Major Sony camera news

17 replies [Last post]
infocus2
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Having got a direct e-mail this morning, but only just logged on to the forum, I'm surprised nobody has beaten me to this one! It's arguably one of the most significant new camera technology announcements I can remember.
 
 
Two new super35 cameras, big commitment to 4k, fast framerate recording, 1080 HD and XDCAM422 out of the box (unlike the F3!), new set of PL lenses, various other accessories and announcement of future looking codecs to support such as 50p, 4k and 10/12 bit working.
MAGLINK
Offline
Joined: Mar 8 2007
Re: Major Sony camera news
Great lovely but does it work like an Alexa or RED but costs the same as a 5D ??? as thats what the majority of creatives want to make their lo/no films?
 
Everyone else will just hire their kit in rather than try to keep up with the marketing departments that are trying to keep up with Canon etc.
 
Besides i-fone 5 with 4G is the new kid on the block? cheeky
infocus2
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Re: Major Sony camera news
Gary Nattrass wrote:
Great lovely but does it work like an Alexa or RED but costs the same as a 5D ???
Now Gary, do I detect cynicism.....? cheeky
 
Joking apart, remember the announcement is about far more than just a new camera, or even two. And it's aimed fair and square at true digital cinema - at people with bigger budgets. It's aimed at films that are actually likely to be shown to big audiences in cinemas.cheeky
 
And for once, on first impressions, they do seem to have got a great deal right. The pricing doesn't seem to have been announced yet, but the best guesses are that Canon are about to get a nasty shock as their C500 launches.
 
One thing that does strike me as significant is that Sony seem to be offering not just the option of a full broadcast codec - XDCAM 50Mbs - for HD built in (something I couldn't believe the F3 didn't) but with the new XAVC codec, the possibility of a high bitdepth codec (with high frame rate, 4k etc options) in with the camera. That is something that Red hasn't got, nor the Canon C500 - they just have RAW. Yet XAVC may suit a lot of users very well - less post effort than RAW, but more grading flexibility than XDCAM422.
 
steve
Offline
Joined: Apr 8 1999
Re: Major Sony camera news
There's a Belgian distributor who is quoting prices like 15k Euro for the F5 and 19k Euro for the F55.  Of course, it'll be as much again for essential accessories like the viewfinder and the clip-on recorder, but if those prices are real they would shoot a hole through Canon's S35 camera aspirations and the Red may look like an expensive box of bits to do a similar thing.
MAGLINK
Offline
Joined: Mar 8 2007
Re: Major Sony camera news
1: Just wish I had some money
2: Just wish there was the work up here to justify such lovely toys, but ITV and the rest tend to ship the crew in with their hired Alexa's
3: Oh well back to the footie and the HD Q ball!
crying
sleepytom
sleepytom's picture
Offline
Joined: Sep 15 2000
Re: Major Sony camera news
Surely this isn't an "owner operator" camera?
 
I don't get Gary's bitterness with this?? One day it new meediah students who are the problem, running about with 5d's. Then it's people hiring Alexas? Who isn't the problem Gary? Do you ONLY respect ENG owner ops with their own Digibeta / HDcam camera?
 
I'm interested to see you mention Q Ball. Do you own some of them? I've been thinking about going down that route myself, though i presume that post olympics there are a million unemployed freelace QBall ops too. 
 

You can contact me at http://tombassford.org
People interested in live production might like to check out http://atemuser.com 

MAGLINK
Offline
Joined: Mar 8 2007
Re: Major Sony camera news
Nah all the Q-balls are hired in Tom as they were for the olympics, camera corp has that side sorted and I wouldn't buy one as they are pretty crap and should go back to the big bruvva howse.
We have to use them as production put us in situations where the lovely sony 1500 has to stay in it's box as we havent got room to use it.
 
Not bitter at all just amused at the endless new kit that comes out but with little creative content being made these days and people wanting everything for nowt or not bothering to do things to a decent level of competence.
 
