Sony unveils ‘world’s first’ robotic pan-tilt-zoom full-frame mirrorless camera

Sony has introduced an unusual mirrorless camera that essentially combines the technology of the FX6 cinema camera with remote-controlled robotics. The FR7 is the “world’s first” pan-tilt-zoom full-frame interchangeable-lens camera with robotic pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) technology, according to the company.

Priced at almost $10,000 without a lens, it’s designed for professional productions like reality shows, concerts, drama, music videos and more. For example, it could be mounted on dolly rails, a crane, or a tripod and follow objects at a distance without getting in each other’s way. It could also be mounted on a vehicle, with the pan-tilt-zoom capabilities giving the director more interesting angles and shots.

Sony introduces the


The large sensor also allows for a more cinematic image than typical robot TV cameras. “The cinematic look and feel is quickly becoming the norm in broadcast and live production because it opens up new ways of telling a story,” said Yang Chen, vice president of Sony Electronics. “Concurrently, over the past two years, we’ve seen a sharp increase in content created remotely or in small locations where access is difficult.”

The FR7 looks a bit like Sony cut off the back of an FX6 and attached the mount and small body to a compact motorized system. It’s designed to pan and tilt smoothly at speeds from 0.02 to a rapid 60 degrees per second while moving from plus or minus 170 degrees (pan) and -30 to 195 degrees (tilt). You can store up to 100 camera gifts and control them with a web app or the optional $2,625 RM-IP500 remote.

The 10.3MP sensor is an unusual choice as the 4K resolution limit might not make it suitable for some high-end productions. However, it offers 4K recording at up to 120 fps or 1080p at 240 fps. Additionally, it has a native ISO range of up to 409,600 with more than 15 stops of dynamic range, making it suitable for shooting in low light. It also features S-Log3 gamma, wide S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine color spaces for HDR and enhanced color grading capabilities.

Sony introduces the


It offers the same autofocus capabilities as the FX6, including Fast Hybrid AF, Real-time Eye AF and Real-time tracking, with touch focus available through the web app. Sony is promising fast and accurate Eye AF, which will be crucial for things like reality shows or live streaming without a physical operator. It also features a built-in electronic variable ND filter, two SD/CFexpress Type-A slots, an Ethernet port for remote control (and power), and SDI/HDMI video outputs.

The FR7 retails for $9,700 without a lens, or $12,200 with Sony’s FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 cinema lens. It’s set to be available for pre-order on September 7th in the US and Sony will be showing it off at IBC 2022 in Amsterdam later this week.

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