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05-02-2024 - Gear

Discover How Chrosziel Unlocks New Zoom Capabilities For The Sony FR7

By: Yaroslav Altunin

In November 2023, the Sony FR7 full-frame pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera received an update to firmware Version 2.00. This added new features to the system, further expanding its already robust capabilities. 


While creatives eagerly welcomed support for Zoom Sync, cinema standard file name formats, and Flexible ISO and Cine EI Quick shooting modes, the inclusion of third-party lens controller support opened the FR7 to a whole new world of creativity. 


Ian McCausland of AbelCine explored this feature by pairing the Sony FR7 with the Chrosziel CDM-SFR Universal Zoom Motor. Specifically designed for the FR7, it unlocked a whole new range of lenses and capabilities for the camera. 

Before you watch his video, let’s learn why this feature is so important to the FR7 and how this setup can support creatives on set.

A Closer Look at the Sony FR7 PTZ Camera + Chrosziel SFR Universal Zoom Motor from AbelCine on Vimeo.

What is The Sony FR7 PTZ camera?

Released in September of 2022, the Sony FR7 was the world’s first full-frame pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera. While it was designed to bring the cinematic quality of Sony’s FX line to the broadcast world, it is a camera that can also thrive in both live and movie production environments. 


PTZ cameras are fully enclosed units utilized for live productions or as a security solution. While rigging tools that can pan, tilt, and zoom a cinema camera have been used in film and television, they are usually cost-prohibitive. Traditionally, PTZ cameras couldn’t replace these rigging solutions as their image quality never met the image quality standards that these productions demanded. 


The Sony FR7 is a camera that changes how we think about these tools. It combines the stabilized range of motion found in PTZ cameras and gives it the feature set of a Sony FX6 — a full-frame sensor, 15+ stops of dynamic range, and industry-leading autofocus via E-mount lenses. 


Live productions can now obtain the image quality of a Sony cinema camera in a familiar form factor, and film sets can use the FR7 as an affordable alternative for robotic heads.

Sony FR7: Firmware Version 2.00 & Universal Lens Support

The Sony FR7’s unique ability to natively utilize E-mount lenses marries leading-industry autofocus with PTZ capabilities. However, before the firmware update, only E-mount power zooms could zoom without external support. 


Firmware Version 2.00 now allows third-party lens controllers, such as the Chrosziel CDM-SFR Universal Zoom Motor, to be used with the FR7. This external motor unit can be attached to practically any zoom lens on the market, including E-mount lenses with no power zoom and vintage zooms adapted to the E-mount. These can then be controlled from the web app or a PTZ controller. In addition, the update also allows users to save presets for not only the camera position but also the focal length.


With the ability to now use any zoom lens that can be adapted to an E-mount, the FR7 is quickly becoming an attractive tool for creatives who need the control of a robotic head and the image quality of a cinema camera. 


To discover more about the benefits of using the Sony FR7 with the Chrosziel SFR Universal Zoom Motor or to learn the best way to utilize this combo, watch Ian McCausland’s video in full.

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