Sony F5/F55 firmware version 4.0 to be released April 4 – adds cache and interval record

By technical editor Matt Allard:

Shooting with the F55 and Zeiss 70-200 Cine zoom in Hong Kong last week
Shooting with the F55 and Zeiss 70-200 Cine zoom in Hong Kong last week

Sony are releasing on Version 4.0 firmware for the F5/55 on 4 April. This is yet another free release that adds even more features to the cameras.

Here are the key improvements:
Picture Cache – Cache recording up to 15 seconds in 50Mbps 4:2:2, up to 8 seconds in
XAVC HD, 2K, and up to 2 seconds in XAVC QFHD, 4K.
Interval recording – 1 sec to 24 hours
User generated 3D LUTs
Simultaneous recording with HDCAM SR and 50Mbps 4:2:2 to SxS PRO+ cards
User menu customization, with up to twenty frequently needed menu items in a single list
VF markers supporting seven colors
REC start / stop with lens RET button
Zoom and focus control with CBK-DCB01
Menu control on the SUB display

The F55 also gains HDMI v2 output supporting 4K on 29p, 50p and 60p, QFHD on 29, 50p and 60p.

The three stand-out features for me here are the cache record, interval recording and new menu control options.

Cache record is a very important feature and the ability to have your camera buffer record up to 15 seconds in 50Mbps 4:2:2 before you have even pressed the record button can make all the difference. Every news and documentary shooter has at some point in time said: “Damn, I wish I’d been rolling ten seconds earlier and I would have captured that moment that is now gone.”

Interval record is another feature that makes the F5/55 even more versatile. The ability to record a frame every second or once every 24hrs opens up a host of possibilities for recording in-camera time lapses. I can see myself using this feature a lot.

One of the other frustrating things about the F5/55 has been the inability to access a lot of the important menu features from the sub-display. That has been addressed and a new feature added that allows you to custom group all your favourite menu items (up to 20) into one single menu list. So now instead of trolling through all the menu items you can have a collection of easy to use and access features at your fingertips.

It is great to see Sony continue to improve the F5/55. The continuing firmware releases and upcoming announcements at NAB help reconfirm to owners like me that they have made a wise investment.


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