Archivo de la etiqueta: pxw

Introduction to Sony FS7 II

More than two years ago, I received information about a new camera that we would announce at NAB2014. Specs were amazing and the body… my first impression from the photos was “weird”. That curved rear part, with an extensible arm, was really “new”, especially compared to the box-shaped modular bodies existing at that time, like FS100, FS700, F5…
But then I arrived to our booth, searching for it. And the moment I held the PXW-FS7 in my shoulder and grabbed the grip, I understood everything. I simply was willing to shoot.
One year later, FS5 arrived. Again, a little revolution: modular yet stand-alone, also extermely powerful, with the chance to use any lens, as we could do with FS series and E-Mount Alpha series. Tiny, with a similar grip to FS7, but without that arm… and with one nice brainchild: that electronic variable ND filter. Originally, it allowed us to assign different shutter values to its 3 position, and play with its value with the body dial or, even better, the grip’s one.

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And now, 2 years later than FS7 was announced, we are glad to see how an improved FS7 will be living in parallel with the original model.
Say hello to FS7 II. I did it in my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMUk_ztypSGRWw23mawsi0g

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ELECTRONIC VARIABLE ND FILTER
As said, it was applied to the Super35 mm sensor in FS5, but, actually, it had been already used in PXW-X180 and X160. From my humble point of view, it’s fine to have it in a “news/ENG” handy model, but it is even better when used in a Large Format Sensor.
A LFS means, as you all know, basically a muche shallower depth of field.
A typical situation when shooting “reality” (documentaries, news…), as opposite to “fiction”, is that we don’t use to have the environment under our control, and that applies to light, too. So, imagine that you’re shooting in an indoor-to-outdoor situation: since light will probably be higher outdoors, we need to reduce it. A newbie like me would probably close iris. Or you can also adust exposure. But in both cases we are modifying the original picture aesthetics, as we’re increasing the DoF or changing the movie cadence, it’s “fluence”.
It’s very typical to use optical ND filters to avoid that aesthetics shift. But they use to be external (not controlled from camera body), and, obviously, one more parameter –and equipment- to bear in mind.
On FS5 and FS7 II Electronic Variable ND Filter we have 3 main modes:
1. Instead of the classical Clear / 1/4 / 1/16 / 1/64 filter wheel, now it is Clear / 1 / 2 / 3, meaning we can assign values as we want, from various shutter values. So, for instance, if you’ve been testing before the shoot and you realize that indoor it should be 1/8 but outdoors it matches with 1/32, you can assign those values to positions 1 and 2, making your shift much faster.
2. From any of those three positions (1, 2 or 3), if we switch the filter position to “Variable” instead of preset, we can adjust its shuttering value by a dial (from 1/4 to 1/128). Such dial can be the one in the camera body (also shared with Iris), or the grip’s one –which I prefer, personally-. Our creative chances are unique, thanks to that (imagine you can control surrounding light; you can modify DoF without light visible change.
3. The third mode is Auto mode: camcorder analyzes light approaching the sensor, and automacially adjusts ND filter so that we can have the same light level –in a certain limit, between 1/4 and 1/128. So, that indoor-to-outdoor travelling shouldn’t be a worrying factor any longer; you can keep the same DoF and the same shutter speed.

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That invention is fine in concept, but how does it work?
Basically, it’s an LCD layer before the sensor. Light will have chaotic polarization when leaving the lens. Then, it’ll pass through a polarizer and a transparent electrode, an LCD layer, another electrode and another polarizing filter. The first polarizer “aligns” light so that it has a certain fixed polarization when leaving it –let’s say, horizontal polarization.

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Depending on the voltage applied to the electrodes, liquid crystal mollecules will turn their position and will “twist light” (varying polarizing angle). Finally, a vertical –this is just an example- polarizing filter appears, and depending on such angle, light will be more or less capable to trespass that polarizer. Obviously, what camera (or we) actually controls is voltage applied to LC.

LEVER LOCK-TYPE E-MOUNT
As you know, one of the main advantages we have been showing since years ago (actually, FS100 was the first professional camcorder to incorporate it) is the capability to use virtually ANY lens over the E-mount. This is mainly due to the short flange back distance, between sensor and top of the mount. Since such distance is really short (18mm), users can “build” their own lens, via adapter. Or you can convert your Sony camcorder into any mount; you can see it also from this perspective.
In the professional market belonging to broadcast and cinema, however, we received a lot of feedback about E-mount: swinging the lens is necessary to attach it to the camcorder, and that is sometimes a bit difficult, especially when big broadcast lenses are being used, or the lens is surrounded by rod bars, mattebox, follow-focus… In that case, a straight installation is preferred.
And that’s what we got with the new Lever Lock-type E-mount: a white dot in the lens needs to be put in front of another white dot in the camera mount. Then, a lock switch can be released, and a collar will embrace lens bottom. Basically, such mechanism is pretty similar to PL mount (in fact, it is actually a Positive Lock attachment).

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To be honest, the first time I used it I felt it a bit more complicated than regular E-mount. But after getting used to it, I simply LOVE it.

MECHANICAL IMPROVEMENTS
There are several improvements from FS7 in FS7 II, but instead of having a different section for each one, let me share the same space for them all. A lot of feedback has been taken in mind for PXW-FS7M2 (the official reference).
Firstly, the grip arm: if you have worked with your own FS7, this was not a real issue, but when the same camcorder was used by different cameramen, it was very likely to need different arm lenghts. And for such adjustment, a couple of screws needed to be loosen and tightened; thus, a screwdriver needed to be on set –nothing really nice if you use to fly-. Now, a knob is replacing those screws, so it’s much easier to get a proper arm length, and it can be done without the need to leave the camcorder holding in your arms.
As you can see, there is also a second knob; the one used for the Arri rossette. Now, that knob can be totally detached and inserted in another whole (hidden when the arm is totally folded), allowing you to use FS7 II in a lower position, laying in your belly as you could do with FS5, which is much more typical in fictional footages than an eye-heighted shot (normally for news/ENG).

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Oh, and by folding the arm towards the rear side, we can lay the camcorder in a table, not in “diagonal” layout  .

Also, a small but significant change can be found in the left side of the camcorder, close to the screen: instead of a circular rod bar for the LCD, now that bar is square-shaped. Some users, depending on the air humidity, tightening force, etc, could see in FS7 that LCD screen could “fold down” unintentionally, losing the horizontal position. Thanks to this square rod bar, and to the knobs for each adjustment, we can place the LCD screen in any position, strongly tightened in place. Also, if we are still willing to use 15mm rod bars, we can use it, because there are supplied rubber adaptors that convert 15mm circular holes into square ones.

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There’s still another physical change in that part of the camera: in FS7, a couple of clamps needed to be attached to the rear part of the screen, to keep the eyepiece in place. Now, just the lower one is needed, as the upper one is simply a “clip” that we don’t need to tighten, but just to put in place. So, we can attach or detach the eyepiece with just one hand.

