F5 and F55 upgrade with new version 3 firmware
Sony have been very busy with the release of their new version 3.0 firmware release for the F5, and F55, which brings a host of new features and new functionality for these increasingly versatile cameras.
With close to 30 new features, this is a major release and increases both the marketability and perception of the Sony digital motion picture cameras for PMW-F5, F55 and AXS-R external recorders.
The following functions are available to the PMW-F5 and F55 with additional functionality for PMW-F55 listed at the bottom of this article.
You are now able to shoot up to 150fps PAL or 180 fps NTSC XAVC HD on the PMW-F5, up from 120 fps and the slow and quick function of the variable frame rate at is also compatible with 2K XAVC as above.
There are additional frame options for external RAW recorded up to 240fps and available Fame rate are 1-60, 72, 75, 80, 90, 96, 100, 110, 120, 125, 135, 144, 150, 160, 168, 175, 180 and 240. The latest firmware seems to promise that 240 fps is now available to both PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 in 2K and HD but only when used with the AXS-R5 and version 3 firmware, though this is not entirely clear from the latest release notes and we shall wait to see if it works!.
There is a centre-scan function which allows super 16mm lenses to be used and centre scan at 2K resolution – very useful if you have a stock of ageing 16mm lenses.
There is a whole host of new frame rate options summarized as:
XAVC 2048x1080p 1920x1080p at 100mbps
MPEG XDCAM 1920x1080 at 50mbps
SStp SR SQ 422 at 440mbps (YPB only)
SStp SR Lite 422 at 220mbps (YPB only)
SStp SR SQ 444 at 440mbps (RGB only)
MPEG 1280x720p or 1920x1080i at 50p for sports etc
The PMW-F5 & F55 cameras have two operation modes: "Custom" and "Cine EI" (exposure index). The custom mode enables baking in the look; painting, changing master gain, selecting gamma, etc. and all kind of irreversible changes to the image. While in the Cine EI mode, the camera operates flat; enabling the widest creative possibilities in post. Very few things can be baked in the image. Version 3.0 enables operating in Cine EI mode while recording RAW or to SxS cards. Below are the parameters that can be controlled while in Cine EI modeCine EI now enabled without AXS recorder but still locked at 2000 EI
Slog3 added better for midtones and shadows and easier grade
Slog2 better for highlights with bigger dynamic range
Slog3, and SGamut3.Cine are added in this release. A white paper to be released by Sony in January will explain this more fully
S-Gamut3.Cine is (DCI P3). S-Log3 is a log signal with 1300% dynamic range, close to Cineon Log curve. This does not replace Slog2, SGamut, it is added as another choice.
White Balance in Slog and RAW Gamut is now burnt in.
Auto Iris function now works with mouting Sony FZ zooms and also works with suitable PL zooms with servo pack such as Fuji Cabrio zooms etc, to make this much more useful when working in an ENG setup.
There is a new false color function enabled in Cine-El mode.
The PMW-F55 has all of the above functionality with the addition of now being able to record 4K on board using XAVC recording now up to 50fps as a 50p codec, so the requirement for to use the external recorder is reduced somewhat.
Also, the slow & quick record function now works up to 50p at 4K.
There are also a number of smaller features included such as :
Independent Monitor LUT - You can set Monitor LUT On/Off for SDI(Main)&Internal Rec, SDI(Sub)&HDMI, and Viewfinder independently.
Auto Iris function is available when mounting Sony FZ Zoom lens SCL-Z18X140 or PL lenses which are supporting Auto Iris function or B4 lenses which are supporting Auto Iris with LA-FZB1or LA-FZB2 FZ-B4 Lens mount adapter.
100% Marker that indicates the effective picture frame is added.
Marker ON/OFF for each output and can turn the marker On/Off for outputs such as VF and SDI/HDMI, independently.
Hi/Low Key function as assignable button that allows you to check clipped highlights and crushed blacks is added. This function works on MLUT ON outputs.
Black Gamma function that allows you to compensate gamma character of low luminance is added.
2K/HD 59.94/50.0P RGB 3G-Dual output. When the system frequency is 59.94 or 50.0, an RGB 3G-Dual signals that conform to SMPTE ST424/425 Level-B can be output.
Clip metadata output from SDIs. File name information can be embedded from SDIs. Using external recorders and on-set color grading tools supporting clip metadata, they can read filename and record.
Additional Menu items for Wi-Fi remote control
Data taken from Sony press release on http://community.sony.com/t5/F5-F55/NEW-Firmware-Version-3-0/m-p/255067#U255067, 27 December 2013.