Sony Intros 2 New XAVC ENG-Style Cameras

By this stage in Sony’s camera evolution they have made it clear that XAVC is the way of their future. Sony has spend the last two years or more slowly remaking their whole professional and broadcast lineup to unify on XAVC. Everything above the AVCHD/NXCam products has transitioned this direction. With these two cameras Sony’s XAVC line has grown to 9 professional cameras. The traditional XDCam, MPEG2 422, camera line is now down to 5 in-production models.

Sony has now introduced two more ENG cameras to the XAVC camera family. The first is a full-size shoulder mount ENG camera called the PXW-X500. This directly replaces the PMW-500 in the XDCam lineup. The PXW-X500 features a full 1080p 2/3″ PowerHAD 3CCD sensor block. It combines state-of-the art wireless technologies, utilizing wi-fi control, FTP file upload, and LTE proxy transmission. It also features up to 120fps 1080p recording and has options for ProRes and DNxHD.

The second camera Sony has shown is the XAVC version of the PMW-200. You guessed it, the camera is called the PXW-X200. Although for the moment the PMW-200 will remain in the line the X200 is the obvious replacement. Built on the same body and using the same 1/2″ 3CMOS block the camera now records XAVC up to 60fps 1080p. It adds the wireless connectivity that has started to become standard including wireless streaming. It also ups the zoom ratio to a 17x zoom lens.

As a side note Sony is shifting the use of the term “XDCam” once again. XDCam started off as their term for tapeless acquisition. Then it became a video codec that could be recorded to optical media or solid state media. Then it became a family of similarly designed MPEG2 codecs. Now Sony is using it to simply refer to their broadcast level cameras, the category above the “pro-sumer” AVCHD/NXCam cameras and adjacent to the CineAlta cameras. In all the Sony literature they’ve now started to refer to the older MPEG2 recording codec as simply “MPEG2 422 50mbps”, with out any catchy moniker. Sony XDCam could be a broadcast-level XAVC camera or it could be a broadcast level MPEG2 camera. Additionally all of the newly announced XAVC cameras have legacy support for MPEG2 recording formats.



Sony Announces PMW-400 ENG Camcorder

Sony’s new PMW-400 shoulder-mount camcorder is the latest addition to its widely used XDCAM HD422 line-up. Ideal for live production or ENG, the new camcorder uses a 2/3-inch Exmor™ Full HD 3CMOS sensor to capture beautiful images with high sensitivity1 and low noise.

“We designed the PMW-400 to acquire high quality, clean images especially in low-light environments,” said Cyndi Lee, XDCAM marketing manager, Sony Electronics. “It’s ergonomically-balanced, easy to operate and includes features that make it fit seamlessly into various types of productions and workflows. This new camcorder opens the door to a range of new creative possibilities and flexible shooting.”

Capable of MPEG HD422 50Mbps recording, the PMW-400 is unique among the field of 2/3-type camcorders with its noise reduction capabilities and diverse selection of formats. Its 3 Dimensional Noise Reducer (3DNR) technology accurately detects and processes images to reduce noise, achieving a Signal-to-Noise (S/N) ratio of 60dB — outstanding among 2/3-type camcorders.

The camcorder supports MPEG2 HD422@50Mbps, HD420@35Mbps/25Mbps, MPEG IMX@50Mbps, and DVCAM. The PMW-400 camcorder will also offer future XAVC support for HD.

The PMW-400 camcorder will be available in August 2013  Post by Eric C. Petrie

Sony Announces PMW-1000 XDCam Deck

For our customers who work in broadcast and post production this should be a bit of interesting equipment news. Sony has announced the PMW-1000 XDCam SxS deck. The compact, affordable PMW-1000 SxS memory recording deck has two SxSExpressCard memory card slots providing a wide variety of HD and SD recordings and playback, including 50 Mbps XDCAM HD422. The half-rack size recorder has SD / HD-SDI interfaces and Gigabit Ethernet (1000BASE-T) interfaces for non-linear network operations, as well as an RS-422 interface and jog/shuttle control to allow “linear like” ingest and editing.

