Sony Expands 4K Non-Cinema Camera Line- Focus on ENG, Camcorders, Studio

For the most part 4K acquisition has been relegated towards cinematic style production. The majority of professional 4K cameras on the market are “cinema” cameras that utilize interchangeable lenses and have Super35mm (or similar) sized sensors. There has been very little traction in implementing 4K in traditional television production with classic acquisition tools like studio cameras, ENG-style cameras, or hand-held integrated lens camcorders. Sony is aiming to start the shift towards 4K in all forms of video production.

Before NAB Sony already had several good options including the X70, the Z150, and the Z100. All include an integrated powered zoom lens. All of these camcorders have a single sensor image system. The X70 & Z150 use a 1″ sensor and the Z100, the oldest of the group, a 1/2″ sensor. At NAB this year Sony is debuting several new cameras including the new PXW-Z450. The Z450 is based off of the same body as the PXW-X400. This gives users the first Sony traditional ENG shoulder mount form factor camera that offers 4K acquisition. Sony has intentionally stuck with a 2/3″ sensor design for the Z450 so that it will be fully compatible with all of the existing 2/3″ B4 broadcast ENG servo powered zoom lenses that are already in the field. Interestingly it appears that the Z450 uses a single 2/3″ sensor. Additionally, there is an upgrade kit for owners of the 1080p X400 camera. If you currently have an X400, or buy an X400 in the future, and decide you need 4K, you can send your camera to Sony and the camera will be converted to a Z450 for a fee.

Finally, in the studio space, Sony is introducing the HDC4800 studio camera. This is very interesting as this will have a newly designed single Super35mm 4K sensor. The sensor can generate up to 480fps in 4K. Yes, thats 8x slow motion in 4K. This is incredible. The camera has a native PL lens mount meaning that you will need some of the hig-end cine servo glass, like a Fujinon Cabrio, to use the camera in 4K. The HDC4800 has another trick up its sleeve. In the promo video for the camera Sony shows it’s PL lens mount being adapted to a B4 2/3″ mount. When the camera is in 1080p mode it can utilize a 2/3″ crop of the sensor, thus allowing it to be fully compatible with stadium or large studio style box lenses. Also, when in 1080p the maximum frame rate jumps to 16x normal, or 960fps for 60p countries. Imagine a sports game where a couple of these cameras are mounted onto large box lenses with 40x zoom magnifications as your primary cameras and the 4K super slow-mo camera is on the sidelines for close-ups using a 4.5x Fujinon Cabrio 19-90. The HDC4800 is also designed to integrate well with the 4K studio camera Sony introduced last NAB, the HDC4300. The HDC4300 uses 3x 2/3″ 4K image sensors and has a maximum frame rate of 60p in 4K or 480p in 1080p. Both cameras have matched colorimetry for ideal compatibility.

Sony Announces Firmware Updates for Fs5, RAW Coming Soon

The Sony Fs5 has received a new free firmware 2.0 update. One of the key features is an auto Neutral Density filter function changes the strength of the electronically controlled variable N.D. filter. This is an excellent use of Sony’s amazing new electronic N.D. By adjusting the N.D. the user is allowed to adjust exposure without affecting aperture, shutter speed, or gain values. This translates to all elements of the image such as depth of field, motion blur, and noise, being unchanged while simultaneously adjusting exposure values of the image. Other additions include expanded zebra functions as well as GPS capability.

Ever since the camera was announced Sony has alluded to the coming capability of RAW recording. For those who wish to record RAW with the FS5 you must acquire the newly announced RAW upgrade option for 600 dollars, model number CBKZ-FS5RIF. This then allows, though the 3G-SDI connector, continuous output of DCI 4K 60p and up to 240p RAW in 1080p. If you have right recorder you can then record 12-bit RAW video or you can also choose to convert this to Apple ProRes for recording. This workflow has proved popular with FS7 users who pair the camera with the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+. Unlike the FS7 however, the FS5 has an extra trick. It can also record DCI 4K at up to 120 fps for up to 4 second bursts. It does this by using the internal cache recording function of the camera. The images are buffered in camera and then played out of the 3G-SDI port at a regular frame rate for recording, once image capture has finished. This system will be familiar to anyone who has the FS-Raw option on the FS700 which features the same ability. Both the free and the paid firmware updates will be available in June.

FS5 kit

Panasonic VariCam LT Financing Options Now Available, 0% 90 Days No Payments

I’m excited to announce details on the Panasonic Financing options for the VariCam LT. This financing is through Panasonic’s own promotional financing program, ensuring that you’ll get very good rates. The financing options include:

12 months, 0% interest, 90 days payment deferred
With this program you will make 12 equal monthly payments but your first payment isn’t due for over 90 days. This is a great option to give yourself some time to put the camera to work before making that first payment.

