Sony has finally given details of its CBKZ-FS5RIF (catchy name) upgrade, which provides a Raw output from the FS5. As expected, this is a paid upgrade that unlocks the potential of the camera’s 3G-SDI connector, allowing it to provide DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) 60p/50p Raw to a compatible external recorder. It can also send out continuous 2K or HD super slow-motion out at up to 240fps. This is similar to the sister FS7.
If you have right recorder you can also choose to convert this to Apple ProRes for recording. This workflow has proved popular with FS7 users.
Unlike the FS7, the FS5 can also record DCI 4K at up to 120 fps for up to four seconds. It does this by using the internal cache recording function of the camera. The images are buffered in camera and then played out of the 3G-SDI port at a regular frame rate for recording, once image capture has finished. This system will be familiar to anyone who has the FS-Raw option on the FS700. There is a good write-up on how this all works from Sony product specialist Alvaro Ortiz Sanz here.
Along with the paid Raw upgrade there are several other new features that will be made available for free to all users via firmware upgrade 2.0. This includes an auto ND function that changes the strength of the electronic ND filter so exposure can be adjusted without effecting aperture or shutter speed values. There is also an expanded zebra function and GPS capability in the same release.
The Raw upgrade will cost $600, or 500 Euro, and is expected to be available in June 2016.