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The cameras are modular and highly configurable. They look similar on the outside, with one distinctive difference. The FZ mount on the F55 is silver and on the F5 it’s black. The big differences are inside:

Sony PMW F5

  • Full HD & 4K
  • Super 35mm 4K CMOS Imager
  • 4,096 x 2,160, 11.6M total pixels, 8.9M effective pixels, Bayer Pattern
  • High sensitivity (ISO 2000) and low noise (S/N 57dB with noise reduction off)
  • High Frame Rate of up to 120fps – from Sep 2013
  • Internal Recording to SxS media – MPEG2, HD XAVC, (10 Bit 422) only, XAVC 2K only (Sep 2013). Not 4K
  • Modular Design
  • 4K Recording capability to a new modular “dockable” external recorder, the AXS-R5
  • 50Mb/s / 4:2:2 Broadcast Friendly HD
  • Dual lens mount as standard – Arri PL & Sony FZ

Additional features of the PMW F55 (otherwise identical to the F5):

  • Higher frame rate of up to 240fps (Full HD RAW) or 60fps (4K RAW) with optional  AXS-R5 recorder (Sep 2013)
  • Internal recording at up to 180fps onto SxS media using XAVC Codec (HD / 4K) (Sep 2013)
  • Slightly reduced sensitivity of ISO 1250 when compared to F5
  • Global Shutter (Eliminates rolling shutter effect)
  • F65 Colour Gamut
  • New XAVC Codec for efficient 4K




PMW - F55 (4K Model)
PMW - F5 (HD Model)
Image Sensor
Full HD & 4K
Full HD & 4K
Super 35 4K CMOS
Super 35 4K CMOS
11.6 Megapixels (Bayer Pattern)
11.6 Megapixels (Bayer Pattern)
Global Shutter (eliminates rolling shutter)
NO GLOBAL SHUTTER
Colour Filter is the same as F65
COLOUR FILTER SAME AS F3
Recording Format
HD
MPEG2 422 8-bit
MPEG2 422 8-bit
XAVC 422 10-bit
XAVC 422 10-bit
SRSStP 444/442 10-bit (July 2013)
SRSStP 444/442 10-bit (July 2013)
2K
XAVC 422 10-bit (July 2013)
XAVC 422 10-bit (July 2013)
2K RAW 16-bit linear (July 2013)
2K RAW 16-bit linear (July 2013)
QFHD
XAVC 422 10-bit (internal)
N/A
4K
XAVC 422 10-bit (internal)
N/A
4K RAW 16-bit linear using AXS Recorder
4K RAW 16-bit linear using AXS Recorder
4K Output
3G-SDI x 4 (square division) up to 60p
3G-SDI x 4 (square division) up to 60p
HDMI x1 (1.4a) up to 30p
HDMI x1 (1.4a) up to 30p
Recording Media
Internal recording :SxS-1/SxS Pro (MPEG2)
Internal recording :SxS-1/SxS Pro (MPEG2)
SxS PRO+ (for XAVC, SR SStP)
SxS PRO+ (for XAVC, SR SStP)
Optional AXS-R5 2K/4K 16-bit RAW
Optional AXS-R5 2K/4K 16-bit RAW
External recorder uses AXS memory card
External recorder uses AXS memory card
High Frame Rate
2K/HD XAVC up to 180p on SxS (Sep 2013)
2K/HD XAVC up to 120p (Sep 2013)
4K/QFHD XAVC up to 60p
2K RAW up to 120p using AXS recorder (Sep 2013)
2K RAW up to 240p using AXS external recorder (Sep 2013)
-
Lens Mount
PL Mount (with PL to FZ mount adapter)
PL Mount (with PL to FZ mount adapter)



