Sony have released Version 8 firmware for both the F5, and F55 cameras. This update is required for XQD G and M series media support, XAVC Class480 (higher data rate XAVC (F5 with CBKZ-55FX)) and for the AXS-R7 recorder. The update also includes important bug fixes and improvements.
According to Sony it is very important to note that for F5 and F55 cameras with the serial numbers range listed below, the user cannot perform the upgrading to V8.00. If your camera is within this range, please contact the Sony Service Centre at your location for further information. The serial number range is listed in the below table.
100001 – 100723
500001 – 500036
100001 – 100781
500001 – 500020
There is no explination currently about why certain cameras cannot be updated to Version 8. This is very puzzling, and I am sure for owners of cameras whose serial numbers fall within this range, rather worrying.
The biggest feature of Version 8 is arguably the ability to now record XAVC 4K Class480 on the F55. Unfortunately if you want to do this on the F5 then you need to have purchased the CBKZ-55FX, that enables XAVC 4K and XAVC QFHD internal recording. Class480 is the 480Mb/s version of 4K XAVC. This gives a bit rate of 480Mb/s at 24/25/30fps. At 50 and 60fps it is 960Mb/s, which is the top limit for XAVC recording. Previously the F5 and F55 could record XAVC Class 300 which is up to 300Mb/s at 24/25/30fps or 600Mb/s at 50/60p.
The new Class480 should be a welcome addition to those wanting to record 4K in a less compressed codec, but do not want to record RAW.
Also enabled is the ability to record XOCN ST and LT – Extended Original Camera Negative codec for compressed Raw on the AXS-R7 4K raw recorder. This is a new format and algorithm from Sony supporting 16 bit depth. The new codecs will be able to record file sizes that are 30% smaller when compared to regular Raw recording from F55/F5 (which is also compressed but at a lower ratio).
Raw from the AXS-R5 is compressed at a 3:1 ratio. The R7 is going to offer two forms of Raw recording – the conventional 3:1, and then a new 4:1 compression. A lot of Sony users would have probably liked to have seen the same 6:1 compression that’s already available in the F65. This would make Raw recording a more attractive option to a lot more productions.
V8.00 features for F55 and F5
XAVC 4K/QFHD Class480 (PMW-F55 and PMW-F5 with CBKZ-55FX)
XAVC 4K Class480 can be recorded and playback when the system frequency is set to 23.98, 24.0, 25.0, or 29.97. And XAVC QFHD Class480 can be recorded and playback when the system frequency is set to 23.98, 25.0, or 29.97.
Supporting AXS-R7, new Portable Memory Recorder
The PMW-F55/F5 is compatible with the portable memory recorder AXS-R7. The following functions are available by attaching the AXS-R7 to the camcorder.
4K 120fps recording (PMW-F55 only): 4K 120FPS picture can be recorded to the AXS memory card. When the system frequency is set to 23.98P, slow motion picture in 4K at 5× slower speed can be recorded.
New format X-OCN recording: In addition to the RAW recording mode, a new format: X-OCN is now introduced
Picture Cache function: The Picture Cache function is also available for recording to an AXS memory card. The Cache Rec Time can be selected up to 30 seconds.
Supporting new G series and M series XQD memory cards
The new G series (QD-G32E, QD-G64E, QD-G128E) and M series (QD-M32A, QD-M64A, QD-M128A) have been added to the XQD memory card lineup, which can be used with the camcorder. Like the existing G series, the new G series can be used with all recording formats and also when “High Frame Rate Mode” is set to “On” or “Off.” The M series, like the N series, can be used with MPEG 1920 × 1080 P/i and 1280 × 720 P.
The XQD Express Card adapter (QDA-EX1) is required to use an XQD memory card
FPS control usability on Sub Display is improved. Lens aberration correction for some lenses is corrected.
When Audio Input switch is changed, Audio noise was occurred. This has been fixed.
When CBK-DCB01 is connected without the remote controller, Auto Iris function was not working correctly. This has been fixed.
The clip metadata recording Color Bar was not correct. This has been fixed.
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F55 download here:
F5 download here: