"Beyond HD" - Sony’s First End-to-End 4K Solution
As audiences everywhere demand multimedia content of ever-higher quality, Sony is bringing the power of 4K to new applications by creating accessible and straightforward production environments, building a world “Beyond HD” with the completion of a 4K ecosystem that will simplify the creation of a wide variety of 4K productions.
A 4K image carries more than four times the information of HD, delivering an astonishing improvement in image quality. In 2006, Sony launched the world’s first 4K digital cinema projector, leading to widespread adoption of digital projection in theatres. Following the introduction of Sony’s 8K-sensor F65 CineAlta™ camera last year, an entire end-to-end 4K workflow from image capture, post production to viewing was achieved this year with a comprehensive line-up of 4K products and an open SRMASTER alliance with leading industry manufacturers.
In the summer of 2012, Sony announced the launch of a consumer 84-inch 4K BRAVIA™ TV, joining its award-winning 4K VPL-VW1000ES home cinema projector. At IBC in September 2012, Sony participated in a trial of 4K live distribution via the ASTRA satellite system owned by Luxembourg-based SES S.A. This provided an exciting preview of the practical implementation of 4K delivery into the home, capturing the imagination of broadcast professionals around the world. Against this backdrop, and as a further step toward greater 4K accessibility, Sony is now developing a wider platform for 4K production and launching of a number of exciting new products that no longer limit 4K production to high-end applications only.
Following two years of engineering efforts involving over 500 engineers, multiple feedback tours and consistent follow-up with cinematographers and end-users, Sony has listened carefully and developed two incredible cameras in the form of the PMW-F55 and PMW-F5 CineAlta™ 4K cameras. The new cameras join Sony’s established line-up of Super 35mm cameras positioned between the PMW-F3 and the exceptional 8K-sensor F65 CineAlta™ premium 4K camera. Both the F55 and F5 cameras feature Sony’s newly-developed Super 35mm 4K CMOS image sensor plus modular and compact designs for easy, flexible configuration.
CineAlta 4K Family
PMW-F55 CineAlta™ 4K - The Future, Ahead of Schedule
The F55 is a camera engineered to reward its owners now and far into the future. It incorporates revolutionary global shutter that eliminates unwanted distortions like “rolling” shutter skew and flash banding, for good. The F55 delivers superb dynamic range, the widest colour gamut and pristine image quality whether shooting in HD, 2K or 4K. With the optional AXS-R5 recorder, you can even make the jump to incredibly precise 16-bit Linear RAW in both 2K (recording up to 240fps with the F55) and 4K.
PMW-F5 CineAlta™ 4K - Truly Gorgeous HD
The PMW-F5 CineAlta™ camera shoots spectacular images with its 8.9 megapixels (effective) Sony 4K image sensor. You get superior, super-sampled pictures with noticeably higher contrast, rich colour reproduction and greater clarity. The camera offers robust built-in recording modes, all with vibrant 4:2:2 colour. Irresistible options include the amazing precision of 16-bit linear RAW 2K/4K recording and high speed shooting at up to 120 fps without cropping.
Both the F55 and F5 cameras also deliver unprecedented creative options for HD, 2K QFHD and 4K production. Both cameras offer multi-codec support featuring Sony’s new XAVC MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format, the SR codec (MPEG4 SStP*) and the industry-standard High Definition XDCAM 50Mbps 4:2:2 codec. In-camera recording is to Sony’s new SxS media, SxS PRO+ (plus) – which can be used to record XAVC in HD High Frame Rate and in 4K at up to 60fps (in the PMW-F55), and XAVC HD at High Frame Rate (in the PMW-F5). In addition to on-board recording onto SxS PRO+, the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 can also be connected to the new “AXS-R5” RAW recorder for the capture of pristine images in RAW format on new AXS memory available in sizes up to 512GB. The AXS-R5 features an intelligent “snap-on” design without the need for additional power or mounts, offering unrivalled flexibility and ease of use in various environments.
