Sony highlighted the future of its 6K-capable Venice motion picture camera system at IBC, showing a new extension system that disconnects the image sensor block from the camera body for shooting in tight spaces and detailing features of the camera’s next firmware update. Sony also had some new 4K and HDR rollouts, with a 31-inch LCD 4K HDR reference monitor on display as well as a line-up of new 4K/HD and HDR-capable live production system cameras.
On the Venice front, Sony detailed the upcoming v3.0 firmware update, which it’s promising for February 2019. New features include an X-OCN XT recording profile designed to maintain maximum quality on VFX shots and high-end productions while keeping file sizes down when used with the AXS-R7 portable memory recorder. Long-awaited imager modes including 6K 2.39:1 and 5.7K 16:9 will be enabled, along with additional anamorphic de-squeeze ratios. A new cache recording feature will hold up to 30 seconds in X-OCN 4K 17:9 AXS memory or HD MPEG 50 SxS memory. and a switchable 6G/12G-SDI output will enable 4K over SDI. A wireless remote control option with the CBK-WA02 is also set to be added.
The Venice Extension System, which allows the image sensor block to be detached from the camera body on a nine-foot or 18-foot tether, is also coming in February. It consists of a front panel cover and an image sensor block case with a nine-foot cable and another nine-foot extension. It adds an HD-SDI output, 12V or 24V power output for accessories, and multiple screw holes for rigging up accessories.
The system was developed for use on the Avatar sequels, but other productions have also been using it for specific mounting set-ups (think stabilizers, underwater housings and 3D rigs) or when shooting in tight spaces.
Post-production mavens may be excited by the arrival of the 31-inch BVM-HX310, an LCD equivalent to Sony’s popular (but pricey) BVM-X300 OLED 4K HDR reference monitor. Sony says it supports up to 1,000 nits full screen and rates it at a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio for HDR viewing. It’s compatible with BT.2020 color space, HLG, and Sony’s own S-Log2, S-Log3 and S-Log3 Live HDR. It supports predefined LUTs and is Sony’s first pro monitor to support 12G-SDI.
The new monitor also inaugurates Sony’s Trimaster HX brand — the “H” stands for HDR and the “X” stands for “liquid crystal (xtal),” Sony says. The BVM-X300 has long been thought of as a pricey necessity for HDR monitoring, so if the HX310 is significantly more affordable it could have an enthusiastic user base right out of the starting gate. However, Sony didn’t announce pricing or availability, suggesting the BVM-HX310 won’t ship until well into 2019.
Sony’s new system cameras include the HDC-P50 POV camera, the HDC-3500 portable camera, the HDC-3100 Fiber camera and the HDC-3170 Triax camera. Sony claims these are the first cameras with 2/3-inch 4K three-CMOS global-shutter sensor systems.
The HDC-P50 supports BT.2020 color space and outputs HDR in both 4K and HD, making it suitable for flying on a drone, helicopter, or crane. The HDC-3500 updates the existing HDC-2000 series with the new sensor system and features an interchangeable side panel that can be switched out for operation with Triax, Fiber, or wireless transmission. The HDC-3100 and HDC-3170 are dedicated HD cameras with Fiber and Triax transmission, respectively.
All of the new system cameras support Sony’s “SR Live for HDR” workflow, designed to produce HDR and SDR simultaneously without redundancies on the production team. The HDC-3000 series is scheduled to ship next month, with the HDC-P50 arriving on the market next February. All of Sony’s gear is on display at the company’s IBC stand 13.A10 in the Elicium Hall.