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And that same way to attach/detach is applied to the new screen foldable hood that is supplied by default. FS7 II is a camcorder very likely to be found in outdoors shootings; that hood will allow us to correctly see the picture in the screen with lower reflections. Also, the small size when folded prevents us to carry the eyepiece just to put it open over the LCD.

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In the card slots area a little improvement has been added: now, when the card is ejected, the part of it you can grab is 8 mm. Oh, by the way, talking about cards, what I strongly recommend is to use G or S series in order to get the best from the camcorder. That way, every codec, including 4K 10-bit 422 at 500/600Mbps can be registered.

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Keeping in the left side of the FS7 II, and just a bit before the card slots, we can find the audio controls. In FS7, the audio cover would deploy horizontally, and some users, when not closing it perfectly, experienced the awful experience of breaking it when hitting from above. Now, even if anything drops and hits that cap, it opens twisting around a horizontal axis, so it will only –and presumably- open, but won’t break.

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And, as a last improvement regarding physical aspects on FS7 II, there was a situation in FS7: if you simply connected wrongly the LCD bus and switched on the camera, you couldn’t know whether it was not working due to battery or any reason. Now, a green LED has been placed just above the power switch, allowing to easily observe if the camera is actually powered. Don’t worry about it: such LED is not very intense, so it won’t ruin your low-light footages.

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ASSIGNABLE BUTTONS
First of all, let me confess that I don’t usually like or use tactile screens. Simply, I don’t get the idea of putting your fingers on your monitoring system. Especially after eating a hamburguer or applying sunscreen. In other words: I prefer by far BUTTONS. And especially those buttons that I don’t need to look at to locate or push.
As we had on most of Sony camcorders, there are assignable buttons. And, like in FS7 or FS5, in the camera body they are ring-shaped and with a little “extrusion” across the ring. This allows cameraman to easily find them just but slightly touching with his/her fingertips.
But in FS7 we had 3 assignable buttons in the grip (yes, button #6 is that one that took a while to find) and other 3 in the camera body, in its left panel.

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Now, in FS7 II, we have 4 MORE, making a total of 10 assignable buttons.

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In my case, I prefer to use S&Q for direct access to Super Slow Motion (without passing through the “normal” S&Q), but in button #2 I use to assign Auto ND function; yes, obviously, we can assign the same functions as in FS7 + the ones related to ND filter.

SENSOR
FS7 II’s sensor is exactly the same as F5, FS7 or FS5: a Super35 mm sensor with CMOS technology, very fast readout, and 4K resolution.
Color space, thus, keeps the same, but now the chance to record over BT.2020 has been added, additionally to the original S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine.

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As you perfectly know, this HDR sensor can maximize its huge dynamic range via S-Log2 and S-Log3 gamma curves.
Just for reference, the cause to use a S-Log curve is because we want to “adapt” all that big dynamic range into a limited output (voltaje or digital values). If a linear curve is applied, saturation can be reached in a short input range (for instance, in 709 gamma curve, despite it is not purely linear). In a S-Log transfer, up to 1300% dynamic range can be acquired, and while low lights keep linear-ish, high lights are compressed. The aesthetics we could see are like “flat” or even “overexposed”, but we could apply an “anti-Slog” curve to linearize signal and recover the whole dynamic range that was captured. In case we need a “natural” look in our monitors (either because we are not totally use to visualize S-Log materials, or because we want to evaluate the final result), we can apply a 1D or 3D LUT, even designed by us (e.g. via RAW Viewer).
Nice, but… what is that wide dynamic range useful for? Imagine a scene in which we have two “stories”: one of them happening in a room, with low lights. Another one is happening outside, and could be seen through the window. With a SDR camera (about 6 stops), we would need to “choose” between both stories: the one happening in low lights- with the window overexposed-, or the one outside –and the inside one would be with stick blacks-. Through a HDR camera, we can record BOTH stories; in postproduction, we can simply apply that mentioned LUT to recover both materials. Or, even, if you’re shooting outdoors, clouds won’t be just flat white, but all their grey tones can be recovered.
There’s also a very useful function in FS7 II and FS7: HiKey y LoKey allow us to use a SDR range (for instance, because we might be using SDR monitors, not HDR) in either high or low lights. Thanks to that, we can evaluate both ranges of the images even if the rest of the equipment is not totally HDR-ready.
And now let me give a personal tip: once we have used S-Log curves, we feel “relaxed” because we can recover all the info, even if it seems overexposed. Then, we get used to work with them, and suddenly we get into a low-light environment, and experience the surprise to see that our image is a bit noisy. OK, very “organic” or “filmic” noise… but noise. That’s because S-Log curve is defined by standard to work with a minimum ISO3200 which means that for lowest levels, a minimum gain is applied. It’s not a problem in your camera; it’s a matter of how S-Log is defined. So, that is my tip: use S-Log if you need it, which doesn’t necessarily mean “always”.

SLOW-MOTION
Slow-motion features keep the same as in FS7: up to 180fps in Full HD resolution in NTSC mode, and up to 240fps with RAW output.
In fact, that’s a good indicator when we want to know how a camera behaves with rolling-shutter derivated effects: having a super slow-motion module means that sensor can be read fast enough to include much more frames in the same time period. So, if that readout is fast, the time that exists between the first and the last line in a frame is also very short, and, thus, jelly and banding effects are minimum.

RECORDING
FS7 II and FS7 can record internally up to 422 colour sampling, 10-bit, 4K-resolution over a XAVC Intra codec. As you can imagine, such big quality requires an according bandwidth, which is 500Mbps at 50p and 600 at 60p.
In a broadcast/news environment, it is very likely to find MPEG-2 (“XDCAM”, despite that’s not the codec, but the product family) capable systems. Despite XAVC offers better quality at the same 50Mbps, it’s a reality that MPEG-2 is, as of today, the de-facto codec in broadcast stations. So, for those needs, in Full HD resolution there is also the chance to record MPEG-2 422 10-bit, and not only XAVC.

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All those codecs can be registered over XQD cards in the internal recording. But in case we use XDCA-FS7 adapter, there’s also the capability to record over ProRes. And, of course, XDCA-FS7 allows us to output RAW data stream from FS7 II.
Some of you may wonder: if FS7 II/FS7’s BNC connector is 3G-SDI, which allows a maximum of 2K/60p quality, how could a 4K/60p/50p signal be outputted? Well, actually, 4K signal is not actually outputted but “transmitted” after a conversion into data. So, baseband video is not routed throught the SDI connector; that cable is just used as a transmission system for data.

