Sony Announces the Brand New Full-Frame FR7 Robotic Camera to their Cinema Lineup


“Cinematography meets robotics” is the new tagline for Sony’s robotic FR7 camera that fits nicely amongst their cinema lineup. 

Sony has just announced a new addition to their cinema lineup, the Sony FR7. The new camera is a robotic rig allowing interchangeable lenses and remote use through their new app. The camera body boasts a 4K full-frame sensor that is basically the same as their Sony FX3 camera. It’s very clear that the camera isn’t meant to be the A-cam on shoots but rather serving the shots that require a fast crane or Steadicam setup for in-between shots. 

Paired with the web app, camera operators, DPs, and directors can perform atypical and typical camera movements like pans, tilts, and zooms with one hand, remotely, and with ease. The “world’s first remote zoom, pan, and tilt camera” with interchangeable lenses for this size. It’s all about the size of this new release. Let’s take a look at this thing. 

One of the big selling points Sony seems to be running with is the tiny size of the camera. And then paired with its remote capabilities. These two features lend themselves to more intimate recordings, whether fictional, narrative work or interviews for documentaries. They want to emphasize how this can speed up production while reducing the number of people distracting your talent. While I think that’s something worth noting, it does feel a little gimmicky and could be a way for them to justify the app they are promoting. 

But let’s talk about movement. By having preset endpoints for specific camera movements you need, you can help out your VFX shots by keeping the camera movement consistent and exact. In addition to the web app, the FR7 is compatible with the RM-IP500 remote controller, which adds more intuition and control to camera movements with its joystick. 

The only thing that could make this setup more useful for cam ops and directors everywhere is the touch-AF capability that comes with the app. Sony is already known for its out-of-this-world autofocusing systems, but with the FR7, this feature adds an exponential leap in practicality and ease to camerawork. The demo video above almost seems like the AF fails for a split second. You be the judge. Auto-focus will always bring its own set of issues, so this shouldn’t surprise anybody at this point. 

Built-in ND filter similar to the higher-end cinema line like the FX6 and FX9 while remaining more like an FX3 minus the built-in ND filters. Regardless of the type of productions you work on, you might see this and ask, “isn’t this just a camera on a gimbal?” yes and no. Yes, this type of technology can be pulled off from existing pieces of gear that have already been on the market for a while, but it’s never been in one complete package like this for Sony shooters. 


Who Is This Camera For? 

Sony FR7 In Use
Image via Sony

I think this camera setup is perfect for live events, specifically on a stage or for studio shoots. Whether you’re shooting films, commercials, sporting events, or music videos, this camera can help your production exponentially in different ways.

Between the Sony E-mount, the web app, and the overall size of the rig, the FR7 might be the perfect segue for grips, DPs, focus pullers, and directors entering into bigger productions and shoots. One of the keywords being thrown around with this camera is “intuitive,” so there should be too steep of a learning curve, regardless of your experience with cranes, gimbals, etc. 


Specs: 

  • Lens – E-mount
  • Weight: Approx. 4.6 kg (10 lb 2.3 oz.)
  • 35mm full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm), Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • 12.9-megapixel sensor
  • Built-in ND Filters
  • AF: 627 points
  • Pan: -170 deg.~170 deg., Tilt: -30 deg.~195 deg.,
  • Audio Input: XLR-type 5-pin (female) (x1) line/mic/mic +48 V selectable, Mic Reference: -30 to -80 dBu
  • Media: CFexpress Type A / SD card

For more on Sony cameras check out the articles below:

Breaking News: Sony Announces the VENICE 2 with 8.6K
BREAKING: Sony Announces the Alpha 1 With 8K Video
The New Dynamic Cine Camera: Sony Introduces the FX3
Sony Wants You to Fly Your a7S III with Their New Airpeak Drone





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