First look: Sony FS-5 Super 35mm Camera System

We’ve got our hands on the new Sony PXW-FS5, an interesting camera considering the family it’s a part of and the price point it boasts. The FS5 is the new lightweight Super 35mm, 4K, little brother of the FS7, with 240fps at HD to boot.

The FS5 begins to get exciting as soon as you have assembled it. The SmartGrip and the balance of the camera plays a noticeable part of its design and overall form factor.

This is a machine that wants to be used, immediately. The SmartGrip (which is what Sony calls the handgrip that comes with the camera) feels stable and comfortable to hold.

The camera weighs in at a satisfying 830g, which, considering the features the FS5 offers, is a bit of a miracle. These features already make this camera appealing to the documentary-style filmmaker or operator looking to shoot 4K in tight spaces.

At first glance many of the features seem to jump out as solutions to various annoyances and problems on set. The incredible addition of the Vari-ND option on the camera is particularly exciting, suggesting the ability to make adjustments to exposure without cutting.  The modular LCD screen offers versatile utility and a few mount points. The FS5 also comes with 2xSD card slots for continuous seamless shooting.

The price point for the unit puts this in an exceptionally competitive position against contemporaries such as the Canon C300, which is a similar camera but at a price point that’s almost thrice as much as the FS5. Also worth noting is that the C300 doesn’t support 4K or the high frame rates that the FS5 does. How the FS5 compares is to be seen.

We’re humoring our instincts and taking it out for a spin. Stick around for our words on the experience and a technical breakdown.