Getting too old for all this crap so happy to be an OB monkey again as it's still all basicaly the same with none of the hype or shallow DOF bullshit. cheeky
 
Who needs an ENG type camera anyway as there are far more less operationally friendly ways to re-invent the wheels of production, now where's my 3D i-fone 5 app???
 
 
infocus2
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Re: Major Sony camera news
steve wrote:
There's a Belgian distributor who is quoting prices like 15k Euro for the F5 and 19k Euro for the F55.  Of course, it'll be as much again for essential accessories like the viewfinder and the clip-on recorder, but ......
Yes, you'll need a viewfinder, but the clip on recorder is only really neccessary for RAW recording at 4k. The basic unit is capable of recording 1080 XDCAM422 straight to basic SxS cards, in both the case of the F5 and F55. So, yes, a real challenge to the C300 even with the basic unit. (Which also beats the C300 in quite a few other ways specs wise.)
 
Additionally, the F55 will record coded 4k without an external recorder, though you will need high spec SxS Pro+ cards for the XAVC codec.
 
At those sorts of prices I think quite a few people may at least go for a basic F5 as an owner user - just compare with such as a PMW500. But yes, expect the two of them to figure highly in the charts of rental companies in the next year or so. I can also see people buying such as a basic F5 body, and hiring the 4k RAW recorder with memory as and when required.
Medidox
Offline
Joined: Jun 20 2005
Re: Major Sony camera news
Saw your comment Infocus on another thread about the lack of comment and interest in the these new cameras.  
 
I did see the annoucement a day before you posted but my feelings are that I didn't want to post about a camera that I'm unlikely to ever use.  Frankly, the  features are great, incredible even if 4k is what you desire but my clients don't need it and definitely wouldn't pay for it.
 
So whereas the in past I'd would have been really thrilled that new cameras are coming out and excited about the things that they will be able to do, I now wait until there are annoucements within my budget and leave the speculation and debate to those with genuine interest in it.
 
And Gary, why have you changed your moniker?
FreeFlow
Offline
Joined: Mar 1 2012
Re: Major Sony camera news
As an aside Red have announced that they are reconsiderig the price that they are selling the Epic for. A response to the Sony news?
infocus2
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Re: Major Sony camera news
Medidox wrote:
Saw your comment Infocus on another thread about the lack of comment and interest in the these new cameras.  
 
I did see the annoucement a day before you posted but my feelings are that I didn't want to post about a camera that I'm unlikely to ever use. 
Well, thanks for posting!smiley But the point I was really getting at on the other thread is that general knowledge about basic theory and camera systems is never wasted. At the moment, the pricing for the F5 and F55 is not known, everything around at the moment is guesswork. A fully equipped 4k RAW capable F55 may indeed be out of the running for all but the deepest pockets, but an F5 without the 4k back may be a very different story.
 
I doubt I'll be getting either of these myself, having not long bought a PMW320 - but I still think it's worthwhile getting to know about them. If only to have a meaningful conversation should they crop up in conversation with a client or whoever. But for my current needs 1/2" or 2/3" is far more appropriate than s35.
 
I was confused by some information on the differences between the 5 and the 55. It was stated they had differing sensors - but the photosite count and layout seemed to be the same. This article explains it well ( http://blog.abelcine.com/2012/11/01/sonys-pmw-f5-and-f55-defining-cfa/ ) - whilst they are both Bayer pattern and the same photosite count, the filtration of the F55 is more suited to projection in terms of colour, and the physics of the sensors differs due to rolling or global shutter.
 
Quote:
The primary use for the F5 camera is for broadcast work to be screened on LCD and OLED monitors. ..........
The F55, on the other hand, is designed as a camera for Digital Cinema work.
Quote:
Additionally, the sensors themselves are different on the F5 v. the F55. On the F5, it is a CMOS Rolling Shutter, which means that it does not need a driver (circuit to read photosite saturation and send this information to the camera’s signal processor) on every individual photosite, leaving more physical area for light gathering (aka a higher Fill Factor). This is why the F5 sensor is rated at 2000 ISO. The sensor on the F55 is a CMOS Global Shutter, which requires a driver at every single photosite. The driver takes up some of the space that would be devoted to gathering light, lowering the Fill Factor so that the sensor is now rated at 1250 ISO.
The latter point is interesting - the idea of a global shutter is eagerly demanded, but is it still as appealing generally if it's known it's at the expense of nearly a stop of sensitivity? Horses for courses, I suppose, and it all reinforces why Sony have brought out two complementary models.
 