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Bear in mind this is actually FS7 in RAW configuration: XDCA-FS7, V-mount battery, and at the other side of BNC cable: HXR-IFR5, AXS-R5 and olivine battery. FS7 II would be similar

That is why we need a device at the end of the cable that is capable to DECODE such signal, not only to record it. And for that, there are actually 3 ways: HXR-IFR5 + AXS-R5 from Sony, Atomos devices or Convergent Design Odyssey7Q+. After that conversion from data to RAW signal (done in HXR-IFR5, for instance), signal can be directly recorded in RAW (in AXS-R5), or transcoded into another format (in Convergent Design’s or Atomos’ equipment).

 

CONNECTIVITY
It’s exactly the same configuration as we had on FS7: a couple of SDI outputs, RAW output via XDCA-FS7 (together with genlock, reference, timecode in/out, V-mount batteries support, DC input and output), two XLR inputs and MI shoe.

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URX-P03D dual receiver installed in FS7 II via SMAD-P3D

That MI shoe (Multi-Interface) allows to connect, for example, a receiver from the UWP-D series. But, since September 2016, we have dual receivers available: an unique receiver to which we can connect two transmitters. That receiver would be connected to FS7 II via SMAD-P3D adapter. This solution is great for interviews, ENG or documentaries. There’s, obviously, an internal mic, which means a total of 5 inputs (2x via XLR, 2x via SMAD-P3D and 1x internal) that can be addressed to the 4 audio channels that FS7 II and FS7 can record.

 

 

 

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Related to Wi-Fi, a dongle called IFU-WLM3 is supplied by default, allowing us to control the camera through Content Browser Mobile app. But, in order to make things easier, it’s not even necessary to log into camera’s SSID and to input its password; we can simply “touch” the FS7 II left part with our smartphone/tablet, and, if NFC is switched on, both devices will “start the conversation” via Wi-Fi (or the app dowload site for CBM will launch).

Also, there’s the chance to connect CBK-WA100, an external device that allows proxy recording and upload even through 4G/3G dongle.

 

CACHE RECORDING

When in a news environment, it’s not a strange situation being in front of a gate through which some VIP may come. Or, in a documentary, it’s a typical situation to be waiting for some animal to leave some hole or jump from a branch. With FS7 II, as with many other Sony XDCAM camcorders, a buffer is available, to allow us to recover up to the past 15 seconds, and continue the footage from the momento that REC button is pressed. This can be done, as said, with up to 15 seconds in MPEG-2 codec. So, you can simply “let things happen”, and the contents will be ready then.

 

SIMULTANEOUS RECORDING

In FS7 II and FS7, a total of 3 REC buttons can be found: one -silver- in camera body, another one in the handle, and a third one in the grip. On the other hand, we have two XQD card slots. So, we can have 3 different configuations for those cards:

  1. Simultaneous REC: both cards will have the same contents, whatever the REC button we use. Nice for backups, or for addressing one card for edition and another for colour grading, for example.
  2. Continuous REC: since XQD cards are not as affordable as, let’s say, SD cards, it’s worth maximizing its capacity. This recording mode allows us to keep recording in a second card when the first one has run out of space, without any frame loss.
  3. (The most interesting one, IMHO) Independent REC trigger: imagine you’re shooting a live concert, and you wish to have the whole act in one card, and each of the songs on a separate clip. You can command one card with one of those 3 buttons, and the other one from another button. That’s useful not only for avoiding losing some relevant highlights, but also in case you’re shooting in a multi-camera environment, and you need to synchronize all footages.

 

LENS: SELP18110G

In case you’ve shot with the lens bundled in PXW-FS7K, called SELP28135G, you’ll have noticed that there’s some “tele” or “zoom” effect when recording: that lens is designed for a Full Frame sensor (as that of A7S/A7S II), and, thus, when a Super35 mm sensor is placed behind that lens, the capturing surface is smaller than light’s circle diameter, and we keep only the central part of the image.

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Now, SELP18110G has been designed for Super35 and APS-C (Sony) sensor size, meaning that there will be no need to “convert”, and the lens will provide a proper light diameter to the imager.

SELP18110G is also faster in response: when using the lens rings, they directly act over the optical mechanism, with immediate response. As we’ve seen in many Sony camcorders, we can easily switch from manual to auto focus by simply moving forward/backwards the focus ring, which, btw, now includes a “knurled” ring proper for mattebox directly, without belt.

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Its aperture is constant F4; despite it might seem a bit dark when in wide angle, having a constant aperture simplifies operation regarding focus. In a classic lens, when shifting from tele to wide angle position means more light coming into the sensor, and, thus, a correction needs to be done -normally, over the iris adjustment-, so DoF or shutter needs to be modified, which involves an aesthetic payload (as we explained for the ND filter). But with a constant F4, no correction is needed, and DoF and fluence will remain the same along the whole zoom ratio.

 

OTHER LENSES

Despite Lever Lock-type E-mount involves a new way to attach lenses, all E-mount lenses (as of today, around 74) can be inserted before FS7 II. And, obviously, also lens adapters.

As distance between sensor and mount is small (remember: 18mm), each user can “build” his/her own lens via adapter. So, virtually ANY LENS CAN BE ATTACHED. And I say “any” because, even if FS7 II’s sensor would theoretically vignette when a narrower lens is used (e.g. a Super16 lens), a center scan mode can be applied to “crop” the signal and only read the central part. That could also be seen in A7S II, by the “APS-C mode”, reducing its FF size into an APS-C/S35.

So, not only high-grade PL lenses can be used, as well as “vintage” FD or newer EF lenses, but also S16 or even broadcast 2/3″. In case you want to “recover” that light that would be lost by using full frame lenses, there are some adapters that can “correct” that effect by closing lens circle via another lens inside the adapter ring. So, no correction factor needs to be applied, and up to 1-1.5 stops can be earned – that’s the Metabones Speedbooster, and I won’t start a discussion about having an additional lens between a high-quality lens and your sensor.

 

AVAILABLE KITS

As for most of the interchangeable lens camcorders, two kits will be offered:

  • PXW-FS7M2: body only
  • PXW-FS7M2K: camera body + SELP18110G

In both cases, accessories are supplied: battery charger, AC/DC converter, BP-U30 battery pack, foldable hood, eyepiece, IFU-WLM3 Wi-Fi dongle…. You’ll only need to buy a XQD card to start shooting (remember to buy G or S series to be able to record in every codec).

 

Sorry for writing such a long article this time, but as you can see, there are both significant and subtle differences between FS7 II and FS7, and didn’t want to miss a lot of them when the camcorder finally reaches the market.

 

I really hope this was useful for you; a review video can also be found in my YouTube channel, and you can keep updated via my Twitter account, so see you there!

