The Sony F5 and F55 CineAlta cameras are nearing their 5th birthday, but this hasn’t stopped Sony from continuously pumping new firmware updates to bring these workhorses with current technologies. With IBC 2017 just around the corner next month, I am sure that Sony won’t stay quiet and maybe announce some new camera (as they have done back in 2014 with the Sony FS7 unveiling, and then in 2015 with the Sony FS5 and Sony A7sII), but no official details have been revealed yet, and the rumour is unusually quiet, so make of that what you will.
I personally expect to see a new S35 camera from Sony announced at IBC 2017 (no, not the potential F65 replacement that I told you about here), but something in the above the FS7 II – i.e. potentially an F5 replacement. Again, this what I expect, it is my personal speculation, it’s not based on anything I’ve heard or seen, simply what I think will happen given the age of the F5 and its current “no-man’s land” position in the line-up that was “eaten up” by the FS7 and FS7 II. I may be totally wrong, and Sony may announce a new card reader instead, so bare that in mind.
A new F5/F55 replacement/companion model has been rumoured for years now, and we’ll know for sure in a months time, but at least for now Sony have released Firmware Version 9.0 for the F5/F55, which enables new frame rates with the 4K Raw recorder AXS-R7 (at least for the F55).
Development of Firmware 9.0 was announced back at NAB 2017 in April with a projected release of July, and on August 1st, pretty much on point as usual, Sony officially released the firmware as a free download for F5/F55 owners.
Firmware version 9.0 Details:
New frame rates for 4K Raw/X-OCN (F55 + AXS-R7 only).
72, 75, 90, 96, and 100fps been added to the available values in “Frame Rate” when the AXS-R7 is attached to the PMW-F55.
Compatible with the “Parallel Rec” mode with CBK-WA100 attached
“Parallel Rec” mode enables synchronization with the same file name between the XAVC Proxy recording by using the wireless adapter CBK-WA100 installing that is connected to SDI OUT 1/2 and the camcorder recording.
Notification: CBK-WA100 with software version 3.0 or later can be used on F5/F55.
XAVC HD Long added (when the system frequency is set to 29.97 or 59.94)
Record and play back with XAVC HD Long (1920 × 1080).
When the system frequency is set to 59.94, you can select 25M, 35M, or 50M mode.
When the system frequency is set to 29.97, you can select 35M or 50M mode.
Iris control by RM remote controller’s operates more smoothly.
When recording 120fps 4K RAW or 4K X-OCN with the AXS-R7 recorder, occasional vertical noise in dark areas may occur. This has been fixed.
When recording using only AXS Media, the metadata on the SDI output is not embedded. This has been fixed.
In 45-50fps and 72-80fps and 240fps S&Q motion, sometimes frames are not recorded. This has been fixed.
In high Low key mode, Video signal monitor does not appear. This has been fixed.
Only cameras that have successfully updated to version 8 or higher should download and install Version 9. Otherwise, it is very important to note that for the F5 and F55 cameras with the serial numbers range listed below, the user cannot perform the upgrading to version 9.
If your camera is within this range, and you have NOT successfully updated to version 8 firmware or higher previously, then please contact the Sony Service Centre at your location for further information. The serial number range is listed in the below table.