PXW-FS5 II FAQs

All the inside details on Sony's enhanced Super 35 camcorder for shooting on the go

Product Summary

What is the key concept for PXW-FS5 II?

The original FS5 introduced a bold new concept — a “grab and shoot”, compact, lightweight but robust and fully featured Super 35 Large Format Sensor (LFS) camcorder. It’s the world’s first Super 35-mm camcorder with a built-in electronic variable Neutral Density (ND) filter. It also features an ergonomic, modular design, while the α Mount Lens System makes it easy to use third-party lenses, as well as those from Sony. FS5 II expands on the “grab and shoot” concept with an all-new default look, tuned using the color science expertise developed with Sony’s flagship VENICE digital cinematography camera. In addition to its new people-focused color science, FS5 II can output higher frame rates and RAW output as standard features. Frame rates up to 120 fps at 4K are possible in a 4-second burst or continuous 240fps in 2K RAW with external recorder. FS5 II also offers High Frame Rate (HFR) cache recording at Full HD 10bit 4:2:2 image quality and a frame rate of up to 240 fps.

What applications is the FS5 II for?

The FS5 II’s compact, lightweight body is designed for shooting on the go, including drone and gimbal work. The Large Sensor “look” makes the camera ideal for contemporary Web video, features, promotions, music videos, weddings and documentaries. It’s also an ideal partner for shooting with an FS7/FS7 II or other interchangeable lens camera — the α mount system makes it easy to share lenses between cameras while achieving a consistent, large-sensor look.

Comparison with the previous model

Did Sony share imaging expertise from its flagship VENICE cinematography camera with FS5 II?

The FS5 II’s compact, lightweight body is designed for shooting on the go, including drone and gimbal work. The Large Sensor “look” makes the camera ideal for contemporary Web video, features, promotions, music videos, weddings and documentaries. It’s also an ideal partner for shooting with an FS7/FS7 II or other interchangeable lens camera — the α mount system makes it easy to share lenses between cameras while achieving a consistent, large-sensor look.

Is the FS5 II the successor to the original FS5?

No. FS5 II does not replace the FS5, which remains a current product. The FS5 II sits higher in the product range than the FS5.

What are the differences between the FS5 and the FS5 II?

The new camera has a new look, tuned for the sympathetic reproduction of skin tones and portraits. This “emotionally intelligent” new look has been developed using the same expertise that went into Sony’s flagship digital cinematography camera, VENICE. Consequently, FS5 and FS5 II have a discernibly different visual feel. The original FS5 was intended to produce a realistic look for events, corporate videos and news. The FS5 II has a more “Cinematic” look: Kinder to skin tones and the portrayal of faces, and generally more able to capture emotive images.

The FS5 II also has higher frame rates as standard and RAW output at 4K at up to 120fps (for 4 seconds), plus RAW output of Full HD (FHD) at up to 240fps.

Visually, the body of two cameras look the same, apart from a black ND dial on the FS5 II and the model name on the SD card door.

Does the FS5 II have HLG and S-Log like the FS5?

Yes. You can find HLG in PP10 (Picture Profile 10), S-Log2 in PP7, and S-Log3 in PP8.

Do you have to buy licenses for High Frame Rates (HFR) and other features with the FS5 II?

No. Functions that were added to FS5 after launch via upgrade licenses come as standard with FS5 II, except the MPEG HD recording license. With an external RAW recorder, it’s possible to shoot at a frame rate of up to 120fps at 4K (for four seconds only) and, again in RAW, up to 240fps in Full HD (with no time limit up to your storage capacity).

When working with HDR, is there any difference between the performance of the FS5 II and the FS5?

No. The two models have the same Gamma and Colorspace.

Are the FS5 II and the FS5 the same size and weight?

Yes.

What is the relative position in the marketplace of the FS5 II and the FS7 II?

The FS7 II and FS7 are more advanced than the FS5 II. The FS7 series has 4K internal recording and can also shoot at 180fps with no time limit. There is a sophisticated grip arm that allows the camera to be used on the shoulder. In contrast, the FS5 II is compact, lightweight, and has the potential to output 4K RAW video (max 4 seconds), 240fps in HD (max 8 seconds), and 120fps in HD for an unlimited time. The FS5 II can also shoot in HDR outputting in HLG. So the two model ranges (the FS5 range and the FS7 range) are quite distinct, and we suggest that you choose them according to your exact requirements.

And the new picture quality?

How has the look of the FS5 II changed in comparison with the FS5?

The FS5 II has an all-new look with beautiful highlights, subtle and carefully rendered face tones and a more transparently emotional feel to its images. This look was developed and finely tuned using the same Sony expertise that was applied to Sony’s VENICE cinematography camera. The FS5 II’s ability to create an image of a person has been enhanced, and a new and gentler ability to reproduce highlights gives the camera operator or DOP more flexibility to use light to draw attention to their subjects. The way that the FS5 II preserves highlights makes it easier to grade, with more scope to explore artistic options, too.