🙂

 

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FS RAW upgrade for FS5 announced at NAB

Hi all again! Very exciting news these days…

Maybe you’ve just heard/read it in the typical NAB announcements or via social media ( https://youtu.be/WnitX19JZeo?t=2m50s ); the expected (and announced since the beginning) “FS RAW” upgrade for PXW-FS5 (“CBKZ-FS5RIF”) will be available soon. Very soon. So, let’s see what it means.

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FS RAW? AND 4K? BUT… THAT’S A LOT OF BPS!

I’m sure some of you have heard, or, even better, have worked on NEX-FS700 and/or PXW-FS7. For you, this announcement will probably something “natural”, and nothing that I’ll explain here will be really new.

As you may know, through a 3G-SDI interface (the main output, together with HDMI, in FS5) the maximum picture format that can be transmitted is 1080/50p (or 60p). However, it a 4K resoution needs to be sent, we would need a minimum of 6G-SDI connector.

However, this announcement (as years/months ago with FS700 and FS7), means that a 4K RAW signal can be delivered through that BNC connector. So… how????

In NEX-FS700, a little piece of hardware upgraded needed to be installed. In PXW-FS7, a camera adaptor needs to be attached to the camera body, XDCA-FS7. This time, for PXW-FS5, we simply need a firmware upgrade that can be done by end-user (but not as “simple” as a regular FW upgrade).

But those three models share the same kind of communication: through that BNC connector. Instead of sending the video in baseband, such video signal is converted into data and then encoded (under Sony proprietary protocol) and sent in data stream into the receiver.

OK, IT’S DATA, BUT HOW TO DECODE?

The first solution that existed for recording RAW from a FS700 was AXS-R5. However, R5 was a recorder that was mainly designed to be fitted in the rear part of PMW-F5 or PMW-F55. It receives signal from a multipin connector.

So, an intermediate hardware is needed: HXR-IFR5. This interface has a triple function:

  • physical connection (it “emulates”) the rear part of a F5/F55
  • operation over R5: in F5/F55 operation is done via camera body. Here we’re missing such interface, so a set of buttons is needed.
  • decoding FS RAW signal: as said, that data stream encoded under Sony protocol needs to be converted into “video signal”, so that R5 receives it through its multipin interface.

This was the first way to record RAW from FS700, and it can be also used for FS7 and FS5. The only problem for some customers in this case could be the price: HXR-IFR5 + AXS-R5 + olivine battery + AXS memory + AXS memory reader can cost the same price (more or less) as the whole FS7.

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So, some third-parties appeared; they held conversations with us, so that they could get access to the FS RAW protocol. Their typical workflow is to capture the FS RAW data stream and then convert it into a more “light” codec (despite it can also be RAW). They usually work over HDD or SSD drives, and use to provide also a monitoring solution. Obviously, the price is also smaller: about 1/4-1/3 of Sony’s solution. As you may have guessed, I was talking about Convergent Design with their Odyssey7Q/7Q+ recorder and also Atomos Shogun.

WHAT ELSE CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH FS5’s RAW UPGRADE?

Well, as you may expect from a camcorder that can reach up to 240 fps in Full HD, the FS RAW upgrade also improves the super slow-motion capabilities.

As you know, default super slomo feature in FS5 (and in FS7) works over a buffer. That’s why it is “cached”: about 8 seconds if shooting at 240 fps. Now, this “caché way” is only applied if we shoot 4K at 120 fps, in which we’ll have 4 seconds burst. That means that, if at 24p recording, we are shooting 120/24=5 times faster, which means that those 4 seconds are “time stretched” to 20 seconds. In 4K in RAW quality, not bad 😉

And regarding 240 fps, now there wouldn’t be time limitation if shooting in RAW; this means we can reach a “continuous” mode without caché.

 

According to my information, this upgrade will NOT be free of charge. Also, the procedure will be very similar to the one you should follow to convert your X70 into a 4K camcorder. Oh, and don’t forget you will need to update your FS5 into V2.00 (not available at the moment of publishing this entry) in order to be able to upgrade with CBKZ-FS5RIF.

 

Thanks for reading, and I really expect this little explanation is useful.

Regards!

Sony PXW-FS5 Overview

Hi there!

First of all, probably you’d like to take a look on this unboxing video: https://youtu.be/KxscV0Fcu4A and, even better, on this other one that basically explain the same as I try to consider in this blog entry: https://youtu.be/fv3vt62VP7s

As you may know, a few minutes ago, new PXW-FS5 camcorder was announced, after one week of teasers with #NoLimits and #MissingPiece hashtags.

PXW-FS5

PXW-FS5K

Despite it was just one week of rumours and shaking, and even more job done during last months (what a great team I belong to!), everything is finally disclosed now.

So, let’s talk about what was announced…

Many of you may have worked, or at least probably know the two models I’m going to especially refer to when talking about PXW-FS5: PXW-FS7 and NEX-FS700 (other models will show up eventually).

I use to comment that, from my point of view, those two camcorders belong to different generations: FS700 (like FS100) could be basically defined as “a box with a nice sensor”. Obviously, it’s much more than that, but related to ergonomics, that’s the first generation: priority was sensor quality, lens compatibility and camera features. But ergonomically, certain accessories were commonly needed in order to work in a traditional way, to hold the camera comfortably. And, as an example, LCD position was not totally proper for high takes (in some cases, users shot with the FS700 upside down, in order to monitor signal; image inversion was done in post).

However, evolution into bigger sensor cameras, with great features, but also with an optimized ergonomics kicked off with F-series (F5 and F55), and its modular body: they could be shoulder mounted, and any kind of accessory could be easily attached (follow focus, mattebox, steady…)

The one that probably meant a real revolution in this market, when referring to ergonomics, was PXW-FS7: it simply inherited the best from both worlds. On the one hand, it’s compact, agile (“run and gun”), with an easy operation both from “ascending” users from a FS700, like for “descending” people from an F55, and even for those ones that finally decided to replace their fancy EX3, EX1, 200… and on the other hand, it still keeps those stunning features we saw in F5, with a more “friendly” lens mount, with easier-to-find adaptors: the widely-known E-mount. Moreover; those lens that are typically used over E-mount (practically, ANY lens, since the flange back distance –sensor to mount end- is really short: just 18 mm), as they use to be light, which perfectly matches FS7.

No need to say FS7 was the desired gem for many users: flexible, powerful, carefully designed, robust… and even budget saving. But even at its –relatively- low price, some users prefer to keep working with, let’s say, “older” tools or workflows, either due to concept or even age, such as DSLRs, and they consider that working with a still camera that shoots video is “enough because it’s cheap”. They may be right, but we must also consider that camera body plus those accessories needed to make it a “fully working” video camera raises their budget even to the point to equal FS7’s price. So, that sentence saying “for the price of a FS7, two DSLRs can be bought” is not completely true.

