Sony Block Camera replacement

Updated: Oct 14, 2021


Sony block camera compatible in size, commands with superior performance

skoopia offers the ideal replacement for Sony block cameras. Connectors are identical, size is (near) 100% identical, they all support VISCA & Pelco-D steering commands and all have native CVBS output on-board. Moreover, the skoopia block cameras are available for years to come. No more worries about replacement.  

Discontinuation Sony Block Camera - Hitachi Block Camera 

Where leading vendors from the past have completely stopped zoom block production (e.g. Hitachi, Samsung) or have discontinued CVBS & Full HD zoom block models to promote (Sony) their expensive high-end 4K solutions skoopia provides best in class, cost-effective Full HD zoom blocks in coming years.


Sony block camera overview replaced by skoopia block camera

skoopia offers a complete portfolio of Full-HD block cameras as a direct replacement of the Sony FCB EX and Sony FCB EV and Sony H block cameras. To ease the replacement, we have added comparison tables after the generic section on block camera characteristics to directly compare your EOL (End of Life) or rumoured EOL Sony Block Camera with skoopia's block camera on key parameter (sensor resolution, optical zoom, digital zoom, near focus limit, output resolution, pinning, dimensions, communication protocol (all VISCA), and video output standards supported).


skoopia markets two series of Full HD zoom blocks that replace the Sony block cameras that are End of Life, being the 20Z series (10x, 20x, 30x) and the 21Z series (10x, 20x, 30x).


The 20Z series is focused on being a very cost-effective solution for industrial block camera customers specifically demanding on-board CVBS, AHD, TVI and/or EX-SDI block cameras. LVDS and HD-SDI output are also available, but here the 21Z series could also be a viable alternative, particularly if interlaced video output is required.


The skoopia 21Z series is focused on providing best of class optics with best of class sensors to customers demanding superior optics with corresponding zoom and focus behavior. If fast focus, zoom specific behavior (e.g. fast adjustments to scan a weld in a pipe) and/or superior senstivity with very limited spherical aberration is mandatory).


All of skoopia's block cameras are a perfect replacement for Sony block cameras, whether the block cameras are Sony analog block cameras, such as the

  • Sony FCB EX-11, Sony FCB EX-15 (10x optical zoom category),

  • Sony FCB EX-45, Sony FCB EX-47 or Sony FCB-EX-2200 (20x optical zoom category) or

  • Sony FCB-EX2700 or Sony FCB-EX1020 (30x optical zoom category)

or Sony (Full-)HD block cameras, such as

  • Sony FCB H-11 or Sony FCB EV-7100 (10x optical zoom category),

  • Sony FCB EV 7300, Sony FCB-EV 7310, Sony FCB-EV7320 or the lesser known Sony FCB-EV5300 (20x optical zoom category) or

  • Sony FCB-EV5500, Sony FCB-EV7500, Sony FCB-EV7510, Sony FCB-EV7520 or the Sony FCB-EV7520A (30x optical zoom category).

All of the above Sony Block cameras are End of Life, and to be honest where very good and reliable block cameras, except for the Sony FCB-EV7520A, which Sony has recently introduced.

Why not choose the Sony FCB-EV7520A block camera


Although the name of the Sony FCB-EV7520A is very similar to the Sony FCB-EV7520 and it is promoted as a successor of the Sony FCB-EV7520 it is a different camera. Whereas the Sony FCB-EV7520 meets the Sony quality and long term availability, the Sony FCB-EV7520A has several differences, such as

  • a limited Sony VISCA command set supported

  • changed Sony VISCA command set compared to the Sony FCB-EV7520

  • significant longer latency.

If you can still get your hands on Sony FCB EV-7520, please do so to avoid any engineering effort. If you require a suitable replacement, skoopia is eager and willing to allow you to test* the Sony FCB EV-7520A agains its 20Z30L, or 21Z30S, so you can determine yourself which camera is a more suitable replacement.


skoopia test condition hold for any camera, so also for skoopia 30x block camera 21Z30L or 20Z30L: samples returned complete and undamaged within 1 month after delivery will not be invoiced. Note that skoopia also offers additional video output on its block cameras, in case you currently apply a converter board LVDS to e.g. HD-SDI.

Identical connector & pinning of industrial block cameras

skoopia zoom blocks come with the known 24-pin (EV-Series) and 9-pin (EX-series) connectors. Signals on the pinning are identical to Sony. Only spare pins are used for new video signals, not impacting current designs.

