In the world of high-end cameras and production equipment, Sony's original PXW-FS7, often referred to simply as the FS7, was nothing short of a resounding success. Since being introduced in 2014, the camera has become a firm favourite within the industry, and has seen widespread adoption at all sorts of levels, but most commonly at the documentary and independent levels. The reason for this is that the FS7 filled a gap between cheaper, less versatile cameras and their far more expensive, feature-laden counterparts.
The original FS7 bridged these two worlds, especially once it gained the ability to record in 4K and capture 1080p slow-motion footage. This year has seen the model take another huge step forward with the release of the PXW-FS7 MKII, which offers even more power and a range of innovative features that continue to make it the ideal camera for a lean film shoot.
For a piece of equipment most commonly associated with low budget productions, there's a huge need to be able to make adjustments on the fly.
Mark II innovation
There are lots of features worth looking at with the FS7 MK II, but the ones that have really captured the industry's attention are those which extend the camera's already impressive versatility. For a piece of equipment most commonly associated with low budget productions, or situations where speed is key, there's a huge need to be able to make adjustments on the fly without compromising footage.
This is exactly what has been achieved through the new FS7's incredible electronically variable ND filter system. The system is the Mark II's standout feature, and offers full control over exposure at the press of a button. This means that moving between differently illuminated locations no longer requires extensive set up periods or complex lighting arrangements.
Best of all, exposure can be adjusted while shooting without any obvious changes in the recorded footage. This is achieved through soft-edge transition steps, which makes fine-tuning possible even during an important take.
Security, stability and speed
For any run-and-gun camera, stability is absolutely critical. With this in mind, Sony has redesigned its E-mount with an innovative rotating lock that retains compatibility with A-mount lenses and can be adapted to work with PL, EF and other mount types as well. This locking system is ideal for long or heavy lenses, and in some cases it even negates the need for additional stabilisation, which can make a rig unwieldy. The lock also provides extra security for situations where the camera may be moving around a lot, and the operator needs to be absolutely confident in the quality of the connection of lens to body.
In line with these features, the signature Sony Smart Grip has also seen an upgrade, making it more comfortable, easier to manoeuvre and more convenient for accessing functions on the go. The number of assignable buttons on the camera has also been increased from six to 10, and in addition the camera now boasts a green LED to indicate that it's on – a handy feature missing from the base FS7.
The original model will still be available, and it's more helpful to think of this new version as the 'FS7 plus.' It offers the same sensor and functionality that made the FS7 an industry standard, but with a few new options that really push it over the edge into the upper echelons of world class production equipment.
To find out more about the FS7, get in touch with the DVT team today.
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