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-   -   Sony prototype cinema camera shown at NAB (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/digital-video-industry-news/476636-sony-prototype-cinema-camera-shown-nab.html)

Tim Le April 11th, 2010 06:31 PM

Sony prototype cinema camera shown at NAB
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Sony Electronics' twitter feed has a picture of this small prototype cinema camera due out next year:

Sony's Shapiro unveiled a prototype digital cinematic camera ... on Twitpic

Anyone know more about it?

With Panasonic's 4/3 pro camcorder and perhaps this camera, things are really shaping up! And all this time I thought RED was going to have the Scarlet market to itself for awhile since it looks like Canon isn't going to go there. Scarlet will probably still be much higher-spec'ed than either of these cameras, but at least there might be some kind of competition.

Tim Polster April 11th, 2010 06:45 PM

And the battle rages on for the shallow DOF market! I did not expect Sony and Panasonic to be showing models for this type of camera at NAB.

I just hope one of these models lets me use my Canon glass. At least Sony has a pretty extensive line of lenses with their growing still presence.

But maybe a stock lens would have some features that would integrate with the camera. I am sure this will be beaten to death by the time the end of the year rolls around!

Gary Nattrass April 11th, 2010 07:40 PM

That's just a Z7 with a big lens on the front! Mock up tastic to counter the panasonic camera!

Evan C. King April 11th, 2010 08:21 PM

Nice that looks like a Zeiss Master Prime! Please make the PL mount swappable with still mounts! Ok Canon now you need to show your XL prototype. Oh and um you too JVC, I guess...

Steve Struthers April 11th, 2010 09:02 PM

Looks sweet. Now watch Sony start asking $25K for something like this. :(

Tim Le April 11th, 2010 09:34 PM

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It's kind of ironic that both the Panasonic m4/3 and this Sony camera are starting to looking like this Ikegami box camera that I've always wanted them to design! They just need to put an ENG type VF and shoulder pad on it!

Tim Le April 11th, 2010 10:02 PM

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Btw, here's a close up comparison with a Z7.

It looks like the LCD is on the side instead of on the handle, probably so that it can clear the lens and any lens controls. That appears to be a Zeiss 65mm Master Prime hanging off of it, so perhaps this is a single chip design? I think I can also spot a lever for two-position ND filters.

Floris van Eck April 11th, 2010 11:15 PM

It is finally happening... the big boys are going after the affordable DOF market.

Felix van Oost April 12th, 2010 06:54 AM

Oh my god...I just posted how much I had been waiting for a camera like the new 4/3" Panasonic over in that thread, but this is 10x better. I'm a huge Sony fan and this looks like it was just made for me. I've been planning on getting an NX5, but I might just have to wait for this once we get more information about it...

Damian Heffernan April 12th, 2010 07:11 AM


Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass (Post 1513002)
That's just a Z7 with a big lens on the front! Mock up tastic to counter the panasonic camera!

is this tongue in cheek because it looks nothing like a Z7

Ethan Cooper April 12th, 2010 07:18 AM


Oh my god...I just posted how much I had been waiting for a camera like the new 4/3" Panasonic over in that thread, but this is 10x better.
How can you say it's 10x better when we've got no specs (that I've seen) and just a picture?

Someone else a couple posts back called it 'affordable' but again, we've seen no prices anywhere.

I'm glad the major players are dipping their toes into this long awaited segment but lets not rush to judgment when all we've got is a picture.

Sean Seah April 12th, 2010 08:03 AM

Looks like the big boys are battling it out. Will Canon have a chance to do a 4/3" finally?

Brian Rhodes April 12th, 2010 08:18 AM


Originally Posted by Tim Le (Post 1513028)
Btw, here's a close up comparison with a Z7.

It looks like the LCD is on the side instead of on the handle, probably so that it can clear the lens and any lens controls. That appears to be a Zeiss 65mm Master Prime hanging off of it, so perhaps this is a single chip design? I think I can also spot a lever for two-position ND filters.

