The Sony FS7 price drop was imminent, and it didn’t take long for Sony to slash the price of their beloved FS7, which happens to be their most popular S35 camera ever, by $1,500 – a good chunk of change, levelling the FS7 at the $6K mark! Plus, I’m including a few other filmmaking gear deals in this post. Do read on.
IBC 2019 is now in the history books, and for all it was worth, the show was packed with some significant new product releases and felt much bigger than last year.
Canon kicked off the show with their highly anticipated and long-overdue Canon C500 Mark II, which packs in a full-frame 5.9K CMOS chip ported from their top-end Cinema EOS C700FF camera and internal Cinema Raw Light raw recording, while Sony went via a slightly different route on the Sony FX9.
Sony PXW-Fx9 / Images by Sony
The Sony FX9 was without a doubt, the most talked about camera on the show. With a newly developed 6K full-frame sensor (that is NOT the same as in the VENICE) and video-optimized autofocus with face and eye detection ported from the industry-leading Sony Alpha mirrorless lineup, the Sony FX9 is not just on-par with Canon’s DPAF in the C500 Mark II, but in some situations probably even better.
And that’s in Autofocus for video. In a proper build FF video camcorder. For event shooters and documentary filmmakers this will be huge!
The 6K full-frame sensor in the FX9 allows for some very clean and properly de-bayered “true” 4K from a FF 6K readout even though it is only limited to 30fps (at launch). The dual native 800/4000 ISO sensitivity will also get users much better low-light images straight out of the box without the need for heavy de-noising, but the lack of any internal raw recording may be a deal breaker for some.
C500 Mark II / Image by Canon
This is where the C500 Mark II gets the upper hand, and when you factor in the price of the ugly-as-hell XDCA-FX9 back-end and whatever the cost of the Atomos external recorder will be (more on the Atomos FX9 raw support here), that 16bit raw out of the FX9 may as well not have even been announced. FX9 raw will be quite a niche format for most users, most of whom will still deliver 1080p XAVC 10bit 422 footage to clients 90% of the time.
Sony FS7 / Images by Sony
But what about the FS7? Well, with the new $1500 price drop, the already affordable Sony FS7 is now an even better deal for anyone already in the Sony ecosystem or those looking to get a real workhorse 4K camera for documentary, corporate or event work.
Even if you own one, getting a 2nd FS7 now makes a lot of business sense, even though the FS7 is clearly at the end of its life cycle. Matching 2 x FS7s is a whole lotta easier than matching an FS7 to anything else, even A7s II, a B-cam most FS7 owner/ops own as well.
Make no mistake though, even if Sony decides to discontinue the FS7 (they still have the FS7 II too) by the end of 2019 or early 2020 – which is not too unlikely, these camera will still have a least 3-5 more years of life left in them. And they will make you money, no doubt. Every producer worth their salt, knows the FS7.
Sony FS7 II
It’s the one professional S35 that has penetrated the market to a point where it has not only become the benchmark that everything with a price tag of less than $20K gets compared to specs-wise, but also synonymous with great image quality, ergonomics and reliability.
Sony got it right with the FS7, and thats why ever since October 2014 when the camera started shipping, they’ve outsold any other competitor and even every other Sony pro camera they ever made. They were first to market with a aggressively priced 4K/60p S35 pro camcorder with interchangeable optics and a solid 10bit internal codec, and won the race before it even got started.
Now 5 years on, Sony are once again setting the benchmark, but in 2019 it’s a tougher marketplace with established players already on the 4K bandwagon.
Images by Atomos
Other Filmmaking Gear Deals:
Image by SmallHD
Get the now discounted Sony FS7 at B&H for $5,998 here.
At the moment, this price reduction appears to be North America only, but hopefully it will make its way to Europe, Asia and the rest of the world soon.
Have you seen a price reduction on the FS7 in your region? Do let me know in the comments below where and by how much.