Updated Breakdown of Sony CineAlta Camera Financing Options

With the announcement of the new Sony PXW-FS5 we’ve touched up our breakdown of the monthly payments and interest rates on the most popular Sony cameras via Sony Financial Solutions. All of these Sony CineAlta cameras have a 0% interest option. Our most popular financing term length is 36 months. At 36 months you can get one of the new FS5 cameras for only $171 a month. The FS7 comes in at only $245 a month. And the F5 is $491 a month.

We’ve been working with Sony Financial Solutions for over 5 years now. The low interest financing is a great solution for any one who is thinking about jumping into a new camera but is on the fence about price points. Perhaps you’d love an FS5 but you can only spring for an a7SII budget. Or you’re debating between an FS5 and an FS7? With around $70 a month difference it becomes a lot easier to justify moving up. Even if you have $10,000 in cash in the bank, why spend that all on front on a camera body when you could do the 0% financing and spread that out over 12 months.

The application process is simple. It takes about 3 minutes to Sony On-Line Credit Application. By simply filling out the application you’re not agreeing to anything, it is completely commitment free. If you chose not to keep going with the financing process the application simply is canceled after 90 days. Apply now and we’ll have your results back in less then 48 hours. And of course, let us know if you have any questions at all. That’s what we’re here for.

NEX-FS700r Body Only $123/month at 6.2% 36mo
NEX-FS700rh 18-200 Lens Kit $141/month at 6.2% 36mo
PXW-FS5 Body Only $171/month at 6.2% 36mo
PXW-FS5K 18-105 Lens Kit $187/month at 6.2% 36mo
PXW-FS7 Body Only $245/month at 6.2% 36mo
PXW-FS7K 28-135 Lens Kit $321/month at 6.2% 36mo
PMW-F5 Body Only $491/month at 6.2% 36mo
PMW-F55 Body Only $864/month at 6.2% 36mo

NEX-FS700r Body Only $334/month at 0.0% 12mo
NEX-FS700rh 18-200 Lens Kit $384/month at 0.0% 12mo
PXW-FS5 Body Only $467/month at 0.0% 12mo
PXW-FS5K 18-105 Lens Kit $509/month at 0.0% 12mo
PXW-FS7 Body Only $667/month at 0.0% 12mo
PXW-FS7K 28-135 Lens Kit $875/month at 0.0% 12mo
PMW-F5 Body Only $688/month at 0.0% 24mo
PMW-F55 Body Only $1,208/month at 0.0% 24mo


Why Sony is Set to Take Over the Cinema World

Here’s an interesting editorial by Noam Kroll.

Since their release of the initial 5D MK II and continuing on until just a couple of years ago, Canon had the strongest foothold in the low-budget market. In 2011/2012, just about everyone I knew owned a 5D, and many of those shooters eventually moved on to Canon’s cinema lineup (namely the C100 and C300). Once Canon’s development and innovation started to plateau though, lots of shooters started looking for other solutions. Many went to smaller companies like Blackmagic/RED, others turned to Panasonic (in particular the GH4), and some have simply been hanging on to their Canon gear, waiting for something else to come along. For those that are in the latter category – it’s looking like Sony may be offering the exact tools that they have been waiting for.

My rationale behind that is pretty simple – Sony is covering every last corner of the camera market, and doing an exceptional job at it. They now have one of the best DSLRs (or DSLMs) out there – the A7s, the incredibly powerful and affordable FS7, numerous broadcast cameras, and their cinema lineup (F5/F55), just to name a few key highlights. The fact that they are not only covering the needs of such a wide spectrum of filmmakers, but also pushing ahead technology (by offering unmatched lowlight performance, high frame rates and more) is simply staggering.

Read the rest here. Post by Eric C. Petrie

FS7 w/ Servo Zoom

Sony Intros F5/F55 Ver.5, ProRes, DNxHD

Sony has announced a December release for firmware version 5.0 for the PMW-F5 & F55 cameras. This is mostly a compatibility firmware updates. It brings compatibility with CBK-55BK “ENG Dock” device. You also need 5.0 installed in order to use the F5 4K unlock key. Firmware 5.0 will also be needed if you chose to install the upcoming codec board CBK-55PD. This board adds ProRes & DNxHD.

