PXW-FS7

The ideal documentary camera

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PXW-FS7

The PXW-FS7 reflects years of intense conversations we’ve had with documentary shooters. In response, we completely redesigned the grip, improved the viewfinder, optimised the balance and refined the ergonomics. Of course, the FS7 also reflects Sony’s expertise in 4K and HD codecs, Super 35 sensors and memory recording. The result is the ideal camera for documentaries and the optimum tool for magazine shows, reality TV, unscripted TV and more.

Shoulder mount comfort without rigs or rigmarole

It’s ironic that so-called affordable cameras need to be outfitted with expensive rigs, cages, hand grips and accessory viewfinders before they can be properly handheld. The PXW-FS7 is different. It was designed from a clean sheet of paper to rest comfortably against your chest or sit well on your shoulder. Zoom, Start/Stop and Assign controls are carefully located on the sculpted, telescoping smart grip. Sony supplies a proper viewfinder that’s perfectly offset to the left with a huge range of fore-aft.

α mount flexibility

Sony’s α mount lens system offers unsurpassed compatibility with both Sony and third-party lenses. The FS7’s E-Mount can take Cinema lenses and SLR lenses with a third party adaptor, as well as Sony’s E-mount and A-mount lenses. So whether buying new lenses, or making use of lenses you’ve already purchased, the FS7 makes it easy.
Please note PXW-FS7K model with bundled SELP28135G lens kit is now discontinued.

A-mount lens

180 fps High Frame Rates

High Frame Rate shots can turn everyday actions into slow-motion ballet, a visual feast of elegant movement. The FS7 delivers a maximum of 180 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting in Full HD. If your project plays at the cinematic 24 fps, you get beautiful 7.5x Super Slow Motion. There’s no sacrifice in bit depth and no windowing of the sensor. So there’s no crop factor, no loss in angle of view. The camera also performs Slow and Quick (S and Q) motion from 1 to 180 fps in 1 fps increments. So you can alter the narrative by selectively speeding up or slowing down the action.

XQD™ memory cards

Next-generation memory

Long-form programs need media that’s both reliable and affordable. As specified by the CompactFlash Association, XQD™ memory cards score big on both accounts. Reliability comes from in-camera recovery. You get very low cost per minute compared to CFast™ cards. And robust communication between the camera and the card’s controller enables read/write speeds up to a sizzling 600 Mbps.

Luxurious colour at money-saving bitrates

Long-form projects shine with Sony’s XAVC™ L (Long GOP) recording system. Here’s the superior grayscale rendition of 10-bit High Definition, plus the uncompromised detail of 4:2:2 colour — all at budget-friendly data rates of 50, 35 or even 25 Mbps in HD mode. You can also record on-board 4K (4096×2160) at cinema standard 24p*, 59.94p, 50p, 29.97p, 23.98p or 25p. Other formats include the same XAVC I (Intra) QFHD (3840×2160) and Full HD (1920×1080) recordings as Sony’s high-end F55, well-accepted MPEG HD 422, the Apple ProRes 422 codec (with XDCA-FS7 extension unit, sold separately), and even outboard RAW recording (with XDCA-FS7 and outboard recorder, sold separately).

* Requires Version 4.0 firmware or above.

Imagine more than eight hours of spectacular HD content on a single, 128 GB card. The PXW-FS7 delivers with the help of the Long GOP version of Sony’s XAVC codec.

Handheld, long form, just right

Sony engineers were on a mission. To provide a sculpted, handheld design that remains comfortable even over the course of long shoots. To support hour after hour of recording without changing memory cards. To provide the latest in resolution, exposure latitude, and colour reproduction. And to deliver it all in one affordable, practical package. With the PXW-FS7, that mission is a success.

PrimeSupport

4K Super 35 Exmor® sensor

When it comes to image sensors, size definitely matters. Sony’s Super 35 sensor delivers ‘bokeh’, the defocused backgrounds made possible by shallow depth of field. A common technique for directing audience attention within the frame, shallow depth of field is far easier to achieve with a large sensor. Other things being equal, a bigger sensor also equates to better low-light sensitivity and lower image noise. And with bigger sensors, the field of view is wider for any given focal length lens.

With the FS7 sensor, size is just the beginning.

