Sony's IBC 2015 Exhibition Starts with a BANG.
Sony has announced two new cameras aimed in particular at the prosumer, professional journalism and independent cinema markets. First off, the newest entrant in their Alpha series, the Sony a7S II.
The main highlights are the widely requested addition of the a7R II 5-axis Image Stabilization system which Sony tuned specifically for the new camera to combat the appearance of rolling shutter issues that beset the Sony a7S. There's also the same internal 4K video recording to XAVC-S at 100 Mbps so we can now capture 4K directly to compatible (and inexpensive) SDXC cards. Sony also included the new picture profiles S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3 and S-Gamut3/S-Log3 for a more cinematic look, and have reduced the minimum exposure setting to ISO 1600 from the previous 3200 in the a7S.
Next up, Sony announced the all new PXW-FS5 Super35 4K camera, which is intended to sit between the venerable FS700 and latest PXW-FS7.
The Sony PXW-FS5 offers internal 4K capture at 24p, 25p and 30p, as well as up to 240 FPS slow motion in 1080p. Its native E-mount can be adapted to virtually any lens configuration for use with other DSLR and PL mount lenses. As expected, you can record multiple codecs and proxy files as well. Interestingly, it has a base ISO 3200 for Log profiles but compensates for that with internal ND filters ranging from 1/4 to 1/128.
All told, it's an exciting day for indie filmmakers on tight budgets looking to shoot great quality footage in low-light and run-and-gun situations. While I still recommend developing a great relationship with your local rental shop and using high end gear when you can, these cameras are great for every other assignment you can think of, especially when you're a one-person-band on the go.