It seems that Sony is taking the lazy route on its new professional camcorder. The FS5 II comes with the same S35 sensor as the Mark I version and only offers improved color rendition.
Besides that, the shape, ergonomics, and specifications are nearly identical. With an expected price of $4,700, this professional camera only records internally in 8 bits with a maximum resolution and frame rate of 4K at 30p. The XAVC-S 8-bit codec maxes out at 100 Mbps, which is very disappointing considering that the pro-sumer Panasonic GH5 from last year can do 4K internally at 150 mbps in 10 bits.
Add an external recorder, and the FS5 II can film in 4K at 60p and 4K DCI in raw. Slow motion lovers will notice that the camera is capable of 4K raw at 120 fps, but for short bursts of only four seconds. Lower the resolution to 1080 and you can record an eight-second burst at 240 fps (stored in 10 bits).
In the end, the major difference may come from the new color profile borrowed from the high-end VENICE camera. Hopefully, this new profile will deliver better skin tones compared the "radioactive" colors of the FS5.
Some will say this Mark II model is just a firmware update with new stickers and labels on the camera body. That may be true, but at least Sony has the decency to price the FS5 II at the same level as the FS5.
Let’s wait for the first independent reviews; but at this point, this release doesn’t promise much for the future Sony A7S III camera.