Sony Boosts FS Super 35mm Portfolio With New FS7 II Camcorder
Sony is expanding its FS Series Super 35mm professional family with the addition of the new FS7 II camcorder. The new model builds on the original FS7 by adding Electronic Variable ND technology, a lever-lock–type E-mount, and a new mechanical design for faster and easier setup. The new FS7 II camcorder also supports Sony’s α mount system, which includes more than 70 lenses. The FS7 II is planned to be available in January with pricing to be announced.
Since its introduction in 2014, the FS7 has become one of the most widely used cameras in a range of production applications, and the original FS7 model remains in the Sony line-up. The new FS7 II now gives creative professionals a broader range of creative tools, with new features based on end-user feedback.
The new FS7 II camcorder is designed for long-form shooting and production applications, especially documentaries and independent filmmaking. Sony is also introducing an FS7 II kit model, which includes a new E-mount, Super 35mm lens, model SELP18110G, covering Super35mm and APSC sensors.
“The FS7 II features state-of-the-art Sony variable ND technology and a robust locking E‑Mount,” says Juan Martinez, senior product manager, professional digital imaging, Sony Electronics. “Extensive enhancements to the VF support system enables super-fast and secure viewfinder repositioning, while retaining the Zen-like simplicity, flexibility, and comfort of the FS7’s ‘multi-award winning’ industrial design.”
Electronic Variable ND Technology
The camcorder’s Electronic Variable ND Filter system, combined with its large sensor, delivers greater exposure control, with the option of preset or variable operation modes. Variable ND mode (seamless ND attenuation within the camera’s 2~7 stop range) allows the user to vary the density of the ND filter during shooting and to transition seamlessly between steps.
The camera’s expanded ND operation also enables fine exposure adjustment by relegating iris to set depth of field, prevents soft focus caused by diffraction, and prevents color shift caused by stacking multiple external ND filters.
Preset mode lets users assign three ND settings to the filter turret, useful in selecting the most appropriate filtration range for changing light conditions. Auto ND mode is also available, allowing exposure to stay at a fixed level while adjusting the depth of field with iris control.
E-Mount (Lever-Lock Type) for Professional Shooting
The FS7 II’s new E-mount (lever-lock type) gives users the ability to change lenses by rotating the locking collar rather than the lens itself, which means that, in most cases, lens-support rigs don’t need to be removed, saving time during a production.
Like its counterparts in the FS Series family — the FS7 and FS5 models — the new FS7 II features several design and ergonomic updates for comfortable and functional use in the field.
The FS7 II’s “tool-less” mechanical design lets users make on-the-fly changes to the camera’s setup and operation. For example, no tools are required to adjust the Smart Grip or viewfinder positions.
The viewfinder eyepiece provides a third stabilizing contact point when shooting handheld. Durable square-section rods and lever clamps on the LCD and camera body provide simple and precise front-to-back VF adjustment while retaining level positioning.
New 18-110mm Sony G Lens
Sony is also introducing an FS7 II kit model featuring a new E-mount, Super 35mm lens. The model SELP18110G lens covers Super35mm and APSC sensors. Compact and lightweight — 2.4 lb. (1.1 kg) — with an 18-110 focal range (6X zoom), it features a new fully mechanical/servo zoom switchable system capable of snap zooms and entirely devoid of lag. The focal range is optimized for Super 35 and APS-C sensors.
The lens is compatible with Sony α Mount System cameras, including the α7 series interchangeable-lens cameras and professional Super 35mm 4K camcorders, such as Sony’s FS7 or FS5. Although the lens is suited for still-image taking, filmmakers will fully appreciate the lens’s extended creative capabilities for shooting motion images.
The lens benefits from Sony’s Smooth Motion Optics (SMO) design, which is developed to optimize performance during motion-image capture. This design eliminates undesirable characteristics and artifacts that do not affect still-image capture but can severely limit a lens’s usefulness for motion shooting:
- Ramping: F-stop gradually diminishes when zooming tight
- Not holding focus while zooming
- Breathing (angle-of-view variation while focusing)
- Optical axis shift (image moves in the frame while zooming)
The FS7 II supports the XQD memory-card format, designed for capturing and transferring high-bandwidth, high-resolution files. Sony is also introducing a new XQD card: the QD-G256E has an industry-first 256-GB capacity and enables a recording time of approximately 45 minutes at 4K/60p and 3.5 hours at 2K/30p. With a read speed of up to 440 MBps and write speed of up to 400 MBps, the lens enables users to shoot longer without needing to change media cards.