Instead, Company Is Continuing to Release Accessories, Firmware Upgrades to Keep Existing Models Current

It's not common that a company makes news by promising not to introduce new products at NAB, but it does seem noteworthy that Sony confirmed this week that there will be no new camera in the company's CineAlta line-up at the show.

Instead, Sony is stressing that the existing F65, F55 and F5 will remain its most capable and up-to-date digital cinema cameras, thanks in part to new accessories like the AXS-R7 16-bit Linear Raw Recorder and continuing firmware upgrades.

"There is no new camera in the CineAlta line coming at NAB," Sony CineAlta Marketing Manager Peter Crithary told journalists at a press briefing this week at the company's new headquarters in New York City's Flatiron District. "Customers can continue to profit off of their existing cameras."

The early years of digital cinema saw technology moving so quickly that cameras that were announced at NAB could become obsolete by the time IBC rolled around in the fall, and the disruptive influence of companies like Red Digital Cinema put pressure on others to up their technology games, and quickly. The result was a bit of an arms race where resolution, dynamic range, and price were concerned.

But once-volatile workflows have become more settled, and the transition to 4K is progressed slowly enough that the rate of change has become manageable. And so, like competing manufacturers, Sony is aiming to reassure customers that its cameras are built to last. (Look at the mileage ARRI has gotten out of various iterations of the Alexa, despite the deafening "4K" drumbeat threatening to drive customers into the arms of rivals like Sony, for another example of the increasing longevity of digital cinema cameras.)

To underscore the point, Sony executives pointed out that what is arguably the most technically advanced feature film to date — director Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, which was shot in stereoscopic 4K at 120 fps and is scheduled for release later this year — was captured with Sony's F65. Not bad for a four-year-old camera.