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).
“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.”
New F65 Features and Future Upgrades
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 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 unprecedented 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 4096x2160 up to 60p while recording XAVC 4K and playback XAVC 4K images.
Users can connect directly to Sony’s new 84-inch BRAVIA 4K (3840x2160) LED TV for large-screen 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.
New PL Lens System – The Second Generation
The F55 and F5 cameras continue Sony’s efforts to offer the most flexible lens options. PLmount prime cine lens technology lets users choose cine optics from Angénieux, Canon, Carl Zeiss, Cooke, FUJIFILM, Leica, Schneider Optics and others.
New PL-Mount Prime Lenses
Representing Sony’s second generation of cost-effective PL mount prime lenses, each is certified for 4K capture, and designed to minimize geometric distortion, vignetting and breathing. A nine-blade iris delivers beautiful bokehs and the focus rings rotate 240 degrees. The new lens series includes focal lengths of 20, 25, 35, 50, 85 and 135 mm. For easy lens changes, each has the same T2.0 aperture, the same external diameter, matte box diameter, and gear locations for follow focus and aperture. All are the same height except for the 135 mm lens.
Shooters can use still lenses by removing the supplied PL-mount adaptor to reveal the native FZ mount. This makes it easy to accept commercially available adaptors for third-party lenses, including Canon EF, Canon FD, Nikon DX, Nikon G, Leica M and even 2/3-inch broadcast B4 lenses. A third option is the use of Sony FZ-Mount lenses with auto focus servo zoom (model SCL-Z18X140.)
New Digital Viewfinders
Using a new digital interface, F5 and F55 users can take advantage of a new series of high-quality OLED and LCD viewfinders. The DVF-EL100 measures 0.7-inches with 1280 x 720 HD resolution, superb brightness, contrast and response.
The DVF-L350 3.5-inch LCD viewfinder offers 10 times the contrast of previous Sony LCD viewfinders, with a flip-up eyepiece for direct monitoring. A third option is the full HD DVF-L700. This compact 7-inch LCD viewfinder enables high resolution when shooting in 2K and 4K, with pixel- to-pixel 1920 x 1080 representation of HD images.
New RAW Recording System
Sony is also unveiling the AXSM Access Memory System for 2K/4K RAW recording, based on Sony’s unique recording technology. Optimized for this new platform is the AXSM memory card (512 GB capacity, model AXS-512S24), using the generic file system exFAT which mounts on PC or Mac systems without requiring a driver. Users can record 4K RAW data up to 60 fps and 2K RAW up to 240 fps, with a 300MB/s sustained transfer speed. PC-friendly operation is enabled with the AXS-CR1 card reader, offering a USB 3.0 interface for 2x high speed transfer.
Additionally, the new AXS-R5 RAW recorder directly docks onto the F5 and F55, for an extremely elegant and compact recording solution for 2K and 4K RAW recording. The AXS-R5 RAW is also the 4K RAW recorder for the NEX-FS700U/UK camcorder via the new interface adapter HXR-IFR5.
New SxS Recording Media
The cameras support Sony’s new high-speed, enhanced versions of its SxS PRO memory cards: the SxS PRO+ series (in 128 and 64 GB capacities, models SBP-128B and SBP-64B).
Sony SxS PRO+ Memory Cards
Based on the proven and reliable memory card technology widely used in Sony’s XDCAM EX camcorders, the new cards support XAVC 4K and XAVC HD high frame rate recording, and can be directly inserted into the cameras.
New Battery and Charger
AXS-R5 RAW recorder
The F5 and F55 cameras take advantage of Sony’s new BP-FL75 battery pack, which uses Olivine—Lithium Iron Phosphate—instead of conventional Lithium Ion cathodes. The result is a substantial increase in charge-discharge cycles, compared to previous Sony batteries. The Olivine battery works with Sony’s BC-L90 quick charger. The new battery supports outstanding mobility
for field shooting, enabling two times higher-speed charging than current chargers and a maximum of 150 minutes consecutive shooting.
The F5 and F55 cameras are also compatible with Sony’s BP-GL95A, GL65A, L80S and L60S batteries, which use the BC-L70 and L160 chargers.
New Shoulder Rig
Delivering advances in ergonomics specifically requested by working cinematographers, the F5 and F55 cameras feature Sony’s newest shoulder rig for extra stability and comfort in shoulder-mount applications. The rig is sturdy, lightweight and uses industry-standard rosettes on both sides for quick and easy attachment of third-party hand grips and other accessories.
Pricing and Availability
The new cameras are planned to be available in February 2013, with suggested list pricing to be announced.