Sony HDC-4300, FUJINON 4K Ultra HD Lenses Take High-Zoom 4K Shooting Beyond Sports
The capabilities of Sony’s HDC-4300 camera and the new FUJINON Ultra HD series of lenses promise to transform the shooting of sports in 4K/UHD. However, the possibilities go far beyond the sports field. Other types of shooting beyond sports – nature and wildlife documentary production, are seeing tremendous new shots thanks to the technology.
Sony and Fujifilm proved this at the recent Jackson Hole Film Festival where the HDC-4300, paired with Fujifilm’s 4K 80x UA80x9 lens, captured a series of stunning nature panoramas.
Primarily designed for sports and live entertainment, the new Sony camera technology solves many of the challenges faced by live event broadcasters now shooting in 4K with large sensor cameras: the ability to use the high magnification wide zoom range lenses currently employed by HD 2/3-inch systems while maintaining an adequate depth of field to properly show the action.
Both FUJINON’s UA80x9 and UA22x 4K Ultra HD lenses were designed using the latest proprietary optical simulation software and offer exceptional optical performance in the center of the image through to the corners of the frame. A floating focus system controls multiple lens groups according to the shooting distance and delivers high-image quality and high contrast images from close-up to infinity. The lenses can be linked with other systems, such as a virtual studio system for combining CG images with live action.
“When paired with a lens like Fujifilm’s UA series, this camera is an introduction to many new uses of UHD,” said Fujifilm’s Chuck Lee. “4K is all about being 4K, not just in the center, but also in the corners of an image. This equipment is not limited to sports, it can certainly be for feature productions.”
Many professionals who attend an event like Jackson Hole also shoot documentaries and feature films, in addition to their roles as wildlife and natural history cinematographers. For them, the ability to have an entire field of view, whether it is a playing field or a mountain range, be totally in focus with the highest clarity and resolution is critical.
“To take advantage of the new 2/3” 4K imager, you need to match it with an equally capable lens system,” said Sony’s Rob Willox. “What the 2/3” system brings is the ability to have a tremendous choice of focal lengths, with the same lens. You can be very wide, but have a long zoom range to fill the screen with distant subjects. With S35mm systems, you really can’t have wide or long in the same lens. The HDC-4300 with the Fujinon offers an opportunity to capture a wide variety of focal lengths quickly.”
With this combination, as an example, when shooting in the Tetons you can present those great panoramic views, but also have the opportunity to get up close and personal from great distances without disturbing the wildlife.
“Our Premier PL 4K+ cine lenses have been used extensively for sports and entertainment productions thus far, but on cameras with a PL mount,” said Thom Calabro, director of Marketing and Product Development for the Optical Division of FUJIFILM. “There are focal
length limitations there, but with the new 4K Ultra HD Series when coupled with 4K 2/3-inch cameras like the Sony HDC-4300, these lenses produce the same focal length range DP’s and camera operators have come to expect with HD, but at a much higher resolution, higher contrast, and higher dynamic range. Given the projected growth of 4K production, we needed to extend that 4K optical performance to our customers working with 2/3-inch broadcast cameras for sports and entertainment productions.”
The FUJINON UA80X9, the first field lens in the series, has an 80x zoom and optical image stabilization, making it ideal for coverage of large-scale live events, such as concerts and sports. With a compact and lightweight design, a 22× zoom ratio and a focal length from 8mm in wide angle to 176mm in telephoto, the UA22x8 excels in capturing a broad range of applications, including live sports, program production and news reporting.
The HDC-4300 has been in constant use since its launch in the spring. Often paired with FUJINON lenses, the camera has shot NFL football, major league baseball, golf, NASCAR, the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes and it is in use by major rental houses and production companies.