Sony announce Super35mm '4K ready' NEX-FS700 – with super slow motion

By site editor Dan Chung

After much online speculation Sony have today announced the new NEX-FS700 camera. It is a bigger sister to the popular FS-100 which shares the same E-lens system and a similar form factor.

The headline grabbing specification is that it has a 4K Super35mm sensor which in the future will have a full 4K RAW 3G-SDI output with a future upgrade. Whether this upgrade is free or paid for is not stated. Neither is there any indication of what sort of external recorder will be required to capture this output.

By default the camera will shoot 1080P at 24/25/30/50 and 60 fps to cards using AVCHD 2.0. What is also not clear yet is how the sensor derives the 1080P image from the 4K sensor. Hopefully there will be some clever processing as I assume the anti-aliasing filter will be optimised for 4K not 1080P.

Equally interesting is that the camera will have super slow motion capabilities at 1080P at 240fps, or up to 40x slow motion at lower (unspecified) resolutions.

The camera also has built in ND filters (1/4, 1/16, 1/64 ND) which was a much requested missing feature on the FS-100. By putting these in the FS-700 Sony have added one of the main advantages of the PMW-F3 and Canon’s C300 to this lower priced model.

The FS-700 is switchable between 50 and 60 Hz and therefore is a true world camera. Another feature that was missing from the FS-100 originally (although now promised in a firmware upgrade).

One significant advantage the FS-700 appears to have over the PMW-F3 and C300 is that it can do expanded focus at both 4x and 8x magnifications. Interestingly the area of magnification is movable unlike the F3 or C300.

As with the FS100 it will also be able to use Sony Alpha SLR lenses with Sony’s own LA-EA2 adapter – along with many other stills and Cine lenses using third party adapters. The LA-E2 will allow quick autofocus of Alpha lenses thanks to it’s clever internal mirror system.

Top view of the NEX-FS700 showing new XLR port location by hotshoe

Design wise it keeps the basic layout of the FS-100 but moves the rear 2nd XLR port to a new position near the front of the camera. The FS-100’s rather unconventional funnel viewfinder add-on to the top LCD stays on the new camera and is probably one of the FS-100’s less popular design features.

This is certainly going to be an interesting camera and I’ll be very keen to see how good an image it produces. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Edit: Jason Wingrove of fxguide has got a few more details about the FS700 – I suggest you head over there for the full scoop when this weeks podcast goes live.

The main points Jason has established are that Sony will offer the upgrade to 4K in less than 12 months from release. Recording format and whether this is implemented internally or externally is TBA.

It can shoot the following:
240fps for 8 seconds in Full HD
120fps for 16 seconds in Full HD
960fps up to approx 19 seconds in a burst (1920×216 line skipped readout, interpolated in camera to 1920×1080)
1480fps Correction: 480fps up to approx 9 seconds in a burst (1920×432 line skipped readout, interpolated in camera to 1920×1080)

The LCD panel is 3.5″ 921K – same as the FS100.

More info will be revealed on this week’s show

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