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  • 14 stops of exposure latitude deliver powerful grayscale rendition without crushing shadow detail or blowing out highlight detail
  • ISO 2000 sensitivity enables you to shoot well after sunset, without tons of lighting and grip
  • 4K resolution: The sensor incorporates 11.6 million total pixels and 8.8 million effective pixels to deliver full 4K resolution. Even if you’re delivering in HD, your recordings will capture detail and image texture that HD sensors cannot see
  • Sony Exmor® CMOS design makes for extremely fast readout, contributing to frame rates of up to 180 fps and minimised image skew

High Frame Rates up to 180 fps

From freestyle skiing to water sprays to pyrotechnics, High Frame Rates underscore the beauty and drama of everyday motion. That’s why the FS7 provides continuous recording at Full HD at frame rates of up to 180 fps. When you play back at 23.98p, you’ll enjoy extraordinary Super Slow Motion of up to 7.5x. Compared to burst mode, the continuous recording of the FS7 reduces mistimed shots and extra takes. The camera also provides Slow and Quick motion from 1 fps to 180 fps, in 1 fps increments. This enables time lapse effects to make the clouds race by or flowers bloom before your eyes. And for even higher frame rates, you can attach the XDCA-FS7 extension unit and connect an outboard recorder, both sold separately, for 2K RAW recording at up to 240 fps. This creates 10x Super Slow Motion when played at 23.98p.

 

Built-in ND filters

You don’t need a matte box to get the advantages of shallow depth of field even in exterior day shoots. A built-in Neutral Density (ND) filter wheel includes positions for Clear, 1/4 (2 stops), 1/16 (4 stops), and 1/64 (6 stops).

PXW-FS7

RAW recording, Apple ProRes 422 and multi-cam with Sony's extension unit

To keep the PXW-FS7 small, light and easily hand-holdable, Sony engineers reserved some special functions for an outboard module, the XDCA-FS7 extension unit, sold separately. The unit adds powerful capabilities:

  • External RAW recording. To preserve the maximum in colour, contrast and resolution, the XDCA-FS7 enables RAW recording when connected to outboard recorders, sold separately. The XDCA-FS7 supports the vivid colour of 12-bit linear RAW at either 4K or 2K resolution. Use a single BNC cable to connect the XDCA-FS7 to Sony’s HXR-IFR5 interface unit and AXS-R5 recorder, both sold separately. The interface also allows the use of compatible third-party external recorders, such as the ATOMOS Shogun and the Convergent Design® Odyssey 7Q and theequipped with the Sony FS RAW option. Even when you record outboard RAW, you can still record time code-synchronised Full HD on-board, a convenient proxy for offline editing
  • Apple ProRes 422 recording. Sony understands that some workflows are committed to the Apple ProRes 422 codec. That’s why the XDCA-FS7 supports Apple ProRes 422 and Apple ProRes 422 HQ – 1920 x 1080 recording to an XQD™ card in the camera
  • Multi-camera operation. The XDCA-FS7 also provides Genlock and Timecode In/Out for multi-camera shoots

The XDCA-FS7 extension unit and a V-mount battery pack, both sold separately, form a shoulder mount configuration nicely balanced for zoom or telephoto lenses.

Unsurpassed handheld comfort

A handheld camera should be able to get you into tight places. To work in your lap. To move with the talent. To shoot high and low angles with equal facility. And a handheld camera should function beautifully against your chest or shoulder, comfortably steadied by your right hand. The Sony FS7 does all of this, and more. The built-in shoulder pad makes for stable shoulder-style shooting, while the curved back sits comfortably against your chest.

Smart grip on the PXW-FS7

Smart grip

First, we consulted extensively with videographers and cinematographers, asking questions and noting the answers. Then we created prototype after prototype refining the size, shape, angle and control locations. The result is Sony’s Smart Grip: A highly adjustable control centre located on a pivoting, telescoping arm. The smart grip includes Zoom, Start/Stop and a range of Assign controls, including a dial you can use to adjust Iris. So you can operate the camera without taking your hand off the grip. The shape is comfortable hour after hour. And the angle of the grip can be adjusted at the press of a button.

Telescoping arm on the PWX-FS7

Telescoping arm

Another key to handheld comfort is the telescoping arm that holds the smart grip. Adjust the arm length by simply turning a knob. Another knob at the joint adjusts angle. So you can instantly adapt the arm to suit your physique and your shooting position.

