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Header image for article Sony Announces New FR7 Full-Frame PTZ Camera

Sony Announces New FR7 Full-Frame PTZ Camera

Sony recently unveiled an exciting new camera – the FR7, part of their Cinema Line – that combines the DNA of their Alpha 7-series of full-frame mirrorless cameras with the flexibility, precision and control of a remote-controlled studio camera.

The world’s first full-frame, interchangeable lens “PTZ” (pan, tilt, and zoom) camera, the FR7 brings a full-frame sensor, similar to those housed in Sony’s successful mirrorless camera bodies from their Alpha 7 series, along with a full-frame E-mount, and houses it all in an approachable three-axis robotic body. The FR7 looks to enable a world of new approaches to “cinematic” video for a wealth of different applications.

Sony FR-7

The FR7 uses a back-illuminated full-frame (approx. 36mm x 24mm) image sensor with 10.3 megapixels and 15+ stops of dynamic range as well as high-sensitivity, allowing for a top-end ISO of 409,600 at the highest setting. Among other preset scene or look files, S-Cinetone is present in the camera, which has quickly become the choice of many when going for a “best of all worlds” baked-in look on many Sony cameras.

The camera also features full Cine EI mode – for shooting in a Log-based workflow from the world of digital cinema. In Cine EI mode, either of the camera’s two base sensitivities can be selected (800 for the low base or 12,800 for the high base), which then allows the DP to “rate” the camera to achieve intermediate sensitivities. As usual, Cine EI allows the use of Sony’s S-Log3 brightness curve in conjunction with either the S-Gamut3 or S-Gamut3.Cine color spaces. Frame rates up to 120 fps (in UHD 3840x2160) and 240 fps (in 1920x1080 FHD) are also possible.

For control, the FR7 debuts with a new dedicated web application for controlling pan, tilt, zoom, focus, recording, playback, and other settings directly from a tablet or laptop running a web browser. The camera’s video feed can also be monitored by multiple people at the same time, and multiple FR7s can be monitored on the same device. The FR7 is also compatible with Sony’s RM-IP500 remote controller console, which features ergonomic and tactile controls and can address up to 100 PTZ cameras per unit. An infrared remote is also supplied with the camera for simple operation.

Because of the FR7’s unique features and design, it lends itself to mounting options not usually associated with PTZ cameras, such as on a tripod, stabilizing mount, or really anywhere the camera’s unobtrusive form factor can be accommodated – any number of applications come to mind. Of course, it can be ceiling mounted as well, using Sony’s dedicated CIB-PCM1 mount. The camera can memorize up to 100 preset positions, which can include camera direction, zoom, focus, and more can be recalled from either the web application or the RM-IP500.

Sony FR7

Of special note is the fact that E-Mount lenses are used (many of which support Sony's Power Zoom functionality) and the camera supports both Sony's face and eye detection autofocus technologies and real-time tracking, as on many of their other Cinema Line cameras and others. Locking onto a subject and following them (such as a performer on stage, lead actor in a scene, CEO at a product launch, etc.) is easy and straightforward, especially when running the web remote application on a tablet such as an iPad – you simply tap on the person's face. At the same time, other recognized faces are available to be tapped on as well to quickly – and smoothly – shift focus from one person to another. In conjunction with the full-frame sensor, these technology features allow for some truly impressive shallow focus in a setting where we haven't really seen this capability before.

The FR7 also features built-in electronically controlled variable ND (neutral density) filtration allowing for seamless adjustment as well as an Auto ND mode to match changing lighting at, for example, an outdoor event. The FR7 records to dual CFExpress Type A / SD Card slots in Sony's high-quality XAVC-I codec. Simultaneous, relay, interval and proxy recording are all supported. The SDI output also supports sending a RAW video signal to a compatible external recorder. HDMI is present as well, as is a 5-pin XLR (2-channel) audio input, an ethernet port (which supports PoE++, which can power the camera in addition to its 19.5V DC input via a barrel connector). Two other BNC terminals are present to receive timecode and genlock respectively.

Sony FR7 Cameras Control Room

We're excited to see what creative as well as practical (and even unexpected) uses our friends and customers come up with for such an interesting camera, as well as being the first of its kind. Availability is planned for November 2022 and pricing is $9699.99 for the body only or $12,199.99 in a kit including the SELP28135G lens (Sony's full-frame hybrid cine-style full-frame 28-135mm f/4 zoom lens). The CIB-PCM1 ceiling bracket will be available for $119.99. Visit the product pages or contact AbelCine sales to get more details.

Want to get a closer look at the new FR7? Stop by our NY showroom to see the camera in action courtesy of our pop-up production experiences!

Geoff Smith
Camera Technology Specialist, AbelCine NY

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