Sony this week released another round of free firmware updates for the F5, F55 and FS7. The new firmware adds great new functionality to the cameras and proves that Sony is committed to keeping their cameras at the cutting edge of imaging technology and rewarding their customers investment with continued support and longevity.
The biggest of the updates is for the F5 and F55 cameras. Both cameras are getting what Sony is calling “Quick Menus”. These new menus are accessible by using the option button on the side of the camera. This brings up a new set of menus on the side panel of the camera that now let you change most of the key functionality settings on the camera quickly and easily without having to scroll through the cumbersome user or system menus of the camera.
Watch this video if you would like a quick rundown of the new “Quick Menu” options.
Another improvement that is coming to the F5 and F55 is an extension of the range of zebras displayable in the viewfinder. The range is being extended down to 0% from its previous lowest point of 50%. This will be a big boon to users who prefer to expose with zebra’s that shot in S-Log2 or S-Log3 where 18% grey is properly exposed at 32% or 41% IRE respectively.
The last big change coming to both cameras is improved proxy recording options. The cameras are now capable of recording an MPEG2 HD 4:2:2 proxy at up to 60i onto the same SxS Pro+ card.
The F55 is getting a further upgrade with this version of firmware. The F55 will now be able to record the new ITU-R BT.2020, or Rec2020 standard for HDR televisions. This standard displays a much broader color gamut and dynamic range than traditional screens. What this means is that the F55 is ready to record the new standard in the same way it records Rec709 broadcast standard images, without the need for extra post work.
The FS7 update, while not as groundbreaking as the one for the F5/55, adds some great new capabilities to the camera. Most notably is the ability of the camera to use a 2k “center scan” mode that effectively doubles the focal length of any lens. This has long been a feature of the F5/55 cameras and came with the FS5 out of the box.
Other updates of note are noise suppression in CineEI mode, expanded zebra level to 0%, interval recording, and the ability to move the focus check magnification area away from the center of the viewing area.
The update also addressed some known issues with the camera, namely a reduction in the quality of the RAW output using the XDCA extension unit. It is not clear whether the issue has been completely resolved or only improved over where it was before. Sony also improved the usability of the Video Signal Monitor (Waveform, Histogram, Vector) while shooting with LUTS.
Overall performance of the camera has gotten a boost as well, with more responsive menus and improved zoom speed with the 28-135mm kit lens.
Get the updates
To get the firmware update for your camera follow one of the following links. The process is relatively simple and takes between 30 and 45 minutes to complete.
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Sony PXW-FS7 (Body Only) $7,999.00
Sony PXW-FS7K (With Lens) $10,499.00
Sony PMW-F55 (Body Only) $28,990.00
Sony PMW-F5 (Body Only) $16,490.00