09 November 2016
The Sony FS7 is currently one of our most popular models and it's not hard to see why - for the money, there's not a lot to touch it. Sony, as always, have not rested on their laurels and now, two years on from the original launch, the new FS7II is announced.
So what we're dealing here is more of an evolution and indeed it will be sold alongside the current model.
Starting with the image, everything is the same, save for the inclusion now of REC 2020 colour space for future broadcase and HDR compliance.
The body is essentially the same as before but there's a new lens mount with a locking ring. It's been strengthened too - primarlly to pair with larger cine lenses. There are new buttons added on the side of the camera, giving you 10 programmable buttons rather than 6. A great improvement (if you've got clumsy fingers) is the fact the XQD cards now stick out far enough to easily pull them out.
The microphone mount and viewfinder have been updated. Rather than fixed to a rod (as it is on the FS7), there's now a clamp onto the 15mm rod that gores through the handle. The viewfinder now has a different mount using a square rod to ensure the the screen stays horizontal. There's a new viewfinder hood and there's now a top bracket to allow lifting of the loupe.
There's an Electronic Variable ND Filter which is continuously variable in seamless steps from 1/4 to 1/128. There are 3 presets that can be assigned for quick changes of light condition. Lastly there is a Automatic ND function that will allow auto exposure whilst maintaining the f-stop, gain and shutter speed - this is great as it allows you to just set your aperture and let the camera deal with ND.
One annoyance of the existing camera is the lack of 'on the fly' adjustment of the handgrip. This has been thankfully changed - you can now adjust the arm posistion without the need for tools and there is an additional mounting position to allow easier chest-level or under-arm shooting.
Power is using BPU batteries again (thank you Sony for not changing them) but there is now an option of a BPU-60T battery that includes an external connector to power accessories.
Our order is in and we should be seeing them early next year. Our friends at Newsshooter have produced a quick guide to walk you through the changes. Dan also took a moment to ask Sony's Claus Pfeifer about the new camera - it's worth watching!