24 months, 0% interest
24 equal monthly payments interest free.

36 months, 3.9% interest
Spread your payments out over 36 months to make that bill a little lower. 3.9% interest is still very competitive rate, even if its not as low as 0%.

Other details:
Any Panasonic brand item thats deemed an accessory to the camera can be bundled in at the same special low interest rate that the camera is on. If its Panasonic brand but not deemed an accessory, or if its another brand product you can still add it on to the financing but those items will be at the standard interest rate, averaging arpund 10% interest. This will not impact the VariCams promotional rate.

Some quick examples:
The body only, $16,500, over 24 months at 0% interest would be $687.50 per month.
The body only, $16,500, over 12 months (90 days payment free), at 0% interest would be $1,375 per month.
The body only, $16,500, over 36 months at 3.9% interest would be about $487 per month

I don’t have the Panasonic application up on my website yet but i will soon and will update this post as soon as it is. In the meantime, if you’re interested in applying, i can email you a .pdf of the application.

This is all very new and more details are coming every day. If you have any questions on VariCam packages, Panasonic Financing, or any video equipment please reach out and contact me. I’m still expecting my first batch of cameras sometime around the end of this month (March ’16) or the beginning of next (April ’16). I’m also taking $0 down pre-orders as well. Throw your name in the hat and be one of the first to receive this exciting new camera.

Panasonic VariCam

Updated Breakdown of Sony CineAlta Camera Financing Options

With the announcement of the new Sony PXW-FS5 we’ve touched up our breakdown of the monthly payments and interest rates on the most popular Sony cameras via Sony Financial Solutions. All of these Sony CineAlta cameras have a 0% interest option. Our most popular financing term length is 36 months. At 36 months you can get one of the new FS5 cameras for only $171 a month. The FS7 comes in at only $245 a month. And the F5 is $491 a month.

We’ve been working with Sony Financial Solutions for over 5 years now. The low interest financing is a great solution for any one who is thinking about jumping into a new camera but is on the fence about price points. Perhaps you’d love an FS5 but you can only spring for an a7SII budget. Or you’re debating between an FS5 and an FS7? With around $70 a month difference it becomes a lot easier to justify moving up. Even if you have $10,000 in cash in the bank, why spend that all on front on a camera body when you could do the 0% financing and spread that out over 12 months.

The application process is simple. It takes about 3 minutes to Sony On-Line Credit Application. By simply filling out the application you’re not agreeing to anything, it is completely commitment free. If you chose not to keep going with the financing process the application simply is canceled after 90 days. Apply now and we’ll have your results back in less then 48 hours. And of course, let us know if you have any questions at all. That’s what we’re here for.

NEX-FS700r Body Only $123/month at 6.2% 36mo
NEX-FS700rh 18-200 Lens Kit $141/month at 6.2% 36mo
PXW-FS5 Body Only $171/month at 6.2% 36mo
PXW-FS5K 18-105 Lens Kit $187/month at 6.2% 36mo
PXW-FS7 Body Only $245/month at 6.2% 36mo
PXW-FS7K 28-135 Lens Kit $321/month at 6.2% 36mo
PMW-F5 Body Only $491/month at 6.2% 36mo
PMW-F55 Body Only $864/month at 6.2% 36mo

NEX-FS700r Body Only $334/month at 0.0% 12mo
NEX-FS700rh 18-200 Lens Kit $384/month at 0.0% 12mo
PXW-FS5 Body Only $467/month at 0.0% 12mo
PXW-FS5K 18-105 Lens Kit $509/month at 0.0% 12mo
PXW-FS7 Body Only $667/month at 0.0% 12mo
PXW-FS7K 28-135 Lens Kit $875/month at 0.0% 12mo
PMW-F5 Body Only $688/month at 0.0% 24mo
PMW-F55 Body Only $1,208/month at 0.0% 24mo

CineAlta

All About the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+

Convergent Design has begun shipping the new flagship model of the Odyssey Family of Products, the Odyssey7Q+. The Odyssey7Q+ expands on the capabilities of its predecessor the Odyssey7Q, while maintaining all of the functionality, performance and ease of use. The addition of HDMI 1.4b input means that the Odyssey7Q+ can capture 4K and Ultra-HD video over HDMI.

With the addition of 4K/UHD recording over HDMI, the Odyssey7Q+ continues to be the most advanced, most capable, most versatile monitor/recorder in the world. The Odyssey7Q+ can record HD/2K/UHD/4K. It can record them via SDI and HDMI. It can record RAW (with Record Options), uncompressed DPX, and Apple ProRes 422 (HQ). The Odyssey7Q+ weighs a little over one pound, is just one inch thick and can run on any power source from 6.5-34 volts.

