Sony has introduced its two new CineAlta 4K cameras - the PMW-F5 (pictured) and the PMW-F55 with a number of new and upgraded accessories.
The new cameras fill a gap in large-sensor acquisition between Sony’s PMW-F3 camcorder and its F65 CineAlta Premium 4K camera, giving options for HD, 2K or 4K acquisition and production. Each camera features a new type of 4K Super 35mm image sensor with a 4096 x 2160 resolution (11.6M total pixels).
They will be available by the start of February. The list price will be announced in two weeks time, it will be somewhere between the price of the F65 and the F3.
The F5 is the next generation of the F3, offering modular design, professional OLED viewfinder and industry standard PL mount. The multi codec camera from Sony offers a diversity of recording modes, integrating the new XAVC codec for 4K and HFR shooting as well as HD422 50Mbps HDTV standard.
It features 16-bit linear RAW 2K/4K recording, and high-speed shooting at up to 120fps.
The PMW-F55 is described as the “big sister “of the F5. It allows the operator to shoot up to 4K without an external recorder. Its 4K image sensor incorporates a new electronic global shutter removing main CMOS motion artifacts.
Both cameras offer multi-codec support featuring Sony’s new XAVC MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format, the SR codec (MPEG4 SStP) and the industry-standard High Definition XDCAM 50Mbps 4:2:2 codec. In-camera recording is on Sony’s New SxS media, SxS PRO+ (Plus ), which can be used to record XAVC in HD High Frame Rate and in 4K at up to 60fps (in the PMW-PMW-F55), and XAVC HD High Frame Rate in the PMW-F5. They also feature wide (14 stops) exposure latitude, high sensitivity, and low noise.
In addition to on-board recording onto SxS PRO+, the PMW-F55 and PMW- F5 can be connected to the new AXS-R5 RAW recorder. Slow-motion imagery at up to 240fps** (PMW- F55) and up to 120fps** (PMW- F5) can be captured as 4K RAW files on newly developed AXS memory.
The F65 remains at the top of Sony's family of cameras for cinematography withits *K sensor, ultra-secure SRMemory media and established workflow. New features include a new high frame rate mode for 4K RAW recording at 120P to deliver 4K images with slow motion capabilities, and image capture using the SR codec at 12-bits. Future updates to the F65 will include 6K de-mosaicing,
The PMW-F55 can connect to the new 4K 30-inch LCD monitor, PVM-X300, using four 3G-SDI interfaces to monitor pictures at 4096x2160 resolution at up to 60p while recording and playing back XAVC 4K images. Similarly, it is also possible to connect directly to the 84â€¬Ě BRAVIA 4K LED TV for large-screen monitoring of the camera’s 4K 60P images (at resized horizontal resolution of 3860 pixels).
The PMW--F55 and PMW-F5 cameras offer a PL-mount so that users can choose cinematic lenses from suppliers such as AngÃ©nieux, ARRI, Canon, Carl Zeiss, Cooke, FUJIFILM and Leica.
Sony is also launching a second generation of cost-effective PL mount prime lenses. Each is certified for 4K capture, and is designed to minimize geometric distortion, vignetting and breathing. The new lens series includes focal lengths of 20, 25, 35, 50, 85 and 135 mm. Each has the same T2.0 aperture, the same external diameter, matte box diameter, and gear locations for follow focus and aperture. All are the same height except for the 135 mm lens.
Shooters can use stills lenses by removing the supplied PL-mount adaptor to reveal the native FZ mount. This makes it easy to accept commercially available adaptors for third-party lenses, including Canon EF, Canon FD, Nikon DX, Nikon G, Leica M and even 2/3-inch B4 lenses. A third option is the use of Sony FZ-Mount lenses with auto focus servo zoom (model SCL-Z18X140.)
Using a new digital interface, PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 users can use a new series of high-quality OLED and LCD viewfinders. The DVF-EL100 OLED viewfinder measures 0.7-inches with 1280 x 720 HD resolution. The DVF-L350 3.5-inch LCD viewfinder offers 10 times the contrast of previous Sony LCD viewfinders, with a flip-up eyepiece for direct monitoring. A third option is the full HD DVF-L700. This compact 7-inch LCD viewfinder enables high resolution when shooting in 2K and 4K, with pixel-to-pixel 1920 x 1080 representation of HD images.
Sony is also unveiling the AXSM Access Memory System for 2K*/4K RAW recording, based on Sony’s recording technology. Optimised for this new platform is the AXSM memory card (512 GB capacity, model AXS-512S24), using the generic file system exFAT. Users can record 4K RAW data up to 60 fps and 2K RAW up to 240 fps**, with a 300MB/s sustained transfer speed. PC-friendly operation is enabled through use of the AXS-CR1 card reader, offering a USB 3.0 interface for high speed transfer.
Additionally, the new AXS-R5 RAW recorder directly docks onto the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55, for 2K** and 4K RAW recording.
The cameras support Sony’s new high-speed, enhanced versions of its SxS PRO memory cards. They also use Sony’s new battery back and a new shoulder rig.
The new cameras are scheduled to be available in February 2013, with suggested list pricing to be announced.