David Young, Product Specialist from Sony Europe, discusses the latest announcements made by Sony of the new 4K capable cameras, the PMW-F55 and PMW-F5, plus the newly announced XAVC codec and 4K RAW recording interface unit for the NEX-FS700E.
PMW-F55 and PMW-F5
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 × 2160 resolution (11.6M total pixels).
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 large- screen monitoring of the camera’s 4K 60P images (at re sized 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 re purposing of the RAW data.
XAVC 4K Codec
The new XAVC format underlines Sony’s commitment to bringing high quality content to the mainstream consumer market said Takao Yoshikawa, Corporate Vice President at Sony. The quality of HDTV program recorded in 4K is simply stunning and will allow both broadcaster and production communities to build a future-proof catalogue of high-end content straight-away.
As well as the widespread applications for the professional HDTV market, Sony has developed the XAVC format to enable the expansion of 4K content into the consumer market. XAVC has been designed to provide a future-proof codec that can meet the shifting requirements of the fast developing world of 4K and HD120P content production.
Sony’s XAVC format employs
MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 level 5.2, the highest picture resolution and frame rate video compression codec available, based on industry standards. XAVC enables a wide range of operational possibilities for content production, notably, from Proxy to 4K pixel resolutions, intra frame and long GOP schemes, and 1080/50P/60P infrastructure capability. Built with the principles of workflow efficiency, evolution and optimised image quality at its heart, Sony’s XAVC can support the following content formats:
- 4K (4096 × 2160 and 3840 × 2160), HD and proxy resolution
- MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression
- 12, 10 and 8 bit colour depth
- Up to 60fps
- 4:2:0, 4:2:2, 4:4:4 colour sampling
- MXF wrapping format can be used
4K RAW RECORDING INTERFACE UNIT FOR THE NEX-FS700E WITH THE AXS-R5
Sony is at an advanced stage of developing the HXR-IFR5 interface unit, allowing the Full-HD Super Slow Motion NEX-FS700E camcorder to capture stunning 4K RAW movie footage with the AXS-R5 RAW recorder. The NEX-FS700E camcorder features a state of the art 4K Super 35 “Exmor” CMOS sensor (total 11.6 million pixels). With an optional firmware upgrade, the NEX-FS700E will output 4K bitstream data over 3G HD-SDI. The HXR-IFR5 interface unit has a 3G HD-SDI input and will transfer the 4K RAW data to record onto the Access Memory Card in the AXS-R5 Recorder.
The 4K RAW format output by the NEX-FS700E is 4096 × 2160 pixel resolution and the available frame rates are 23.98p, 25p, 29.97p, 50p and 59.94p. After recording the 4K RAW data onto the Access Memory Card, the work flow will be the same as the newly announced PMW-F5.
The HXR-IFR5 and the NEX-FS700E’s optional firmware upgrade are planned to be available between April and June 2013 and will bring the possibility of 4K RAW acquisition to a wider range of users than ever before.