The Sony PXW-FS7 II is an amazing camera—our go-to kit for most of our video production work, and one that we happily own in-house. Even though the camera is ready for shooting right out of the box, there are a few minor shortcomings that are easily fixable with a few additional accessories. Read below my top 4 recommended accessories for the Sony PXW-FS7 II.
1) V-Mount Battery Plate
Upgrading your battery situation should be your top priority when you start working with the Sony FS7 II. The small batteries that ship with the camera won’t cut it. You’ll want to invest into a few solid V-mount batteries that would last you hours of continuous recording. For this, you have two options:
- V-mount Battery Plate — this will allow you to use V-mount batteries and should attach easily to the back of the camera’s body. A really good option for this is the CORE SWX GP-S-FS7 V-Mount Adapter Plate, which retails for $214 USD. It’s a nice sturdy unit with metallic construction.
- Sony’s XDCA-FS7 Extension Unit — this beast of a unit retails for $1999 USD. Although a bit on the pricier side and bigger in size and form factor, this extension unit adds more features to your FS7 II on top of the V-mount battery adaptability. It also provides additional counter balance to the back of the camera’s body, especially when using heavier lenses. Those additional features include:
- Enables 12-bit 4K/2K RAW Data Output
- Built-In 1080p ProRes 422 Encoder
- Timecode & Genlock I/O
- Tally Indicator
- V-Mount Battery Attachment
- 4-Pin XLR DC Power Input
- 4-Pin Hirose DC Power Output
We currently own both of the above, with Sony’s XDCA unit being the go-to attachment that stays on the camera. If you don’t care much for the internal ProRes, RAW recording or other additional features, then you should be just fine with the first option.
2) Top Plate for Mounting Accessories
A cheesplate to mount under the top handle is pretty handy for mounting additional accessories to your FS7, everything from additional monitors, microphones, on-camera lights, etc. For about $$78 USD, the SHAPE top platte for Sony FS7 will do the trick — it screws on nicely right under the FS7’s factory top handle. You will just have to remove the tiny cable management piece to get it on.
3) VCT Quick Release Baseplate w/ Shoulder Pad
The Sony FS7 II comes stock with a small curved rubber piece that sits under the camera’s body. This piece isn’t neccassirly designed sit on your shoulder for extended periods, and if you use VCT quick release plates on your tripod systems for your heavier gear, you’ll definitely need to find a solution for your Sony FS7 II.
There are a few manufacturers (including Sony) that offer shoulder pad accessories that combine VCT attachment and 15mm rod support system. My favourite one is the Zacuto Universal VCT Pro Baseplate, which retails for about $650 USD. Not only does it have the most comfortable shoulder pad out there, it has multiple easy adjustment points (with no tools necessary) to perfectly balance the camera on the plate and to adjust the height of your 15mm rods. The other great thing about this plate is that you can potentially use it with other camera systems like the Canon C300, RED and Arri Alexa. Other VCT Baseplate worth looking into are: Sony VCT-FS7 | $1260 CAD from B&H SHAPE Sony FS7 V-LOck Quick Release Baseplate | $673 USD from B&H Tilta BS-T10 Quick Release Baseplate | $499 USD from B&H
4) Better LCD Monitor / EVF
The stock monitor that comes with the FS7 is decent and will do the job, but if you’re like me and enjoy the precision of fully-featured monitors, you’ll want to look into upgrading. My personal favourite is the SmallHD 502 w/ Sidefinder. In addition to A high-quality build and design, it features a crisp full-HD screen and is packed with many exposure assistance tools such as false colour, which is my personal favourite. The sidefinder bracket allows the screen to conveniently fold into an electronic viewfinder.
Do you currently have any accessories that you love using with your Sony FS7 II? If so, please let us know what they are in the comments section below.