The Sony FS7 II is the successor to their flagship single-operator large sensor camera, the FS7. Here we will give an overview of the differences between these two Super 35mm 4K cameras.
The FS7 II Has an Electronic Vari ND Filter
Sony first introduced the electronic Vari ND Filter technology on their X180 and X160 cameras in 2015, but the feature received more attention when it was implemented in the Sony FS5. Besides the added convenience, it also made the step-less adjustment of ND filters possible. Users report they find this feature handy and adds to the ergonomics of the camera.
The new filter is an LCD layer placed between the sensor and the lens-mount. The strength of the filter can be assigned to presets or dialed in via the “Variable” wheel on the side of the camera. This allows you to keep the same aesthetics while changing the amount of light that hits the sensor during a scene.
E-Mount Lever Lock
E-Mount is a great lens mount. The sensor distance makes it possible to use a variety of third-party lenses via adapters, and it is so popular that almost all lens manufacturers produce specifically for this kind of mount by now. What is not so great about it, however, is that it was made for stills photography lenses, and thus lacks stability and a rotation-less locking mechanism. Sony addressed both issues with the new E-Mount Lever Lock.
The innovation of the E-Mount Lever Lock mechanism makes it very similar to the PL mount system used in cinema productions: instead of turning the lens you now turn the collar. This helps lock lenses more tightly and is ideal for large camera setups such as when you have a matte box and follow focus setup, as you don’t need to twist the lens.
This mount is ideal for cinema, large lens setups, or when the camera is on a tripod. For everyone else — and I assume this will be 90% of FS7 II handheld users — this new mount will probably be a huge problem. It’s nice that we don’t have to twist the lens, but twisting the lens mount and pressing the lock release while holding the lens is an almost impossible task to perform for any single-operator shooter.
The number of assign buttons has been increased from six to ten, all extra-large, while the LCD monitor arm and mic holder can be swapped for left-eye shooting. The telescoping arm offers even more settings, allowing the camcorder to be mounted closer to your body and you no longer need a tool for adjustments. The XQD cards now stick out 4.3mm more on the FS7 II meaning you can grab them more easily.
In conclusion, the biggest differences between the FS7 and the FS7 II are the addition of the E-Mount Lever Lock and the Electronic Vari ND filter.
Otherwise, these cameras are virtually the same internally.
Sony introduces the new FS7 II Cinema Camera: