Sony have today finally released their highly anticipated version 3.0 firmware for the FS7. It was previously scheduled for release in December but was delayed due to the discovery of issues with the quality of high frame rate RAW recordings.
The most significant feature of the release is the addition of Center Scan mode – something already seen on the F5/55 and FS5. This HD mode utilises just the central portion of the sensor and in effect crops the image to a Super16 size. When used with S35 optics it effectively becomes a digital teleconverter that usefully extends the range of the lens. For news and documentary shooting it is has become an essential feature for many F5/55 users.
Noise suppression is now available in Cine EI mode. This is an option many shooters have wanted for some time. The gains in dynamic range from shooting in S-Log3 and Cine EI are useful, but without noise suppression it pretty much guarantees you need to run noise reduction software on your footage in post. The new option gives users access to the same noise reduction that is available in regular shooting modes in Cine EI. The result might not be quite as good as noise removal in software, but it speeds up the process and I imagine most factual shooters using S-Log3 will opt for in-camera noise suppression.
Another key feature of the firmware is the ability to move the focus check magnification area around the screen. This is great for off-centre subjects and especially interviews.
Here’s a full list of features from Sony:
- Focus Magnification function is improved.
- Support for magnification area position adjustment.
- Magnification resolution improvement.
- Support for “2K Full”, “2K Center” setting in Image Scan Mode.
- Support for Interval Recording function.
- Expand lowest value of Zebra level to 0%
- Support for Noise Suppression setting in Cine EI mode.
- Video Signal Monitor usability is improved.
- The operability of “Iris setting” using the “Iris dial” and the “assignable dial” is improved.
- FS-RAW image quality and operation stability improvement.
- Overall stability and operability of the camera is improved.
The firmware is available in Europe via Sony’s UK site here.
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