I am on my way to NAB I wil try to get some close up pics...

Jenn Kramer April 12th, 2010 02:27 PM

FYI, the guys I talked to at the NAB booth had no idea what I was talking about when I asked about the camera. I don't believe it's being shown on the show floor and was only shown to press at the press briefing yesterday. (I didn't have an invite, so we don't have any photos.) Several of the folks from Sony Japan got their first look at it when I showed them the picture that was posted on Twitter. I wouldn't expect anything in the way of concrete details for months.

Tim Le April 12th, 2010 10:08 PM

Here's a short video, courtesy of 'camera department' on Vimeo, of the press conference where the camera was shown.

Apparently the camera is part of Sony's "35mm roadmap." It's a "smaller, more affordable...entry level 35mm camcorder that will be released prior to NAB 2011." So sounds like a single sensor S35mm camcorder.

The interesting thing to me is how long it really takes to develop and mass produce something like this. The hardware/mechanical design looks pretty far along, maybe even done already, but they still need almost a year to (probably) do testing and make final adjustments before manufacturing and shipping the product. It's like Jean-Pierre Beauviala says in this YouTube interview on the Aaton Penelope digital mag. The camera is basically done, but they need a lot of time to make adjustments (and presumably make sure the product is bug free).

YouTube - The next 4K digital mag for Ašton Penelope described by JP Beauviala ! [with english subs]

Emmanuel Plakiotis April 13th, 2010 02:48 AM

Sony already has a S35 lower resolution dedicated chip from F35, to use on this camera, without having to go through the nuisance of line skipping a multi megapixel chip as is the case of Panny's new 4/3 camcorder and Canon's rumored APC sized camera. Of course he can borrow a chip from its Alpha line of DSLR cameras, but that doesn't seem rational to me.

Another site mentions SXS compatiblity and maybe Alpha lens mount.
If the SXS is true that probably means Mpeg2 compression and not AVHD like Panasonic.

Tim Polster April 13th, 2010 08:50 AM

I agree Tim, it does seem like a long time with the hardware in a seemingly developed state.

If I were Sony, I would put the Alpha mount on the camera to generate sales of the the still lens line. I am sure adapters will be available, but the auto mechanisms will probably only be with the Sony lenses.

The big design choice will be to engineer this around all manual film type lens use or create some servo motor choices for more video oriented use as well. Will a stock lens offering have a servo motor? Then you can swap for primes etc... Maybe a cheaper fixed lens version for the video oriented folks and interchangeable, higher res. version for the film orieneted folks?

Heath McKnight April 13th, 2010 09:34 AM

It wasn't this 3D prototype, I'm guessing?

3D camera introduced at NAB


Ozzy Alvarez April 15th, 2010 08:56 PM


The camera you mention, according to the article attached to your note, mentions a 3-inch CMOS sensors for the camera. The camera being shown on this topic is mentioned having a S35 chip.


Paulo Teixeira April 15th, 2010 09:14 PM

3" CMOS sensors? That has to be a mistake.

Brian Drysdale April 16th, 2010 02:14 AM

Could be the "2/" is missing? Or the sensor size is missing, so it's 3 x X" ...

Heath McKnight April 16th, 2010 07:19 AM

Thanks, Ozzy. I had a feeling it was two different cameras.


David Heath April 16th, 2010 07:35 AM


Originally Posted by Emmanuel Plakiotis (Post 1513592)
Another site mentions SXS compatiblity and maybe Alpha lens mount. If the SXS is true that probably means Mpeg2 compression and not AVHD like Panasonic.

May be better still - the Arri Alexa is supposed to be recording ProRes direct to SxS isn't it?

Chris Hurd April 16th, 2010 07:45 AM

Yes -- the Alexa records 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes to SxS cards.

