Sony is getting IBC 2018 off to a start with some new announcements for its VENICE cinema camera, a new NXCAM, and a brand new HDR reference monitor.
With all the announcements of new cameras in the last couple of weeks it would be easy to wonder what on earth there's left to announce at this years IBC. But the manufacturers clearly haven't got everything off their chests just yet.
Sony is first off the blocks with the announcement of some new capabilities for its VENICE cinema camera system. A newly announced extension system apparently enhances the mobility and operability of the VENICE when it is being used with rigs such as gimbals, underwater housings, 3D/VR systems, and shooting in confined spaces amongst other situations.
We're not entirely clear how this extension system works or what form it takes, but it sounds intriguing. In addition to this is a new firmware, version 3.0, that enhances the recording abilities of the camera. There's a new X-OCN XT recording profile, two new imaging modes of 2.39:1 at 6K and 16:9 at 5.7K, switchable 6G/12G-SDI output, cache record, and wireless remote control connectivity with the CBK-WA02 adaptor.
The new extension system and firmware will be available in February 2019.
The new HXR-NX200
The HXR-NX200 is Sony's new entrant into its NXCAM family of cameras. The new camera uses a 20MP 1" Exmor R CMOS sensor producing its 4K picture from its 14.2 megapixels.
Amongst the new features for the camera is a newly developed gamma curve. We do not know any specific details about this, but it could be influenced by the VENICE inspired setup that is now on the FS5M2. Sony makes specific reference to natural skin tones and the avoidance of overly saturated colours in the highlights, which would certainly point to this being the case.
The lens is 29mm on the wide end with 24x optical zoom, although users can further boost this digitally by 150% in 4K and 200% in HD. We know from previous Sony cameras that the digital zoom on these devices is now extremely good, and is in no way limited by the poor quality of digital zooms in previous generations. Three indepenent manual lens control rings also feature, although we would imagine them to be of the infinite rotating variety. Still, this is a nice feature to have for fast working in the field. 4-steps of ND are also included on the camera.
Recording is done to the XAVC-S codec at up to 100Mbps, and the camera body caters for two SD xcard slots.
Sony's NXCAM line is a proven group of cameras that we know produces a great picture at an affordable price, so it will be interesting to see how the new model stacks up.
New reference monitor
Also new for IBC is a 31" grade 1 reference monitor, the BVM-HX310. Sony says that the new monitor introduces a new technology brand called TRIMASTER HX. The new monitor is capable of 4K HDR, and supports a maximum brightness level of 1000nits with a claimed 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.
Live production system camera family
Live broadcast cameras are also getting a boost from Sony with four new devices, the HDC-P50, HDC-3500, HDC-3100, and the HDC-3170.
The P50 and 3500 contain what Sony is claiming is the worlds first 2/3" 4K global shutter three CMOS system. Clearly very useful for fast action live sports events then. The 3100 on the other hand contains a new HDR capable HD sensor block. Exciting stuff then.
Intelligent Media Services
Lastly, Sony is launching Intelligent Media Services. This is an umbrella for a number of micro and subscription services such as XDCAM Air, Media Backbone Hive, Virtual Production and New Media Solutions.
These are services that both assist with media supply chains, multi-platform streaming and switching, ENG footage management and more.