Versatile viewfinder on the PWX-FS7

Versatile viewfinder

Sony supplies a proper viewfinder that’s perfectly offset for right-eye or left-eye viewing with a huge range of fore-aft adjustment. Just turn a single knob to set the finder’s position. For even greater flexibility, Sony supplies a 15mm rod mount. The viewfinder takes the form of an LCD monitor and a viewfinder extension box that easily tilts up and out of the way when you want direct viewing. Peaking, zebra and contrast controls enable easy adjustment of focus, contrast and exposure.

Superbly rugged

Sony designed the PXW-FS7 to stand up to the rigors of real-world shooting. The frame is magnesium, for high rigidity and light weight. Buttons, dials and other parts are sealed to prevent dust and water spray from entering. Cooling is an urgent requirement in a high-speed 4K camera. That’s why Sony engineers developed special heat pipes that whisk heat away from the electronics and into a remote heat sink. An air duct cools the heat sink while isolating the electrical components from exposure to dust and water spray.

A pair of heat pipes draws heat away from the electrical components and into the cooling duct. The duct dissipates accumulated heat, while its sealed design prevents the entry of dust, dirt and water spray.

Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe

The FS7 takes advantage of Sony’s flexible Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe, which provides power, signal connections and coordinated on/off switching to compatible Sony accessories. For example, you can connect and control Sony wireless microphone systems such as the UWP-D11 or UWP-D12 or attach the HVL-LBPC light*.

*Accessories sold separately. HVL-LBPC light does not draw power from FS7.

Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe on the PXW-FS7

Support for 4-channel audio input and recording

The FS7 supports 4-channel audio input. In application such as interview, this function enables the simultaneous use of an external microphone for recording ambient sounds, the built-in microphone for voice memos by the operator, and two optional UWP Series wireless microphones for voice of interviewer and interviewee. In addition, by the use of an optional XLR adapter XLR-K2M or XLR-K1M which provides additional 2 XLR inputs, possible applications are further expanded.

Sony's 4K universe

Like high definition a decade ago, 4K is emerging as a consumer entertainment platform. And Sony is playing a pivotal role in this transition. When we launched the world’s first commercial 4K projectors in 2005, we had to explain that a K was 1024 horizontal pixels and that 4K meant 4096 x 2160 resolution. We had to itemise the advantages with tutorials on resolution and seating distance. Today 4K is a robust production platform. It is enshrined in the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) specification. The ITU and SMPTE have both issued 4K standards. And the Consumer Electronics Association is promoting the term Ultra High-Definition (Ultra HD) to cover 4K consumer products.

Just as high definition was a giant leap ahead of standard definition, 4K is far more immersive than HD.

Diagram showing how high definition is a giant leap ahead of standard definition, 4K is far more immersive than HD.

 

Sony 4K products include the world’s leading line-up of Digital Cinema 4K projectors, with over 18,000 systems installed worldwide. We also created 4K live broadcasting tools, including production switchers, a monitor, a server and a baseband processor unit. Our line of 4K projectors supports visualisation, simulation, auditoriums and post. Our Sony Vegas® Pro 13 software is enabled for 4K nonlinear editing. Our 4K consumer products include the VPL-VW1100ES home theatre projector, televisions, camcorders and even the FMP-X10, a 4K home media player with access to over 200 titles in 4K.

