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Header image for article IBC '13: Updated Sony F5 & F55 Firmware Schedule & Super 16 Mode

IBC '13: Updated Sony F5 & F55 Firmware Schedule & Super 16 Mode

Yesterday, Sony announced an updated firmware roadmap which outlines a bunch of great new features for the F55 and F5 coming in the months ahead.

One of the most exciting additions is a Super 16mm Center Scan Mode. This mode lets you use Super 16mm glass on the camera, a great option for anyone who already has those lenses. You can view the new firmware roadmap on the Sony Community page and keep reading below for an outline of some of the other big changes.

Firstly, the previously-announced versions of v1.3, and v1.4 have been changed; v1.3 is now called v2.0, and v1.4 is now called v3.0.

Version 2 Updates (Formerly 1.3):

New XQD Memory Card with Adapter

Sony is officially adding support for the XQD media format which can now, with the appropriate adapter, be used in the cameras. This is the same media used in the recently announced PXW-Z100, which is handy for those utilizing both cameras.

New Mount Adapter Support - LA-FZB1/ LA - FZB2

Sony has two FZ to B4 mount (2/3") adapters coming, both offering the same optical performance. The difference between the two is that the LA-FZB2 offers a servo-controlled filter disc for ND and CC (color correction) filters. Both adapters will include a 12-pin Hirose connection for your ENG lenses. Firmware v2.0 supports both of these.

HFR Mode in Full Scan

High Frame Rate mode for the full sensor area is coming as planned, giving you that high speed recording we are all looking forward to. This high speed mode doesn't crop the sensor when recording at all. Check out Sony's Vimeo page for some of the first 240fps footage shot with the F55.

Version 3 Updates (Formerly 1.4):

HFR in Center Scan Mode

High frame rate will be supported in Center Scan Mode in v3.0, giving you high speed recording with the cropped sensor area covered by Super 16mm lenses. The maximum frame rate will be the same as Full Scan mode.

2K RAW Center Scan Mode for S16mm lens

As I mentioned above, Sony will be adding a Center Scan Mode for S16mm lens users. There are a lot of S16mm lenses out there so this is a great option to have. In this mode, the camera will record the center portion of the sensor, which S16mm lenses cover, for HD & 2K recording.

Interval Recording

A much-requested feature, interval recording or time-lapse mode will be added.

AES/EBU Audio Support

The two XLR ports on the side of the camera will support AES/EBU inputs, giving you access to all four audio channels.

Preset Sony Look Profile

Sony will add the same MLUT mode as found in the F65 and the RAW Viewer software to the F5 & F55. We do not have much detail on this right now, but if it is anything like the F65, the cameras will be able to import CDL LUT files for on-set viewing and those files will be recorded to the Raw footage metadata.

User-Definable Clip Name

You will be able to set your own clip name; currently, clip cames cannot be changed, so this is a nice addition.

Embedded Clip Name Metadata on SDI Output

The camera will be able to output clip names over SDI. This is great when using external recorders with the cameras.

2K RAW on 50p and 59.94p TC Base

2K RAW previously only supported base rates up to 29.97, with this update it will be possible to set your cameras base frequency to 50 or 59.94p.

Andy Shipsides
Chief Technology Officer / Camera Tech Specialist, AbelCine LA

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