Sony have just announced a new RAW recorder for their F55 and F5 cinema cameras. The AXS-R7 RAW recorder is similar to the current AXS-R5, but adds higher frame rate 120 fps 4K RAW recording to the F55 and a cache record function. There is also the option for 2K RAW at up to 240 FPS from the F55 and F5. To support the incredibly high data rates for these speeds there will also be new higher-performance AXS memory cards with 1TB and 512 GB capacities.
In order to get the expanded functionality the F55 will also need the upcoming firmware version 8, due for release some time in the summer. Details are scarce but it seems that this will officially launched at the NAB show in April and offer a new higher bitrate XAVC 4K Class 480 recording option for the F55 and F5 (with optional 4K CBKZ-55FX upgrade installed). A Sony teaser campaign is underway on social media that suggests that there may be improved hardware announced at the same time.
This from Sony:
Sony’s next generation of CineAlta products solves the workflow concerns faced by production professionals shooting 4K RAW: handling RAW files easily while maintaining the highest levels of image quality.
The new products include the AXS-R7 RAW recorder, higher-speed AXS memory cards and the newest firmware (version 8) for the F55 and F5. These new technologies highlight Sony’s ongoing commitment to the CineAlta platform, adding new features and capabilities directly based on user feedback.
“We’re answering the question, “why shoot in 4K 16-bit RAW?” said Peter Crithary, marketing manager for large sensor technologies at Sony Electronics. “These new products make working in 4K RAW and High Dynamic Range (HDR) just as easy as HD RAW, while maintaining the highest level of image quality.”
New RAW Recorder
Compared to previous Sony 4K recorders, the new recorder now doubles the maximum record frame rate in 4K RAW from 60 FPS up to 120 FPS with the F55 camera. For shooting at higher frame rates, the recorder captures 2K RAW at up to 240 FPS from the F55 and F5 for playback at 10x super slow motion.
With the recorder docked to the F55 and F5, cinematographers can take advantage of RAW cache recording at 23.98P for up to approximately 30 seconds while in standby mode, an important feature in documentary or wildlife production where capturing spontaneous action is required.
The new recorder is designed for field performance. A metal filter separates and seals the recorder’s ventilation shaft from the electronics, making the recorder dust- and water-resistant. The recorder’s connection to the camera is ruggedized with a top bracket that employs four widely spaced 1/4 inch screws.
The additions to Sony’s CineAlta line also include new high-performance AXS memory cards. Available in 1TB and 512 GB capacities, these cards can support sustained read and write speeds of 4.8 Gbps, delivering 44 minutes at 59.94p or 22 minutes at 120 FPS (1TB version). The dual-slot recorder also accepts current A-series AXS media, but the new cards are designed to support the write speeds required for 4K RAW 120 FPS recording for those who require that level of performance.
PMW-F55/F5 Firmware Version 8
The upcoming firmware update (version 8) for the F55 and F5 (with the optional CBKZ-55FX upgrade license installed) enables support for XAVC 4K Class 480 recording at 23.98p, 24.0p, 25.0p and 29.97p. Leading third-party vendors already support XAVC 4K Class 480, for creative professionals requiring a higher data rate version of XAVC. The class number represents the approximate bitrate value at 29.97p.
“These newest additions and updates to our CineAlta platform are all the direct result of user feedback,” Crithary added. “It’s no longer about simply delivering a product. It’s about delivering the right products that can grow with a customer and fit within a workflow that is constantly evolving as production requirements change.”
For a full list of features and capabilities, visit www.sony.com/35mm. Planned availability for the new CineAlta technologies are:
AXS-R7 New RAW recorder: Summer, 2016
AXS-A1TS48 Media (1TB): Summer, 2016
AXS-A512S48 Media (512 GB): Summer 2016
Firmware version 8: Summer 2016