Non-linear production has gradually taken over most of the industry, and the role of a recording deck has less emphasis in non-linear environments. However, “linear-like” operation is still required especially by the broadcasters. The PMW-1000 drives enhanced XDCAM HD422 workflow with tape-like operation including linear ingest with RS-422 control and linear editing (as player) with jog/shuttle control. This similar operability to tape-based devices brings familiarity to operators accustomed to them. The VTR-like jog/shuttle dial and RS-422 control also come into play when ingesting is done in baseband through an ingest controller at broadcast stations where a content server may be in operation. The PMW-1000 also provides outstanding MPEG HD422 picture quality as well as high quality eight channel (HD-SDI) 24-bit audio recording capability, all packed in a compact sized deck.

The PMW-1000 also supports 100 Mbps XAVC (1080/29.97p/25p/23.98p/59.94i/50i)* recordings on SxS media and allows easy XAVC HD playback and monitoring, making it an ideal recorder/player to work with the PMW-F55 and PMW-F5 CineAlta cameras. It also allows high-speed recorded content from both cameras to be played back in slow motion. However, 4K is not supported. The PMW-1000 is scheduled to ship this summer. Post by Eric C. Petrie

Sony Announces New PMW-300 Broadcast Camcorder

Sony has announced its PMW-300 XDCam camcorder that is equipped with the 1/2-type 3CMOS sensors capable of delivering incredible images even in low-light conditions. The PMW-300 is ideal for broadcast producers and corporate event camera operators who require a flexible semi-shoulder camcorder that can easily be adapted to suit a wide range of production environments.  An evolution of Sony’s PMW-EX3, the PMW-300 is able to record 50Mbps HD in MPEG HD422, meeting broadcast standards around the world. The high bit rate ensures excellent capture of fast moving objects, while its chroma subsampling feature is perfect for a wide range of video encoding areas such as VFX and green screen applications. The camcorder can also be upgraded in the future to support Sony’s revolutionary XAVC codec, extending the lifecycle of the product to ensure maximum return on investment. This will be coming in 2014.

The PMW-300 features the same EX-mount interchangeable lens system as the PMW-EX3, making it compatible with a wide range of 1/2 inch and 2/3 inch lenses. There are two types of lens packages planned to be available for the PMW-300. One is with a 14 times zoom lens, and the other is with a 16 times zoom lens. Both lenses have a focus ring for quick switching between auto and manual focus.

An HD-resolution 3.5-inch colour LCD viewfinder (960×540 pixels) enables precision focusing for HD filming, while the 8-pin remote-control and multi-camera operation capability allows the PMW-300 to be used in 3D configurations and high-end camera systems.

With an HD-SD/SDI output and an HDMI output, the PMW-300 connects not only to broadcast infrastructures, but also to consumer devices equipped with HDMI inputs. Timecode and genlock interfaces enable use in multi-camera setups and 3D configurations. The 8-pin remote connector allows for remote adjustment from a remote control sold separately.

Based on customer feedback the PMW-300 features an innovative semi-shoulder design that has a rotary hand grip, allowing comfortable recording over long periods of time. Its magnesium metal body ensures the camcorder is robust and like its predecessor, the PMW-EX3, can withstand even the harshest production environments.

Like all of Sony’s solid state XDCAM camcorders, the PMW-300 has the most flexible choice of recording media in the market, allowing customers to choose to record on Sony’s professional SxS memory card as well as other media such as SD, Memory Stick and XQD cards depending upon their budget and application. Finally, Sony today confirmed that an optional wireless adapter currently in development will enhance proxy recording, wireless transfers, Wi-Fi viewing and metadata input.

PMW-300 with a 14 times zoom lens will be available in the market in October 2013. PMW-300 with a 16 times zoom lens is currently under development targeting to be available within 2013.  Post by Eric C. Petrie