Venice News Includes New MultiDyne, Teradek Hardware in Supporting Roles
The wraps came off the latest in the FS series today as Sony unveiled the FS5 II at a press conference on the eve of NAB.
Like its predecessor, the FS5 II is a 4K Super 35mm compact pro camcorder. But it’s the beneficiary of refined color science, Sony said — more natural roll-offs in the highlights, more accurate skin-tone rendition, more organic look.
Also new are high frame rate shooting capabilities that make this the FS camera to go for if you’re looking for slow-motion options. The camera can output up to 120fps in four-second bursts at 4K raw, and can output up to 240fps continuously in 2K raw. Internally, the camera can shoot at 240fps in full HD for up to eight seconds of cache-recording to SDXC media, or continuously at 120fps. At lower resolutions than full HD, the FS5 II can run as fast as 960fps.
In additon to S-Log 2 and 3, the FS5 II also supports Sony’s Instant HDR workflow, which essentially bakes in HLG image encoding on images that can go direct to live, but can also be graded in post-production. Weighing 0.8 kg, the FS5 II is expected to ship in June.
Also debuting on stage were two three-chip 4K handheld cameras, both of them supporting Sony’s Instant HDR. Billed by Sony as the “world’s first 4K three-chip handheld camcorder, the PXW-Z280 incorporates three 1/2-type Exmor R CMOS sensors. It can record 4:2:2 10-bit 4K at up to 50/60p in XAVC Intra or Long, MPEG HD422, MPEG HD or DVCAM on SxS or SD cards. It also offers 12G-SDI out — which one Sony spokesperson described as part of a developing “roadmap for future applications.” The lens has 17x optical zoom capabilities, and an electronic variable ND filter is built in. It replaces the existing PXW-X200 in Sony’s line-up and is expected to ship in July.
It will be followed by the similar, but less fully featured PXW-Z190, which is built around three 1/3-type CMOS sensors. It also shoots 4:2:2 10-bit 4K at up to 50/60p, but records to SD card only using XAVC Long-GOP encoding. It is limited to 3G-SDI output, but it does boast a 25x zoom lens. Replacing the PXW-X160 and -X180, it’s set to ship in September.
There was some news on the Venice front, as well. Prior to the show, Sony was only talking about the camera’s warm reception in Hollywood, where it’s Netflix approved in all 4K modes — and, in fact, is already shooting multiple series — as well as the v2 firmware that will add much-needed variable frame rates in addition to the dual-base ISO 2500 mode that will be very helpful under low-light conditions, judging from the exceptionally clean and dynamic night-time aerial footage shown on-stage today.
But Sony’s Peter Crithary, marketing and production manager for media solutions and production technology, today announced a new MultiDyne Silverback camera-mounted fiber system and Teradek Bolt wireless hardware that will integrate with the Venice.
The Silverback supports 3G-SDI out of the box and 12G-SDI after a future update, which will eventually allow for conversion of quad-link to and from 12G and dual-link 6G SDI. With the Silverback, users will be able to output a live 4K signal over fiber while simultaneouly recording 6K or 4K on camera, Crithary said.
And the wireless Teradek Bolt will allow raw and X-OCN recording from the Venice without video and power cables, Crithary said.
Finally, the Sony booth is worth a visit for many reasons, some of them listed above, but perhaps especially the stunning 8K x 4K, 32 x 18 foot Crystal LED wall that makes up the centerpiece of the booth. To close the presentation, Sony showed a short demo reel of footage shot with the new UHC-8300, a three-chip 8K x 4K camera system for broadcast. Crithary described the 120fps footage from the camera as “the world’s best images” and, on the evidence, it would have been hard to argue the point. A similar screen will be incorporated on location by Fox Sports in its coverage of the 2018 World Cup.