Specifications

General
Mass
Approx 2.0 kg (body only)
Approx. 4.5 kg (with Viewfinder, Eyepiece, Grip Remote Control, BP-U30 battery, SELP28135G LENS, an XQD memory card)
Dimensions (W x H x D) *1
156 x 239 x 247 mm (body without protrusions)
Power Requirements
Power Requirements DC 16.5V (battery pack)
DC 12.0V (AC adaptor)
Please use genuine Sony batteries to ensure correct and safe operation *3
Power Consumption
Approx. 19W (while recording XAVC-I QFHD 59.94P, SELP28135G Lens, Viewfinder ON, not using external device)
Operating Temperature
0°C to 40°C
32°F to 104°F
Storage Temperature
-20°C to +60°C
-4°F to +140°F
Battery Operating Time
Approx. 1 hrs with BP-U30 battery (while recording XAVC-I QFHD 59.94P, SELP28135G Lens, Viewfinder ON, not using external device)
Approx. 2 hrs with BP-U60 battery while recording XAVC-I QFHD 59.94P, SELP28135G Lens, Viewfinder ON, not using external device)
Approx. 3 hrs with BP-U90 battery (while recording XAVC-I QFHD 59.94P, SELP28135G Lens, Viewfinder ON, not using external device)
Recording Format (Video)
XAVC-I mode: 4K 59.94P VBR, bit rate 600Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode: 4K 50P VBR, bit rate 500Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode: 4K 29.97P VBR, bit rate 300Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode: 4K 23.98P VBR, bit rate 240Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode: 4K 25P VBR, bit rate 250Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
Recording Format (Video)
XAVC-I mode:QFHD 59.94P CBG, bit rate 600Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode:QFHD 50P CBG, bit rate 500Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode:QFHD 29.97P CBG, bit rate 300Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode:QFHD 23.98P CBG, bit rate 240Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode:QFHD 25P CBG, bit rate 250Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode:HD 59.94P VBR, maximum bit rate 222Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode:HD 50P VBR, maximum bit rate 185Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode:HD 59.94i VBR, maximum bit rate 111Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode:HD 50i VBR, maximum bit rate 112Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-I mode:HD 29.97P VBR, maximum bit rate 111Mbps, MPEG-4
Recording Format (Video)
XAVC-L QFHD 59.94P/50P mode: VBR, maximum bit rate 150Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-L QFHD 29.97P/23.98P/25P mode: VBR, maximum bit rate 100Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-L HD 50 mode: VBR, maximum bit rate 50Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-L HD 35 mode: VBR, maximum bit rate 35Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC
XAVC-L HD 25 mode: VBR, maximum bit rate 25Mbps, MPEG-4 H.264/AVC


MPEG HD422 mode: CBR, maximum bit rate 50Mbps, MPEG-2 422P@HL
Apple ProRes 422 HQ: VBR, maximum bit rate 220Mbps, 4:2:2 10 bit
ProRes 422*2
Apple ProRes 422: VBR, maximum bit rate 147Mbps, 4:2:2 10 bit
Recording Format (Audio)
LPCM 24 bits, 48 kHz, 4 channels (Recording/Playback ONLY 2channels)
Recording Frame Rate

XAVC-I QFHD mode: 3840x2160/ 59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 23.98P, 25P
XAVC-I HD mode: 1920x1080/59.94P, 50P, 59.94i, 50i, 29.97P, 23.98P, 25P


XAVC-L QFHD mode: 3840x2160/59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 23.98P, 25P
XAVC-L HD 50 mode: 1920x1080/59.94P, 50P, 59.94i, 50i, 29.97P, 23.98P, 25P
XAVC-L 35 mode: 1920x1080/59.94P, 50P, 59.94i, 50i, 29.97P, 23.98P, 25P
XAVC-L 25 mode: 1920x1080/59.94i, 50i


MPEG HD422 mode: 1920x1080/59.94i, 50i, 29.97P, 23.98P, 25P 1280x720/59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 23.98P, 25P
Recording/Playback Time
XAVC-I mode 4K/QFHD 59.94P
When using QD-G128A (128GB): Approx. 22 minutes,
When using QD-G64A (64GB): Approx. 11 minutes
XAVC-I mode 4K/QFHD 50P
When using QD-G128A (128GB): Approx. 26 minutes,
When using QD-G64A (64GB): Approx. 13 minutes
XAVC-I mode 4K/QFHD 29.97P
When using QD-G128A (128GB): Approx. 44 minutes,
When using QD-G64A (64GB): Approx. 22 minutes
PXW-FS7
Recording/Playback Time XAVC-I mode 4K/QFHD 23.98P
When using QD-G128A (128GB): Approx. 55 minutes,
When using QD-G64A (64GB): Approx. 27 minutes
XAVC-I mode 4K/QFHD 25P
When using QD-G128A (128GB): Approx. 52 minutes,
When using QD-G64A (64GB): Approx. 26 minutes
Recording/Playback Time