F5 & F55 INTERNAL SXS RESOLUTIONS, CODEC'S, FPS, DATA RATES, MEDIA

Codec & Resolution
Colour Depth
Bit Rate
Frame Rates
64gb SxS minutes
128gb SxS minutes
F5
F55
Mpeg 2 HD (1080x1920)
8 bit 422
50Mbs
23.98/25/29.97p - 50/59.97i
120
240
yes
yes
XAVC HD (1080x1920)
10 bit 422
100Mbs
30p
60
120
yes
yes
XAVC HD (1080x1920)
10 bit 422
200Mbs
60p
30
60
yes
yes
XAVC HD (1080x1920)
10 bit 422
400Mbs (Sep 2013)
120p
20
40
yes
yes
XAVC HD (1080x1920)
10 bit 422
600Mbs (Dec 2013)
180p
10
20
NO
yes
XAVC 2K (1080x2048)
10 bit 422
100Mbs (Sep 2013)
30p
60
120
yes
yes
XAVC 2K (1080x2048)
10 bit 422
200Mbs (Sep 2013)
60p
30
60
yes
yes
XAVC 2K (1080x2048)
10 bit 422
400Mbs (Dec 2013)
120p
20
40
yes
yes
XAVC 2K (1080x2048)
10 bit 422
600Mbs (Dec 2013)
180p
10
20
NO
yes
XAVC QFHD (2160x3840)
10 bit 422
300Mbs (Dec 2013)
30p
20
40
NO
yes
XAVC QFHD (2160x3840)
10 bit 422
600Mbs (Dec 2013)
60p
10
20
NO
yes
XAVC 4K (2160x4096)
10 bit 422
300Mbs
30p
20
40
NO
yes
XAVC 4K (2160x4096)
10 bit 422
600Mbs
60p
10
20
NO
yes
HD SStP (HDCAM SR)
10 bit 422
220Mbs (July 2013)
30p
27
54
yes
yes
HD SStP (HDCAM SR)
10 bit 444
440Mbs (July 2013)
30p
14
27
yes
yes
AXS Recorder
512GB AXSM minutes
4K RAW
16 bit linear
1.0Gbps
24p
48
4K RAW
16 bit linear
2.4Gbps
60p
20
4K RAW
16 bit linear
2.4Gbps
60p
20


F55 AND F5 RECORDING

Internal
F55 records internal 4K (not RAW) to SxS cards, along with varieties of HD and 2K.
Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) and Consumer 4K TV QFHD (Quad HD 3840 x 2160) are both supported on SxS cards.
F55 will record 4K and QFHD up to 60 fps. HD and 2K up to 180 fps. and 2K RAW up to 240 fps.
(Only the Sony F65 records 4K RAW up to 120 fps).

F5 records HD and 2K internally onto SxS cards. It cannot record internal 4K, nor RAW. F5 does HD and 2K internally up to 120fps. The on-board AXS-R5 handles 2K RAW up to 120fps, and 4K RAW up to 60fps.

Onboard
Both the F55 and F5 record 4K (and 2K) RAW onto the new AXS
Memory Card in the modular onboard AXS-R5 recorder.

What is "QFHD"

QFHD, which stands for "quad full HD," is a video resolution that offers four times the number of pixels offered by 1080p video, which is also called "full HD." It offers a pixel resolution of 3840 x 2160, which leads it to being referred to simply as 2160p at times. QFHD is also often referred to as 4K2K because of its rough dimensions of four thousand by two thousand pixels.

XAVC?

XAVC format provides 4K/HD, 4:4:4/4:2:2/4:2:0 and 12/10/8 bit sampling

F65
Full HD, 2K and 4K recording (RAW Recording can be de-mosaiced to 6K/8K)
S35mm 8K CMOS image sensor with 20 megapixels
Wider colour space than any digital camera & 35mm film
14 stops of latitude
ISO 800 sensitivity
Variable frame rates up to 120fps
Optional rotary shutter eliminates most rolling shutter effects
16 bit linear F65 RAW output
On-board recording to SR Memory at up to 2Gbps (F65 RAW)
On-board recording to SR Memory at up to 2Gbps (F65 RAW)


Up to 120 frames per second

To support slow and fast motion, the F65 provides over and undercranking at frame rates of 1 – 60 frames per second (4K x 2K resolution), and up to 120 frames per second (4K x 1K resolution).

Built-in ND Filters

Four Neutral Density Filters are supplied with the Rotary Shutter option.

4K Ultra HD?

