Sony launches NEX-FS700: 4K-Ready FS100 Offshoot

Posted in Equipment, News by Nathan Lee Bush on April 2, 2012

Last week Andrew Reid of EOSHD rumorized a 4K FS100 offshoot from Sony for NAB. It seemed too good to be true, as the very popular E-Mount pro camcorder from Sony was only a year old, and had already firmly established itself in the midrange between the DSLR and F3/EPIC price points, with incredible low-light performance, high customizability and 4:2:2 external recording. But today, it looks like his sources were spot on!

Sony has announced the NEX-FS700, an incredible package which will no doubt will shake up this already dynamic market! Expected to retail for around $8,000, the FS700 is “4K-ready,” meaning Sony will rollout a firmware upgrade to unlock this feature, and offer a proprietary 4K external recorder to record the footage. The FS700 also has a 3G HD-SDI output as well as built-in 2, 4 and 6 stop ND filters (one of the few common complaints about the of the FS100). Another standout feature is the mindboggling framerates for super slow-mo shooting. You can now shoot up to 240fps at full 1080p(!) for up to 8 seconds (16 seconds at 120fps), up to 480fps at interpolated 1080p, and up to 960 at a severely letterbox-cropped 200 line image. Another nice feature is the addition of 99 slots for customizable profile settings, which can be shared from camera to camera with an SD card.

The NEX E-Mount lens family is famously thin, though the kit lens 18-200mm lens is pretty decent. But with an adapter virtually any lens can be affixed to this bad boy. I’ve used a bunch of old Contax lenses on one music video shoot, and great Nikon primes on another, all with great results.

At “less than $10,000” with a lens (EOSHD suggested an $8,000 street price) at its June release, the pricing will be very aggressive. The closest competitors, the RED Scarlet X and Canon C300 both retail for roughly twice that (for the ready-to-shoot package). Feature for feature, this camera appears to match those cameras, at least on paper. Can’t wait to take a look at this at NAB in a couple weeks!

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