Sony FS5 Firmware 4.0 Unlocks 120fps FHD!

Sony FS5 Firmware 4.0

As it was announced back in early April 2017 the Sony FS5 firmware 4 was just released for the camera. It is of note because it unlocks the ability on the camera to shoot 120fps at full HD 1080p continuously without time limit.  Of course, you will have to pay the extra $500 USD for the right to do so by unlocking a license code.

The firmware itself which is free for camera owners does give you some really good free goodies like HDR video shooting in Hybrid-Log gamma which should make highlight and shadow retention much better in this new profile.  As an extra as well you will now be able to use ISO 3200 for S-Log2 and S-Log 3 recording up from ISO 2000. Making it more capable in low light.

Firmware 4.0 Highlights:

1.     Support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) by shooting in Hybrid Log-Gamma** (HLG) standard
2.     Support for continuous 120fps High Frame Rate (HFR) recording in 1080p with CBKZ-FS5HFR (sold separately)
3.     Option to change the minimum ISO sensitivity number to ISO 2000 from ISO 3200 when recording S-Log2/S-Log3
*4K: XAVC-Long 4:2:0 8-bit, HD: XAVC 4:2:2 10-bit.

Sony FS5 Firmware 4.0  available here:
Upgrade needed for 120fps FHD:

HFR upgrade for PXW-FS5 $500 USD Sold separately!
Support for continuous 120fps High Frame Rate (HFR) recording in 1080p Note: Requires version 4.0 or higher firmware.

HFR Formats available with CBKZ-FS5HFR upgrade:
XAVC HD 1080/60p 50Mbps / 120fps Scan Frame-rate @ 1920×1080 59.94p
XAVC HD 1080/30p 25Mbps / 120fps Scan Frame-rate @ 1920×1080 29.97p
XAVC HD 1080/24p 25Mbps / 120fps Scan Frame-rate @ 1920×1080 23.98p
XAVC HD 1080/50p 50Mbps / 100fps Scan Frame-rate @ 1920×1080 50p
XAVC HD 1080/25p 25Mbps / 100fps Scan Frame-rate @ 1920×1080 25p

Our thoughts:

It is kind of a let down that Sony is essentially asking for $500 on top of the FS5 $5,470 camera price to be able to shoot 120fps full HD.   That is the cost for example of a GX85 Panasonic camera for instance with 4k and in camera sensor stabilization.  The FS5 does not need any hardware changes to allow the recording but just an unlock code for it to be activated.  Reminds us of the Panasonic GH4 and GH5 V-Log L profile that is sold for $100 USD in order to be able to use it as a grade-able profile.  We are not fans of software charges on camera lines but it seems to be a new trend developing.

If the FS5, for example, unlocked continuous 240fps or 480fps and needed a partial memory upgrade to do so; a charge of $500 or even $1000 would be justified in our view.  The charge for mere software code serial unlock leaves a pretty bad taste in your mouth considering you may add a capable lens or set of adapters for that money.  That does not really detract from the excellent camera the Sony FS5 is on most fronts.  It would have been nice

That does not really detract from the excellent camera the Sony FS5 is on most fronts.  It would have been nice, however, to get an upgrade for 120fps continuous that is now becoming commonplace in several cameras.   If you want to save the cash and get something else instead, we suggest you check out cameras like the Sony RX100 Mark V which does 120fps continuous and up to 960fps at reduced resolutions for up to 4 seconds.

 It will cost you just $998 which is twice the FS5 Software upgrade price but you end up with something very special in return. -HSC

Sony FS5 shooting at 120fps Samples:

An Evening with Ann – Sony FS5 120fps Test by dlesh productions:

Slow Motion CROSSFIT shot on the Sony FS5 slowmo ( PXW-FS5 ) by Filmscape Digital:

Sony FS5 Slow Motion with Test Footage by TechJMedia:

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