Based on this teaser image posted in Sony’s Super 35mm Facebook page, it appears that Sony will be dropping a new F-class Super 35mm cinema camera in October. All reasonable speculation points to a Sony F5 situated above the current 1080p-equipped F3.
Given that Sony’s lower-end NEX lineup features a high-frame rate, 4K camera (the NEX-FS700), it is likely that the Sony F5 would also get the 4K resolution and possibly a high frame rate option as well. If that feature set were to hit, it would be expected to be in the $20k price range and would likely compete with the RED Scarlet and Epic market.
[Sony Super 35mm Facebook via No Film School]
When the Sony NEX-FS700 was announced, it was heralded as an affordable 4K camera; however, it wouldn’t quite be a 4K camera until some undetermined point in the future. Well, that point may now be upon us.
An anonymous tipster sent word to SonyAlphaRumors that the FS700 will be getting its 4K upgrade next week. At this point, there are no details regarding the method of distribution for the 4K upgrade or the price that may come with it.
Unless Sony just goes bananas with the upgrade pricing though, the FS700 should be the most affordable 4K cinema camera available once the upgrade is officially out.
When Sony launched the FS700 cinema camera, it teased that it was capable of shooting 4K footage and that such capabilities would be unlocked via a firmware update at some, undisclosed point in the future.
Well, that time may be upon us. Speaking with a Sony insider at the recent IFA show, EOSHD reports that Sony is prepping to launch the 4K firmware upgrade for the FS700 within a few weeks. Noting further:
I was told that by Sony insider (not a sales rep) there are two external recorders already on the market that will work with the camera in 4K mode by Aja and Sony. Sony have no plans to restrict 4K output to their own external recorder(s), and that is the first bit of good news…Encouragingly this 4K firmware update is ‘weeks away’ according to Sony, unless that strategy changes or any unforeseen consequences occur. I asked about pricing and I am told it will be similar to the S-LOG upgrade for the Sony F3 which currently retails for £500 + VAT at CVP in the UK. It is just a firmware update.
Given that the FS700 is an $8000 camera, a reasonable price for the 4K firmware upgrade could deliver a stunning 4K camera at a sub-$10k price point – something that no one has really done yet. (Notwithstanding the lackluster JVC HMQ10.)
If anybody is going to do it, it would be Sony.
The same company that jumped out in front with the NEX-VG10, then the FS100, and then the high frame rate FS700 that shook everything up could be stirring another big pot with a full frame camera that shoots 120 fps at 1080p.
Moreover, SonyAlphaRumors.com reports on potential specifications that include 1080p video at 50Mbps at 4:2:2 sampling, among other highly sought after video specs noted below.
Sony A99 Rumored Video Specs
- AVCHD2.0 format ,below 1080p it have the Bit rate of 50Mbps, 4:2:2 sampling
- 1080P with the highest 120fps,at 720P, the highest is 240FPS
- MP4 format still 35Mbps
- center focus all the lens can use the biggest Aperture. others still F3.5
- except P model, A,S model can also auto-focus but M model still MF
- 4 times zoom in during 1080P can be captured
- multi-recording can take a 2.4Megapixels during recording
- HDMI can be Non-destructive Output new shoe can fit the wireless(bluetooth) mic
- except the high speed model,other model Maximum recording time is 29min 59s
- Time code support
That reads more like a wish list than an actual spec sheet for a DSLR-style camera. But if anyone would drop this in a sub-$5k DSLR, Sony would. Expect lots more noise from Sony in the lead-up to Photokina 2012.
Redrock Micro has addes new cinema camera bundles to its line for the Sony FS700/FS100, Sony F3 and Panasonic AF100. There are models for both studio rigs and shoulder rigs for each camera.
More details are available on Redrock Micro’s website.
B&H now has the price listed for the Sony NEX-FS700 at $7999 for the camera body. And, the price with the 18-200mm kit lens is $8599.
We kinda expected a pricepoint in this neighborhood; however, now that I’m actually looking at it, it’s hard to believe that Sony is delivering 240fps at full 1080p for $8k. And, to boot, it’s going to capture 4K via an external recorder.
No pre-orders yet, but stay tuned. I’ll let you know as soon as they open up.