PXW-FS7 4K Super-35 Camera, XQD Cards and Readers, Batteries & Chargers

Carbon Fiber Tripod & 100mm Fluid Head, Hi Hat, Fig Rig, Jib Arm, Stealth Camera Slider, Doorway Dolly

24mm T1.8, 35mm T1.8, 50mm T1.8, 85mm T1.8 Prime Lenses   500mm T6.5 Telephoto Lens

10-18mm T4.0 Zoom, 18-55mm T5.6 Zoom, 18-200mm T5.6 Zoom, 70-300mm T5.6 Zoom Lenses

Leica, and Canon EOS to E-Mount Adapters, and an Extensive Collection of Filters



XAVC 10-BIT RECORDING in 4K, UHD, 2K, and HD (saves a whole lot of card and hard-drive space)


Part of the secret of the high mobility of the FS7 Camera, is that it can record 4K Internally without the excess weight or bulk of an external recorder.  This is huge, giving you more camera set-ups per shooting-day and allows the camera to film more unobtrusively, or on aircraft or hand-held Gyro Stabilizers such as the excellent Letus Helix.


If we're shooting self-contained 4K Internally, then the footage coming out of the camera is on XQD Cards recording with the XAVC Codec.

According to Sony, recording these as XAVC Files means that the camera can record four times as long before reloading as opposed to recording in ProRes.  Thus the camera cards can hold four times the amount of footage by recording in XAVC instead of ProRes.


This also means that XAVC uses only one-quarter of the drive space at your DIT Station or Edit Bays, and takes one-fourth of your archive space. The cards use a standard USB 3 or USB 2 reader and are zippy to download at the end of the day, which is another reason that DITs love XQDs!


Now that Avid, Catalyst, Final Cut X, Premier, and Vegas Editing Software instantly recognize XAVC files, it often means that you can edit your show natively throughtout the post process in XAVC without transcoding to another format and saving four times as much hard drive space (and the time it takes to copy them all).  For the first time you can stay in the XAVC realm throughout post production until

the final export into the delivery format of your choice.


For example Avid Media Composer 7.3 wil let you import XAVC files from XQD Cards and render them into another format,

however the newer Media Composer 8.4 will import XAVC files from XQD Cards and render back to XAVC.



Free Download of Sony XAVC Catalyst Browse Software for Mac or PC



The XAVC codec is both a Mac and a PC thing, and has been with us since 2012... No need to cling to ProRes this time if it's not in your best interests, as your familiar editing environment can now handle XQD Cards just fine.


Click for more information about XAVC




RAW 12-BIT RECORDING and ProRes 10-Bit RECORDING - in 4K, UHD, 2K, and HD


The FS7 can record ProRes directly to the XQD Cards internally using the extension unit, as HD 10-Bit 4:2:2 files.


The FS7 Camera can also output RAW files to an external recorder such as the Odyssey 7Q or Shogun by adding-on the XDCA-FS7 Unit.


Raw files are huge beasts requiring a large investment in proccessing time and storage space. Raw footage requires more time for color grading in post production, yet yields a higher quality picture.  One has to determine the venue or release platform of the final film to consider a commitment to extra time and extra storage verses image quality.  If it's for theaters nationwide definitely shoot RAW, however,

if your project gets screened at two festivals and then goes straight to DVD or the web, then you probably will want to shoot XAVC instead.

ProRes and RAW Recording with the Sony XDCA-FS7



AXS-R5 and


Recording RAW with Sony or Third Party Recorders

PIX-E7 or PIX-E5




Most Movie theaters across the globe use 4K DCI compliant DCP Files sent to

digital 4K Sony projectors, so perhaps it makes sense to shoot 4K on a

Sony Super-35 Cinema Camera as well?





Most Movie Theaters project Super-35 in the 1:85, 16x9, or 17x9 aspect ratios, or in 2:1, or 2.5:1 aspect ratios if anamorphic or Panavision.


The standard movie going experience is based on either a 3-perf or 4-perf tall section of 35mm film running vertically through a projector.


Recently digital still cameras have appeared which use their full-frame sensors to record HD and 4K video. Full Frame sensors are based on the SLR  still camera film photo format of an 8-perf wide section of 35mm film running horizontally through the camera, and then cut and mounted into cardboard frames for a slide projector. 




YOUR DELIVERY FORMATS...       Most Arri Alexas do not shoot 4K


THE WEB: FROM VIMEO TO NEXFLIX       HBO, Showtime, and Netflix all want 4K material now!


All web delivery methods and even broadcast and satellite feeds will add some form of compression to your project, which degrades the image by varying factors based on the platform.  If you have the time and the budget, then an all RAW post production pipeline does get you the best image to submit to these abuses.




Click for Vimeo Comparrison Between Arri Amira and Sony FS7 Side By Side


HORIZONTAL                                                       HORIZONTAL                                                                   VERTICAL

Having a sensor that is either too big or too little just doesn't look right to movie audiences...




In the 1950's studios went wide screen fast to compete with television.  Fox had licensed anamorphic lens designs that eventually became Panavision and used the standard vertical 35mm movie frame.


Instead Paramount Pictures developed 8-perf cameras that ran the film horizontally through the gate, thus yielding a wider picture without anamorphic lenses and the need to pay royalties for the process.

This horizontal 8-perf wide system was dubbed "VistaVision" by Paramount and is identical in format to the Full-Frame sensors today.





(Also Interesting to note that APS-C is not the same as S-35, although the two terms are often used interchangeably)

Now before getting too excited, there is a trade-off between the size of any sensor, and the maximum depth of field...

