UPDATE: Newsshooter has an interview discussing the camera
Well, Sony’s long teased Full Frame cinema camera has finally been revealed. Jon Fauer had early access and has a 28 page report on it if you want to dive deep.
My first impressions? Promising, but hampered. It will ship with only limited capabilities. Sony has teased this long enough that you would think it would be a little more fully baked on release.
The positive? They have learned a few things. The viewfinder uses a LEMO connector rather than their proprietary flat multipin, and the connector is mounted at a point that it won’t immediately snap off (it might get in the way of lens accessories though). It has industry standard 12V and 24V power connections. The lens mount is really interesting. Flat to the sensor is a locking E-mount, but fitted overtop of that, is a really solid looking PL mount that can be removed with 6 screws. The camera has 8 levels of ND filters built in, and they can be activated remotely. The sensor itself is replaceable, in an attempt to future-proof. The body is relatively compact, roughly the same size as a RED with a jack pack attached, but the Sony does get significantly bigger when you add the optional external RAW recorder. They are rating it at 500 ISO, with the option to go up to 4000 ISO. They say that it has a better signal to noise ratio than the F65. They are also emphasizing new colour science over outright resolution. It will eventually record 6K RAW, whereas the F65 was an 8K camera.
The negative? It does not have a global shutter, but Sony says “jello vision” should not be a problem. At this point, it only seems able to do 60 frames per second. I think the biggest negative is the incomplete feature set at launch. This used to be a problem with RED, but unfortunately Sony has adopted this “ship it and fix it later” approach. Those firmware updates will be free, but like ARRI, they will be charging for licenses to enable higher end features. In my opinion, the F65 (and even the F55, in terms of a “cinema” camera) never really took off. RED and the Alexa 65 have a lead in the full frame market, and in the cinema market in general. To quote Top Gun:
“And let’s not bullshit Maverick. Your family name ain’t the best in the Navy. You need to be doing it better, and cleaner than the other guy. Now what is it with you?”
If Sony wants to break into the high end, they need to offer better technology and complete feature sets at a lower price. This latest offering does not cut it.
Source: Sony’s VENICE Full Frame + S35 Camera | Film and Digital Times