Barry Braverman writes on StudioDaily.com:
The Sony FS700, upgraded with the latest version 3 firmware, brings practical 4K raw to the masses for the first time — a significant milestone given the camera’s relatively low price and the fact that Sony only mildly constrains the raw signal emanating from the sensor. Other raw approaches may entail substantial noise reduction and other manipulation, but the Sony strategy is more straightforward. Like the phrase all-natural when it comes to yogurt, the term raw has become a buzzword among shooters in the online forums — but camera manufacturers’ implementations of raw are so wildly different that the term itself has been rendered almost meaningless.
In pro cameras, the SDI output is typically 10-bit, but in raw mode the FS700 outputs a proprietary 12-bit signal via 3G-SDI. This complicates the task of third party recorders like the Convergent Design Odyssey, which can only capture a 12-bit 2K raw signal. Sony has thus far not allowed third parties like Convergent Design to record the 4K raw data. For this, shooters must use the Sony’s own 4K recorder and interface — the AXS-R5 ($6,294) coupled to the HXR-IFR5 ($2,500). For existing owners of the FS700, the firmware upgrade requires the camera to visit a service center along with $400, but the charge is waived with proof of purchase of the IFR5 interface unit.
Read the full review here.