The new codec board adds several flavors of ProRes & DNxHD. Once the board is installed you will be able to record in-camera to the SxS card in ProRes HQ 422 10-bit, ProRes 422 10-bit, DNxHD 10-bit and DNxHD 8-bit. All of these codecs will be in 1920×1080 resolution. There is a planned firmware updates schedule for mid-2015 to add ProRes 444 12-bit, still in 1920×1080.

These codecs will add to the already very robust options these cameras offer. This includes XAVC 422 10-bit, HDCam SR 444 10-bit. XDCam 422, and RAW 16-bit.

All said, Sony has truly made good on their promise with the F5 & F55 that more features would continue to come down the pipe. The cameras haven’t been “outdated” even though they’ve been on the market for over 2 years now. By adding codecs, resolutions, frame rates and other features Sony keeps these cameras very relevant at their given price points. Compared to other manufacturers who simply slash the price of their old hardware with outdated features as a form of “adding value”. Schedule your F5 demo now. We absolutely GUARANTEE our CineAlta prices will not be beat, ever.

Link to Sony F5 & F55 firmware 5.0 page

F5 F55 firmware 5.0

F5 F55 ProRes and Avid DNxHD® codecs

Sony F55 bare body

NAB ’14 Camera Recap: What Did We Really Get

The annual NAB show has come and gone. It was a good year for cameras and it also saw the spreading of some interesting trends:

Dockable Cameras: What’s old is new again. The two piece camera concept, something big up through the late 90’s, is back. We saw two piece, head-dock combo cameras from Blackmagic Design with the URSA and from Panasonic with the new VariCam system. We’ll see if these dock systems catch on with more manufacturers and more models and if these docks actually pay off with the flexibility the makers claim 

High Speed: We’re starting to get to a point where 60p is just expected in a professional camera. But we’re also introducing the concept that to make a “high speed” camera you don’t have to be Phantom creating thousands of frames per second. Most users are very excited about 120 or 240. For a lot of camera makers frame rates in this range are now becoming very tangible specifications. AJA, Panasonic, Sony, and even JVC all showed cameras that could reach the 120 threshold.

ProRes & Other Beefy 10-Bit Codecs: ProRes is starting to become the closest thing the video industry has ever had to a high end “universal standard” codec. Blackmagic, AJA, and even Sony and Panasonic all showed ProRes recording cameras. And we have more options for ProRes external records then ever, thanks to AJA and Atomos. Beyond ProRes the theme was 10-bit. XAVC and AVC-Ultra where shown off on many new models, all recording in 10-bit. In some cases the compression schemes have become so good we can get a 10-bit signal out of a 25mbps package. RAW recording is starting to become more readily available, though i wouldn’t quite call it a “common” feature yet.

Super35mm: Large sensor “cinema” cameras have been the growing trend for the last 3-4 NAB shows. This year the ratio of cameras that specifically use the Super35mm standard compared to smaller sensors was the biggest it’s ever been. Panasonic, AJA, Blackmagic Design, JVC, and Sony all showed new cameras that make use of this format. There were very few cameras shown with smaller traditional broadcast 1/3” or 2/3” sensors.

Shoulder Mount/ Improved Ergonomics: Generally speaking there weren’t too many cameras that required kitting out shown this year. There was a very pleasant uptake in ready to go cameras. The Blackmagic URSA, The AJA CION, the new VariCams, and the new JVC all use shoulder mount designs. Sony’s even gone to the lengths of improving the F5 & F55 shoulder mount. Those cameras are already shoulder-mountable, and always have been. But now they’ve gone totally ENG with a new control layout and new features via a docking sled. JVC even showed an economically designed hand-held camera with a large Super35mm sensor. For some reason that’s a concept that hasn’t really been that prevalent before.

Post by Eric C. Petrie


Sony Enhances F5 & F55 Cameras

Although Sony hasn’t debuted a new cinema camera at this yeas NAB Show the have announced several new firmware and hardware upgrades for their existing F5 & F55 cameras. In many ways this strategy of continuing to offer a wide array of enhancements to existing products is a welcome breath of fresh air. Many companies have promised us “modular” cameras, “future proof” cameras, “upgradeable” cameras, yet year after year NAB is still crowded with new models driving people to feel as if investing in new gear is futile because of the compulsive need to not be “out of date”. Sony has continued to demonstrate a real interest in developing and fleshing out the F55 & F5 to meet the needs of any possible shooter.