The corner to corner diagonal length of a sensor determines the available depth of field when matching similar lens angles of coverage.

This effectively means, that the larger the sensor, then the shallower focus you inherently have, It is a basic law of optics.


Conversely, the smaller the sensor, the more everything in the frame remains in focus. 

Take 8MM films, they don't have that "Hollywood look" becuase the diagonal of the frame is so tiny,

same for traditional network news cameras with their small sensors. 

This is why Super-35 sized sensors as just right...


If you are shooting at night in a city bus, or by a candle, or by moonlight, you'll probably wish you had a Super-35 size Sensor becuase the

resulting amount of Depth of Field is equal to the Big Screen Hollywood aesthetic.  On the other hand, Full-Frame sensors are actually handicapped by their larger size and resulting smaller range of Depth of Field.  The irony being that now anyone can afford a DSLR like the Canon 5D, and think that the bigger the sensor the better, the truth is however that maintaining focus on these Full-Frame cameras is inherently difficult.  Focus is a bitch!  Look at the unedited dailes from these cameras and you'll see just how much of the footage is actually struggling to stay in focus.


Watch "White Christmas" shot in Full-Frame on Film in VistaVision, and "Act of Valor" shot Full-Frame Digitally on Canon 5D cameras.

Both films are excellent stories, yet I find them hard to watch at times with their constant shallow focus.  Aside from the main character being sharp, everything else on the screen is blobby and out of focus.

Shallow depth of field is great when appropriate in telling a story, but there are times when you will want to keep three or more characters in focus. This is why I personally shun Full-Frame sensor cameras regardless of manufacturer.

I prefer Super-35 Sensors shooting 24 Frames Per Second whenever possible.


For years we've been seeing selectively shallow depth of field in movie scenes where the director and cinematographer have used selective focus to draw your eye to a particular part of the frame.  To think that you must have a Full-Frame camera to do that is a mistake, simply watch any Hollywood movie.


The signature depth of field of a standard 35mm Motion Picture camera is based on the hight of a 35mm vertical film frame, or Super-35

camera sensor, not a Full-Frame one.  The last (full frame) Paramount VistaVison format Projector from Radio City Music Hall was sold off as scrap decades ago...



The Sony e-Mount was designed for cameras without mirrors thus allowing an incredibly versatile lens mount becuase it has about the shortest distance beteen the camera's sensor and lens mounting flange professionally available. (the shorter distance, the most versatile).

This distance is called "Flange to Focal".  For the e-Mount this is only 18mm, while say a Nikon F Mount is 46.5mm, and a PL mount is even longer.


The e-mount on the FS7 Camera can take most any lens using a variety of adapters, it's really quite flexible optically.

You can mount anything from a Russian portrait lens from a vintage stills camera, to a 10-18mm compact zoom lens with built-in electronic exposure control, auto focus and optical stabilization, or go fully manual with a classic Cooke 20-240 cinema zoom lens using a PL Mount  Adapter and the proper bridge plate and support rods.


Here is a Canon EF-Mount Full-Frame Lens Example...





Oddly, the most excellent Canon CN-E Cinema Prime Lenses are designed for Full-Frame format sensors. On the other hand, real cinema cameras are Super-35 by choice, but can still use the center area through glass of the Canon Cinema Primes with a resulting 1.39 crop factor.

This means that a Full-Frame 50mm Lens will roughly look like a 70mm lens on a Super-35mm sensor, such as the ones in Canon's own C500, C300, and C100 Cameras...  Perhaps it is a bit ironic that the full width of view of say, the delicious Canon CN-E 14mm Prime Lens is optically reduced effectively from a 14mm to a 20mm by shooting with a Super-35 sensor.  The Canon EF Lens mount on the Canon Digital Cinema Cameras loses the full width of each lens.  Same for all Full-Frame 35mm Still Camera Lenses.  The marketing departments at Canon think they must make their cinema lenses full frame in order to sell more units, or to be compatible with the 5D, however odd it is for a Cinema Lens, becuase basically, Cinema = Super-35 and not "full frame",  (it's not just Canon marketing deaprtments thinking this way BTW).


The Sony e-Mount has a distinct advantage here in that it allows the use of a Metabones Speed Booster adapter to restore the full width

of those Full-Frame Lenses, (something that even the Canon mount cameras cannot do).  This means that with the Speed Booster you see the full width of that beautiful Canon 14mm Full-Frame Lens... (ironically, only on a Sony e-mount).


You also gain a full stop in avaible light with an actual gain in image quality.  Your T3.1 lens just became a T2.4, and you can always remove the Speed Booster and use a simpler Metbones EF to e-Mount Adapter to turn your whole collection of Full-Frame lenses into a second focal length, (doubling the range of your kit).  Both Adapters connect the lens metadata info and exposure control contacts to the lenses designed for them.

Super-35 Has a 1.39x Crop Factor When Using Full Frame Lenses Without a Speed Booster, and

Super-35 Has Only a 1.1 Percent Crop Factor When Using Full Frame Lenses With a Speed Booster

Camera Shown with XDCA-FS7 Extension Unit & V-Mount Battery


Arri Rosette Hand Grip Modification for FS7

by Caleb Crosby at Shooting Machine

If you would like your information added to this page

or have any corrections, suggestions, or pictures to add, please send them to me at cynthia.webster@gte.net

FS7 Multi-Turret.jpg

MultiTurret from Multuturret.com