FreeFlow
Offline
Joined: Mar 1 2012
Re: Major Sony camera news
Quote:
but is it still as appealing generally if it's known it's at the expense of nearly a stop of sensitivity?
Does anyone know if this might affect noise too, with more bits and bobs needed on the chip in order to achieve the global shutter?
infocus2
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Re: Major Sony camera news
Firstly, an ISO rating is what defines the shutter speed and aperture needed for correct exposure at a given light level.
 
For electronic cameras, the ISO rating is a function of sensor characteristics, and the gain applied to the signal. It therefore follows that the ISO rating of any camera at any time can be varied over a range by adjustment of the gain. Higher the gain - higher the ISO. And also the higher the noise level.
 
It follows that for the F5 and the F55, you COULD apply a higher level of gain to the F55 and get exactly the same ISO as a F5 setting next to it. But it would come at the expense of a higher noise level. It would seem that because of the different filtration and the global shutter, it's the basic output straight from chip that is lower on the F55, and the way that article is written my assumption would be that after that all else is equal (such as gain etc) - hence differing ISO, but likely still the same S/N level.
 
It would be possible to arrange factors such that they had identical ISO ratings and then say something like ".....lowering the Fill Factor so that the F55 has a 4-5dB worse noise figure."
infocus2
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Re: Major Sony camera news
steve wrote:
There's a Belgian distributor who is quoting prices like 15k Euro for the F5 and 19k Euro for the F55.  Of course, it'll be as much again for essential accessories like the viewfinder and the clip-on recorder, but if those prices are real they would shoot a hole through Canon's S35 camera aspirations and the Red may look like an expensive box of bits to do a similar thing.
I'm starting to hear "real" prices of not much more than £10,000 (ex VAT) for an F5 body in the UK, which will need viewfinder and V-lock batteries before even starting to think about lenses. But for that price it's XDCAM 422 to SxS cards out of the box, with 4k RAW if you hire/buy bolt-on recorders.
 
It means we're looking at 2/3" chip prices for the body, and at the low end of those for the F5. That's a lot less than many were thinking when these cameras were first announced.
 
rogs
Offline
Joined: Jun 16 2006
Re: Major Sony camera news
This sort of camera is way out of my league, but I still enjoy reading about what you 'pros' are getting up to!....
I must admit, I was surprised to read of the global CMOS shutter.  I had always been led to believe that although they do exist on some scientific cameras, they were still years away in 'normal' cameras. Clearly, not true!
Whether the technology will ever 'filter down' to the prosumer/ consumer world?.....  Although there was quite an outcry at the more extreme rolling shutter artifacts, in the early days of the change from CCD to CMOS sensors, that seems to have died down.
Certainly some of the appalling 'rolling shutter' effects images I've seen on broadcast TV in recent months suggests that people are obviously not that bothered.
So maybe global CMOS shutters will just never appear at consumer level?.......
 
 
 
 
infocus2
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Re: Major Sony camera news
rogs wrote:
I must admit, I was surprised to read of the global CMOS shutter.  I had always been led to believe that although they do exist on some scientific cameras, they were still years away in 'normal' cameras. Clearly, not true!
Whether the technology will ever 'filter down' to the prosumer/ consumer world?.....  
But note it comes at a cost - and not just a financial one. What's most important for many people - the rolling shutter or that stop of extra sensitivity?
 
I also think it's interesting that only the F55 has the global shutter, not the F5. The F55 is targeted squarely at real "cinema", where all lighting is likely to be under control. The F5 may get used by those with lesser lighting budgets......
rogs wrote:
Although there was quite an outcry at the more extreme rolling shutter artifacts, in the early days of the change from CCD to CMOS sensors, that seems to have died down.
 
Certainly some of the appalling 'rolling shutter' effects images I've seen on broadcast TV in recent months suggests that people are obviously not that bothered.
There's rolling shutter and rolling shutter. It can (and does) look appalling on such as mobile phones, but on more expensive cameras is of a level that it normally barely gets noticed. I have to say I've not seen the effects very much on any broadcast TV much, except such as news reports where phone video is used. Do you remember any examples?
 