The Odyssey7Q+ offers uncompressed HD/2K recording in DPX stacks as well as HD/2K/UHD/4K video recording in Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), all included in the unit. In addition, Record Options for the Odyssey7Q+ are available for purchase. Options include ARRIRAW (ALEXA), Canon Cinema RAW (C500), FS RAW (Sony FS7 & FS700) and POV RAW (IO Industries and Indiecam cameras). In addition to capturing RAW data from these cameras, on certain cameras the Odyssey7Q+ also supports converting the RAW data into video and recording it as UHD or HD Apple ProRes 422 (HQ).

The Sony FS RAW recording option will deBayer the RAW data and convert it to a 1920×1080 video signal for viewing on the Odyssey7Q’s OLED panel as well as output over the Odyssey7Q’s SDI and HDMI ports. The Odyssey7Q will also playback recorded Sony FS RAW files, and allow switching between Sony S-log, REC709 and REC709 (800%) images.

The Sony FS cameras can output Sony RAW in 4096×2160 (4K) or 2048×1080 (2K). Frame rates in 4K are up to 60p and in 2K up to 240p. On the FS700 there is also burst mode to allow brief 4K shooting at up to 120p. Sony RAW is recorded by the Odyssey7Q in 12-bit .DNG files and is readable in any post program capable of reading Cinema DNG files.

The Sony FS RAW record option also features a unique “4K2HD” mode. A 4K RAW data signal is deBayered and converted to 4K video, then super-sampled to a high quality HD video signal, which is then recorded as Apple ProRes 422(HQ) in HD up to 60p.

The FS cameras will be compatible with 4K RAW to 4K Apple ProRes. A 4K RAW data signal is deBayered then the high quality RAW signal is compressed to Apple ProRes 422(HQ) in Ultra HD 3840×2160 up to 30p.

Odyssey 7Q+

CineAlta Trade In: Upgrade Your FS700

UPDATE: November 17th. We will be including a FREE Metabones Canon EF lens adapter with the purchase of the Sony FS7 cinema camera. Thats a $300 value, absolutely FREE.

Do you currently have a Sony FS700 camera? Are you interested in a Sony CineAlta camera valued at $7,999 or higher? We’re offering you a trade in opportunity. If you purchased your FS700 from us and want to upgrade to a CineAlta camera valued at $7,999 or higher we’ll give you $3,570 for your used FS700. Didn’t buy your FS700 from us? No problem, we want to build a relationship with you. We’ll offer you $2,900 for your FS700. Of course non of this is set in stone. If you have some interesting accessories you want to package with the FS700 we’d love to take a look and see what we can do with them.

Of course this is subject to our inspection of the FS700 camera and confirming that it is in working condition and in a resellable state. Compared to the FS700 other CineAlta camera valued at $7,999 or higher offer a more ergonomic form factor, a high resolution side-mounted viewfinder, internal 4K recording in XAVC 10-bit 4:2:2 I-frame codec, internal 180 frames per second 1080p recording, and more. It also has options to support 12-bit RAW, 240fps 2K RAW, ProRes, and more.

CineAlta_Logo_RGB_0

FS700 w/ servo zoom

Odyssey 7Q Price Slash

The Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q is the industries leading portable field recorder solution. We highly recommend it paired with the Canon C500, Sony FS700, and Sony FS7. We’re so darn excited about getting the Odyssey 7Q in the hands of as many customers as possible we’re slashing the price. Normally the Odyssey 7Q is a great price at $2,299. Right now we’re offering it for $1,799. Put the power of ProRes 1080p, ProRes 4K, RAW 4K, 240fps capture in your hands. Oh, by the way, have i mentioned that its one of the best field monitors on the market? We have it on the shelf ready for your to evaluate it. We’re also running a promotion where you can get a Sony FS700 for $5,999, you get a free EF-mount Canon lens adapter and Odyssey for $1,799. Your total would be $7,798, plus the FREE Canon EF lens adapter.

Odyssey7Q

Buy the Sony A7s From Us & Get the Best Price

Even though we like DSLRs and we know a lot of our customers use them we don’t normally sell a lot of DSLR equipment. This is typically because most DSLRs are sold through their respective companies consumer photo divisions, not through their broadcast and industrial divisions. It’s harder then you would think to get two different divisions with in Panasonic or Sony to talk to each other.

Luckily, Sony had the foresight to know that the A7s was being targeted at a more niche group, mostly of professional video acquisition people. Sony has partnered with their CineAlta dealers and has requested that we distribute this camera as part of their CineAlta line. And if you’ve ever played with the camera you would know why. The A7s features S-Log2 dynamic range, 120fps over-crank, XAVC-s 50mbps codec, and a photo-size Full Frame sensor. These are incredibly powerful tools, most of which you would typically find in a true professional camcorder.

