F55 records internal 4K (not RAW) to SxS cards, along with varieties of HD and 2K. Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) and Consumer 4K TV QFHD (Quad HD 3840 x 2160) are both supported on SxS cards. F55 will record 4K and QFHD up to 60 fps. HD and 2K up to 180 fps. And 2K RAW up to 240 fps. (Only the Sony F65 records 4K RAW up to 120 fps.)
F5 records HD and 2K internally onto SxS cards. It cannot record internal 4K. F5 does HD, 2K and 2K RAW to 120 fps, and HD to 180 fps.
And, of course, both the F55 and F5 record 4K (and 2K) RAW onto the new AXS Memory Card in the modular onboard AXS-R5 recorder.
The cameras give you the choice of recording in 4K, 2K or HD. Sony also seems to have headed off any “Why didn’t you” comments with a head-spinning alphabet soup of choices, codecs and compressions. See their website for the full list.
4K, 2K, or HD
With 8.9 megapixels (effective), Sony’s new image sensor lets you shoot in 4K, 2K, or HD. Here are some scenarios:
- Shoot, Record, Master and Distribute in 4K. Why 4K? There are more than 13,000 theaters with Sony Digital Cinema 4K projectors, and a lot more screens with 4K projectors from the other major brands. Sony’s new 84” 4K TV is on display in Sony stores. The new LG 84” 4K TV went on sale a couple of days ago. JVC showed 4K home projectors recently. At PhotoPlus this past weekend, and Photokina last month, we saw 4K computer monitors from EIZO, Fujifilm, Canon, and 4K production monitors from Sony and Dolby. Sony is introducing a new 30″ PVM-X300 LCD 4K field monitor.
- Shoot, Record and Master in 4K. Distribute in HD or 2K. Future-proof your original as a 4K archival master for future 4K release. Meanwhile, edit, post, and distribute in HD or 2K.
- Shoot in 4K. Record, Master and Distribute in 2K/HD. And so on.
AXS-R5 4K/2K RAW recorder
For RAW recording, Sony’s optional, modular AXS-R5 recorder snaps on behind the camera body.
- 4K or 2K RAW. Record RAW in native 4K or “derived” 2K. RAW recording is like having a digital negative with greater possibilities for color and contrast correction.
- The cameras record 16-bit. The F55 uses the same color filter array and bit depth technology used in the 16-bit linear recording F65 camera. 16-bit (216) color depth is 65,536 shades each of Red, Green, and Blue. That’s 16 times as many Red, Green and Blue gradations as 12-bit RAW and 64 times more than 10-bit recording. F55/F5 is compatible with the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) specifications. Compression of 16-bit 4K and 2K RAW is about 1/3.6.
- AXSM Memory Cards. The onboard AXS-R5 records onto internal AXSM memory cards at various data rates (e.g. 1.0 Gbps for 4K RAW at 24 fps, 2.4 Gbps at 60 fps.) The cards are the same width as F65 SRMemory Cards (60 x 105 x 9.4 mm), but shorter (60 x 81 x 9.4 mm.) They will initially come in 256 GB and 512 GB capacities.
- exFAT. The Memory Cards are formatted in exFAT, which works on Mac or PC.