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Sony Launches FR7 Cinematic PTZ Camera

Sony
(Image credit: Sony)

Los Angeles—Sony Electronics is bringing the PTZ camera into the cinematic realm with today’s launch of the ILME-FR7, an E-mount interchangeable lens camera with a full-frame image sensor and built-in pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) functionality. This latest edition to its Cinema line brings versatile remote control and cinematic features to advance creative possibilities in studio, live production and filmmaking settings, the company said.

“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.”

Here is a video of the new PTZ camera in action:

The FR7 features a back-illuminated 35mm full-frame CMOS image sensor Exmor R with approximately 10.3 effective megapixels and wide 15+ stop latitude (Sony’s S-Log 3 recording) in a pan tilt zoom (PTZ) camera for the first time. In addition to wide dynamic range, low noise, and cinematic full frame bokeh, this amazing sensor also delivers high sensitivity that allows ISO to be expanded up to 409,600 (custom mode when shooting in low light.

The FR7 features Sony’s E-mount and can mount a wide range of E-mount lenses, including the G Master series with stunning resolution and bokeh effect, the company said. A choice of focal lengths ranging from 12 mm to 1200 mm gives users comprehensive creative control.

A number of Cinema Line features are built into the camera to deliver a cinematic look and feel including:

  • The Sensitivity setting allows ISO to be expanded up to 409,600 when shooting in low light.
  • A 15+ stop latitude allows smooth highlights and low noise levels.
  • A number of preset scene files are included including S-Cinetone for natural mid-tones that are essential to healthy-looking skin color, plus soft colors and gorgeous highlights. Since the target look can be created while shooting, time can be saved in post-production. In the Cine EI mode, base sensitivity can be set to either ISO 800 or ISO 12800 to match lighting conditions and to minimize noise while maintaining a consistent look. This mode is ideal for post-production, as it allows the use of Sony’s original S-Log3 gamma, wide S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine color spaces.
  • Shooting up to 120fps 4K (QFHD) and 240 fps FHD slow-motion is possible, again creating that emotional possibility offered by a cinematic look.

With a new dedicated web application, pan, tilt, zoom, focus, record, playback, and all camera settings can be intuitively controlled from a tablet or computer web browser, allowing multiple people to monitor FR7 footage remotely simultaneously. Multi camera monitoring is also enabled, allowing multiple cameras to be viewed remotely on one device. 

With its integrated remotely controllable pan/tilt mechanism, the FR7 can be mounted on a tripod, on a ceiling with the dedicated CIB-PCM1, or in other locations with limited access so that subjects can be unobtrusively followed and recorded from unique viewpoints. It's also compatible with Sony’s RM-IP500 remote controller for multi-camera production, expanding creative potential while reducing the need for dedicated staff in production studios and other shooting situations. A single RM-IP500 unit can remotely control up to 100 PTZ cameras and provide precious joystick-controlled pan, tilt, and zoom operation. 

The supplied infrared remote controller will also support the FR7’s simple operation.

The new FR7 will be available in November 2022 for approximately $9699.99 USD and $12,399.99 CAD. The FR7K, which includes the FR7 and SELP28135G lens, will be available for $12,199.99 USD and $15,699.99CAD while the CIB-PCM1 ceiling bracket will be available for $119.99 USD and $159.99 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony's authorized dealers throughout North America. 

The FR7 will be showcased for the first time on Sony’s booth at IBC 2022 in Amsterdam, Sept. 9-12.

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.