Sony introduced Cinema PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) camera. The camera, named the FR7, will join the Sony Cinema line. The FR7 is the world’s first PTZ camera to combine a full-frame image sensor, lens interchangeability and remote shooting functionality. Will the FR7 Cinema usher in a new era of PTZ cameras?
Yes, you can get used to this new definition. A PTZ camera that is equipped with a full-frame sensor and is capable of lens interchangeability. What can be done with it? Lots of cool stuff, like watching Big Brother in the shallow depths of the field. but why? Because could. Implementing a cinematic look and feel in a reality show can raise the level of entertainment for the show. In fact, during the pandemic, we wrote about cinematic broadcast, For example, filming MMA fights (without crowds) with large format cameras. This brought a ‘weird’ cinematic look to the fight due to its very shallow depth of field. Many viewers claimed that it sounded like a video game. Others really liked it. Anyway, as the popularity of large sensor cameras grew, it was only a matter of time before we got to the boring PTZ cameras. So, meet the new Sony FR7. A new PTZ that connects to the cinema line. Yes, you heard that right – a Cinema Line PTZ camera.
Sony has just launched the FR7, the world’s first PTZ camera to combine a full-frame image sensor, lens interchangeability, and remote shooting functionality. As stated by Sony: “The new PTZ camera from the Sony Cinema line opens up new creative and cinematographic possibilities for content creators ranging from filmmakers to live event or music video makers”. Now let’s come to the press release. It says that: “Sony today announced the latest addition to its Cinema line, the ILME-FR7, an E-mount interchangeable lens camera with a full-frame image sensor and built-in pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) functionality Its versatile remote control and cinematic features open up creative possibilities in studio, live production and movie-making settings.
Sony Europe’s Head of Live Production, Norbert Paquet, commented: “The cinematic look and feel is rapidly becoming the norm in broadcast and live production as it opens up new ways of telling a narrative. In parallel, especially over the past 2 years In the U.S., we’ve seen a huge increase in content created remotely or in small spaces where access is difficult. This new camera, the FR7, will respond to both these trends in the market with its PTZ and cinematic features. This means, Directors will be able to broadcast events and shows and preserve cinematic textures, such as shallow depth of field, more accurate colors, increased camera speed due to a larger field of view, and more.
The FR7 features a 35mm full-frame CMOS image sensor Exmor R with approximately 10.3 effective megapixels in the Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) camera for the first time. Apart from wide dynamic range, low noise and cinematic full frame bokeh, this sensor also offers high sensitivity. In addition, the FR7 has Sony’s E-mount and can mount all E-mount lenses, including the G Master series with stunning resolution and world-class bokeh. The choice of focal lengths from 12mm to 1200mm gives users extensive creative control.
According to Sony, several Cinema Line features are built into the camera to deliver a cinematic look and feel, including:
- The sensitivity setting allows the ISO to be expanded up to 409600 when shooting in low light.
- 15+ Stop Latitude Blows highlights and prevents blocked shadows.
- Includes several preset scene files, including S-Cinetone for the natural mid-tones that are essential for healthy-looking skin complexion, as well as soft complexions and gorgeous highlights. Since the target form can be created during shooting, time-consuming post-production can be eliminated in some applications.
- In Cine EI mode, base sensitivity can be set to either ISO 800 or ISO 12800 to match lighting conditions and reduce noise while maintaining a consistent look. This mode is ideal for post-production, as it allows the use of Sony’s native S-Log3 gamma, wide S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine color spaces.
- Shooting in slow-motion up to 4K 120p is possible, recreating the emotional possibility offered by a cinematic look.
Watch sample footage below:
With a new dedicated web application, pan, tilt, zoom, focus, record, playback and all camera settings can be controlled intuitively from a tablet or computer web browser. With its integrated remotely controlled pan/tilt mechanism, the FR7 can be mounted on a tripod, on a rooftop with the dedicated CIB-PCM1 or in other locations with limited access to unobtrusively and uniquely follow subjects point of view can be recorded. It is also compatible with Sony’s RM-IP500 remote controller for multi-camera production, expanding creative capability while reducing the need for dedicated staff in production studios and other shooting situations. A single RM-IP500 unit can control up to 100 PTZ cameras remotely. The FR7 can be used with Sony’s high-performance RM-IP500 remote controller for PTZ cameras, providing precise joystick-controlled pan, tilt and zoom operation.
Fast Hybrid AF and pan/tilt/zoom functions combine to focus on still or fast-moving subjects over a wide field of view, avoiding blurry images, even when a shallow depth of field is used. The integrated BIONZ XR engine realizes detection performance for pinpoint eye focus even when subjects are viewing from steep angles, allowing the operator to focus on composing the best shot. Touch AF-tracking can be used to initiate focus with real-time focus tracking on the desired subject when using the FR7’s web application, with real-time eye AF if an eye is detected .
Built-in variable ND filter allows for seamless ND adjustment. An Auto ND function keeps exposure constant by automatically adjusting the ND filter to match the changing light. A remote control is also possible, allowing exposure control at some distance from the camera.
A rare feature in a PTZ camera, the FR7 also has dual media slots that support CFexpress Type A and SDXC memory cards. The ability to record exposure settings and other metadata along with high-quality XAVC-I footage makes the FR7 an excellent choice for a wide variety of video production applications. CFExpress Type A cards are particularly well suited for high bitrate 4K movie production, with high speed write capability that ensures stable recording of high volume, high frame rate data. Simultaneous recording, relay recording, interval recording and proxy recording are also supported. The SDI output can deliver a 16-bit RAW signal to an external recorder. However, at the moment, Sony doesn’t specify what type of RAW is recorded.
The new FR7 will be available in November 2022 for approximately $9699.99 USD and $12,399.99 CAD. The FR7K, which includes the FR7 and SELP28135G lenses, will be available for $12,199.99 USD and $15,699.99CAD, while the CIB-PCM1 ceiling brackets will be available for $119.99 USD and $159.99 CAD. It will be sold at several Sony authorized dealers throughout North America. Explore the product link at the end of the article. In addition, tThe FR7 will be displayed for the first time at Sony’s booth at IBC in Amsterdam from 9 to 12 September.
Imagine watching a reality show that has a very shallow depth of field. It would look strange and unnatural. In my opinion, the audience is not yet ready for cinematic broadcasts. Feedback on MMA (mixed martial arts) fights shot with Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras was mixed. Suddenly, everything becomes clearer and more cinematic, giving you the impression that you’re watching a video game instead of a sporting event or show. At the time, due to the COVID restrictions, Sony had said that the reason for the use of FF mirrorless cameras was to focus more on the athletes rather than the crowd as there was no crowd. But it also seemed….. cinematic and clean. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s just….different. Still, you can easily get used to it. What is your opinion about FR7? Will this ruin your experience of watching the show? Or upgrade it significantly by making it more special and artistic? is he the oneIsMovie Ra PTZ cameras?
Here are the products mentioned in the article and links to buy them from authorized dealers.
- Sony FR7 Cinema Line PTZ Camera