The first big announcement was firmware 4.0 for these cameras. The heavy hitting features in version 4.0 are big enhancements to interval recording, the addition of cache pre-roll recording, and the addition of ProRes and DNxHD codecs. The importance of the addition of ProRes cannot be understated. Its significant on several levels. It marks the first time Sony has enlisted a 3rd party codec on one of their industrial level cameras. It furthers the concept that ProRes has really become the worlds first high end “universals standard” video format. It also shows that Sony is truly listening to user feedback, to the extent that they are doing what was previously considered impossible for them. 2 years ago when these cameras where introduced and the XAVC codec was introduced with them i knew Sony would never go to the extent of licensing a 3rd party format like ProRes. And now 2 years later here they are enabling ProRes on their cameras.

In the hardware department there were two notable announcements. Sony has introduced an interesting “sled” concept. The sled mounts to the bottom of the F5 & F55. It adds a shoulder pad and a new control layout. This layout essentially converts the bottom quarter of the camera into a layout that would be identical to what someone would find on an XDCam ENG camera. It also adds a slot-in wireless audio dock. The native control layout of the F5/F55 is similar to an Arri Alexa, it’s driven off of a screen/button combo thats on the side of the body. While this works well for cinema users it’s a very unfamiliar, unintuitive, and slow layout for news-style shooters who need critical function access with the flick of a switch. The second big hardware announcement is the ability to upgrade your F5 to an F55. It involves replacing a few components including the image sensor. Having that upgrade path available is an extremely nice option to allow customers to get into a camera today with a path set for the future

When you combine all of these exciting new features with some of the options that Sony already has for these cameras it becomes clear that Sony want to find a way to use these cameras in every possible scenario. Keep in mind Sony already has their own B4 mount adapter for these cameras to allow of ENG lenses to be used. And they already have a studio dock so that they can be used in live environments (think 4K sports). Post by Eric C. Petrie

F5 ENG back side

F5 ENG back]

F5 ENG sled front

F5 ENG sled side

What is Sony’s XAVC?

Over the last 2 years Sony has slowly began to roll out a new format, XAVC. What began with the F5 & F55 cinema cameras is now a format that is used in multiple ENG cameras, DSLRs, broadcast decks, and more. It’s clear that Sony intends XAVC to be the do-it-all format for the next generation. But what is it?

The core technology of XAVC is h.264 mpeg-4 AVC, the same technology that is used in AVCHD cameras and DSLRs. But while AVCHD typically runs between 24 and 35mbps and is 8-bit 4:2:0 Long-GOP, XAVC aims much much higher. The reason XAVC was invented was Sony needed a next-generation format to be able to deliver 4K content with. It needed to be high quality in order to appeal to the commercial and cinema world. One important aspect was moving up to 10-bit recording. Sony’s also not a big fan of licensing existing codecs. So, in 2012 when they were getting ready to launch the F5 & F55 they wanted to have their own high quality deliverable native editable format that could encompass 4K workflow. Hence XAVC was born.

There are a few current flavors, or implementations, of XAVC. The first is full quality XAVC. This is a 1080p, 100mbps(at 30p, 200mbps at 60p), 4:2:2, 10-bit, Intra-Frame format. It’s extremely robust. It can also be 4K, 300mbps(at 30p, 600mbps at 60p), 4:2:2, 10-bit, Intra-Frame format.

There is another flavor that is very similar but it is Long-GOP. This is a 1080p, 50mbps(at 30p, 100mbps at 60p), 4:2:2, 10-bit, format. So you still retain much of the detail but you lose motion information. It can also be 4K, 150mbps(at 30p, 300mbps at 60p), 4:2:2, 10-bit. This flavor of XAVC hasn’t been put into use yet but it is expected to be made available as a firmware update to current XAVC hardware during 2014.

Lastly, Sony has began to ship cameras that use what they call XAVC-S. This is a 1080p, 50mbps(at 30p, 100mbps at 60p), 4:2:0, 8-bit, LongGOP format. It can also be 4K, 150mbps(at 30p, 300mbps at 60p), 4:2:0, 8-bit, LongGOP. It’s very interesting that this format offers no real data savings compared to XAVC-LongGOP, both run at 50mbps. This is probably a case of Sony using the lower end format as a tool to divide markets, consumer compared to broadcast. Another way to think of XAVC-S is it’s just a 50mbps of AVCHD. Both are 4:2:0, 8-bit, LongGOP. But AVCHD maxes out at 35mbps (under the new AVC2.0 guidelines).

