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Old August 29th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #1
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Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

This is identified as the FDR-AX1 4K camera:

http://www.photographybay.com/2013/0...iced-under-5k/

4K for under $5,000 (without using four SDHC cards).
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Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked-fdr-ax1_zps414caf17.jpg  

Last edited by Glen Vandermolen; August 30th, 2013 at 06:57 AM.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 03:33 PM   #2
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

Ah, it's XQD powered. But is it a single sensor design? This doesn't look too much different from the prototype that's been surfacing around.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 04:49 PM   #3
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

Link changed to original source.

Please use original sources on this site, instead of links to other links -- thanks in advance.

Moved to Area 51 until it's official...
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Old August 29th, 2013, 05:03 PM   #4
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

Well, it's the same arguments as you're already familiar with from this thread - IMEC codevelops 4k/2k CMOS 12 bit sensor w/Panasonic for 2/3 inch :-)

The higher the resolution, the more of a problem diffraction limiting becomes, and the more the advantage to a larger sensor.

The form factor shown is what we associate with a 1/3" camera, possibly 1/2", and from the same arguments as the other thread diffraction limiting will be bad enough at 2/3"/4k - let alone 1/3"/4k.

So - you won't be surprised to hear me say that if this rumour is accurate, a lot may hinge around the sensor(s) size - and that's a spec that's glaringly obvious by it's absence from the specs listed in the leak report.

I can't help feeling it's a lot more about marketing than what is really wanted. I do think that 4k is going to become the norm very soon *at the top end of the market*, but at under $5,000 that's hardly who this is aimed at. But I suppose if you see 4k TVs as the next thing to get people to part with their money, you've got to have a range of cameras of all prices with "4K" badged on them? :-)
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Old August 29th, 2013, 05:47 PM   #5
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

Offhand, I'm guessing three 1/3", possibly a single 1/2" sensor.
I wouldn't be surprised if it has the same performance as the HMQ10. I do like the XQD card over JVC's four SDHC card solution.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 06:22 PM   #6
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Offhand, I'm guessing three 1/3", possibly a single 1/2" sensor.
If so, it becomes little short of a gimmick. Put "4k" on the side (albeit with technical justification) and watch the crowds come. Never mind that such small sensors are all but useless for 4K.
Quote:
I wouldn't be surprised if it has the same performance as the HMQ10. I do like the XQD card over JVC's four SDHC card solution.
No disagreement about the XQD card being far preferable to the JVC implementation. As to the rest, well, let's wait and see until there's real news - especially regarding sensor size. The minimum I would hope for in this type of camera is 2/3", preferably more - even if it would mean maybe such as shortened zoom range or other lens compromises.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 07:47 PM   #7
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

I figure it's time to toss around the idea of how this fits into Sony's camera fleet.

It seems to me that this camera will be a marketing nightmare for Sony. At $5000, this camera directly competes with some NXCAMs and some PMW XDCAMs. This camera will likely negatively affect the sales of these cameras....unless it's carefully crippled to help fight that problem.

1.) Could this camera only have 60i?
2.) Could it have locked shutter speeds below 1/60?
3.) "Shutter" and/or "gain"...Could it have manual control of only one thing at a time? (and the other auto only)
4.) Low bitrate? 16Mbps for AVCHD was common and it first appeared in Handycams at the beginning. At 4 times the resolution of HD, (4K) it's conceivable that 64Mbp/s would be an "entry level" consumer bitrate. This should offer "OK" 4K quality.
5.) 4:2:0 - 8 bit is almost certain for this camera...including HDMI out
6.) What about a higher level "pro" camcorder? (EX1/PMW200 - class) Something 4:2:2 8 bit with SDI out?

Who knows? But it will be interesting to see how this is positioned in their lineup.

Also, it's reasonable to expect a "Semi Pro" sister that is black and has different firmware. (and 24p?)

