Sony has been making some noise at IBC this year. Along with the news about their F65 camera they also announced more details on their F3 lenses, another OLED monitor series, and additional XDCAM media. We’ve already written about the F65, but I found this video from Sony to be very interesting – Introduction to the F65 and 4k Workflow. It shows the camera up close and also the iPad interface, which seems very nice.
A topic that I get asked about a lot is the F3 zoom lens that was shown at NAB. If you’re familiar with the F3 then you’ve probably noticed the zoom rocker on the side of it. At the moment this rocker does nothing, but in the near future Sony will release a zoom lens that gives it purpose. This new lens is called the Sony SCL-Z18X140, which is a 18-252mm T3.8 zoom lens that mounts directly to the F3’s native mount. This lens will only work with the F3 and at T3.8 it is a bit slow, however the 14x zoom range is excellent and it is meant to work seamlessly with the camera in terms of lens data, image stabilization, auto iris and, of course, zooming. From my perspective, I can tell that Sony meant the F3 to be used with this lens, mostly because the camera has so many functions that will only work when using it. This includes all of the auto modes of the camera, as well as tools such as “lens info” which works as a depth of field meter. Alister Chapman did a video on the lens which can be viewed here - Sony F3 Zoom IBC 2011.
Sony has been working hard on their OLED monitor line which includes the BVM-E and PVM line of OLED monitors. The BVM_E line is the highest quality and is designed for DITs and post houses, while the PVM line is less expensive and designed for on-set use. They have now announced another line called BVM-F, which is available in both 17″ and 25″ varieties. The big difference between the BVM-E and BVM-F is that the ‘E’ version is full 12 bit and the ‘F’ is 10 bit. This makes the BVM-F less expensive and more accessible to a wider audience.
Sony has also announced some new media choices for both XDCAM EX and XDCAM Disc based cameras. The first is a 64 GB SxS Pro Card which will work with all of the XDCAM EX cameras as well as the PMW500. The 64 GB SxS cards have a very high transfer rate of 1.2Gbps, which really just means faster download times for XDCAM EX cameras. However, for Arri’s ALEXA camera, which uses SxS for internal recording, the new cards will work at higher frame rates – up to 120 FPS in ProRes 422 HQ or 60 FPS in ProRes 4444. Additionally Sony is releasing a new 100 GB ProDisc which has additional layers that increase it’s capacity over the older 23 GB and 50 GB versions. These discs will not work in the existing cameras, but can be used for archiving in Sony’s new devices, including the PDW-U2 download station.
Read more about Sony’s IBC 2011 announcements over on their official site.