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The Sony fs-5 or as its parents refer to it when it’s in trouble the “Sony PXW-FS5 XDCAM Super 35 Camera System”  Is one of the tiniest cameras that can be considered professional.  At just over $5,500 it’s also one of the cheapest. while it’s many times larger than the Black magic pocket cinema cameras, It also has far more features. Great PROFESSIONAL features like built-in ND filters. dual sd record slots. a base sensitivity of 2000. a super 35mm sensor. xlr inputs. an integrated viewfinder. The 4K Super 35 EXMOR sensor features approximately 14 stops of latitude and a wide color gamut. It offers a choice of XAVC or AVCHD codecs. The XAVC codec can be used for 4K and HD recording, while MPEG-2 is limited to HD recording. The XAVC Long allows you to encode from HD to UHD using Intra-Frame or Long GOP compression with 10-bit 422 for HD and 8-bit 420 for UHD.The PXW-FS5 is equipped with an E-mount machined from solid stainless steel for stability and strength. It accepts E-mount lenses from Sony, Zeiss, and other manufacturers. The shallow flange distance allows you to mount most 35mm lens types, such as PL, DSLR, and legacy SLR lenses, including Canon EF, Leica, and Nikon as well as many others with mechanical adapters.

The camera includes a handgrip on an industry standard “Arri rosette”  that Sony calls a SmartGrip, with Zoom, Start/Stop and Assignable controls that facilitate camera operation with the right hand, leaving the left hand free to operate the lens. The handgrip adjusts to different angles permitting greater flexibility in the agle of shooting. the hand grip needs to move for low lever or over the head shooting on the fly.

The fs5 has two SD media slots that support simultaneous or relay recording. a must for critical productions or one off events recording either concecutavely onto two cards at once or concurently filling one card and then the other with no need to stop recording at incoveient times. For its RAW recording, the camera uses the far more expensive cfast card. the speed needed not just to shoot but then to download the footage is much more reliable in the “professional” cfast card. this is the same as the Arri Amira and the fs7.

The FS-5 output connections feature protective covers even the DC input and LANC connectors are protected with captive covers. The media card slots and Multi-Terminal are likewise protected from dust by a swing away door.

A removable top handle with a second XLR 3-pin audio input that compliments the 3-pin XLR input incorporated into the body. Both audio inputs feature a selector switch for line/mic/mic+48. These are profesional features that are sorely lacking on the BMPCC cameras. The top handle allows attachment of the LCD viewfinder to the camera, so theres a choice of the camera’s built-in viewfinder, or the larger lcd attached to the removable top handle .

The FS-5 was the first Sony camera to feature a  built-in, electronic, variable ND system with continusly variable stops from 1/4 to 1/128th  in the camera body, no  screw on optical ND filters. Programable buttons allow you to quickly engage preset positions; off, 1/4, 1/16, and 1/64.

The PXW-FS5 records to XAVC-L QFHD 8-bit 420 (up to 30fps) and HD 10-bit 422 (up to 60fps) internally.FS5 is capable of simultaneously recording proxy files with the same name and time code as the main recordings.There are two Rec s/s buttons: one on the camera grip, the other on the camera handle. The target SD card slot for each trigger is assigned in the Recording Menu.

The camera’s built in Wi-Fi capabilities allow live streaming to PCs, tablets, and smart phones even controling the camera settings wirelessly. An Ethernet connector  provides robust connections when a reliable Wi-Fi link is not available. or cannot be trusted.

Recorded movie files can be transferred via network to a designated FTP server. So proxy files can be uploaded to clients or editors before the shoot has even wrapped.

Super 35mm sensor sized camera offers burst recording at 240fps internally, for up to 8 seconds. That’s the same as the fs700, and a step down from the Sony fs7. although the fs7 will only record 120 fps, it will do it indefinitely. I’ll let Sony and Cinema5D explain more info on the multitude of codec options.