Sony's FS700 has plenty going for it regardless of its 4K potential, not least in terms of its super slow motion shooting up to 240fps at 1080p. Nevertheless, if 4K it has to be, then a new NEX-IFR5 interface unit will be out in June to make full use of the camera's big sensor and 3G-SDI output. A couple of things to bear in mind: in addition to this $2,500 interface, you'll need a recorder like the AXS-R5 (around $6,300 plus extra for cards) to store your weighty 4K rushes on, plus you'll find that shooting in this mode will limit slow-mo to a four-second bust at 120 fps. Read the PR for further detail on using 2K with the IFR5, as that format allows continuous slow-mo and ought to be less brutal on the budget.
Sony's New Interface Unit Delivers 2K and 4K RAW Recording Capability for the NEX-FS700 Camcorder
PARK RIDGE, N.J., May 23, 2013 – Sony's new interface unit allows 2K RAW and 4K RAW recording directly from the NEX-FS700 camcorder, giving professional users a significant jump in performance, a broader choice of creative tools and unprecedented production flexibility. The NEX-IFR5 interface unit connects the NEX-FS700 to Sony's new AXS-R5 RAW recording system, creating a powerful combination that takes full advantage of the camcorder's 4K imager.
"The FS700 is already accepted worldwide as a high-performance production tool for everything from documentaries to commercials to features," said Peter Crithary, marketing manager for large sensor technology, Sony Electronics. "Now, highly affordable recording of 2K and 4K RAW images and high frame rate capture adds another dimension to the camcorder's capabilities. FS700 RAW recording preserves more of the original camera signal, producing stunning image quality and enabling maximum image manipulation flexibility in post."
The NEX-IFR5 interface receives the uncompressed bit-stream carrying RAW sensor data, metadata, timecode and start/stop commands from the NEX-FS700U via 3G-SDI. The FS700 RAW files are recorded to the AXS memory cards in the AXS-R5 RAW recorder, where they can be screened and converted using Sony's free RAW Viewer software.
Users can simultaneously record 4K on the AXS-R5 while recording HD on the NEX-FS700, both with identical, start frame, stop frame and time code.
The unit has an LCD panel for status indication including record mode, frame rate, timecode and battery and media remaining time. Large, tactile buttons control basic operation, menu and media management. When attached to the NEX-IFR5, the AXS-R5 can also act as a stand-alone playback unit for confidence monitoring and review through an on-board HD SDI 422 output.
The introduction of the NEX-IFR5 interface unit is the first implementation of 2K RAW recording capability with the AXSM memory system. 2K RAW provides all the benefits of RAW - wide color gamut, full sensor latitude and flexible digital image manipulation - but at a cost efficient 2K resolution. 2K RAW enables the NEX-FS700 to create digital RGB files with 12-bit color depth, and also works simultaneously with the camera's on-board 8-bit AVC-HD capability. This gives productions the freedom to choose the recording file format that best matches scene content and budget, and the flexibility to archive HD, 2K or 4K recordings.
With the NEX-IFR5, NEX-FS700 users can perform continuous 120/240fps high frame rate recording in 2K and 120 fps four-second "burst" recording in 4K. The NEX-FS700 even goes beyond 120 frames per second to 240fps. Playing back at 240fps yields compelling slow motion at 1/5 or 1/10 normal speed. Users can also choose 480 and 960fps burst recording (at reduced resolution) for even more creative possibilities. HFR is also now available with S-Log2 Gamma.
"Previously, HFR capability (above 60fps@1080p) was relegated to a rarified few "custom" cameras, many designed for machine vision and not high end program production," said Crithary. "The combination of the NEX-FS700, NEX-IFR5 and AXS-R5 now supports an array of game changing speeds in continuous and burst shooting modes at a price point unmatched in the industry. With these new capabilities the NEX-FS700 is poised for use as a high-quality, low-cost camera for HFR."
The NEX-IFR5 also allows the use of compatible media, file naming conventions, metadata and the RAW workflow used by Sony's PMW-F55 and PMW-F5 CineAlta 4K cameras.
This new Sony technology is the latest recording option for the NEX-FS700 camcorder, joining the recently announced direct connectivity with Convergent Design's new Odyssey7Q.
The NEX-IFR5 2K/4K RAW interface unit will be available in June for a suggested list price of $2,500.