Monday, November 26, 2012

Sony "NewF" Webchat

On Tuesday, October 30th Sony held a webchat on "The New F"; the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55.
Below is an edited transcript; I have put the answers next to the questions and grouped them by subject.

Q: Has the retail price for the F-5 and F-55 body been established as yet?
Peter Crithary: The retail pricing for the camera systems have not been announced yet

Q What is the weight of the F55 with external recorder?
Peter Crithary: The dry weight of the F55 and F5 camera body is about 4.5lbs

Q: Have the included modules been worked out yet? Wondering about the audio module, the TC module?
Peter Crithary: The audio module and TC Genlock module are included

Q: Will the camera be sold as a package or “al la carte” (where the customer specifies which modules, & viewfinder they wish to buy)?
Fabien Pisano: It is of course possible to purchase module by module ; we are considering the bundle approach for later announcement
Sebastian: we are considering all the options for bundling right now

Q: Any estimate of delivery date for either version?
Peter Crithary: We will announce delivery dates soon

Q: Will the Hi / Lo key be available on both Models?
Sebastian: we are studying what is possible with hi / lo key

Differences between the F5 and F55 and F65

Q: Is the Global shutter only on the F55? from one of Peters earlier answers about the differences in the two cameras he only mentioned it on the F55
Ned Soltz: Global electronic shutter only F55
Peter Crithary: yes the F55 is the only camera that has the global shutter

Q: What are some of the main features of the cameras and can you compare the two?
Peter Crithary: F5 has a 4K imager that can shoot internally at HD and 2K, HFR, with the ability to output RAW. It has a wide color gamut. The F55 4K imager has a global shutter, HFR and the same color filter array as the F65 for an Ultra Wide Color gamut. It can shoot HD, 2K, 4K internally and output RAW. F55 has 4K HDMI and 3G-SDI outputs, F5 has outputs for HD. We also have combination recording capabilities that vary between both cameras.

Q: When can we expect to see footage?
Peter Crithary: Footage will be shown at the end of NOV at Sony launch events
Fabien Pisano: First Footage screening = displayed at the end of november in LA launch event and also in CAMERIMAGE show in Europe

Q: Besides 8K, how do the F55 and F65 compare?
Sebastian: The F65 can do 120 FPS with full 4K, we have netwrok interface, ipad interface, full ASC CDL interface, full RDD-18 metdata, we will add separate LUT for the HDSDI outputs and new OLED interface with V3 upgrade

Q: Is there any difference between dynamic range and color gamut between F65 and F55?
Sebastian: D range and colour space are really very similar, but F65 has twice as many pixels


Q: What is the resolution of the LCD VF
Fabien Pisano: LCD VF is 960 x 540 pixels

Q: What are the ND settings?
Ned Soltz: ND 0.9 and 1.8
Fabien Pisano: ND settings : Clear - 3 stops - 6 stops

Q: Do FS700 and F5 share the same sensor?
Sebastian: we are not currently disclosing any more information about the sensors

Q: Will features that are not available now be paid upgrades or free firmware updates?
Peter Crithary: There are no plans to charge for firmware updates


Q:When will the new Prime Lenses be available?
Peter Crithary: The prime lenses will be available at the same time as the cameras and other accessories ship

Q: When shooting hd will their be a crop factor with your lenses?
Fabien Pisano: No, not any crop factor.
Jon Fauer, ASC: No matter what format you're shooting, I think it fills the same area on the sensor, so not crop

Q: What material are the lens bodies made of? Hopefully not plastic?
Peter Crithary: The lenses are not plastic, complete ground up redesign and rethinking!

Q: Is an e-mount lens adaptor planned?
Sebastian: they are easily available from 3rd parties

Q: Are the new lenses standard PL?
Fabien Pisano: yes it is PL mount
Peter Crithary: Yes standard PL

Q: Am I correct in saying there is no Iris control on the camera? So no way of controlling Canon EF or Sony E-mount lenses attached via an adapter?
Sebastian: there is no iris control on the camera

Q: Can F5 / F55 control EOS (Canon) lenses? ie. focus and iris in auto or non-auto mode?
Ned Soltz: needs third party adapter for ef lenses
Peter Crithary: Birger engineering is working on the FZ to EF mount adaptor, as others are as well


Q: What is the reason behind implementing AVC codec? Scalability?
Ned Soltz: Reason for XAVC is this is far more efficient than mpeg2 and will allow those higher frame sizes and data rates. Simplistic answer i know and the engineers can handle better
Peter Crithary: Sony is implementing XAVC Advanced Video Coding for internal recording from HD up to 4K with HFR

Q: Can you record 2 separate codecs simultaneously on the SXS or SXS Pro Cards as well as 4K raw on the recorder while monitoring 4k output
Sebastian: yes we can record 4 XAVC and MPEG 2 on one card only on the F55, and also parallel recording on RAW and SxS

