Sony's new AXS-R7 4K Raw Recorder for the PMW-F5/F55 CineAlta cameras is so much more than just a new 4K recorder. In addition to new frame rates, the AXS-R7 expands the functionality of the cameras by adding a new X-OCN (Extended Original Camera Negative) 16-bit compressed raw format for more streamlined workflows but with all the benefits or Raw recording.
FDtimes.com just published a rather extensive look at the new recorder, the details of which you can read about in the article below.
Apart from the new X-OCN format, the AXS-R7 also offers 4K/120fps Raw recording on the F55, and 30seconds Raw cache recording, which is a feature that big budget documentary and wildlife filmmakers will surely appreciate.
The new AXS-R7 recorder also supports the already available 16bit linear Raw that is also possible with the predecessor AXS-R5, in addition to the new X-OCN format. It is worthwhile to point out that the new X-OCN format is still a 16bit raw format, however it offers lower bit rates, which will of course make smaller files, thus making this a bit easier when shooting 4K raw, which requires huge amounts of data storage.
The X-OCN comes in two flavours - Standard and Light, both are optimised for the F5/F55 sensors thanks to a brand new Sony algorithm. Both ST and LT version can are available in 2K and 4K resolutions up to 120fps (120fps on F55 only).
In Sony's own words, the benefits of a 16-bit compress Raw format are:
“...Smaller files. X-OCN results in smaller file sizes than RAW. At the highest 4K picture quality, X-OCN ST has 40% longer recording time and roughly 30% shorter file transfer time than Sony’s F55 RAW. The advantages for X-OCN LT are greater still: 142% longer recording time and roughly 59% shorter file transfer time. Furthermore, X-OCN is an appropriate recording format for HDR production since it keeps maximum dynamic range with smaller data size.
“Post flexibility. As with F55 RAW, X-OCN records metadata about your selection of ISO sensitivity, colour temperature and so on. These choices are completely non-destructive and the full potential of the original sensor data is delivered into post-production. The colourist and editor are empowered with far greater decision-making flexibility than is possible with even Log-encoded video.”
The table below represents the differences in bit rates between various in camera XAVC formats and the Raw/X-OCN:
According Sony internal testing X-OCN ST is "visually indistinguishable" from F55 RAW. However, X-OCN ST captures 4K at 24p at just 661 Mbps, which is a significant 30% reduction compared to F55 16bit linear RAW.
X-OCN LT is intended where lower data rates and smaller file sizes are important, while it maintains powerful grading flexibility. X-OCN LT records at 389 Mbps in 24p, a 59% savings over F55 RAW.
The new X-OCN format is only available with the new AXS-R7 recorder and not on internal SxS cards. Speaking of cards, Sony have announced a new version of the AXS cards - they are slim AXS A Series memory cards in 1TB and 512GB capacities and can easily be identified by their model numbers A1TS48 and A512S48 respectively.
The new slim AXS versions are identified with black trim, and have data rates up to 4.8 Gigabits per second. Use these for longer record times and shooting 4K RAW 120 fps.
Existing A Series S24 cards (blue trim, 1 TB, 512 GB and 256 GB capacity) also fit the AXS-R7, but only record up to 60 fps 4K RAW.
The AXS-R7 is expected to launch next month. To place your order get in touch with our Sony specialists on 0208 977 1222.