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posted by - Friday, 28 April 2017

I stopped by the Sony booth, where Joseph Schimizzi talked me through their recent updates. A big focus for Sony this year has been increased support for HDR, and with these updates they are making the technology much more accessible to a larger base of users, and a wider audience.

The first camera we discuss is the feature packed PXW-FS5, which is getting even more updates and future upgrade options. Sony will be adding Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) curves as a picture profile, and this update will be available for the PXW-Z150 as well. Three different HLG curves will be available. While Joe said the white paper has not been published yet, it looks as though they are set up for 600%, 800% and 1000% levels. Be sure to keep an eye out for the technical specifications that will go into detail on how to expose these various settings. Perhaps of most interest to FS5 shooters will be a decrease in the native ISO when using S-LOG3, down to 2000 ISO. This now falls in line with both the FS7 and F5, allowing all three cameras to be exposed the same. One final update on the FS5 side will be a future paid upgrade, enabling continuous recording at up to 120 fps in Full HD.

On the monitoring side, Sony has released a new HDR display. The new BVM-E171 is a 17-inch HD HDR display that conforms to BT.2084 standards and supports HLG. This is a companion offering to their flagship HDR monitor, the BVM-X300. This monitor is much smaller and lighter than its counterpart, making it much easier to transport and carry around on set.

Joe also shows us Sony’s newest compact camera, the UMC-S3CA, which uses the a7SII sensor in an even more portable form factor. Genlock is available over USB. While the camera was not expressly designed for VR, it would be a perfect fit in a multi-cam rig, as shown in the video. Sony’s mindset with this camera was to develop something that can be used in new, interesting, and creative ways.

The F5 and F55 also received a wealth of new updates, including a firmware upgrade, Version 9.0. This update improves performance when used in conjunction with the AXS-R7 recorder. This will allow for more frame rate options (72, 75 and 96) leading up to the maximum of 120 fps. Proxy record mode now features support up to 60p in XAVC-I with a 60i MPEG XD proxy file. Rec. 2020 support has been implemented in both models. New accessories have also been announced, including the new EL200 1920×1080 OLED viewfinder, as well as a new card reader for both AXS and SXS in one reader, the AR-1, which features Thunderbolt 2 connectivity.

Plenty to talk about here, so be sure to check out the video above.

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