Sony Introduces the FR7 Cinema PTZ Camera

Sony has introduced the FR7, a new model in its Cinema series. The world’s first full-frame interchangeable lens (ILC) PTZ camera is made by combining the company’s current imaging technology with remote-controlled robotics.

With live streaming gaining popularity, there is a huge demand for appropriate and reasonably priced equipment. In recent years, more businesses have developed affordable live switchers, direct live streaming capabilities for cameras, and other live production technologies. PTZ cameras fall into the category of useful goods for live and multi-camera productions. PTZ stands for pan-tilt-zoom and pretty much says it all about what these cameras can do: pan, tilt, and zoom when commanded remotely.

“The cinematic look and feel is rapidly becoming the norm in broadcasting and live production as it opens up new ways to tell a narrative,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “In parallel, over the last two years, we’ve seen a steep rise in content created remotely or in small locations where access is difficult. At Sony, we are always listening to our customers. We are thrilled to announce the FR7 that combines the flexibility of a standard PTZ camera with stunning visuals through advanced cinematic features.”

The new camera, according to Sony, adopts the look of the cinema line and opens up a new universe of remote shooting with precise and fluid pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) robotics, making it the first camera to do so. It also features a full-frame sensor with PTZ functionality. The FR7 was designed from the ground up to be a PTZ camera that could operate perfectly with other Sony Cinema Line cameras in live or multi-camera settings. It is possible to mix and match cameras and have them all closely match by using a common sensor and the same image processing as various Sony cameras in the Cinema Line feature. The FR7 truly belongs to Sony’s Cinema Line.

The camera has the same design as the FX6 camera and has a full-frame 10.3-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor with 15+ stops of dynamic range and ISO performance starting at ISO 800 and expandable up to 409,600, according to Sony, making it ideal for placement where lighting cannot always be controlled. The sensor reading is incredibly quick due to the low megapixel count. Hence the rolling shutter will essentially not exist. To provide realistic mid-tones, it contains S-Cinetone. Additionally, wide S-Gamut3, S-Gamut3, and S-Gamut3. Cine color spaces are included. It supports various codecs, including high-definition 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit through HDMI and SDI and up to 120p at 4K.
To maintain subject focus, it also has Sony’s autofocus innovations like real-time eye AF and Real-time Tracking. The FR7 provides 12G-SDI, HDMI, Single Mode Fiber, NDI Hx, Genlock, Tally, PoE++, and Sony RCP paint control in terms of connectivity and interface (via a future firmware update). Additionally, there are GPI, timecode-in, and audio-in (5-pin XLR).

The FR7 promises to move with precision thanks to Sony’s expertise in actuator design. Pan and tilt speed can be adjusted continuously from 0.02 to 60 degrees per second, allowing for a wide range of stable, smooth motion. The tilt angle range is -30 to 195 degrees, whereas the pan angle range is +/- 170 degrees.
Up to 100 preset camera positions can be stored in the FR7’s memory. A web application or an extra RM-IP500 remote control can be used to control the FR7 remotely. With the click of a button, presets can be remembered for things like camera zoom and focus.

All of Sony’s E-mount lenses are compatible with the FR7, although due to the size and weight of the 100-400mm GM, 200-600mm G, 400mm F2.8 GM, and 600mm F4 lenses, the pan/tilt must be secured with the camera’s locking mechanism. The FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS lens, which Sony is selling as a kit with the FR7, is one of Sony’s PZ lenses that pairs well with the FR7.

CFexpress Type A and SDXC memory cards, which are incorporated into the model’s base rather than the camera module, are two methods the camera itself can record media.

According to the company, reality shows, serial drama, chat shows, food shows, and music videos are its main target audiences. The camera could also be used in situations where PTZ cameras are more commonly used, like fixed event spaces, places of worship, streaming events, music festivals, wedding venues, fashion shows, and theaters.

For $9,699.99, the Sony FR7 will be available in November. The FR7 kit with the FE PZ 28-135mm lens will cost $12,199.99 and will be available in November. Sony will exhibit the FR7 at IBC 2022 in Amsterdam this weekend.

More info on Sony’s website.

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