A few interesting side notes on all of this. There is also an emerging 4K version of AVCHD. It doesn’t have an official name, some call it AVC4K. We’re seeing it on cameras like the Panasonic GH4, which can record 4K internally to SDHC cards at 100mbps, 4:2:0, 8-bit, LongGOP. Sony’s XAVC format technically has the capability of reaching up to 1200mbps, 4:4:4, 12-bit. But nothing uses this at the moment. After Sony held out for 2 years they’ve finally succumb to user wishes and have licensed ProRes (and DNx) recording for their F5 & F55 cameras. Post by Eric C. Petrie

Xavc logo

Sony xavc Codec

Sony Sneaks F5 & F55 NAB News

Some juicy pre-NAB tidbits on the Sony F5 & F55 have been “leaked”. First up, we received an email about Sony’s social media teaser campaign, hash-tag newFtransformed (catchy, aint it).

Sony is showing this image an of an F5 with a shadow behind it that looks like a standard ENG XDCam. What does this mean? Does it mean there coming out with a traditional ENG camera that uses the F5 sensor? Probably not. Sony has positioned the F5 & F55 to be the ultimate in obsolescence-proof cameras. They’ve already shows that it can be adapted to a wide variety of circumstances and settings. I would imagine they have another way of adapting it now to fit a more traditional ENG, documentary, or broadcast style of shooting, instead of the lockdown, big set big crew, film style camera. The quote from Sony regarding the image is “this is about more then adding a set of rods or a shoulder pad. This is about offering the best solutions for todays shooting environments. And tomorrows.”. Again this speaks to the flexibility of the F5 series of cameras.

The second image is The F55 with a screen shot from the settings menu showing the various codecs that the camera can record in. You’ll notice the last two codec options are ProRes and DNxHD. This is huge. Sony’s own XAVC codec is very high quality and offers great efficiency. However, ProRes has become the closest thing to a high-end industry standard format that has ever existed. Between the Arri Alexa recording natively to ProRes, the prevalence of ProRes external recorders, and other cameras like the Blackmagic cameras using ProRes a lot of people are heavily invested in a ProRes workflow. This gives the F5 & F55 the ability to more easily be integrated into that workflow. Stay tuned for NAB when we’ll leaner more details. Post by Eric C. Petrie

Sony-F5-F55-ProRes-DNxHDSony F5/F55 ENG

High Speed Shooting With Sony F55 Explained

The Sony F5 & F55 cameras are exremly capable and versitile cameras. Now on firmware 3.0 Sony keeps adding more and more capabilities. This is great for users but it can make it a little confusing wrapping your head around exactly what these cameras can do and how they’re different from each other. Here is a nice article posted by our friendly competitor that explains the high speed capabilities of the F55. Remember Professional Video is the only full-line authorized digital cinema dealer for Sony CineAlta and Canon Cinema EOS in the Northwestern united states.


Sony Releases Firmware 3.0 for F5 & F55

Sony has announced another great firmware update for the cameras that just keep getting more and more features. The F5 & F55 are now on firmware version 3.0. There is a whole list of great features. Some of the big ones include user LUT’s, and look profiles 3D LUT, Center Scan mode for Super 16mm lenses, New log curve and color gamut (S-Log3/S-Gamut3), XAVC QFHD recording (3840 x 2160), MPEGHD 1280x720p recording, Slow and Quick motion on XAVC 4K, XAVC QFHD and Center Scan mode, User definable clip naming, AES/EBU audio input.

For full details and the download follow this link. Professional Video is the only full-line Sony CineAlta dealer in the Northwest United States. The full compliment of CineAlta will be on hand at the 2014 Cascade Mt. Video Show on February 26th. Sign up now. Post by Eric C. Petrie


Professional Video DSLR Trade-In Program

We are excited to announce our DSLR trade-in program. This program has been designed specifically to help people step up from DSLR shooting and into a cinema camera. Now through the end of the year we’re offering to take you’re DSLR off your hands in exchange for the purchase of a qualified cinema camera.

If you’ve got an EOS 5DmkIII we’ll give you $1,300 trade in cinema credit. For an EOS 5DmkII or an EOS 6D we’re offering $800 cinema credit. If you have an EOS 7D your cinema credit will be $500. Finally an EOS 60D will net you $300 cinema credit.

We’re accepting trade-ins for the direct purchase of a qualified cinema cameras from top manufactures.

*The trade-in credit on your cinema camera is not guaranteed. Camera must be deemed to be in resellable condition by Professional Video.