So, ok, let’s assume that for some users, FS7’s price may still be a bit high. Or that a second camera could be a nice help for our production, but we cannot double budget. Or that there are certain situation in which FS7 may be “too much” (too bulky, too big…). For instance, an FS7 is obviously a multi-purpose camcorder, but when shooting a wedding, it’s worth having something even more agile. Or new producers for online media (YouTubers, Vimeo creators…): it’s not just a matter of placing a camera in front of them, but also to have a cinematographic look, with a shallow depth of field, yet not expensive. Or even a drone: putting an FS7 at risk is… too risky, and something lighter would be safer.

For all those situations in which an FS7 is not “reachable”, due to any reason, or in which something smaller would fit better, are the ones FS5 has been designed for.

ERGONOMICS

Camera body, with no accessory attached, weighs only 0,8kg (core is magnesium built), and is totally modular. That’s why I was telling it wouldn’t be weird to se FS5 mounted in drones, small cranes, underwater housings… because size is also really compact, especially in comparison with the already not big FS7:

Comparación de tamaño entre una PXW-FS5K y una PXW-FS7K

Size comparison between PXW-FS5K and PXW-FS7K

As in FS7, both screen and grip are detachable, so the camera can work without them fixed. This involves that in really tight environments (cars, lifts, closets, fridges…), we can shoot with the camera body and the controls (grip and LCD) only linked through a couple of cables, but not mechanically attached. So, camera can be lying in our legs or in some support while we operate from one side.

La FS5 es modular. MUY modular

As you can see, FS5 is modular. VERY modular

Moreover, even if FS7’s arm can be adapted (some spare parts are needed), grip is directly mounted over the camera body, and FS5’s center of gravity is in a very low position, slightly moved to the right, so it’s unlikely to “tilt” as if we had the arm more spaced from the body (it depends, logically, on the lens we use). Also, in high takes in which camera needs to be on an upper position (at very crowded events, like concerts, weddings, etc), our forearm will be less stressed than with classical handy camcorders.

No need to say that FS5’s grip allows menu navigation, and also blocking and unblocking its vertical angle, to set it in the correct position at every moment, so the camera can be fully operated just with the right hand, leaving your left hand to operate the lens (basically, focus, since if it’s a motorized lens, we can have zoom on the zoom lever, an iris/shutter on the grip dial).

Aquí podéis ver el control de zoom y el potenciómetro/dial asignable (típicamente, para iris)

FS5’s grip with zoom control and assignable dial (typicall for iris, but can be assigned to gain, electronic variable ND filter…)

Y aquí veis, de arriba a abajo: zoom, bloqueo del grip, grabación, joystick, y botón asignable a la derecha; muy parecido al mando de la FS7

And here you can see zoom lever, grip block slider, REC button, joystick and assignable button #5 (I like that to be assigned to MENU)

SUPER35 MM SENSOR

What can be told about this sensor? To be honest, nothing that hasn’t be told before.

Maybe it’s worth reviewing a little of Sony’s recent history. You may remember one of the cameras that I personally was amazed about the sensor: PMW-F3. This imager was shared with NEX-FS100, and was incredibly sensitive. From my point of view, it was one of the milestones to jump into Super35 mm sensors in relatively “cheap” professional camcorders.

In fact, its behaviour was so, so good, that everything learned on it could be inherited in the well-desired 4K resolution sensors, keeping all the parameters, especially latitude/sensitivity. To illustrate it, FS5 works with about 14 stops. Simply amazing for an approx. 5k€ camcorder. And, yes, it’s the same sensor of that of a FS7 or F5 (be careful: I’m not talking about the processor – just the imager). Of course, FS5 allows to use S-Log2 and S-Log3 gamma curves; let me talk about that in the next section, apart from this one.

Sensor Super35 mm Exmor CMOS de la PXW-FS5

PXW-FS5’s Super35 mm Exmor CMOS sensor

One of the most important features, asides from sensitivity or resolution, is the colour space that the imager is capable to capture. And when talking about FS5, it’s S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.cine.

And you may wonder why Super35 mm and not Full Frame size. Well, it’s a long-time discussion that might take several days, but let’s stick to: it’s the reference cinema sensor size. A Full Frame sensor is harder to “domesticate”; a much more careful (sometimes sick) job needs to be done over focus, and its aesthetics, yet “oniric”, may not seem totally natural. Sorry for being so subjective, but I wouldn’t like to offend anybody; I obviously don’t have the absolute truth on this.

Moreover, as I’ll tell when talking about the lens mount, we can “trim” sensor so that we can work with a size that is very similar to Super16 mm. Really “vintage”. J

S-LOG CURVES (just a technicalish approach)

I wouldn’t like to spend a lot of words on this (there are much more skilled people out there), but in our product sessions, we detect a lot of people that are really keen on S-Log gamma curves. And, of course, they are a great help, but we need to be careful with an aspect I’ll tell you later.

In a sensor, what is basically done is to convert light (input) into “output” (voltage, binary values…). Ideally, that transfer is linear: when 100% light that sensor is capable to acquire is reached, 100% of the output electronic value should be provided (those binary values, or voltage level).

S-Log explanation

Left: linear transfer / Centre: S-Log curve / Right: S-Log linearization

However, nowadays we are working (as in FS5) with sensors with a huge latitude (let’s say dynamic range). So big  that, even if sensor is not saturated yet, output is shown as overexposed, because it has reached its 100% maximum value (this is just a basic explanation; I wouldn’t like to jump into a conversation about if it should not be 100%).

If instead of applying a totally linear input/output transfer, we modify that curve (to logarithmic), so that highlights can be captured, and they are compressed, and later we apply an opposite curve (antilogarithmic/exponential) that, when multiplied by the other curve, results in a linear result, we could have got more dynamic range from the sensor (800%, 1300%, instead of the original 100%), without losing highlights, fitting all that range in that 100% output maximum level. Finally, as you can imagine, signal is linearized, with a much bigger range.

(Conceptually, it’s very similar to a RIAA preamplifier in audio: a turntable doesn’t provide a linear signal –“line”-, because it would need huge grooves to have all dynamic range recorded in its surface. A curve is applied that is corrected in the RIAA preamp or Phono preamp).

So, what is logarithmic gamma curve useful for? Most of us may have found situation in which a part of the image is overexposed, and we have simply accepted to lose that signal, or the low light signal, because we cannot host both levels in our camera: an indoor take with a window which light is passing through, clouds… and we simply kept that window overexposed, or clouds totally white. Now, we can recover all that info that was there, through the window on or all those grey levels in the cloud surfaces. In concept, it’s similar to that term that is becoming so fashionable in video world: HDR (High Dynamic Range).

