New AXS-R7 Recorder for Sony F55 / F5 Will Enable New Compressed RAW Codecs

X-OCN ST and X-OCN LT are the new compressed RAW codecs that will arrive with the AXS-R7 recorder and firmware version 8.0. The new codecs promise 30% smaller file sizes compared to the current Sony F5/F55 RAW format.

Sony F55 AXS-R7

The two new codecs are X-OCN ST and LT, or ‘eXtended Original Camera Negative‘ codec. The codecs support 16-bit depth and have a 4:1 compression ratio, as opposed to the current 3:1 ratio used for the current Sony F5/F55 RAW format. This means that the files will be 30% smaller than the current RAW format, and 50% smaller than Apple ProRes 4444XQ. The file size for XOCN- LT will be similar to XAVC Class 480, which will be made available for F55 owners with the upcoming firmware 8.0 release.

Here is a nifty little comparison chart from Sony:

X-OCN Bitrate Chart

Some more details about the upcoming AXS-R7 and firmware 8.0:

AXS-R7 RAW Recorder

The AXS-R7 RAW recorder

  • 4K 120fps recording
  • 30sec cache recording
  • Rugged build quality
  • Dual media card slots

Cinematographers requested 4K high frame rate recording on the F55 and Sony is delivering with the AXS-R7 RAW recorder. For the first time, the Sony F55 will be able to record at 120 frames per second in 4K, twice as fast as the currently available AXS-R5. When you need an even higher frame rate, both the AXS-R7 and AXS-R7 will record up to 240fps on the F55 and F5.

30-second cache recording

Sony has also added functionality to the AXS-R7 in response to requests from documentary and natural history DPs who need to “expect the unexpected.” The AXS-R7 will capture up to 30 seconds of video before you even hit the record button. Right now, they are telling us the target frame rate for this feature will be 23.98p. This is a great feature that will allow for fewer missed shots in a field where camera crews often wait for hours or even days to capture a small window of activity.

Robust, splash-resistant construction

In addition to its improved functionality, the Sony AXS-R7 RAW recorder has been beefed up with a dust and splash-resistant construction. The ventilation system in the recorder is sealed from the electronics to prevent dust and water entry. They have also strengthened the recorders attachment to the camera to better withstand vigorous handling.

The AXS-R7 also features dual media slots which accept Sony’s AXSM A slim series memory cards.

High speed A Series S48 AXS memory cards

Speaking of memory cards, the new A Series AXS memory cards have been specially engineered to facilitate high-speed workflows in 4K 120fps RAW recording mode. The latest cards can read and write data at a sustained 4.8 Gigabits per second. The new AXS-A1TS48 and A512S48 come in capacities of 1TB and 512GB. The AXS-R7 still works with the existing A Series S24 cards, but those cards can’t handle the new recorders improved 120fps speed at 4K RAW, and are limited to 60fps at 4K RAW, but can still handle 2K RAW up to 240fps.

A Series S48 AXS memory cards

XAVC® I Class 480 recording

For professionals who require an even higher data rate in XAVC I 4K recording, Sony F55/F5 firmware version 8.0 will supplement the existing “Class 300” mode with a higher data rate “Class 480” recording. Already supported by leading third-party software vendors, Class 480 will be available on the F55 as well as F5 cameras equipped with the CBKZ-55FX software license. Frame rates will include 23.98p, 24.0p, 25.0p and 29.97p.

Coming Summer of 2016

Sony informs us that they expect to deliver the AXS-R7 RAW recorder and the AXS-A1TS48 and A512S48 memory cards in summer 2016, in coordination with the release of F55/F5 firmware upgrade version 8.0. As the launch date approaches, we expect Sony will be disclosing even more capabilities of version 8.0, the R7 recorder and the new AXS cards. So stay tuned at Z Systems to keep up on the latest Sony news.

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