Even More Power for the F65 and FS700
The 20 megapixel F65 remains the flagship of Sony’s large sensor camera family. Since its first deliveries in January 2012, the F65 has been put to use on the highest profile features, commercials and TV programmes around the world. The 8K sensor-equipped F65 continues to evolve, with new features designed for the most demanding high-end imaging applications. These include a new high frame rate mode for 4K RAW recording at 120P to deliver stunning 4K images in super smooth slow motion, and image capture using the SR codec at 12-bits. Future updates to the F65 will deliver even more performance including the ability to de-mosaic at 6K.
Sony is also at an advanced stage of developing an HXR-IFR5 interface unit, allowing the Full-HD Super Slow Motion NEX-FS700E camcorder to capture stunning 4K RAW footage with the AXS-R5.
4K Workflow – Open Platform Innovation
At the heart of Sony’s thrust towards 4K is the introduction of a new XAVC open format. XAVC employs the MPEG4 AVC/H.264 level 5.2 compression codec, the highest picture resolution and frame rate video compression codec based on industry standards, and is the key to the development of a family of production tools for a range of high quality applications. It supports 4:4:4, 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 colour sampling, High-Frame-Rate HD as well as 4K imaging, and fourteen leading companies in the industry to date have indicated an intention to license the technology. XAVC will not replace but complement existing formats including MPEG-4 SStp and MPEG-2 (the defacto standard for HDTV). XAVC brings to life the "Beyond HD" vision and has been designed to serve the quality requirements of feature films, HD TV and commercials beyond 1080/50p.
The growing popularity of 4K production creates new demand for on-site production monitoring solutions. To complement the new PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 4K cameras, Sony has launched a new 4K LCD monitor, the PVM-X300. This 30-inch monitor features a slim and lightweight design and a variety of interfaces for 4K monitoring, including four 3G-SDI connectors for live monitoring at 4096x2160 up to 60p while recording XAVC 4K and playback XAVC 4K images from the PMW-F55. An optional 4K player** can be integrated into the PVM-X300, for simple playback of 4K content. The newly-developed “SxS PRO+” high speed memory media, which supports XAVC 4K and XAVC HD High Frame Rate Recording, can be inserted into the player providing quick viewing of 4K images and 4K programs. The PVM-X300 4K monitor will bring 4K monitoring into the field as it is significantly smaller and lighter than conventional models, and can be easily operated by one person.
Apart from acquisition, workflow, monitoring and playback, Sony’s 4K ecosystem includes the means to showcase the brilliant 4K content created. The SRX-R515P is a high quality 4K digital cinema projection system designed for use in small or medium-sized screen auditoriums. The projection system is fully DCI compliant and key features beyond its superior 4K resolution include an outstanding high contrast ratio of 8000:1 (average), and the use of multiple High Pressure Mercury Lamps – a cinema industry first. All in all, the SRX-R515P represents the next stage in the evolution of digital cinema, enabling smaller exhibitors to embrace the tangible benefits of digitalisation and deliver a superior viewing experience for their visitors.
In the home, the EISA Award-Winning VPL-VW1000ES 4K home cinema projector from Sony makes watching 2D and 3D content at home just like being at the movies. From the 4K lens and rich colour reproduction, to super high brightness and a dynamic contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, the VPL-VW1000ES 4K projector revolutionises the home cinema experience, delivering a 4K viewing experience like none other.
With new 4K cameras, new 4K monitoring equipment, new formats for recording 4K and outstanding delivery systems for 4K content whether at home or in the cinema, Sony is offering a strong case for its end-to-end 4K solution. It reinforces Sony’s commitment towards building and steering the digital cinematography industry towards a 4K “Beyond HD” future.
* Expected as future upgrade
** Available in spring of 2013
Find out more:
Sony Digital Cinema 4K: http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/mkt-digitalcinema/