We have the A7s in-stock today. We sell the Sony A7s and a lot of the higher end Sony lenses in both the E & A-mount series. We’re very familiar with the advanced video features and deep video menus in this camera because their so similar to what we know from the FS700. And we know the 4K workflow. We’ll be selling the Atomos Shogun 4K recorder that has been designed specifically with this camera in mind. We’ve been working with 4K ProRes capture for years now, beginning with the Canon C500+AJA Ki-Pro Quad. We have a demo model of the A7s. Come on in and try it out.

Other then our knowledge and experience why else would you buy a Sony A7s from us? We also sell the Atomos Shogun and Odyssey 7Q 4K recorders We’re familiar with how they will work together and we always guarantee the best price on these 4K recorders.

A7s.jpg

Sony’s XDCA-FS7 Expansion Dock Explained

UPDATE: November 17th. We will be including a FREE Metabones Canon EF lens adapter with the purchase of the Sony FS7 cinema camera. Thats a $300 value, absolutely FREE.

Along with the exciting new FS7 cinema camera Sony has shown the XDCA-FS7 expansion module. This is a small box that mounts directly to the back of the camera. This box provides a few upgrades to the FS7. First, it changes the nature of the power supply of the camera from the Sony BP-U style compact batteries to full size V-Lock batteries. The dock also adds several industrial connections such as Timecode I/O, Genlock, and 4-pin XLR power. Additionally it is via this box that the camera gains the ability to output RAW 12-bit 4K up to 60fps or 2K up to 240fps. Finally the box contains a ProRes encoding board that gives the camera the ability to capture ProRes422 internally to the XQD card. The XDCA-FS7 will be selling for $1,999. It will be a must-have addition for many FS7 owners.

FS7 Expansion Module FS7 w/ Expansion Module

Sony Announces PXW-FS7 4K Cinema Camera

UPDATE: November 17th. We will be including a FREE Metabones Canon EF lens adapter with the purchase of the Sony FS7 cinema camera. Thats a $300 value, absolutely FREE.

We knew Sony had something special in store for us. Today we’ve seen what form that would take. Sony has officially shown the PXW-FS7 4K Super45mm XAVC CineAlta digital cinema camera.

What it is:

The FS7 sits between the FS700 and the F5 in Sony’s CineAlta lineup. It’s a compact light weight camera that is specifically designed to be as versatile as possible, fitting nicely into several markets. It will sell for $7,999 for the body. It features high speed shooting, internal 4K recording, and 12-bit RAW output for external recording. These specs certainly put it very closely in line with the F5. It features Sony’s E-mount lens system which is far easier to adapt to a wide variety of lenses then a PL or EF mount. It’s designed with a small shoulder rest under the body and a side mounted viewfinder but due to the compact nature of the camera it doesn’t have to be strictly shoulder mounted for off-tripod use. It also has a long extendable hand grip reminiscent of many film-style camera grips. It records to XQD cards in-camera.

The key specs:

The camera features an 8K Super35mm CMOS sensor. It has been loosely confirmed by Sony that it is the same sensor as the F5 and early image comparisons seem to indicate that it is the same. The camera will record 4K video in the XAVC format in-camera at 300mbps, 4:2:2, 10-bit I-frame specs. It can record internally at 4K up to 60fps. It can also record internal 1080p up to 180fps. The FS7 utilizes Sony S-Log3 picture parameters. It is powered by the BP-U series batteries utilized on Sony’s compact broadcast XDCam series cameras. There is also an expansion module available for $1,999. The module is a small block that clamps onto the back of the camera. It gives the camera a bit more of a true shoulder mount form-factor. When the module is attached the camera uses V-Lock style batteries. The module adds studio capability such as Gen-Lock and Timecode outputs. It also adds 12-bit RAW output for recording to a 4K external recorder like an Odyssey 7Q. The module also unlocks the ability to record ProRes 422 in-cameras. As with all announced Sony has announced ProRes on this is limited to 1080p, no 4K ProRes. Via the RAW output the camera will put out 240fps in 1080p.

Pre-order NOW:

The camera is expected to ship before the end of October. We are now officially taking pre-orders for it. We ask for a fully refundable 10% deposit to hold your place in our pre-order line. Please remember that we are a small company and that plays in your favor for pre-orders. While the big guys will get dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of pre-orders, we won’t take more then a handful. That means when Sony starts shipping you’re more likely to get your camera earlier from us then the big box house.

More resources to check out:

PXW-FS7_Brochure

Sony Broadcast USA’s official product announcement page

Sony Professional – IBC 2014 – New generation XDCAM Workflow solutions from Sony Professional on Vimeo.

FS7 w/ Expansion Module

FS7 Body w/ Top Handle & LCD FS7 w/ Servo Zoom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FS7 Expansion Module