Sony Unveils New 4K Cameras and Accessories

By Michael Silbergleid
SVG Contributing Editor

Sony Electronics is unveiling two new CineAlta 4K cameras, complemented by a full line of new accessories. The new cameras models F55 and F5 have a modular and compact design for easy configuration, and each features a new type of 4K Super 35mm image sensor with a 4096 x 2160 resolution (11.6M total pixels). SVG will have more in-depth coverage of Sony’s 4K and other announcements later in the week.

“These two new models join a family of Sony large-sensor cameras that complement each other and deliver powerful new capabilities to professionals working at every level of production,” said Rob Willox, director of marketing for large image sensor cameras at Sony Electronics. “They fill a critical gap in large-sensor acquisition between Sony’s PMW-F3 camcorder and F65 digital motion picture camera, and give content creators new levels of flexibility and creative options for acquisition and production in HD, 2K, 4K and beyond. The total line-up, with our new accessories, further underscores Sony’s commitment to supporting every aspect of the highest-quality professional workflows.”

The 20-megapixel F65 remains the flagship of Sony’s large sensor acquisition technology. The 8K sensor-equipped F65 continues to evolve, with new features designed to keep it at the highest end of professional digital imaging. The most recent feature add-on (Ver2.0) includes a new high frame rate mode for 8K 16-bit Linear RAW recording at 120P to deliver stunning 4K images with super smooth slow motion capabilities, as well as the SR codec updated to 12-bit. The Ver2.0 upgrade was also released for Sony’s SRR4 recorder, as well as the SRPC4 transfer station to enable 1.5 times faster than real-time transfer speed of 8K 16-bit linear RAW files. Future upgrades to the F65 will deliver higher than 4K RGB resolution, paint and remote control, and interfacing with the new OLED viewfinder, among other features strongly desired by the production community.

New F55 and F5 Cameras
The new CineAlta 4K cameras deliver creative options for HD, 2K QFHD and 4K production. Both offer multi-codec support: Sony’s new XAVC MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format, the SR codec (MPEG4 SStP), and the well-established XDCAM 50Mbps 4:2:2 codec. In-camera recording is to Sony’s new SxS PRO+ memory card media (for the F55, 4K 60p:422 10-bit XAVC and HD 422 10-bit XAVC High Frame Rate); and for the F5, HD XAVC and HD high frame rate).

The F55 can connect to Sony’s new 4K 30-inch LCD monitor, model PVM-X300, using four 3G-SDI interfaces for live monitoring at 4096×2160 up to 60p while recording XAVC 4K and playback XAVC 4K images.

Users can connect directly to Sony’s new 84-inch BRAVIA 4K (3840×2160) LED TV for largescreen monitoring of the camera’s 4K 60P images (at resized horizontal resolution of 3860 pixels).

Using Sony’s new RAW recorder AXS-R5,” enhanced high frame rate capabilities allow shooters to capture super slow-motion imagery in up to 60p 4K RAW on new AXS memory — for 2K RAW, up to 240fps with the F55; and up to 120 fps**with the F5 — all without crop factor or loss of angle of view.

The F55 adds a global shutter to eliminate rolling shutter skew and flash band, delivering the same color filter with ultra wide color gamut as the F65 for true color reproduction. The cameras are further distinguished by wide (14 stops) exposure latitude, high sensitivity, and low noise.

Unique to both the F55 and F5 will be the ability to dual record in a number of different configurations depending upon codec selection and whether using the optional AXS-R5 RAW recorder. Combinations will include recording in parallel to a single SxSPro+ card, to both SxS slots with the same or different codecs, and recording to SxS at the same time as to the AXS-R5 in RAW.

These powerful features enable highly efficient off line, on line workflows and the archiving and repurposing of the RAW data.