Meet the all-new PTZ Cinema Line camera FR7

By Gerry Blaklsey

The newest edition to the Cinema Line. This is truly a game changer; combining a unique combination of robotic control and cinematic expression opening up a new world of creative possibilities. A world’s first, the FR7 combined with Sony’s extensive E-Mount lens lineup provide the opportunity for unprecedented creative potential.

I recently spent a day in the studio with the new Sony FR7 full frame, interchangeable lens, PTZ camera. The newest edition to the Cinema Line. For this setup we had the Sony FX3, FX6 and FR7. With its full frame sensor and Cine EI color Science we were able to cut seamlessly between the FR7, FX6 and FX3 with a consistent look. The FR7 was hung directly over the top of the cooking set. With its pan, tilt and zoom controls we were able to pick between presets and creating our own shots on the fly.

We controlled the FR7 using the RM-IP500 control unit. This gave us access to, camera functionality, pan, tilt, zoom control and position presets which are also controllable via the web interface. The joystick control was familiar and constant to other remote heads I have used in the past. We were only using one FR7 camera but the RM-IP500 is capable to control multiple cameras and up to 100 presets each camera. The menu UI is similar to the FX6 and is easy to navigate.

One of the greatest features about this camera is this interchangeable lens mount which gives you the option to choose from a variety of Sony lenses, not just the power zooms. For this shoot we used the 28-135mm FE PZ F4 G OSS but I also seen a significant amount of time testing the new Sony FE PZ 16-35mm f/4 G. Both lenses work great on the FR7.

Many of the Cinema Line features you know and love are available in the FR7. For example, 12G SDI - 16bit RAW output, Cine EI shooting modes, fast hybrid autofocus, electronic variable ND filter, dual media slots, tally, genlock, timecode and XLR audio input. The real-time eye AF was accurate, fast and easily tracked our chef anytime his face was viewable. Amazingly, this feature is also available using touch tracking on a tablet. The built in electronic ND filters were quite handy and easy to use allowing seamless adjustment from 1/4 to 1/128. The dual slot CFexpress Type A / SDXC memory slots and 4K 120fps are a game changer for this format. The ability to record the same 10bit codecs and run them through the post production workflow I am already used to on the rest of the Cinema line is fantastic.

Overall the FR7 is a very welcome and unique addition to the Cinema Line and I am looking forward to diving into all the features and the creative possibilities it will open up.

About Gerry Blaklsey