  • The LVDS zoom blocks connect via the well-known 30-pin KEL-cable and identical pinning. 

  • The AHD/CVBS block cameras connect via the 9-pin FFC (Flat Flexible Cable), but will (if available) have AHD on the spare outputs).

  • The SDI block cameras make use of the 24-pin FFC, and also match the Sony EV-block cameras.

In most cases the skoopia block cameras comprise plural connectors. See the overview and datasheets on the skoopia block camera website section.


9 Pin FFC 30 pin KEL cable


1 RxD 1 TXOUT3+

2 TxD 2 TXOUT3−

3 GND 3 TXCLKOUT+

4 DC IN 4 NC 4 TXCLKOUT-

5 GND 5 TXOUT2+

6 VBS-OUT 6 TXOUT2-

7 GND 7 TXOUT1+

8 AHD-OUT 8 TXOUT1-

9 GND 9 TXOUT0+

10 TXOUT0+

24 Pin FFC

1 GND 11 GND

2 TxD 12 RxD

3 RxD 13 TxD

4 AHD ON 14 DC IN

5 GND 15 DC IN

6 AHD-OUT 16 DC IN

7 GND 17 DC IN

8 ADKEY 18 DC IN

9 IR-ON 19 GND

10 D/N-IN 20 GND

11 EX-SDI ON 21 TXOUT7+

12 MD-OUT 22 TXOUT71

13 485-DIR 23 TXOUT6+

14 F/W_SEL 24 TXOUT6-

15 GND 25 EXSDI+

16 +5V_OUT 26 EXSDI-

17 GND 27 TXOUT5+

18 VBS-OUT 28 TXOUT5-

19 GND 29 TXOUT4+

20 DC 12V 30 TXOUT4-


21 DC 12V MMCX / U-FL

22 DC 12V 1 SDI (EX/HD/3G)

23 DC 12V 2 GND

24 DC 12V

No break-out boards required skoopia offers zoom blocks / industrial block cameras with all relevant output signals integrated (CVBS, AHD, TVI, HD/EX-SDI and/or LVDS). No need for additional break-out boards, making it a very cost-effective solution. 


AHD/CVBS block camera 10x, 20x, and 30x zoom block drop-in replacements are readily available to replace Sony analog block cameras. Details of the industrial and to some extend medical block camera skoopia 20Z10S-NF, 20Z20A and 20Z30A can be found here

Advantages choosing an AHD block camera starting with a CVBS block camera replacement

  • Upgrade to Full-HD without changing the wiring

  • Very cost effective camera

  • 100% VISCA compliant 

  • Similar size

  • Pin compatible with analogue Sony FCB-EX-series


HD-SDI/EX-SDI block camera 10x, 20x, 30x and 36x medical 3G/HD/ EX-SDI block camera drop-in replacements are readily available to replace Sony digital block cameras in medical block camera or industrial block camera applications.  

Details of the industrial and medical block camera skoopia 20Z10S-NF, 21Z10S, 21Z20L, 20Z30S and 21Z30S here

Advantages choosing an EX-SDI block camera starting with a CVBS block camera replacement

  • Make use of existing coaxial cable for EX-SDI and CVBS

  • Best of class image quality as EX-SDI block camera provides full resolution zoom with visually lossless compression

  • Best of class image qualtity without compression (get the full data) from HD-SDI or 3G-SDI block camera

  • Cost effective camera, as HD-SDI/3G-SDI or EX-SDI and CVBS does not require add-on board.

  • 100% VISCA compliant 

  • Similar size or smaller

  • Pin compatible with digital Sony FCB-EV-series 


LVDS block camera Naturally, also LVDS versions are available, for direct integration in your FPGA board. LVDS output of cameras is fully compliant with existing USB3, HDMI and IP breakout boards from leading vendors. Also for legacy implementations using analog HD* (Y Pb Pr) LVDS output can be suitable, as converter boards exist.


* Note: (Y Pb Pr) is analog HD. This is very different from the compressed AHD signal, which contemporary industrial zoom blocks offer. AHD block cameras have major advantages, particularly in band width of the signal.


Easy block camera replacement - no fuzz integration 


skoopia zoom blocks are focused to ease integration, minimizing the impact of engineering effort and customer support implementing a replacement.  

  • Optical: skoopi