4K UHD is a resolution of 3840 pixels × 2160 pixels (8.3 megapixels) and is one of the two resolutions of ultra high definition television, the other being 8K UHD which is 7680 pixels × 4320 pixels (33.2 megapixels). Both are aimed at consumer televisions. 4K UHD has twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of the 1080p HDTV format, with four times as many pixels overall.

RAW

RAW recording is like having a digital negative with greater possibilities for colour and contrast manipulation in post

SR-R4 Memory Recorder

The F65 and its onboard SR-R4 deck record to iPhone-sized SRMemory Cards. They come in orange, blue and black trim to identify the different write speeds. Recording times, below are for F65 RAW at 23.98 fps:






F65SizeSpeedRecording time
Orange256GB1.5GbpsDoes not recording RAW
Blue512 GB
2.5 Gbps
29 mins
1 TB

59 mins
Black256GB
5.5 Gbps
14 mins
512 GB
29 mins
1 TB59 mins







Black 5.5 Gbps SRMemory cards will record 120 fps F65RAW: 5 minutes on the 256 GB card, 11 minutes on the 512 GB card, and 23 minutes on the 1 TB card.

In comparison, HDCAM records at 440 and 880 Mbps.

Why F65?

  • A better version of 4K due to more pixels being read from an 8K sensor.
  • 100% green pixel count (no interpolation or up sampling of the green colour on the sensor, F55 has the traditional Bayer pattern sensor, 50% with 50% interpolation.
  • The camera has a rotating shutter blade saving unwanted processing on the camera’s sensor, meaning this can be used in improving the pixel count (higher resolution)                                                                                                                                           
  • The ability to check highlights and shadows in the camera to actually read the full 14 stop sensor range in any given lighting situation, no camera in the world can do this basically.  Most viewfinders in cameras are REC709 and have a range of about 7 stops.
  • A virtual guarantee to never overexpose or clip anything (camera operator’s dream).
  • The F55 will never be able to better the F65 on overall performance.
  • If you want the best in High-end TV you have to use the F65. It’s ‘The Rolling Stones’ of the camera world!

Resolution

The F5/F55/F65 are nominal '4K' cameras - so what does this actually mean? Well 4K is generally accepted for Digital Cinema as meaning a widescreen image of size 4096 x 2160 pixels. This is actually a slightly wider format than the 16:9 used by HDTV, and so for Ultra High Definition (UDTV) they use 3840 x 2160. This is exactly twice the size of HDTV, or four times the area; and hence the term QFHD (quad full high definition).

Sticking with the slightly higher resolution Cinema spec, we thus require an image composed of about 8.9 megapixels (4096 x 2160). Normally with digital video we only achieve the full resolution in the luminance channel, and accept a lower resolution in the colour channels. In practice most of the luminance comes from the green so for an R,G,B system we can expect to see more green resolution. In the single sensor of these cameras this directly relates to more green pixels.

Most large sensor cameras have used something called a Bayer pattern, which has alternate red and blue pixels interspersed with green. A nominal 4K sensor thus has only 2K green pixels, and 1K each of red and blue. The electronic 4K signals are then processed from this lower resolution content; or 'debayered' by 'interpolation' which is a posh word for intelligent guess work! The true resolution is thus somewhat less than 4K, and perhaps more importantly the image can get corrupted by 'aliasing' if there are inappropriate patterns in the subject.

With the Sony F65 the sensor is effectively an equivalent of an 8K Bayer pattern, and the green pixels can provide a 'full' 4K resolution with no need of interpolation. The result is a very clean and sharp image with much less chance of aliasing.

With the Sony F5/F55 Sony are far less open. They are claiming an 'effective pixel count' of 8.9M but a total pixel count of 11.4M. This implies something more than a simple Bayer Pattern but nothing as simple to explain as that used on the F65. We shall have to await the market reaction to the shipping production cameras to see how effective the new Sony chips are. The F5 and F55 use different sensor chips by the way, but there is no suggestion at the moment that they have different photosite patterns.

None of the above should be confused with what is actually recorded. This relates to 'codecs' and we will look at this elsewhere.

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