As most people say both cameras are 99 percent internally the same. But there are few obvious differences between the FS7 mark I and the FS7 mark II. Where most of them can be seen as an improvement.
The Sony FS7 II was going to mark the next step in the evolution of the successful FS7 line.
Sony FS7 Mark I –
PXW-FS7, Sony’s 4K Super 35mm camcorder with E-mount, 4K/2K RAW and XAVC recording.
The PXW-FS7 reflects years of intense conversations we’ve had with documentary shooters. In response, we completely redesigned the grip, improved the viewfinder, optimized the balance and refined the ergonomics. Of course, the FS7 also reflects Sony’s expertise in 4K and HD codecs, Super 35 sensors and memory recording. The result is the ideal camera for documentaries and the optimum tool for magazine shows, reality TV, unscripted TV and more.
Sony FS7 Mark II –
FS7 II, Sony’s 4K Super 35mm camcorder with E-Mount (lever lock), Electronic Variable ND, 4K/2K RAW and XAVC recording.
FS7 II dramatically improves the experience of shooting with Sony’s ultimate documentary camcorder and is simply one of the world’s most versatile Super 35mm camcorders. A host of enhancements, from an all-new lens mount to world-leading Electronic Auto Variable ND system and enhanced ergonomics, transform the possibilities of what you can do.
Shoot and move. Handheld, shoulder-mount or suspended from a gimbal. FS7 II delivers the spectacular imagery you expect from Sony.
Sony FS7 II has an Electronic Vari ND filter:
The Sony FS7 mark 2 have now a Vari ND filter as well. Technically, the ND value is now smoothly adjustable without a rotation wheels between each filter. This is an electronic ND system using the same technique as the LCD screen. It can dim an entire piece of glass.
Having a variable ND element instead of a wheel have an immediate result; will not have a mechanical element moving so much as on the first iteration of the Sony PXW FS7. Many users reported that the ND wheels fails on them at one point. With the Vari ND wheel; only 2 steps are necessary: with the variable ND or no filter at all. Before it was a 4 steps wheel, now it’s either clear + 2~7 stop range, in seamless transition steps up to 1/128.
Lens lock mechanism upgrade: E-mount (Lever Lock Type):
This one is not so much on top of my preferences. The Sony FS 7 mark 1 was very simple to use as a one-man band videographer. You could take the lens between your fingers, pushing the lens’s released button and easily get the lens out with a simple twist. On the FS7 mark 2, it’s quite a new and complicated way to do so. You first need to lift a locker, before being able to unlock the lens. It’s also a not so easy to put it back as it could happen that the lens turns with the locking mechanism, the safety lock need to be armed again. This actually the same way you put a lens on the Sony Venice camera.
Which one for you? Sony PXW FS7 Mark 1 VS mark 2
If you already have a Sony FS7 mark 2, you may consider getting the version one only as B-cam. In a similar way, if you already have a FS7 mark 1, get the upgraded mark 2, both are very complementary.
If you have none; the version 2 is the one to go for first and start making dome damage. Even if the mark 2 is more expensive, the different in price may still be there too when you will re-sell it.
We have both the Sony Fs7 and Sony Fs7 mark 2 available for rent with us.