Sneak peek: Sony FS7 Mk II

Sneak peek: Sony FS7 Mk II

Sony’s new PXW-FS7 Mk II camcorder is now shipping, and we’ve managed to lure a demo unit to our Golden Square premises for customers to try out. Here’s what we’ve learned so far from testing the upgraded version of the FS7… 

fs7_full

The original FS7 was a fantastic run and gun camcorder at a fantastic price point. Because people have been so positive, the FS7 Mk II is not a totally new camcorder – Sony have simply added some much-requested extra features. While none of them are particularly groundbreaking in and of themselves, they are all based on common user requests, enhancing an already great camera with some higher-end professional features. (Purists will be happy to hear that the original is staying on the market for the time being.)

In a win for anyone who’s spent time building their perfect FS7 rig, the two cameras are the same form factor so most FS7 accessories will also work with the Mk II.

So, what are the new features? 

Well, the main differences in form are the new E mount lever lock and the additions to the unique arm design. This is a newly designed version of the Sony E mount, which is similar to a PL or B4 style lever lock in that you don’t have to rotate the lens to fit it on the lens mount, which is tricky with matte boxes and follow focus on the lens. This new style of lens mount means the Mk II is strong enough to take much larger and heavier lenses. This is particularly significant for B4 adaptors with lenses where the weight is further forward.

fs7_lens_mount

Another new feature is the variable ND filter (the same one as seen on the FS5). Like the FS5, it’s an easily over-looked enhancement, but it’s incredible. You can still adjust the ND filter to three options, but unlike most mechanical ND systems, Sony have uniquely created a variable ND filter that is electronically tinted.  This means you can set your three ‘ND filters’ to be any level of ND (1/16, 1/64, etc.) from within the menus. Very handy if you want to manipulate the depth of field in any given situation.

Other key changes include: 

– The handle now has two levers on it, so it can be adjusted without screws and can be mounted on the bottom of the body, similarly to the FS5, which should allow for easier control of the camera.

– The media slot has been adapted so that the XQD cards stick out more, making them easier to release and grab.

– There are three more assignable buttons, bringing the total on the camera to 10.

fs7_camera_controls

– The mic bracket has been redesigned to make it sturdier on top of the camera.

– The LCD viewfinder had been redesigned, with a much improved sun hood. The bar it screws on to is now square shaped, so it locks on – no movement!

– Rec2020 colour space compliance.

– The kit version now includes the SELP18110G – a much wider angle 18-110mm APSC lens (this can also be bought separately).

The Mk II can still only output 12-bit RAW via SDI, so you’ll need an XDCA-FS7 camera extension box and a Atomos Shogun Flame, Atomos Inferno or an Odyssey 7Q to get that RAW footage XDCAFS7.

 

– You can buy the Sony PXW-FS7 Mk II camcorder now from Jigsaw24.

Want to know more, or book a demo? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The year in production: Our highlights from 2016’s trade shows

The year in production: Our highlights from 2016’s trade shows

As well as hitting old favourites like NAB and IBC, 2016 marks the year we made our Media Production Show debut. I asked the production team to whittle down their trade show experience to just the most memorable, non-casino-related moments. Here are the results. 

NAB 2016

We’ve been big Atomos supporters from day one, and getting to see the Atomos Shogun was definitely one of the highlights of NAB. We were happy enough to hear that eight of the Atomos lineup were getting a free software update to support HDR, but the Shogun Inferno’s combination of the most advanced monitor technologies (1500nit/10bit/HDR) with 4Kp60 over Quad-SDI, and playback and editing functionality for on-set collaboration made it a real standout for us.

See our full NAB coverage here.

IBC 2016

IP workflow solutions got their first major airing at NAB and have continued gaining traction ever since, with NewTek continuing to expand their NDI lineup, Sony partnering with manufacturers and standards bodies to develop their own solutions portfolio, and production kit manufacturers releasing IP-ready kit.

We knew IP was going to be a big deal at IBC, but we had no idea just how IP-based the show was. As we’re primarily an IT reseller, this was right up our street. Some of our team attended the IP Interoperability talk with the likes of AIMS/Grass Valley and SMPTE, and the theme was very much how the industry is working together to advance IP workflows, although the standards are still yet to be ratified.

See our full IBC coverage here.

Media Production Show 2016

Back in June, we were at the Media Production Show, demonstrating our key solutions and services around Avid, Blackmagic Design, HP and Rohde & Schwarz (as well as dishing out the pic’n’mix and playing splat a rat). Catch up with everything that went down on day one in this official video from the Media Production Show. 