Anyone care to jump in?
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Old August 30th, 2013, 06:18 AM   #8
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

Well it's Exmor R sensor so it's back Illuminated which will help greatly with lowlight with that many pixels packed in. I think it's 1/3" chips with the 20X G lens and Exmor R sensors. Diffraction will be very difficult to deal with especially as you'll need to shoot at least 2.8 or higher for a sharp image.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 08:01 AM   #9
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
1.) Could this camera only have 60i?
No. No new system is likely to be interlace. Interlace was sensible when most displays were CRTs, but don't expect any forthcoming systems to use it - technology has moved on. You will get more 1080i cameras for legacy reasons - most broadcasters use 1080i/25(30).
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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
4.) Low bitrate? 16Mbps for AVCHD was common and it first appeared in Handycams at the beginning. At 4 times the resolution of HD, (4K) it's conceivable that 64Mbp/s would be an "entry level" consumer bitrate. This should offer "OK" 4K quality.
You can't scale bitrate up with resolution and/or framerate in such a direct manner. Typically, the higher you go, the more it's possible to take advantage of efficiencies through redundancies in the data. I fully expect it to use XAVC S ( Sony Global - News Releases - Sony expands XAVC format to accelerate 4K development in the professional and consumer market. ) announced a while ago, and specifically flagged as the consumer variant of XAVC. (Most notably, it uses an mp4 wrapper, not mxf.)

(The announcement of XAVC S may have been taken as a clear sign something along the lines of this was on the way, so I'm inclined to give this rumour reasonable credence. Frankly there are so many details not mentioned, that the "leak" doesn't really cause many surprises.)
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5.) 4:2:0 - 8 bit is almost certain for this camera...including HDMI out
Let's get one point clear. Past preferences for 4:2:2 over 4:2:0 have largely been based on interlace systems, as halving vertical chroma resolution with interlace scan causes various issues. Move to progressive and 4:2:2 has less point. In progressive systems, both 4:2:0 and 4:4:4 have their own pros and cons, 4:2:2 rather falls between stools.

Likewise remember 4:2:0 etc are ratios, not absolute numbers. Move to 4K, and 4:2:0 still represents a chroma resolution of 1920x1080 - normal full luminance HD!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
....... it will be interesting to see how this is positioned in their lineup. Also, it's reasonable to expect a "Semi Pro" sister that is black and has different firmware. (and 24p?)
Again, "24p" seems to have acquired a mystical "desired" status for historic reasons. Nowadays, expect it to be there as legacy. More interesting is whether it will support 4k 60p - or be limited to 24/25/30p.

But most interesting of all will be sensor size.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 05:02 PM   #10
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

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Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Just looking at the link Chris has replaced the original with, the much less substantiated rumour it mentions is quite intriguing: “maybe there will be a mid-frame camera coming".

Ok, it sounds like from someone whose first language is not English, but if it has any substance it's interesting to wonder what "mid-frame" may mean.

Just as a guess, I wonder if it could be a sensor that's half-way between the 1/3" that you'd normally expect for this type of camera and such as 4/3 or s35 - so 1" or maybe 2/3"? That would make technical sense. It would overcome the worst issues of using such as 1/3" for 4k, but make a 20x zoom more viable than if such as s35 was used.

From the timing and the lack of sensitive specs, (and as this is Area 51 :-) ), I'm also inclined to speculate that what has been leaked may have been done so with official sanction. To generate pre-interest and comment before an official IBC announcement, maybe?
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Old August 30th, 2013, 07:25 PM   #11
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

I changed the link, not Chris, because I put the wrong one in. It now has the original link.

The medium frame they're referring to is for a stills camera, not the 4K cam. Sony is rumored to be releasing a medium format camera. It has the SR1-SR2 designation, which by the article's scale, is low on the rumor mill. The 4K cam has an SR5, which is a virtual certainty it'll be released.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 07:33 PM   #12
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

So,...if this new Handycam is allowed to have 24p and 60p (and 29.97p?) than what would be the major factor that keeps it below it's upper (NXCAM-type) sister? Currently, the AX200 and the NX5 have the FMU difference and frame rate differences.

Aslo, will the "upper sister" to this Handycam model have the "NXCAM" brand? Will Sony keep "NXCAM" only for HD and create a new "XX-CAM" brand for future 4k products?

I would guess that we could have a new Sony "something-CAM" line in the works that carries on with all new and future entry level Pro 4k products. So maybe we might have this:

HD
Handycam = HD 4:2:0 @ 8 bit (consumer market with crippled features)
NXCAM = HD 4:2:0 @ 8 bit (entry Pro market)
XDCAM = HD 4:2:2 @ 8 bit (mid - Pro market)

4K
"Handycam" = 4k 4:2:0 @ 8 bit (consumer market with crippled features)
"Something-CAM" = 4K 4:2:0 @ 8 bit (entry pro market)
"Other-CAM" = 4k 4:2:2 @ 8 bit (Mid - pro market)
"Super-CAM" = 4k 4:2:2 & 4:4:4 @ 10bit (high end Pro market)

I think we will find out very soon
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Old August 30th, 2013, 08:22 PM   #13
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

Like all things technology wise, 1080 is "current", but that means there's something "future"... likely 4K... supposedly there are 4k cell phone cams in the works...