Can we match the Look with conventional FS5?

The default look is different. The look of current FS5 and the new FS5II can be matched between PP2 and PP10, and you can use it together with the picture making.

Why is the new look the default setting, rather than just adding it as a new Picture Profile?

Sony feels that you should be able to use the new, refined look as soon as you buy the camera and turn it on for the first time.

Can I match the FS5’s default look (i.e. the basic look with picture profiles turned off) with the new FS5 II?

No. The default look of the two cameras is different. If you want the original FS5 look, you will need to use an FS5, which will remain on sale as a separate model.

Will the new look of the FS5 II appear in future versions of the FS7?

We can’t talk about future products, but what we can say is that we will use the knowledge that we used to create the FS5 II in an effective way in our future camera plans.

Specification and Performance

How can I record RAW video with an FS5 II?

For an all-Sony solution, use a Sony AXS-R5 recorder with an HXR-IFR5 interface unit. There are also third-party solutions for recording RAW video, from Atomos and Convergent design, for example. You should contact these companies directly for information about recording RAW with their products.

Do I have to shoot in RAW to record high frame rate video?

No, you don’t need to record in RAW to achieve high frame rates. Recording to an SD card, you can shoot up to 120fps in Full HD for a length of time that is only limited by storage capacity. You can also shoot Full HD at 240fps to an SD card with a recording time limit of 8 seconds.

 

What’s the technology behind Sony’s electronic variable ND filter for Super 35-mm sensors?

Sony has developed a unique method to vary the optical density of the LCD used in the camera’s ND filter, which results in a very even optical density across the filter, coupled with the durability that’s needed for professional use.

What are the advantages of shooting with a variable ND filter?

Normally, controlling exposure is a precise balance between ISO, shutter speed, and iris settings. Opening up the iris to give a shallower depth of field also means letting more light in and the likelihood of overexposure. With an ND filter to control the quantity of light falling on the sensor, it makes it possible to shoot with a narrow depth of field even in bright light. An electronic, continuously variable ND filter gives precise control over iris settings while retaining full artistic flexibility over depth of field.

Is the FS5 II waterproof or dustproof?

No, it is not.

Is HDMI/SDI output possible during 4K recording?

You can select video output VF/LCD or External output (SDI/HDMI/VIDEO) while in QFHD mode. SDI and HDMI cannot be output simultaneously.

What’s the weight of the FS5 II?

Approximately 1.83 lb for the body only. When you add the SELP 18105 G lens, lens hood, eye cup, battery (BP-U30), LCD viewfinder, handle and grip (without belt), the weight comes to approximately 4.85 lb.

What’s the advantage of recording using Sony’s XAVC format?

The FS5 II records with XAVC Long GOP format—Sony’s advanced implementation of the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec—which minimizes storage requirements while maintaining high-quality 4K imagery and includes support for 10-bit 4:2:2 in HD mode. The FS5 II’s XAVC is also “wrapped” as MXF — a professional standard that helps to maximize compatibility across NLEs and other post production software.

What’s the difference between S-Log3 and S-Log2?

These are both gamma curves that help to achieve 1,300% dynamic range after grading, but there are subtle but important differences. S-Log 3 has characteristics that are comparable to film, with more detail in low-intensity areas of the image. By comparison, S-Log2 exhibits more detail in high-intensity areas.

What’s the difference between S-Gamut and S-Gamut3.Cine?

It is a color space developed to use with S-Log curve. S-Gamut is used with S-Log2 and S-Gamut3.Cine is used with S-log3. Also, S-Gamut3.Cine helps to contain the color gamut to an easy-to-handle range for everyday use.

How do I choose between using S-log3 and S-log2? Are there any circumstances where I should use S-Log2 and not S-Log 3?

It depends on what you are trying to achieve and how you want your footage to look. If you want a more cinematic look to your video, the linear characteristic of S-Log3 in the mid-range of the luminosity curve allows for more detail in the darker regions. For documentaries and other types of shoot where you need a more robust way to deal with highlights, try S-Log2.

What’s the dynamic range you can achieve with S-Log2 and S-Log3?

After grading, approximately 14 stops is achievable in ideal conditions.

When should I use S-Gamut, S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine?

The FS5 II doesn’t try to restrict the way you use these modes. You can mix and match them as much as you like for creative and artistic reasons. But for predictable and dependable results, it’s a good idea to use them with the corresponding Log modes (S-Log2, S-Log3) and using the preset Picture Profiles will ensure that this happens.

What are the Wi-Fi capabilities of the FS5 II?

Streaming, FTP, and remote control via Wi-Fi with Content Browser Mobile (CBM).

Is CBKZ-WTCL (Wireless Timecode Link) compatible?

No, this is not supported.

Is RM-30BP compatible?

Yes.

Is MCX-500 (Simple Live Solution) compatible?

Yes.

What is the maximum value of sensitivity?

This depends on which Picture Profile is selected. When the Gamma setting is S-Log3, it will be within the range ISO 2,000–102,400.