Oh, and what is that warning I was talking about? When applying a curve (let’s say S-Log3), a minimum gain is applied (ISO3200 in FS5). This means that, in highlights, we’re going to be able to recover all that info, but in low lights, a default gain is used. If our sensor is not immune to noise enough, or it’s simply a noisy scene, when applying gain noise is also raised, and that’s why in low lights with S-Log sometimes some noisy areas appear. That’s why I recommend not using S-Log gamma curves for everything, but only if necessary; many people find it useful to use them always, as “info is there and I’ll recover later, no need to worry about overexposure”.

ELECTRONIC VARIABLE ND FILTER

Behind this long and strange name, a really useful brainchild is hidden.

If we look back, we can remember that FS100 didn’t have internal neutral density filters, since distance between sensor and lens mount made them really difficult –and expensive- to be implemented by those dates. In fact, that was one of the biggest improvements when FS700 was released: Sony could finally develop ND filters thin enough to fit in such a tight space.

In the late times, we could find a special type of filter on PXW-X180 and PXW-X160 camcorders, that apart from the “classical” step-by-step filter (1/4, 1/16…), had another kind that allowed light transmission to be modified in a much smoother way, with a more “analogic” behaviour, because up to 128 filter steps can be adjusted through a dial.

Well, now in FS5 we have, for the first time over our 4K Super35 mm sensor, that electronic variable ND filter.

El filtro electrónico variable de densidad neutra, y la rueda de filtros clásicos

Electronic variable ND filter and classical discrete filter selector

Answer to “what is it useful for?”: Imagine (well, remember) that situation in which you were shooting indoors with your camera iris fully open, with a gorgeous DoF, and suddenly something changes in lighting (we may go outdoor, some window may be opened, we get into another room…); what’s the first reaction? We need to reduce light in our sensor, so we would probably close iris to prevent it from overexposure, but then our beloved shallow DoF becomes much larger. Then, let’s put some “sunglasses” on our camera –ND filters, actually. But we usually have only 3 steps, if they are discrete filters. Immediate effect #1: we will notice some sudden decrease of light in our footage. Effect #2: probably we won’t be blocking the exact quantity of light we really want to be blocked, so we may eventually need to modify any parameter like iris, or even adjust gain, or modify shutter. So, it’s clearly better to have ND filters with an “analogic” behaviour, with a smooth transition between steps. And, that way, we will reach a threshold in which light lying in the sensor will be approximately the same as we had indoor, preserving depth of field.

Típica situación en la que un videógrafo sufre en una boda (aún más). Imagen sin retocar tomada con Xperia Z1

Typical situation in which a wedding videographer suffers (even more) during a wedding. Unedited image captured with a Xperia Z1

E-MOUNT

As written above, FS5’s mount is the already existing Sony “E mount”, that allows almost any lens to be installed, that has an internal interface to talk to the lens –for those that allow that- and that can host up to three kind of sensors: Full Frame (A7 and VG series), APS-C (NEX-EA50M) and Super35 mm (PXW-FS5, PXW-FS7, NEX-FS700, NEX-FS100). There is not only a huge range of E and A mount lenses (Sony LA-EA adaptor would be needed) available, but also an almost infinite combinations with third party lenses and adaptors.

En montura E y A de Sony, la oferta es bastante extensa; con adaptadores, casi infinita

Sony’s E and A mount lenses offer is huge; with adaptors, almost infinite

So, if we are already EF lenses users, we would only need to bear in mind a crop factor that is close to 1.6 with Full Frame lenses (each lens will be more “tele”: an 80 mm will become a 128, so you need to be careful especially on the wide angle side), that we can even reduce to obtain 1-1.5 more stops through active adaptors (with a lens inside them).

In the opposite case, we could face that problem named “vignetting”: if we use very narrow lenses, we cannot cover the sensor totally. But in FS5’s case, from the release date there is a function to avoid that: “central scanning” in the sensor. Since it’s a Super35 4K-resolution sensor, we can just crop or use its central part, with 1/4 of the original surface (half height, half width) to have a sub-sensor equivalent to a Super16 mm, with all the consequences it involves (aesthetics, Super16 lenses, less rolling shutter derivative effects since there is less area and number of pixels to output…).

Personally, I think that E-mount is one of the best inventions that have been incorporated to the professional video market from the photo world in the last years.

Flange back distance, between sensor and top of the mount

Distance between sensor and top of the mount

SUPER SLOW MOTION (HIGH FRAMERATE)

One of the most loved FS700’s feature was its Super SloMo. Now, that feature has directly been integrated in FS5, with the very same high performance. It has one advantage and one disadvantage when compared to FS7.

The advantage is reaching up to 240 fps with a Full HD scan in the sensor (at higher framerates, less lines are scanned and signal is interpolated to “inflate” into 1080).

The disadvantage: as the camera works over a buffer, there is a maximum quantity of frames that can be stored. This means that, for instance, if we’re using a 24p codec and we use the 240 fps Super SloMo, we have just about 8 seconds real-time due to the buffer. As we are shooting at 10x faster speed, those 8 seconds would become a Super SloMo take that lasts around 80 seconds. So, for solving that issue with a time limitation in the buffer, we can not only shoot in a classical “Start-Stop” way (“Start Trigger”), but there are also two buffer-based modes: “End Trigger” and “Half Trigger”. If you wish to see how “End Trigger” mode works, you can take a look on this video, in which I demonstrate it with a FS700:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOF87sdIQUk

To sum up, that “End Trigger” mode allows us to… well… it may sound weird, but… we can “record the past”: as we are using a rolling buffer, there are at any time the last 8 seconds being stored on it. When we press the REC button, that buffer simply starts to download its recorded material since 8 seconds ago: this allows us to avoid being with our finger in the trigger waiting for something to happen (a football kick, a jump into the water…), but we simply wait for it to happen, and then we press the button. Simple and smart.

Oh, and let me drop you a little comment/advice: in the previous example (240 fps at 24p), we would be shooting at 10x, so we would be shuttering 10x faster, so sensor would collect just 1/10 original light. Thus, image is darker in SloMo, and if gain is applied (let’s say 9-10 dB to compensate, more or less), then noise is raised, and, logically, image can be more noisy than without Super SloMo. Please bear that in mind, because you may need a more careful illumination in your scene. 😉

WIRELESS AND WIRED CONNECTIONS

So far, it was not weird finding Sony cameras with NFC and WiFi: NFC (Near Field Connection/Communication) allows that, when a smartphone or tablet is brought near the camera, they “say hello” and a communication protocol starts, that will eventually be via WiFi. We could say that NFC would just setup a “handshake” between both devices, and they agree which “language” to use (WiFi).

This way, we can remotely operate our camcorder, and view (mainly just framing; obviously, some slight delay is experienced, and picture quality is just “enough”) from the appropriate application –Content Browser Mobile. As far as I remember, if it has not yet been installed in our devices, the process leads us to Google Play or Apple Store to download it without the need to search for it.

WiFi connection in FS5 also allows streaming directly from camera (no QoS), which is perfect for integrating such streaming inside a website or for sharing it within a LAN.