Q: Can we use current SXS cards in the 422 - 50mb codec?
Peter Crithary: yes current SxS cards can be used in addition to the new SxSpRO+ series
Fabien Pisano: we can use current SxS fo 50 mbps operation

Q: Can you control SDI outputs individually? For example, Data display ON/OFF, LUT ON/OFF, or is it global control to all outputs?
Sebastian: there are 2 clean outputs, and 2 that can have superimpose on them

Q: to shoot 4K in the F5 do I need the optional recorder?
Fabien Pisano: Yes you need the external AXS-R5
Lucie Wendremaire: you can record 4K on the F5 only with the R5 recorder

Q: Will the new XAVC CODEC be exclusive to the F55/F5 or are you planning to roll out a firmware to include the FS100/700?
Peter Crithary: there are no plans to do so

Q: Will your new XAVC format be available also for your consumer products as in the lower-end devices like DSLR's?
Fabien Pisano: XAVC usage in Sony range is considered at this time. We'll let you know later on.

Q: What Raw bit depth will the AXS-R5 record from the F55, F5 & FS-700?
Ned Soltz: Paul, 16 bit linear raw
Peter Crithary: we are recording 16 bit Linear RAW. For the FS700 this will be 4K RAW, for the F5, F55 this will be for both 2K, and 4K RAW

Q: Will it be possible to use the new AXS-R5 RAW recorder with PMW-F3?
Sebastian: you cannot use the R5 with the F3 as it has no interface

Q: When you dock the AXS R5 to record RAW do you need additional bnc's like external recorders, or is all the info for recording through the dock
Peter Crithary: the AXS-R5 will elegantly dock to the F5, F55 cameras by way of a multi-pin communication interface, so no cabling!

Q: Can the RX5 recorder be used with the F3 in 444 mode when the adaptor comes out or is it only capable of raw on the RX5
Sebastian: the R5 can only record RAW

Q: Will F5 / F55 require PRO cards or work on non-pro (orange) SXS cards?
Sebastian: you can use existing SxS cards with MPEG 2 recording, and XAVC 2K up to 30P. Above that you need the new SxS Pro+ (plus)

Q: Will Premiere CS6 support all the new codecs including RAW? And DaVinci Resolve? Wondering about workflow.
Ned Soltz: Premiere Pro will handle XAVC with Rovi plug in. I have the support list from Sony and do not see Resolve, which I personally use. Perhaps someone from Sony can comment. Will support Scratch, I know and FCP X as well as Avid. Of course Vegas
Peter Crithary: we are working closely with many third party vendors to support our codec technology. In addition to third party development Sony is also developing support via plugins and our SDK for the debayering for F5, F55 with a unified framework

Q: Are the HDSDI outputs on the F5 independent of each other? Can 1 be set to 1080p and others be either cross converting or down converting?
Sebastian: there is no downconverter in the new F series

Q: Does the XAVC codec compress intra or inter-frame?
Ned Soltz: Xavc is i frame
Sebastian: So XAVC in the F5 and 55 will be Intra Frame
Peter Crithary: XAVC is intra frame, I frame as implemented in the F5, F55 with data rates up to 600Mbps for 4K 60P recording internally to the SxSPRO+ cards in the F55, and HD, 2K for internal recording for the F5. (in addition to the F55)

Q: When can we expect more information on the possible support of 3rd party 4K recorders for the FS700? Will those recorders require the HXR-IFR5 module or just the firmware update?
Peter Crithary: we are embracing third parties for recording where applicable. Details will be announced at a later date

Q: What is the average lifespan (read/write cycles) of the media cartridges on the external 4K recorder?
Sebastian: the media lifespan is at least 5 years


Q: Is the reduced ISO of the F55 vs the F5 due to the color filters or due to the global shutter?
Fabien Pisano: F55 lower sensitivity is due to GLOBAL SHUTTER

Q: Is the sensitivity/signal to noise ratio F5 in LowLight capabilities to the Canon C300/C500 comparable??
Fabien Pisano: it will be up to you to figure out ;-)

Q: The Native ISO for F5 is 2000 correct? What is the highest useful ISO?
Sebastian: yes F5 is planned to be ISO 2000 subject to further development

Q: Is it true, that the camera has 14stops of dynamic range? Does this only apply when working with S-Log 2?
Sebastian: 14 stops is our planned target. Slog 2 can support 1300% D-Range and also the 16 bit linear RAW

Q: I take it Slog is included and not an option for F5 and F55 what is the differnce between SLOG 2 and the Slog of the F3
Sebastian: S-Log has a range of 800% while S-Log2 has 1300% which is needed for cameras over 14 stops D-range


Q: The LCD display looks like it has 4 channels of audio, where are the other two inputs?
Sebastian: there are 2 analogue inputs, but each XLR can be switched to AES EBU input, hence 2 inputs per XLR = 4 channels

Q: As the camera has 4 audio channels - will the optional module only have 2 xlr ins? or will there be a 4 xlr version as well?
Sebastian: the 4 channels are only for digital input, and 2 channels are for analogue input

Q: Can you use XQD media with an adapter - at what record rates
Fabien Pisano: Yes XQD can be used with Adapter
Fabien Pisano: MPEG2 HD422 50 mbps only

Q: Is there a limiter available on the analog audio inputs?
Sebastian: we are studying the analogue audio now


Q: Will the F3 still be available when the F5 is released? Or is the F5 replacing it.
Lucie Wendremaire: the F5 will not replace the F3.