No reason why this camera can't do the same; then again maybe it's XDCAM EX.

Heath McKnight April 16th, 2010 08:25 AM

The Alexa is a very interesting camera; I wish I could've gone to NAB 2010 to see it and the other offerings. I may be there in 2011--Chris, save me a seat the annual NAB/DVInfo party!


Erik Phairas April 16th, 2010 02:29 PM

The only thing that gets me is the possibility of super low light cameras. Everyone has that one thing that can never be good enough. Might be resolution or it seems shallow DOF is the obsession of most video shooters (not sure they even know why) but for me it is low light sensitivity. I hate not being able to record something in low light that looks just like what I see with my eyes.

Floris van Eck April 16th, 2010 03:28 PM

For me, low light sensitivity is the most important factor when buying a new camera as well... combined with a good dynamic range.

Jim Snow April 17th, 2010 11:27 AM

It looks like Panasonic stirred up some competition with their announcement. It's about time too. It was looking like the "big boys" were ignoring Red Scarlet because they didn't feel threatened by it. But Sony (and Canon) can't ignore Panasonic's new camera. It would be marketing suicide to not competitively respond. I suspect Sony at the highest management level decided at the last minute to make an announcement at NAB just so they were anted up for the "game". The fact that Sony staff at the show knew nothing about it tends to support this.

Whatever the real story is, it looks like the large sensor cameras will start to be real products by the end of the year or early next year. I was really getting tired of the SIOB (sharp intake of breath) games the camera manufacturers were playing with this issue. The standard response by the manufacturers and their stooge minions to the suggestion of a large sensor camcorder was the "big glass is expensive" pitch. But with a removable lens, as with DSLR cameras, you can buy big or not so big glass and have the flexibility of different lens for different applications.

Erik Phairas April 17th, 2010 12:56 PM

Yea if they came out with something with let's say twice the sensitivity of an EX3 for somewhere around the same price, solid state recording, and camcorder functionality. I'd think about selling my EX3 and starting over.

We shall see.

Darren Levine April 18th, 2010 08:07 PM

As much as i love new cameras being announced, i still need to be the broken record and say that whatever camera your already own is likely more than good enough to shoot whatever it is that you want to shoot(aside from anything you may have bought at best buy, etc..)

There will always be new cameras and that's great, it seems i buy a new one every two years or so. but it's also about how much time you waste dreaming about that next big thing instead of being out shooting with your already capable camera.

On top of that, there are a lot of other things your wallet could give attention to instead of a camera upgrade, because as we have to remember; the camera is just a single element(albeit an important one) of dozens of other things that will make a film successful.

(sorry, i felt preachy tonight :) )

David C. Williams April 19th, 2010 12:38 AM

It will be interesting to see how Sony place this camera market wise, as well as function wise into their line up. With the F35 and 9000 being pretty much the same camera as far as final output, and Sony's known market segmentation, it's going to be fine line between what they allow it to do vs cost and stopping it encroaching into their high end sale too far. Then factor in the eventual competitors like the almost mythical Scarlet (the most recent date I've seen being Dec 2010 for the 2/3" version), so they also can't hobble it too badly against these.

The distinctive functions of the F35 and 9000 for digital cinema are 4:4:4 and S-Log recording. If they allow than in this camera, they may cost themselves money in lost high end sales. If they don't allow it, they may cost themselves sales against the new wave of budget 35mm sensor cameras like Scarlet with it faux RAW 4:4:4. I think Sony's attempts at fine grained market segmentation are going to be hard pressed to offer value in the future, they will be forced to rationalise their line up at some stage I think.

I'd speculate it will offer a high bit rate Mpeg4 10bit 4:2:2 native recording, with 4:4:4 3G HD-SDI output and no S-Log option. Sony have stated Mpeg4 is coming when the work flow bottlenecks smooth out, which is pretty much now with most of the major edit software and hardware supporting full res multi stream playback.