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The view from the floor: IP at IBC

The view from the floor: IP at IBC

IP workflow solutions got their first major airing at NAB and have continued gaining traction ever since, with NewTek continuing to expand their NDI lineup, Sony partnering with manufacturers and standards bodies to develop their own solutions portfolio, and production kit manufacturers releasing IP ready kit.

We knew IP was going to be a big deal at IBC, but we had no idea just how IP based the show was. As we’re primarily an IT reseller, this was right up our street.

Some of our team attended the IP Interoperability talk with the likes of AIMS/Grass Valley and SMPTE, and the theme was very much how the industry is working together to advance IP workflows, although the standards are still yet to be ratified.

One thing we gathered was that there are still a lot of questions about how IP workflow is going to affect the industry – for example, how do manufacturers differentiate themselves if the industry has agreed everyone will do the same thing with so many IP standards?

Sony demo live IP workflows

Despite these questions, it’s clear that IP-ready technology has taken a massive leap forward since NAB. We went to the Sony hall to look at their highly impressive range of IP-ready mixers and switchers, and learned that the signals can be sent to a mixer the other side of the Netherlands with only a two frame delay.

Sony has been pushing the IP discussion since 2012, starting from the Joint Taskforce for Networked Media (JT-NM), later joining the ASPEN and AIMS alliance groups, and more recently the AMWA NMI incubator project, driving the development of the NMI (Networked Media Interface) framework.

As well as providing us with exciting new acronyms in an industry that definitely doesn’t have enough of them, this has allowed Sony to develop a series of really interesting Networked Media Interface-based products, many of which were on show at IBC. They included:

NXLK-IP45F, a new AV Multiplexer/DeMultiplexer board enables you to multiplex and de-multiplex video and audio over IP signals, with an SDI signal output that includes embedded audio.

NXL-IP4F, an SDI-IP Converter Unit ideal for 4K/HD standalone source or destination to integrate with an IP-based Production System.

HKCU-IP43F, an NMI board for HDCU-4300 camera control system enables easy connection to the IP Live System network.

XKS-Q8111 and XKS-Q8166, an NMI supported QSFP+ I/O board (output) for XVS switchers that allows the direct connection to the core switch of an IP Live System network using 40Gbps fiber link.

PWA-MV1N, Multi-viewer Software enables a very efficient monitoring solution into an IP Live Production Infrastructure, reducing drastically the video matrix resources used for monitoring.

NewTek extend NDI range

NewTek’s new IP series range is a massive push forward for NDI and the interoperability between IP, hardware and software. At the heart of their IP workflow is the IP Series Video Mix Engine, which lets you mix up to 44 input sources then output 35 output signals over IP, all of which you can configure independently using NewTek’s software. Significantly, it is compatible with other IP standards including ASPEN and SMPTE 2022, so if you decide to move away from a purely NDI workflow further down the line, it won’t turn into a very expensive brick.

Like all the best NewTek products, it comes with its own control panel, this time a four-stripe model with 72 crosspoints per stripe, so you can make the most of all those input channels. It works exactly the same way every other NewTek control panel does, so if you’ve already spent time with TriCaster, making the move over to working with the Video Mix Engine won’t be hard.

Bridging the gap between your existing workflow and an IP-based one are the Input Module and Output Module, both of which sit on your LAN. The Input Module accepts SDI/HDMI inputs and outputs, and converts them into NDI signals, while the Output Module takes your NDI signal and converts it into something that can be understood by traditional video infrastructure, so you can enjoy the benefits of an NDI workflow in-house, even if your final delivery system isn’t capable of handling the end result.

NewTek also announced they’d be collaborating with Wowza to create a the Media Distribution System, which is a fantastic tool for editing audio and video in realtime, and then live streaming this over four independent, simultaneous streaming channels. Better still, it has integrated NDI technology supporting input and output over IP.

BirdDog Studio

And lastly, BirdDog Studio. I’ve gone on about this a lot, but that’s because it’s a super affordable way to start your transition to an IP workflow. For £560 ex VAT, you get a box that can convert your existing camera’s SDI/HDMI input into an NDI output, rendering it IP-compatible.

BirdDog Studio can also act as a format convertor for monitor loop out, and display tally onboard or externally. And it accepts power of Ethernet, so you don’t need to worry about lugging round an extra set of batteries and chargers. You can only use one BirdDog with one camera at a time, so you’ll need one for each camera you plan to shoot with simultaneously. However, there is a central, browser-based control panel for configuring and controlling all your BirdDogs in one place, so it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.

For more on the latest IBC releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.