ProRes 422 HQ*2
“ProRes 422 HQ
59.94i/29.97P mode
When using QD-G128A (128GB): Approx. 60 minutes,
When using QD-G64A (64GB): Approx. 30 minutes”
“ProRes 422 HQ
50i/25P mode
When using QD-G128A (128GB): Approx. 72 minutes,
When using QD-G64A (64GB): Approx. 36 minutes
ProRes 422 HQ
23.98P mode
When using QD-G128A (128GB): Approx. 74 minutes
When using QD-G64A (64GB): Approx. 37 minutes
Recording/Playback Time
ProRes 422 HQ*2
ProRes 422
59.94i/29.97P mode
When using QD-G128A (128GB): Approx. 90 minutes
When using QD-G64A (64GB): Approx. 45 minutes
ProRes 422
50i/25P mode
When using QD-G128A (128GB): Approx. 108 minutes
When using QD-G64A (64GB): Approx. 54 minutes
ProRes 422
23.98P mode
When using QD-G128A (128GB): Approx. 112 minutes
When using QD-G64A (64GB): Approx. 56 minutes
Lens
Filter Diameter
95 mm
Focal Length
28mm to 135mm
Focus
Internal
Iris
Nine blades (circular perture) F/4 to F/22 (click or click-less)
Lens Mount
Sony E-Mount
Zoom Ratio
4.8x
Note
SEL-28135G 28-135mm lens is supplied as standard with PXW-FS7K model. PXW-FS7 model is supplied without lens.
Camera Section
Imaging Device (Type)
Super35 type Single-chip Exmor CMOS
Effective Picture Elements
17:9 4096 (H) x 2160 (V)
16:9 3840 (H) x 2160 (V)
Built-in Optical Filters
Clear, 1/4ND, 1/16ND, 1/64ND
Sensitivity (2000 lx, 89.9% reflectance)
Video Gamma: T14 (3840 x 2160/23.98P mode 3200K)
ISO Sensitivity
ISO 2000(S-Log3 Gamma D55 Light source)
Minimum Illumination
0.7 lx (+18dB,23.98P,Shutter OFF,ND Clear, F1.4)
S/N Ratio
57 dB (Y) (typical)
Shutter Speed
1/3 sec to 1/9,000 sec
Slow & Quick Motion Function
XAVC-I mode 3840x2160: 1 to 60 frames (59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 23.98P, 25P)
XAVC-I mode 1920x1080: 1 to 180 frames (59.94P, 29.97P, 23.98P)1 to 150 frames (50P,25P)
XAVC-L mode 3840x2160:1 to 60 frames (59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 23.98P, 25P)
XAVC-L mode 1920x1080: 1 to 120 frames (59.94P, 50P, 29.97P, 23.98P, 25P)
White Balance
Preset, Memory A, Memory B(1500K-50000K)/ATW
Gain
-3, 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 dB, AGC
Gamma Curve
STD,HG,User,S-log3
Input/Output
Audio Input
XLR-type 3-pin (female) (x2), line/mic/mic +48 V selectable Mic Reference: -40, -50, -60dBu
SDI Output
BNC(x2), switchable with 3G-SDI/HD-SDI
SMTPE292M/424M/425M
USB
USB device, mini-B (x1)
Headphone Output
Stereo mini jack (x1) -16dBu 16Ω
Speaker Output
Monaural
DC Input
DC jack
Remote
Stereo mini-minijack (Φ2.5 mm)
HDMI Output
Type A (x1)
Option
4-pin, Type A for W-LAN (x1)
Monitoring
Built-in LCD Monitor
8.8cm (3.5 type) Approx. 1.56M dots
Built-in Microphone
Built-in Microphone
Omni-directional monoral electret condenser microphone.
Media
Type
XQD Card slot(x2)
SD Card slot(x1) for saving configuration data
Supplied Accessories
Supplied Accessories
Boyd Cap (1)
Viewfinder (1)
Eyepiece (1)
Grip Remote Control (1)
USB wireless LAN module IFU-WLM3 (1)
Wireless remote commander (1) (RMT-845)
WA Adaptor Bracket (1)
MPA-AC1 AC Adapter (1)
BC-U1 battery charger (1)
BP-U30 battery pack (1)
Power cord (2)
USB cable (1)
Operating Guide (2)
CD-ROM "Manuales for Solid-State Memory Camcorder" (1)
Notes
*1
The values for dimensions are approximate.
*2
ProRes requires optional extension unit ”XDCA-FS7”
*3
Sony does not guarantee other manufacturers’ batteries to operate properly as noted in operation manual.

All application images ©2015 Thierry Donard Films. Produced by Perfect Moment Entertainment for Nuit de la Glisse 2015.

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