Sony launches the FR7, the world’s first full-frame ILC pan-tilt-zoom camera

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Sony has announced a new model in its Cinema line, the FR7. The Sony FR7 is the world’s first pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera to combine a full-frame image sensor, an interchangeable lens design, and remote shooting functionality.

At a basic level, the FR7 is a redesigned FX6 modified into a PTZ design. However, that’s a bit of an oversimplification. Using Sony’s experience with actuator design, the FR7 promises precise control over its movement. Pan and tilt speed is continuously variable from 0.02 to 60 degrees per second and supports a wide range of stable, smooth motion. The pan angle range is from +/- 170 degrees and the tilt angle range is from -30 to 195 degrees.

The FR7 can memorize up to 100 camera position presets. The FR7 can also be remotely controlled using a web application or an optional RM-IP500 remote controller. Presets include camera direction, zoom, and focus and can be recalled with a button press.

Like the FX6, the FR7 uses a back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS image sensor. The 10.3MP sensor is designed for excellent 4K video performance, including 4K/120p footage. It also records FHD video at up to 240 fps. The sensor’s native ISO ranges to 409,600 and promises up to 15+ stops of dynamic range. It includes S-Cinetone to produce natural mid-tones. It also includes S-Log3 gamma, wide S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine color spaces.

The FR7 is compatible with all Sony’s E-mount lenses, although when using the 100-400mm GM, 200-600mm G, 400mm F2.8 GM and 600mm F4 lenses, the pan/tilt must be fixed with the camera’s locking mechanism due to the lens’s size and weight. Sony’s PZ lenses are an ideal companion for the FR7, including the FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS lens, which Sony is selling alongside the FR7 in a kit.

Powered by the BIONZ XR engine, the Sony FR7 includes Fast Hybrid AF, Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking. The camera promises accurate eye-detect autofocus, even when subjects are at steep angles. You can use touch focusing via the compatible web app. Autofocus performance is critical for a camera like the FR7, which will often be controlled remotely and be used to record and stream programming like reality television and live events. The FR7 includes a built-in electronic variable ND filter and Auto ND function to ensure the best quality in changing light conditions.

The FR& supports S700 protocol via Ethernet, includes comprehensive video inputs and outputs, supports synchronization with other devices, includes dual media slots (CFexpress Type A and SDXC), HDMI Type A and 12G-SDI connectors and Audio in via XLR type 5-pin. The FR7 can also be powered over ethernet.

‘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 2 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 Sony FR7 will be available in November for $9,699.99. The FR7 kit with the FE PZ 28-135mm lens will cost $12,199.99 and will also be available in November. The FR7 will be showcased at Sony’s boot at IBC 2022 in Amsterdam this weekend. For more information on Sony’s cinema products, click here.

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