My whole “I-won’t-publish-rumours” ethos was sorely tested last week, as it seems everybody and their dog was hinting or downright breaking their NDA about this camera. Well, it’s here, and has some interesting features. To my view, it’s basically an improved FS100. It has the same sized chip, the same light sensitivity, and still records AVCHD to SD type cards. It has essentially the same body, with some modifications. It now has a 3G HD-SDI out on the back (more on that later), and the audio XLR has moved around to a wart on the side. It has a detachable hand grip on the side (with a zoom rocker…..hmmmmm), and a redesigned top handle.
Now the big news: it is capable of shooting 4K. Now, notice I said capable. You won’t be recording 4K to your little onboard SD card when it launches in June. That 3G SDI tap on the back will be enabled to output 4K to an external recorder at a later date (I’m only guessing, but the way these things seem to work, probably a few months before next years NAB). Will that external recorder be Sony’s very expensive solid state solution for the F65? Doubtful. HD Warrior is hinting at a another new Sony camera with a 150mbps recording system here, so maybe that will come into play (be aware that the HD Warrior posting has a lot of speculation).
The FS700 will be able to record 240fps in full HD when it is launched. How does it do this while still only using AVCHD and SD cards? It buffers the frames in an on-board memory cache, and then reads it out to the card at whatever frame rate you’ve established as your baseline. You can buffer 8 seconds at 240fps, and 16 seconds at 120fps.
If you have all the gear for FS100, it might be a nice upgrade. If, however, you’re looking for a 4K camera today, that has a Super 35mm sensor and costs $10,000, you need look no farther than the RED Scarlet……..