But everybody will have experience that situation in which tests have been done at home or at job, leaving everything configured and working fine… but when on field, there are hundreds of networks saturating the spectrum, or any frequency inhibitor, or some building wrought that seems to be a Faraday cage. Any inconvenience may be found, and that’s when we would rather have a wired connection. As you can see, FS5 allows that wired connection for streaming:

[ETHERNET CONNECTOR]

Conectores BNC (SDI), HDMI, RJ45 y entrada 2 de XLR

Rear connectores: BNC (SDI), HDMI, RJ45 and XLR rear input

MULTI-INTERFACE SHOE

Since some models ago, Sony not only offers the classical “cold” shoes for accessories, but also an intelligent shoe, called “MI Shoe” (Multi-Interface Shoe) that allows communication between camera and connected compatible accessory to be established.

That way, we can connect an XLR box (XLR-K2M), a torch that can be commanded from FS5 (HVL-LBPC) or, which could be even more interesting, a wireless digital microphone receptor belonging to UWP-D series, that can insert audio inside the camera directly, with no external cable, via an accessory named SMAD-P3.

Receptor UWP-D conectado a PXW-FS5 mediante SMAD-P3

UWP-D digital wireless receptor attached to PXW-FS5 via SMAD-P3

Antorcha LED HVL-LBPC conectada a PXW-FS5 directamente

HVL-LBPC LED torch  directly attached to PXW-FS5

CLEAR IMAGE ZOOM

This technology can replace classical digital zoom (that is still also available) by a more evolved algorithm.

In a purely digital zoom, the way to interpolate is by an average calculation: if a value between a “1” and a “5” needs to be invented, let it be just “3”. Easy, but not optimal in many situations.

However, in Sony we realized that we have kinda “experience” in video world. This allowed us to use multiple analysis points due to the sensor resolution, and, according to them, find their parameters and compare to some classified image patters previously stored. For instance, when zooming in, most of the info is radially moving to the frame edges. Or, when panning, most of that info is moving horizontally. Or we can even classify some dark granulated areas surrounded by green as “a tree”. So, those behaviour patterns allow us to predict and interpolate much more accurately. And this algorithm in a branch, plus the classical digital zoom on the other path, provides a high accuracy and a way better picture quality when using zoom.

If interested, you can take a look on this video in which that technology is explained on a X70:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBJYWchFBtg (again, sorry for the video quality: it’s the best I could do at that moment L ).

CODEC

This uses to be the most boring part to explain, because there is not too much to add to the info existing in the brochure or our website.

In Full HD resolution we have AVCHD codec up to 28 Mbps (1080/50p), like in FS700, and also XAVC Long GOP up to 50 Mbps (1080/50p, 4:2:2, 10-bit depth).

In 4K, it is still Long GOP, at a maximum speed of 100 Mbps (QFHD/25p, 30p, or the well-desired “cinematographic” 23.98p).

No need to say that, if you prefer to work with a different codec, you have HDMI and SDI outputs for your external recorder (very usual this days, especially if you have your workflow totally optimized, despite I personally recommend to test and taste XAVC codec if you still haven’t done 😉 ).

In XAVC Long GOP QFHD at 100 Mbps, a 64GB SD card can host up to 65 recording minutes. In Full HD resolution at 50 Mbps, it would be around 120 minutes in the same card. And in AVCHD at 28 Mbps, it would be 290 minutes.

And you may be wondering if there’s anything to be told about RAW. Yes, it will be capable to record RAW externally in the future, but we don’t know (and we couldn’t tell) when nor how as of today.

INDEPENDENT REC TRIGGER

It was still not mentioned, but we can record in SD or MS cards in PXW-FS5’s card “A”, while “B” card only allows SD cards to be used. So, as a difference to FS700, we have two card slots.

Also, we have three recording buttons: first one in the grip, second one in the handle, and third one in the camera body. So, you can imagine: we don’t only have the classical “Relay” mode (if A card capacity ends, recording continues automatically in card B without frame loss), and “Simultaneous” mode (same content in both cards; for instance, as a backup unit or to send one of them to editing suite and the other one for colour grading), but also a third mode, called “Independent”, in which we can independently command each card from a different REC button.

It is especially useful in events like live concerts, weddings, sports, conferences… in which it’s nice to have a whole footage in one card in just a few clips (in order to not lose any action, and for synchronizing a multi-camera production if any of the cameras has no timecode), and the other cards would be used for a regular clip-by-clip recording (each song, each stage, each speaker…).

3 modes available to combine REC buttons with memory cards

3 modes available to combine REC buttons with memory cards

AUDIO

Of course, no need to say that audio input are professional XLR connectors. But, as a difference to X70 or NX3, both are physically separated (we already saw that in FS700): one on the handle and another one in the rear part of the camera.

Audio recording is 2-channels; when recording in AVCHD codec, we can choose between Dolby Digital or –even better- linear PCM; in both cases, sampling frequency is 48 kHz and bit depth is 16-bit.

When using XAVC codec, audio is again recorded in LPCM at the same frequency, but in this case precision is stunning 24-bit.

BATTERIES

Regular DC input (typical XDCAM series) can be used to feed the camera, but if you are a bit worried about FS5’s batteries, you’ll be able to keep your BP-U batteries, since it uses the same BP-U30, BP-U60, BP-U60T or BP-U90 that could be used on XDCAM handy or semi-shoulder models (EX1, EX1R, EX3, 200, X200, 150…).

That DC input I was commenting is also BC-U1 or BC-U2 battery charger’s output.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Probably I’m not the most adequate person to give a final sentence about FS5, not only because –obviously- I’m an interested party, but because I am not lucky enough to be a real user; I am just occasional, and less frequently than I would like.

However, there are some relevant aspects that are definitely clear for me:

  • Ergonomics in FS5 are almost unrivaled by any existing camera nowadays; not even FS7
  • Sensor is, simply, stunning. It allows us to use S-Log gamma curves, a crazy colour space, and we can reduce its size to Super16. For today, a sensor in a Sony camera is understood perfectly, and in cases like FS7/F5/FS5, totally demonstrated
  • That chance to shoot in Super Slow Motion at up to 240 fps in Full HD is something that worked really well in FS700, and it has been fully inherited here
  • Having the possibility to keep DoF (let’s be sincere: it’s one of the coolest features in today’s cameras) with its electronic variable ND filter is a very well designed and precise feature, to avoid overexposure in unexpected highlights
  • Any lens can be used, without any renewal needed in our lenses collection; simply by using adaptors, we can assure that working with this camcorder is absolutely inexpensive (like that fact of using SD cards)

And, finally, little “details” like being capable to send streaming or files via wired connections, or prioritizing one detected face amongst others in order to follow it with automatic focus, or its focus magnifier, its MI shoe, its proxy recording, that independent recording mode over two different cards, the included codecs, the silent slow-spinning fan, that chance to buy just camera body or also with lens… are some features that make FS5 a very interesting camera, and I honestly think –and with- that it will be a real success. J

Imagen de la nueva PXW-FS5K (con lente). Modelo sin lente (PXW-FS5) también disponible

PXW-FS5K (includes SELP18105G lens)

Kindest regards to all, and thank you very much indeed for reading this article. And sorry for its extension, but I hope it worth it.