Q: any trade in planned for F3 owners?
Peter Crithary: We are considering loyalty programs now, will get back to you. No specifics yet

Construction & Connectivity

Q: Will there be a dedicated side hand grip with a zoom rocker?
Sebastian: there will not be such a dedicated hand grip

Q: What material is the F5/55 body made from?
Sebastian: the body is not plastic

Q: What about weather dust and water resistance?
Peter Crithary: Weather, dust and water are being handled, details will be on

Q: If I use either camera in an underwater housing will I face any overheating issues?
Fabien Pisano: None of Sony Cameras are know for overheat in underwater housing. We took great care in the design of these one so should be allright.

Q: In the photos I've seen on the XLR input module, it looks like it is screwed on with two screws. However in the photos without the module there are no holes for the screws. Can you explain this please?
Peter Crithary: Some of the photos represent initial prototypes that are not representative of the final product. The studio pictures you see in this session are much closer to the final design

Q: On the optional baseplate, are the rods 15 or 19mm? Pad adjustable fore and aft?
Ned Soltz: rods are 15mm. Pad as I understand it has some fore/aft movement
Sebastian: Yes the pad has some movement. On top we will also have rosette for direct grip attachment.

Q: What is the connector the EVF uses? Can they be used with other cameras? Could you in theory still run a 3rd party EVF from one of the HD-SDI ports or the HDMI port?
Sebastian: the connector is a new digital intercface, but of course you can use 3rd parties via HDSDI

Q: Any plan for a paint box or wired remote?
Sebastian: you can use the current RMB-170 via the 8 pin connector

Q: Do you have any plans for a Thunderbolt SxS reader?
Fabien Pisano: the reader is USB3.0 at the moment but we dont exclude TB.

Q: Can the side instrument monitor also work as a video monitor?
Sebastian: The panel on the side is for control only

Q: Any capability to remote start stop the camera wired or wifi?
Sebastian: wired is OK via 8 pin interface, wireless is under discussion for future upgrade


Q: Great stuff, can you talk about ideal applications for this camera?
Ned Soltz: the strength of these cameras is they can do broadcast specs internally with xdcam hd and sr 220. Plus docs, indie and feature with xavc 2k/4k and raw with the recorder.
Ned Soltz: Clarification. I mention xdcam and sr because these are broadcast specs and workflows already in place. xAVC can scale from hd though 2k and 4k(f55) plus high frame rate

Q: If not using a recording module, does the battery clip straight to the back of the camera? Can regular V-Lock batteries be used, or just the specific Sony ones?
Ned Soltz: I presume you could use v lock to gold mount adapter just like on any other v mount camera or device
Fabien Pisano: yes the battery is V lock. and you can use of course teh regular existing batteries
Jon Fauer, ASC: Yes--batteries clip to back without RAW recorder, and yes, you can use other batteries
Jim Jannard: When can I pre-order one of these?
Fabien Pisano: Hi Jim, pre-order process will be announced soon.
Lucie Wendremaire: Hi Jim, best way is to get in touch with you preferred dealer.
Q: Thanks for building the prefect red alternative. Non-RAW Internal recording is what we needed. RAW should be optional. Great system.
Peter Crithary: We really did listen to the industry, with dedicated feedback sessions and overall response from existing owners of our large sensor cameras

Q: If moving up from EX1 which camera is the next in this lineup to progress to?
Fabien Pisano: EX1 is a 1/2'' camcorder. This line up is S35mm sensor so operation will be verry different operation mode. I would answer PMW-F5 anyway.

Q: I'm really impressed by the future v3 firmware of the F65. is 8Kx4K recording will really be possible ?
Sebastian: from the F65 RAW we will be able to get a minimum of 6K, even with RAW recorded today!

Peter Crithary: Our Digital Signal Processing technology, together with our imager sensor technology and codecs all promise to deliver truly stunning imagery Dont forget to visit our web site at and stay tuned for our launch event on NOV 28th in LA, and a later date in New York, details to be announced Don't forget about the unique and very powerful combination recording. Several different configurations. Keep an eye on our web sites for more information

Sebastian: Don't forget about the new battery which makes you run the F5 and 55 with R5 attached for more than 1hour. Camera only wil run more than 2hours with the new battery Don't forget that the new F5 and F55 will be the first cameras which can record HDCAM SR 444 (440Mbps) internal on the new SxS Pro+ cards.

1 comment:

H. Paul said...

I'm gonna guess someone was impersonating Jim Jannard. He can't be that obvious about reverse engineering theft, dumb as he is.