That said, it was noticeable recently in "The Killing III", but only where there are scenes with crowds of press photographers and flash guns. Surprising, given that the general result is such high quality, and it should be possible to minimise the effect in software quite easily. I'm wondering what camera was used for the series - "Red" maybe?
rogs
Offline
Joined: Jun 16 2006
Re: Major Sony camera news
I must admit, when I first saw some of the more comical examples of the rolling shutter 'jello' effect, taken with the early HDV consumer camcorders, I really though it was a serious retrograde step for manufacturers to take. Even with the advantages that CMOS can bring, I felt they had taken the decision unwisely.  Down to price primarily, I imagine?
As you say, things have improved since then (phone cameras excepted!).
And the the 'flashbanding' artifact you describe can be dealt with in post quite well.
In the broadcast world, the most obvious examples are the aircraft ones. The comical 'curved' propellors.  I seem to remember that someone from the BBC decided it would be a good idea to take a CMOS sensor camera onto the Battle of Britain Memorial flight Lancaster (during the Jubilee fly past, IIRC.) We got both wobbly horizons and curvy propellors in those shots of course!
Some time ago, Eddie Izzard did a documentary about running a series of marathons, over a pretty short time.  Now, either every van in Yorkshire has sloping sides and doors  - or at least they do when they're moving -- or they were using a CMOS sensor camera again.
The worst I've seen I've already mentioned on this board -- and Alan explained the reason behind it for me -- Martin Shaw did a re-run of the Dambusters raid in a documentary, and some BBC 'professional' decided that the external camera, mounted on the aircraft to record the actual footage of the flight over the Eder dam, only needed a CMOS sensor.
The resulting 'wobbly jello' footage was a disgrace.. especially as that was some of the most important footage of the program!
As Alan explained, most people didn't seem to mind, and the choice of externally mounted cameras is limited by Health and Safety concerns.
Still looked pretty pathetic to me!
I'm probably a bit too 'sensitive' to the issue, but I've always felt sorry for those amateurs involved with shooting fast moving sports (fast cars, skiing, boating etc), who really thought they were going to improve their footage, by changing their DV camcorders for modern 'HD' card camcorders.. and then coming onto forums, to ask how to remove the 'joke' rolling shutter effects, in post!
Many simply couldn't believe how their video quality had actually got so much worse than their DV footage!......
 
As you say, it doesn't affect most folk.
 
I took my last 'rear guard' action for CCD quite recently, when I purchased an example of the last 'consumer' camera with a CCD sensor on the market.
Only a Panasonic FZ48 'superzoom',  which I bought primarily for stills anyway. But at least my aircraft video snippets won't look silly, even if they're not of the highest quality, image wise!
For my next camera/camcorder I shall have no choice... it will have to be CMOS.
Think I may wait a while, see what transpires.......by that time, maybe I won't be so paranoid about rolling shutters....or maybe we will have global CMOS sensors, in consumer camcorders?...smiley
 
 
 
 
infocus2
Offline
Joined: Mar 2 2012
Re: Major Sony camera news
rogs wrote:
The worst I've seen I've already mentioned on this board -- and Alan explained the reason behind it for me -- Martin Shaw did a re-run of the Dambusters raid in a documentary, and some BBC 'professional' decided that the external camera, mounted on the aircraft to record the actual footage of the flight over the Eder dam, only needed a CMOS sensor.
The resulting 'wobbly jello' footage was a disgrace.. especially as that was some of the most important footage of the program!
Yes, I saw that and generally agree, but would say it was more a problem of overusing a small camera, rather than CMOS per se. As you say, the shots couldn't have been got with a higher spec camera - so maybe there was a strong argument for changing the shots to be used, as I'd agree they stood out badly. The main cameras were likely to have been CMOS as well, but likely 2/3" pro cameras with rolling shutter effects that are hardly noticeable.
 
The interesting thing about "The Killing III" is that it's the only occasion I can recall really seeing noticeable rolling shutter artifacting on broadcast TV with a pro standard camera, not a minicam or phone footage. But why didn't they do anything in post?