Addition to the original article, on 12th September, in order to clarify:

Outputs
SDI (just HD): 422 10 bit
HDMI (4K/HD): 422 8 bit

Recording
AVCHD (HD): 420 8bit, 28Mbps
XAVC-L (HD): 422 10bit, 50Mbps
XAVC-L (4K): 420 8bit, 100Mbps

ISO with SLog: 3200
ISO without SLog: 1000

Alvaro Ortiz

Product Specialist / Content Creation

Twitter: @AlvaroOrtizSanz

YouTube: Alvaro Ortiz

¿Cómo se actualiza a 4K ó MPEG-2 la cámara Sony PXW-X70?

Hola de nuevo a todos.

Como algunos sabréis, la PXW-X70 es una cámara que no sólo ofrece un sensor de una pulgada (es ligeramente superior a un Super16 mm), códec XAVC, salida por HD-SDI y HDMI, posibilidad de remotearla por WiFi… sino que, hace pocos días (esta entrada data de principios de Julio de 2015), se lanzó la actualización a la versión 2.00.

Actualización a Junio de 2016: Edito esta entrada para hacerla compatible con el último “upgrade” que se puede hacer, el CBKZ-SLMP, para poder grabar en MPEG-2. Este procedimiento es análogo para la PXW-FS5 y su actualización a RAW, que tiene la referencia CBKZ-FS5RIF. 

pxwx70_3q_140725_02-1200

Esta actualización es gratuita (la tenéis en este enlace, que únicamente requiere estar registrado en la web de Sony: https://www.sony.es/pro/support/software/SET_150526_PSG/1 ), y permite transmitir en streaming y grabar en proxy.

Posiblemente cuando leáis esto incluso haya una versión de firmware más actualizada.

El procedimiento para actualizar es muy sencillo; básicamente, se descarga un archivo de actualización, se conecta la cámara por USB, y se siguen los pasos que se indican en el manual.

X70 upgrade into V2.00 - 13

Esta V2.00 también permite que, sobre ella, se pueda instalar la actualización para grabar en 4K.

Y es esta actualización la que, con toda honestidad, no es tan fácil de instalar.

En primer lugar, tened en cuenta que es una actualización de pago (si mal no recuerdo, 488 € + IVA), y se consigue a través de nuestros distribuidores (podéis ir al localizador de distribuidores oficiales de la web de Sony: https://www.sony.es/pro/ezone/dealers/broadcast/ ).

Lo primero que hay que tener en cuenta es que todo el proceso de actualización de la cámara nos puede llevar aproximadamente dos días. No, no es que la cámara esté realmente actualizándose todo ese tiempo, sino que, debido a la “logística”, habrá que esperar en uno de los pasos un correo que tarda aproximadamente ese tiempo. Por favor, tenedlo en cuenta, por si tenéis algún trabajo planeado.

En primer lugar, debemos registrarnos en una página web cuyo enlace es este: https://www.ecspert.sony.biz/ . Al abrirlo, si aún no estamos registrados, deberemos pulsar “User Registration”, en la parte inferior derecha:

Registro ECSite

 

A continuación, rellenamos los campos como en cualquier registro de este tipo, con nuestro email y la contraseña que deseemos:

Registro ECSite_2

 

 

Y, obviamente, pulsamos “Registration” para finalizar la solicitud de registro.

Ahora, nos queda esperar; este es el proceso que, como os comentaba, puede llevar hasta dos días, aunque tengo entendido que han reducido ese plazo. Importante: vigilad vuestra carpeta de spam (a mí, personalmente, se me colaron los tres correos en esa carpeta cuando lo hice con el procedimiento antiguo). Recibiréis un correo parecido a este (he eliminado parte de los datos):

Email confirmacion registro

Pulsad sobre el enlace que se adjunta para finalizar el registro, y volved a entrar a través del enlace  https://www.eCSpert.sony.biz/ con los datos del correo recibido:

Entrar a ECSite

Se os pedirá que metáis ciertos números correspondientes a los códigos que habéis recibido entre corchetes:

ECSite AccessCode

 

Ahora, en la lista de opciones de la izquierda, se seleccionaría “Install Key”

ECSite Accedido

 

, y se abrirá una pantalla en la que debemos meter el código que nos aparece en la “cartulina” de la opción CBKZ que hemos adquirido:

SW Purchase Key Notification

Purchase Key en ECSite

Al pulsar en “Search”, encontrará que esa clave se corresponde a una actualización para la PXW-X70:

Purchase Key sin desplegar

Desplegamos la “Purchase Key” pulsando sobre el símbolo “>” que aparece a su izquierda:

Purchase Key desplegado

Al pulsar “Install Key Issue”, aparece una ventana emergente en la que tenemos que introducir el identificador de nuestra cámara (lo encontramos en el menú “Option”, y tiene el formato “nombre de cámara-número”, como por ejemplo “X70-16101”),

Option ID

el nombre de usuario a imprimir (esto es sólo para tener un justificante con nuestra compra), y el número de actualizaciones que hemos adquirido (recomiendo ir haciendo una a una):

Purchase Key ventana emergente

Pulsamos “Install-Key Creation”, y, aunque podemos generar unos archivos de referencia en modo texto y PDF (“Install-Key(Text)” e “Install-Key(PDF)”), lo realmente importante es generar el archivo de instalación, que creamos al pulsar el botón “Install-File Output”.

 

Ahora ya tenemos el archivo de instalación; lo metemos en el directorio raíz de una tarjeta SD o MS (preferiblemente formateada previamente en la propia cámara, y sin ningún otro archivo incluido dentro de la tarjeta), metemos la tarjeta en la cámara, y entramos en el menú:

MENU – OTHERS – OPTION – INSTALL OPTION – OK

Una vez instalado (puede llevar varios minutos), la cámara nos invita a reiniciarla al pulsar la opción “OK” en la pantalla (mensaje: “Installed. Press OK to reboot”).

Así, ya tendríamos finalmente nuestra opción instalada en la cámara. 🙂

 

 

Como veis, los pasos son muy sencillos, pero hay muchos, y no todos dependen de nosotros. Por eso he creado esta pequeña guía; lo que vais a necesitar es, especialmente, paciencia, pero seguid los pasos uno a uno, que no tiene pérdida. 😉

Un atento saludo, y, como siempre, muchísimas gracias, camaradas.