Introducing the FS7 II
The image quality on the Sony FS7 II (aka FS7 MKII or FS7 Mark II) remains virtually unchanged from the original, as the sensor and image processing on both cameras is identical. Sony has made it clear they will continue to sell and support the PXW-FS7 after the release of the FS7 II.
All of the features that have made the Sony FS7 so popular remain on the FS7 II, starting with the body and sensor, which are unchanged. The Sony FS7 II still shoots XAVC codecs as well as MPEG2. Full DCI-4K recording to XQD cards is supported by the FS7 II, and so are all Sony and third-party accessories. Improvements are new features and improved color space.
Electronic Variable ND Filter
Sony first introduced an electronic variable ND filter with the PXW-FS5 camera, and has included it on the Sony FS7 II. The camera has a range of two to seven stops of ND attenuation and there are three ND modes to take advantage of that wide range.
There is a switch on the side of the camera that toggles the control wheel between iris and ND. There is another toggle that lets you choose between variable and preset mode. In variable mode, you can use the front wheel on the control grip or the side wheel on the camera to dial the ND within the camera’s 2~7 stop range, with a seamless transition between steps.
Preset mode lets users assign three ND settings to the filter turret, useful when shooting in changing light conditions. Auto ND mode is also available giving a fixed-level exposure while using the iris control to adjust the depth of field. Surprisingly, auto ND mode cannot be selected from any of the labeled controls on the camera; it has to be assigned to one of the 10 user assignable buttons.
New Lever-Lock Style E-Mount
The Sony FS7 II has an updated E-mount with a locking collar, similar to a PL mount. Instead of twisting the lens itself, you insert the lens at the correct angle and turn a locking ring to secure it. Once in place, the lens is firmly locked in with no play. The system is great for those that use heavier lenses, or a follow focus. However, this is a bit more clunky to operate, requiring two hands for the user to carefully align a white dot on the lens with a white dot on the mount.
Ergonomic Smart Grip
One of the most appreciated features of the Sony FS7 is the Smart Grip. The handgrip itself is perfectly molded for comfort and the arm allows you to adjust the grip for various shooting positions. The new telescoping Smart Grip can be adjusted without tools, a convenient upgrade that could eliminate the desire for the frequently purchased Shape Extension Arm. The updated grip will also be available for purchase in the future for current FS7 users.
With its ergonomic design, Sony’s original FS7 won the prestigious iF, Red Dot and Good Design awards.
18-110mm servo zoom lens
Last but not least, the FS7 II kit model includes Sony’s new Super35 E-mount lens. One great feature of this lens is the ability to switch between motorized zoom and full manual zoom. The lens has Sony’s Smooth Motion Optics (SMO) design, developed to eliminate undesirable characteristics such as ramping, losing focus while zooming, breathing and optical axis shift.
… And More
ITU-R BT.2020 recording is directly compatible with BT.2020 distribution
Pop-up LCD monitor hood in addition to the detachable eyepiece
Improved eyepiece hook for more secure attachment
Easier access to media cards for convenient removal