Tech marches on, it wasn't that long ago that "HDV" was the bleeding edge...now it's ancient history.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 08:19 AM   #14
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
The medium frame they're referring to is for a stills camera, not the 4K cam. Sony is rumored to be releasing a medium format camera.
It's ambiguous, but the way I read it, a medium format camera is just an interpretation of the phrase "maybe there will be a mid-frame camera coming", mid-frame may equally refer to camera with a sensor in between 1/3" and 4/3 or s35 - and 1" would make a lot of sense for a consumer oriented 4k camera.

But yes, it's all guesswork, and I don't pretend anything else.

It's also worth reading down the comments in the sony rumours link. Maybe the most interesting is the last one, which quotes a press release from Aptina - and a quick bit of googling finds the original at Press Release - Aptina Imaging
Quote:
The high-speed readout gives the sensor the capability of providing full 4K video at 60fps, in either the Quad HD (3840H x 2160V) or the wider Digital Cinema 4K format (4096H x 2160V), and a blazingly fast 120fps 1080p video mode, enabling slow-motion video capture without loss of resolution. This speed also gives the user the unique capability of grabbing full 14MP resolution still images without interrupting a super-sharp, oversampled 1080p HD video stream.
The implication is that it's intended for semi-compact stills cameras which can also do 4k video, but it is also highly likely that it could work well in the camera being discussed here. And it's 1"...... Could this be the origin of the term "mid-frame"? Between previous DSLR and compact camera sensor sizes?

My assumption would be that the 14megapixels are for the area of sensor used for stills, video being a 16:9 crop (4096x2160 is about 9 megapixels). Hence it shouldn't be necessary to employ any pixel skipping or binning techniques - which is what causes the most issues with still sensors used for video. If it is true, it makes technical sense.

Another press release on the Aptina website also caught my eye - Press Release - Aptina Imaging All speculative and circumstantial - but it would all tie together?

Last edited by David Heath; August 31st, 2013 at 08:59 AM.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 08:56 AM   #15
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Re: Sony 4K Handicam pic leaked

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
So maybe we might have this:

4K
"Handycam" = 4k 4:2:0 @ 8 bit (consumer market with crippled features)
"Something-CAM" = 4K 4:2:0 @ 8 bit (entry pro market)
"Other-CAM" = 4k 4:2:2 @ 8 bit (Mid - pro market)
"Super-CAM" = 4k 4:2:2 & 4:4:4 @ 10bit (high end Pro market)

I think we will find out very soon
Firstly, as regards XDCAM and NXCAM the differences are far beyond codec and even as far as that is concerned, then 4:2:0, 4:2:2 etc are by no means the most significant difference. Quite apart from which XDCAM EX is likewise 4:2:0! Far more significant than colour space are the differences between AVC-HD and the MPEG2 based codec used in the EX.

Hence, as far as your table above, then forget about those distinctions - technology has moved on.

To your core point - how will Sony distinguish between market sectors - then most significant may be whether the camera will record RAW or coded..... or both! :-) Hence, this may "only" record a coded 4K signal, whilst such as the F5/55 will be capable of recording RAW. (Yes, same for the FS700 - but only with extra hardware.)

Yes, RAW may be better for the digital cinema crowd for the post flexibility it allows, but it's expensive and demanding in terms of data etc. XAVC S may far better suit the users this camera is aimed at.

If anybody is thinking "who is going to want to shoot weddings in 4K!?" then even if the end product is going to be HD, 4K shooting allows flexibility in framing, for example. (You may deliberately shoot wider, for example, then be able to zoom in without eventual quality loss on an unexpected event that happens towards the edge of frame.) For other uses, then 4K video allows far more potential for framegrabs to be used as stills. No, they'll never be as good as images taken with a dedicated good stills camera for many reasons (artistic as well as technical) but they will extend the number of times they may be considered "good enough".
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