCAM labelled but records in the same high quality pro format as the F5 and F55, XAVC.

Records INTERNALLY at 4K. Whether this is full DCI or UHD not sure. I have a felling it’s the latter.

12 bit raw output via 3g SDI. Assuming this will work with R5 and hopefully the Odyssey 7Q soon

HD of course and I believe it will also do at least 150fps in HD most likely 180fps is 24p mode.

There is a large rear dock that could be multifunctional. It may even take an R5.

I am expecting optional battery solutions, v-locks for example or the Sony L series batteries. If it can take L series it means we could have some very impressive power consumption.  

Integrated LCD/ EVF loup reminiscent of the EX3

Nice shoulder mounted design

 

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From the image you can see it used the cheaper than XQD cards for the XAVC rather than what I use in my F55 which is the stupidly expensive SXSPro.

Since buying £10,000 of them they brought out a firmware update that lets me use XQD cards on my camera with a cheap adaptor. Annoying for me, good for new customers!

We also have full auto modes…if you like that sort of thing.

The quality of the LCD/ EVF is unknown, but it’s part of the camera. It seems only expensive cameras suffer from having sod all including with them! It’s funny but that shape keeps making me think an URSA style 10″ screen was on there once! Thankfully it isn’t! Let’s hope the LCD/ Loup is not of the same quality of the Fs100/FS700!!

Price point: I have had from numerous reliable sources to be a list price of just $8k. I say “just” because for what you are getting this is amazing.

Is this a replacement for the FS700? No. Sony tweeted this:

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So the FS700 stays but what differentiates it from this new XDCAM camera? The FS700 sells for $7700 at B&H. The camera records AVCHD HD internally. It can do 240fps in burst mode internally, but it can also send a raw signal to an external recorder to record 4K and 2K raw plus continuous slow motion in full quality up to 240fps.

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The leaked image
The leaked image

Just the other day a “hack” for the F5 to let it record 4K internally was made public by my friend and former colleague at Sky News Paul Ream. By saving settings and modifying them via text edit, you can make the F5 record in modes only the F55 is supposed to have even up to 60p. You can see a tutorial here.

Sony F5 on left and F55 on right. You can tell only from the colour of the lens mount. Silver is F55.
Sony F5 on left and F55 on right. You can tell only from the colour of the lens mount. Silver is F55.

As an F55 owner who bought this very expensive camera over the F5 basically for the internal 4K recording, I am very interested to see what Sony does to respond to this announcement (yes it stills sounds weird!). Apparently there will be an announcement about the F5 and F55 on the 12th too. Sure my F55 has a global shutter and a different colour gamut but it’s the 4K internal recording that sold me on it. If the F5 had 4k officially and I was buying a camera today, I would buy the F5 not the F55.

Actually that isn’t true. If it was today I would wait until the announcement of the FS7 and depending on the image that I see this week, I would buy this. Why? It’s WAY cheaper, has the same codec, internal 4k and HD, 180fps (maybe), E mount which is preferable to FZ mount as the Canon adaptor is very expensive and not as good as the Metabones, plus the option of a Speedbooster is a big plus. I would love an effective full frame in a proper video camera. Do I care that it may only be UHD 4K? Not really, not at this price difference. The power consumption and use of L series batteries is a big plus. It’s also way cheaper. Did I say that?

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By saying this, I am basically saying I personally think Sony will severely damage their F5 sales with this camera, and of less importance to them I am sure, the FS700 which in modern camera terms is getting on a bit now. It’s over 2 years old! 🙂

So why are Sony bringing out this camera, which is going to essentially make the F5 rather pointless? Why are Sony being so aggressive with their competition with themselves? Yep that sounds bonkers, but they are! Well there is nothing else out there at this price point, and it’s better to sell more cameras for less money than fewer cameras for more money isn’t it? Well only if the cheaper camera sells significantly more units than the more expensive ones.

Sony will absolutely have to put 4K in the F5 now officially, not because of the “hack” so much but because of this camera, but it’s still going to need something else.  That means what do F55 owners like myself get? Who knows. I hope not a massively devalued camera, as I haven’t paid it off yet!

Oh well, it’s still an amazing camera with features that no other camera can rival at any price, really. I say this to myself as I rock back and forth like a madman each night worried to death! 🙂

My Sony F55 with it's new VOCUS
My Sony F55 with it’s new VOCAS rig
My Sony F55 with it's new VOCUS
My Sony F55 with it’s new VOCAS rig
My Sony F55 with it's new VOCUS
My Sony F55 with it’s new VOCAS rig

If they gave the F5 4K internal, what would make people buy it over the new camera?

Perhaps the DCI 4k if the FS7 is only UHD?

Maybe the slow motion on the new camera will be at similar intervals to the FS700, so no fine control of the specific frame rates.

16 bit Raw output compared to the 12 bit, which to be fair is not that big a deal for almost everyone.

I am not sure what else but they need to add more with this massive price difference or simply drop the F5 price, which doesn’t help current owners. It’s a tough one, and I can see a lot of F5 owners being a bit miffed maybe about this. Some people will say that’s the problem with buying expensive cameras these days and also being an early adaptor. Maybe, but I have owned my F55 only a year and with all the media, EVF, raw recorder and batteries it has cost me a huge amount of money. It’s an investment, and investments ideally last a lot longer than a year.

Sony have promised these camera will be constantly upgraded with firmware, and this has been true so far. So maybe we are in for many more features that could separate these two beasts from the young pretender?

 

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I have no camera loyalty to any manufacturer. I still think the Canon C300 is the best documentary camera out there, but mine is now sold because of the F55. I couldn’t justify keeping it after I bought the mega expensive Sony.

I did keep both my 1DC and my C100. The C100 is an amazing camera for the price. Sure no 4K, no slow motion and the codec sucks, but stick an Atomos on it and you have a C300 pretty much.

For the new CNN doc series I have been shooting, my main camera is the F55, the camera on my Movi M5 is the A7s, and the main B-Cam is the Canon C100. They are a bit tricky to cut together but do-able. All have their pros and cons.The F55 is not exactly a subtle camera and quite often I need to look less pro, so I have been using the A7s a lot. The C100 image really does impress though.

 

 

Canon of course need to respond soon, or they will lose out. They need a 4K internal camera to compete around this price point AND they SO need a camera that can shoot super slow motion. Whether they can bring it in at around the $8k mark seems unlikely, given the C300 price point is still around $12k, but they may well have to give Sony a break from competing with themselves! 😉

There we go. Find out if I was right on the Friday the 12th. If so, then I am most likely going to buy this as my new B-camera, it’s such a great price and it could well be my A-camera when I don’t want to bring my much heavier F55 with me on shoots when space and weight is a premium, like some of the destinations for this new series are going to be.

I absolutely won’t be selling my F55, first off it isn’t paid off yet, but also it’s an amazing camera that does have more features than this new Sony, and I do expect Sony to bring it more features to keep it their flagship large sensor broadcast camera.

We shall see on Friday if this is all true and whether I will make that hundred quid at the bookies!

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