Brian Drysdale April 19th, 2010 01:05 AM

There's also a possibility that it could just use the same codec as the EX3. It really depends which market they want to place the camera if they use a variation of XDCAM HD 4:2:2, at this price point I can't see the point of 4:4:4, which really of use for high end VFX.

Tim Polster April 19th, 2010 08:20 AM

I think it is too early to tell where this type of camera will be placed or priced in the market. It is tough to know where Sony sees the market opportunity.

The vDSLR craze has really caught some attention, but this market is pretty tough to get a hold of. I have seen posts on other forums regarding the upcoming Panasonic AF-100 which will be priced in the low $5000s as being priced high compared to the vDLSRs. Even though it will have a lot of features most want in comparison. Competing on price only with the Canon Ti model is impossible. So I wouldn't blame Sony for shooting a little higher with the first model then releasing a lower priced model or something of the sort.

Heath McKnight April 19th, 2010 08:46 AM

That's my philosophy, too--use the camera that's best for you. I nearly bought a $15,000 camera in 2001 because it shot true 16 x 9 (but not 24p), because I thought it'd make me a better shooter.

I'm a better shooter because I learned from the best (Jon Fordham, Victor Milt, Douglas Spotted Eagle, and more), and used the tools at my disposal.


Brian Drysdale April 19th, 2010 09:35 AM

A specialised video camera is always addressing a smaller market than a stills camera with a basic video facility. The large production volume enables these cameras to be less expensive for video people. Adding more powerful video centred features that cause an increase in costs wouldn't go down well with a majority of people who want to shoot stills and perhaps a bit of home video.

There always has been higher cost cameras that had features that people wished they could have for less money.

Tim Polster April 19th, 2010 10:16 AM

Brian, I was speaking more to the fact that the "indie" crowd to generalize, might be a bit more on the budget side. And even though to me, $5,200 for the AF-100 is a fair price, it is still viewed by a lot (or many) of the target market to be high in comparison to the sub-$1,000 Ti etc...

Things are slippery when there is a $1,000 option out there. The expectations become lowered for pricepoints which would make a product intoduction very challenging imho.

Eric Lagerlof April 19th, 2010 12:00 PM

For me, having little work currently, the Canon would be a great way of supplementing my FX1, DOF control being one obvious advantage. BUT, if I had the strong client base I had had, (roughly a century ago), I would definitely be looking at the higher end cameras. Besides obvious issues like audio, the higher price could mean easier/more flexible use of the same camera for both controlled-scene or who-knows-how-this-event-will-unfold scenarios, more familiar ergonomics(possibly), going from camera to camera, easier viewfinders, etc. etc. For a business/facility that has to send camera people out to face unknown production situations a ?standard? video camera seems a better bet.

Jim Snow April 19th, 2010 12:08 PM

I believe the real significance of all of this is that large sensor camcorders are finally being competitively addressed by the primary manufacturers. It's too early to focus on any particular manufacturer or product. We will see what actually hits the market in due time. But it's great news that products in this class are finally in development by the primary manufacturers. Competitive forces should keep things moving now that the genie is of the bottle.

Erik Phairas April 19th, 2010 12:11 PM

I don't camera hop for just anything. The EX3 can out shoot me. I don't possess the skill to max out this camera. I know as I learn the EX will always have enough performance to do what I need. I am just keeping my eye open though. Sooner or later there will be that freak camera that finally comes out that has ungodly good low light ability and I want that camera. No use in trying logic on me. It is an obsession that I enjoy. :)

oh and I am not willing to sell an EX for a 5D or anything like that. I want a Video Camera not a DSLR.

Brian Drysdale April 19th, 2010 12:28 PM


Originally Posted by Tim Polster (Post 1516408)
Brian, I was speaking more to the fact that the "indie" crowd to generalize, might be a bit more on the budget side. .

I'd assume we're talking about the hobbyist, rather than the professional market.

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