In an interesting new move, Sony has announced pay-as-you-go licenses that unlock some of the more advanced features of its HDC Series of live production cameras.
Permanent, 30 day and 7 day software license keys are now available for the HDC-1700, HDC-2400, HDC-2400DF and HDC-2570 that switch on the 50p, 24-25psf, 2x slo-mo frame rates and RGB 4:4:4 + User Gamma capabilities, depending on the unit's base specs.
According to the company this all helps reduce the initial level of investment and applies a degree of future-proofing to the cameras at the same time (if you want the accounting jargon, it also shifts the licensing costs from a capital expenditure to an operational expenditure, which can be useful sometimes).
"Swiss Army Knife Approach"
Here's a bit of the press release: "The move will enable rental companies to offer customers a ‘swiss-army knife’ approach, allowing them to meet the individual needs of varied customers and markets. It will also empower those companies who seek to offer production facilities as a service, while traditional broadcasters will be able to upgrade licenses easily and cost-effectively, without being tied to long-lasting agreements."
It's a neat move, and one that recognises that not all the features are required on all productions all of the time. It's also one that sets an interesting precedent — it's not too much of a stretch after all to imagine buying a camera that operates in HD in plain vanilla mode but also has a short-term 4K license key for when productions demand it.