Sony’s NewF cameras revealed: PMW-F5 & PMW-F55

For the last few weeks it’s been public knowledge that “TheNewF” is on its way and during this time we’ve been ‘allowed’ to release only a few snippets of information about it; things like “High Frame Rate”, “4K”, “4:2:2”,  “50Mb/s”.

Based on this you’d be forgiven for anticipating that Sony are about to launch an evolution of their now “virtually pre-historic” 2 year old camera, the PMW-F3…

Thankfully, it’s now 30th October and we’re free to tell you everything we know about TheNewF:

Firstly, it’s not one camera but two, in the form of the visually identical F5 and F55, or to give them their full name the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55.

These cameras are an active demonstration that Sony are determined to regain the ground lost over the last 5 years or so to competitors such as RED (With the RED One, Epic, Scarlet), Canon (EOS 5D, C300) and (if they ever deliver) Blackmagic Design (Cinema Camera) because they appear to have taken note of all of their rival’s key features and combined them all to create what appears to be the most versatile and capable mid-market digital cinematography camera.

I say mid-market because Sony are making it very clear that the F5 and F55 are positioned below their flagship F65, which remains the ultimate camera for high-end drama and feature film production.

Here are the headline features of the F5:

  • Full HD & 4K
  • Super 35mm 4K CMOS Imager
  • 4,096 x 2,160, 11.6M total pixels, 8.9M effective pixels, Bayer Pattern
  • High sensitivity (ISO 2000) and low noise (S/N 57dB with noise reduction off)
  • High Frame Rate of up to 120fps
  • Internal Recording to SxS media
  • Modular Design
  • RAW Recording capability to a new modular “dockable” external recorder, the AXS-R5
  • 50Mb/s / 4:2:2 Broadcast Friendly HD
  • New XAVC Codec for efficient 4K
  • Shoulder Pad & Class-leading OLED HD viewfinder & mount options to provide a genuine shoulder-mount camcorder
  • Dual lens mount as standard – Arri PL & Sony FZ
Enhanced features of the F55 (otherwise identical to the F5):
  • Higher frame rate of up to 240fps (Full HD RAW) or 60fps (4k RAW) with optional  AXS-R5 recorder
  • Internal recording at up to 180fps onto SxS media using XAVC Codec (HD / 4K)
  • Simultaneous XAVC and MPEG 2 recording capability – onto the same SxS media card
  • Slightly reduced sensitivity of ISO 1250 when compared to F5
  • Global Shutter (Eliminates rolling shutter effect)
  • F65 Colour Gamut
F5 / F55 feature comparison table:
   

 

Modularity

The new F cameras are without doubt the most modular devices we’ve ever seen from Sony, featuring a powerful camera-recorder at the heart of the system, complimented by a range of class-leading accessories such as viewfinders and monitors, a dockable ‘RAW’ recorder, versatile dual lens mount system, optional shoulder pad, removable top handle, etc…

This means that it’s easy to configure your F to meet your application, whether that be Drama, Documentary or even 3D production.

Of course it goes without saying that the new F is compatible with a mass of third party rigs and accessories…

 

 

Sony PMW-F5 / F55 Lens Mount Options:
Modularity and versatility are key features of the new F cameras, so Sony have cleverly made the standard lens mount their FZ mount which features a very large port with ultra short flange-back, enabling third party manufacturers to create a full range of adaptors for virtually any 35mm lens, for example Canon’s popular EF mount.  The FZ mount features Cooke/i / Arri LDS electrical interface capability for lens power and data relay.  The FZ mount means that the Sony  SCL-Z18X140  ENG style servo-zoom lens can be used on the F5 or F55, thus creating what is undoubtedly the most capable large sensor camera package for documentary (and other “run and gun”style) shooting…
Introducing a new range of six PL mount 4K Sony prime lenses:
  • All T/2,0
  • 240 degree focus ring rotation
  • Metal housings

 

DVF-EL100 – High resolution OLED Viewfinder option:

The new Sony DVF-EL100 is the first OLED viewfinder designed specifically for the latest Super 35mm cameras.

Its compact 0.7“ OLED screen packs an almighty punch, with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels in conjunction with outstanding contrast handling and clarity.

The DVF-EL100 is also compatible with the F65.

 Other ‘F’ options:  The AXS-R5 Recorder, AXS-512S24 512GB Media card & AXS-CR1 compact card reader:

 

In Summary:

At first look TheNewF appears to be the most complete digital cinema camera that we’ve seen to date, with Sony at last realising that in order to suppress the march of their competitors they need to not only match their product features but leap significantly ahead of them…  Of course the most important feature of the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 will probably prove to be its price and at the moment Sony have elected to keep that secret – If the F5 / F55 is priced to compete with the Canon C300 / C500 respectively then TheNewF is sure to be a big hit…

So there it is – All the information we’ve been able to get our hands on so far!  Of course we’ll be adding more as soon as we get it, so please check back soon – And don’t forget to follow us on twitter (@cvpgroup)…

Additional PMW-F55 Image showing XLR Audio Connectors:

 

17 thoughts on “Sony’s NewF cameras revealed: PMW-F5 & PMW-F55

    1. “Do you know if this is the recorder we can use with the FS700?”

      You can use the new Sony “AXS-R5” RAW Recorder with the NEX-FS700, but you also need the “HXR-IFR5” 3G-SDI Interface Adapter as well.

    1. At the moment Sony haven’t confirmed (or even hinted at) pricing of the PMW-F5 or F55, but I reckon it’s a fair assumption that the ‘basic’ PMW-F5 will be priced to compete with the Canon EOS C300…

  1. I have worked for 2 years with the Sony PMW-F3 and am very satisfied with the picture quality, even with 35MB internal recording. With the new Sony PMW-F5 and F55 I like it that there is now a search engine as it looks even better balance, 4 audio tracks, and the V-Mount battery connection.

    Andrew

  2. “Based on this you’d be forgiven for anticipating that Sony are about to launch an evolution of their now “virtually pre-historic” 2 year old camera, the PMW-F3…”!!!!!!!!!

    Nice one ….. fabulous bit of writing ….. that really helps when you’ve just spent a whole load on the F3…..puts another nail in the coffin lid of us F3 owners …Well done!!!

    1. That was said in jest! Actually Sony have just announced a forthcoming firmware update to further enhance the F3 (not sure what it will do yet though). The fact is that the F3 is an awesome camera and 35Mb/s is perfectly adequate for most applications.

    1. You may be right, I guess it just depends how aggressive Sony are prepared to be in their quest to regain the ground lost to Canon.

      I think that if they want the F5 to sell in any decent volume then it needs to be pitched at the C300 because beautiful as 4K images are, 4K production is a long way of becoming mainstream…

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