Yesterday Sony announced more details and pricing on their F65 camera. The F65 has an 8K CMOS image sensor and records true 4K resolution (4096×2160). The sensor has approximately 20,000,000 photosites (20 megapixels) total and can output 16-bit linear RAW. Two models of the camera will be made available, the F65 and the F65RS, where the RS stands for rotary shutter. A rotating shutter eliminates any ‘jello’ effect from the rolling shutter of the CMOS chip and also helps create smooth 24p motion. Sony also announced that the sensor will offer 14-stops of Dynamic Range and, from the footage at NAB, I could tell that it was a very clean (noise-free) image. Watch my video from NAB 2011 for a sneak-peak.
To record the output of the F65, Sony has also introduced the SR-R4 recorder, which docks to the back of the F65. The R4 can record the 16-bit linear RAW data out of the camera in 4K and 2K, or it can record in the different SR codecs at standard 1080p resolution. The SR codecs (MPEG-4 SStP) are the same as the formats found on HDCAM SR tape – 880 Mbps / 440 Mbps – and they will also add a 220 Mbps (SR Lite) recording mode. The SR-R4 records to the new Sony SRMemory cards, which will be available in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB sizes. These new memory cards offer a sustained, speedy data rate of 5.5 Gbps. To get an idea of the data amount, a 1 TB card will fit 60 minutes of RAW footage at 24p. There are several different cards coming with different capabilities, read about the different cards in this brochure from Sony – SRMaster Family.
To ingest the footage to a computer, Sony will be offering a couple of options, the first is a SR-PC4 Data Transfer Unit, which is a small ‘card reader’ with high-speed download capability via Ethernet or optional 10 Gig Ethernet. This is pretty amazing for Sony, as SR was previously only found in large decks. They also have a rack mounted version called the SRPC-5, which adds HD-SDI playback of SR video and integration with HDCAM SR decks. Finally they will have their new SR-R1000 Memory storage unit, which is super deck for playback and recording many streams of HD, 2K or even 4K. To complete the workflow chain, Sony has put together an open source Software Development Kit (SDK) for the camera, allowing all the major software developers to support it. They already have plugins for AVID and FCP for their respective SR codecs, and a free player for Mac and PC. With all of these pieces, the F65 will have a full digital workflow when released. At AbelCine, we have a great deal of experience with RAW material from our Phantom cameras, so we are looking forward to working with the SDK Sony provides. Read more about the post workflow for the F65 in this brochure from Sony – SRMaster Family.
Sony also threw in some extras including: Wi-Fi operation for remote control operation from tablet devices (including the Android-based Sony Tablet S and Apple iPad) and HD-SDI output with viewing LUT for on-set monitoring with focus assist zoom. Both are key features for the modern set.
Finally, the really big news was the announced pricing. From now until the end of the year, AbelCine will be selling a specially priced bundle, F65PACS, of the Sony F65RS Camera Body with Mechanical Rotary Shutter, HDVF-C3oWR Color Viewfinder, SR-R4 Digital Recorder, 1x Sony 256GB SRMemory Card, and the Sony SR-PC4 Data Transfer Unit, all for $85,000. After January 1st, the F65 with viewfinder will sell for $65,000, and the F65RS with viewfinder will sell for $77,000. The SR-R4 recorder will cost $20,000. Contact our sales team for more information.