Meet Sony’s XDCam PXW-FS5 small Cinema 4K UHD Pro camera

by on November 25, 2015

Stephan Jukic – November 25, 2015

Sony makes a wide range of 4K video recording machines, from the most basic like the UHD-capable FDR-AX33 to some of the most professional, serious Cinematic cameras on the market today. Now, they’ve added a beautiful and wonderfully compact but deeply feature packed model to their lineup.

We’re talking about the XDCam PXW-FS5, which was very recently unveiled at InterBee 2015 along with other similar prototypes. The XDCam PXW-FS5 is fundamentally a Super35 professional grade camcorder which can shoot some absolutely stunning 4K UHD video in assorted lighting conditions and with a stunning minimum of noise thanks to some advanced and powerful internal noise-reduction algorithms. Furthermore, this Super35 also offers a design that’s extremely friendly to a wide range of interchangeable lenses, allowing to be adapted to a wide range of situations.

Now, one look at the XDCam PXW-FS5 is almost sure to make you wonder if it really deserves to be called a camcorder, given its robust size and clearly feature-loaded profile. In other words, the XDCam PXW-FS5 looks serious and like it can put out a level of video recording that goes well beyond the confines of any conventional camcorder as most of us would define it. Nonetheless, the title of camcorder sticks mainly because the PXW-FS5 is indeed quite small relative to its bigger, older brother the Sony XDCam PXW-FS7.

Weighing in at a base total of just 800 grams, or less than 2 pounds, the PXW-FS7 can even be mounted to slightly larger professional video recording drones for some excellent aerial shooting. Simply remove its large, easy to use hand-grip and it’s almost ready to fly.

As for other design features, Sony has put a lot of effort into making this particular pro 4K camcorder as ergonomic and easy to handle as possible. A superbly designed control system on its right side looks like a sort of wonderfully complex, user-friendly joystick and is also removable and adjustable as needed. Other aspects of the PXW-FS7 include an excellently smooth power zoom with both optical and digital zooming capacities. Furthermore, the camera’s autofocus is lightning fast in typical Sony fashion and can be set to an assortment of different modes for tracking fast moving objects, people’s faces and possibly animals during field documentary shooting.

The Sony XDCam PXW-FS5 takes some superbly smooth night video with minimal noise in 4K resolution

The Sony XDCam PXW-FS5 takes some superbly smooth night video with minimal noise in 4K resolution

On top of these features, Sony has also added in their superb optical stabilization technology, which we’ve had experience with in our reviews of other and much smaller Sony camcorders, where variants of this technology perform with some serious aplomb.

The XDCam PXW-FS5 records its video footage into dual SD cards via the camcorder’s two slots at a frame rate of 30 fps for 4K UHD video and with a wonderfully detailed quality thanks to the XAVC-L CODEC that this type of footage uses. Addtionally, the PXW-FS5 can also shoot in AVCHD at 1080p resolution and 720p HD at a rate of 60fps while there is also a slow-motion setting for 960 fps in SD resolution and 240 fps in 1080p HD.

In other words, while definitely on the expensive side, the Sony XDCam PXW-FS5 is one heck of a powerful yet very compact pro-level camcorder.

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