Sony’s NAB Plans Include More Cameras of Multiple Shapes, Sizes

Sony’s camera lineup is getting some additional help at NAB with the launch of the HDC-2000 and the HDC-2550 for the high end of the market as well as a new XDCAM camcorder and new robotic camera.

Both the HDC-2000 and HDC-2550 models feature newly developed 2/3-inch-type CCD image sensor and 16-bit digital signal processing.

The HDC-2000 is the studio version of the portable HDC-2500, which is suitable for studio and sports applications with a variety of signal output formats, including 1080/50P, 59.94P and RGB 4:4:4 output.

Like its sibling the HDC-2500, it uses 3Gbps fiber transmission, enabling greater data throughput and higher frame rates without compression. This bigger bandwidth can support 3D operations as two single camera signals can be transmitted in parallel through a single fiber cable.

3Gbps fiber transmission also realizes 2x slow motion picture (1080/60i, 50i, 720/60P, 50P) production. This application works seamlessly with Sony’s SR-R1000 SRMASTER storage unit. As a result, Sony says the HDC-2000 can shoot slow motion from all angles in the field, even though it is not a slow motion exclusive camera. In addition, 3Gbps fiber can enable dedicated IP network communication between the HDC-2000 and HDCU-2000 or HDCU-2500 control units, which offers new possibilities for live camera operations.

The new HDC-2550 includes as standard a triax cable interface, enabling simple integration with existing studio or outside broadcast infrastructures. It also has a new changeable transmission side cover, allowing the user to switch between fiber and triax environments.

And owners of the HDC-2550, HDC-2500 or HDC-2400 can also have the benefits of both fiber and triax transmission with the purchase of an optional side panel: HKC-TR20 (triax side) or HKC-FB20 (fiber side) along with the HKC-CN20 connector.

The HDC-2550 camera is also equipped with a dual optical filter wheel and it offers variable frame rates: 1080/50i or 59.94i and 720/50P or 59.94P as standard, as well as progressive frame rates 1080/23.98PsF, 24PsF, 25PsF and 29.94PsF as an option.

The HDC-2000 and HDC-2550 will begin shipping in May 2012.

Sony is also thinking big and small at the same time at NAB with the PMW-100 XDCAM camcorder, the latest in the HD422 lineup and also the smallest and lightest member of the family.

“Advancements in digital imaging technology have enabled journalists and professional videographers to cover stories by using portable devices such as cell phones, DSLRs, and consumer camcorders,” says Tatsuro Kurachi, senior manager, Professional Solutions of America, Sony Electronics. “However, when compared to traditional shoulder-mount camcorders, there is still a significant gap in image quality, ease of editing, and data management. The PMW-100 achieves the best of both worlds, by recording full broadcast quality MPEG HD422 video within a hand-held form factor.”

Equipped with a newly developed 1/2.9-inch “Exmor” CMOS sensor, the camcorder achieves minimum illumination of 0.08lx. Featuring a 5.4-54mm (40-400mm in 35mm equivalent) zoom lens, the versatile PMW-100 allows users to work in virtually any production environment where mobility and flexibility is critical.

The PMW-100 supports full HD video at 1080i, 1080p and 720p up to 50 Mbps MXF record and playback based on the MPEG HD422 codec using the standard MPEG HD422 Long GOP compression technology. It is also switchable to MPEG HD420 35/25Mbps or even DVCAM 25Mbps recording, which similar options in the market do not offer. The PMW-100 can also record high quality 24-bit four-channel audio at uncompressed 48kHz, ideal for pairing with the new optional ECM-MS2 stereo microphone.

The camcorder offers a high level of flexibility using a variety of recording media including high-speed SxS PRO memory cards as well as SD cards, Memory Stick media, and XQD cards as an “emergency” secondary media. The new application software “SxS Memory Card Management Utility” will provide additional operational convenience with SxS memory cards, such as data back-up functions and the life time indication of the card in use.

Focusing on a subject and reviewing recorded footage is simplified with the camcorder’s full color 3.5-inch WVGA (852×480) LCD, a much higher resolution than those found in other small handheld camcorders.  The Slow & Quick Motion function lets users create artistic fast and slow-motion footage from 1 fps to 60 fps in 720p mode and from 1 fps to 30 fps in 1080p mode.

The camera also incorporates HD/SD-SDI output, Composite Out, Genlock input, time code in/out, i.LINK (HDV/DV) in/out, and A/V Out.

The PMW-100 XDCAM camcorder is planned to be available in May, with a suggested list price of $4,500.

Sony is also rolling out a new robotic camera, the BRC-H900, equipped with three half-inch type Exmor HD CMOS sensors, 1920 x1080 pixels with 1,000 TV lines (horizontal) in HD-SDI mode, sensitivity of F10 and a signal-to-noise ratio of 50dB.

The CMOS sensors, each with an effective pixel count of 2.07 megapixels, and the inclusion of a 14x optical zoom and optical image stabilization features, allows the BRC-H900 to operate in a wide range of lighting conditions even in large venues such as stadiums/sporting arenas.

“Sony has set the bar high for the performance standards of remote cameras with the BRC-H900 – making it a cost compelling yet highly functional way of shooting with less manpower and variety of shooting angles,” says Mark Bonifacio, senior marketing manager, Sony Electronics. “The BRC-H900 enables remote control shooting with the highest level of confidence, which leads to great quality footage.”

To refine footage further, the BRC-H900 has color and lighting adjustment functions, allowing for tweaks in color matrix/detail, gamma level/black gamma, and knee point/slope/SAT Level. This gives the option of fine-tuning, allowing enhanced creativity and to achieve the desired look and feel of video with precision. It also gives users the ability to match the picture very closely to ?-inch camcorders such as Sony’s PMW-EX1R/-EX3/-320.

Other key features include HD/SD-SDI outputs for extreme versatility and multi-system use. For enhanced operability, tally lights are visible in the front and rear of the camera, providing status indication from more angles.

For long distance transmission of video signals, the BRC-H900 can be used with an optical transmission unit, model BRU-SF10.

To further boost the capability of the BRC-H900, Sony will introduce IP control options in 2012, including an IP remote controller which enables control of several BRC-H900s.

The BRC-H900 will be available in May 2012, at a suggested list price of $14,500.