Sony unveils new generation of live production system cameras

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At IBC 2018, Sony has unveiled four new live production system cameras, further expanding and evolving the Sony HDC family well acclaimed by broadcasters and media companies across the globe. The next generation of system cameras (HDC-P50, HDC-3500) feature the world’s first* 2/3-inch 4K global shutter three CMOS sensor system, and the newly developed HD HDR optical block (HDC-3100/HDC-3170). The new cameras offer content creators unprecedented flexibility and reliability, in addition to the uncompromised, premium 4K/HD HDR picture quality they have come to expect from Sony solutions.

*As of September 2018, according to Sony research

The new family of system cameras are the HDC-P50 Point of View (POV) system camera, the portable system camera HDC-3500, as well as the affordable Fibre and Triax system cameras HDC-3100 and HDC-3170. Additionally, Sony has introduced a new Triax Camera Control Unit (CCU), the HDCU-3170, which inherits all the capabilities of the HDCU-3100 launched earlier this year.

“With the launch of our new family of live system cameras, we are providing superb image quality by new optical system, high mobility by new POV camera and efficient operation with rich selection of options at the same time to further sustain mainstream HD and 4K live production. Based on customer feedback, we have strengthened our HDC range for HD, 4K and HDR production at multiple production cost, and with choices of infrastructure.” explained Hany Bartella, head of Media Sales for Middle East at Sony Professional Solutions MEA. “We also have in mind our wider customer audience and ensure full backward compatibility with previous generations, whilst bringing new capabilities such as IP transmission technology, SMPTE ST 2110, 4K and HDR, to their toolsets for content creation and more efficient infrastructure.”

The full line up of new system cameras and solutions includes:

  • HDC-P50 – A compact, lightweight, POV system camera, boasting the world’s first 2/3-inch 4K global shutter three CMOS sensor system, delivering a wider dynamic range. Using ultra-high precision alignment technology, it includes three 4K sensors on its newly-developed prism, which achieves ITU-R BT.2020 broadcast standard widened colour space. As a result, the HDC-P50 offers stunning, high-quality images for even the most demanding of premium 4K HDR live productions. The new system camera outputs clear and crisp 4K/HD HDR signal directly from its camera body, allowing live images to be delivered at various shooting applications, such as in combination with a camera stabiliser, in handheld mode, during wireless shooting and even while filming aerial shots from a helicopter.
  • HDC-3500 – The portable system cameras HDC-3500 expand on the capabilities of the current HDC-2000 series with the addition of a new 2/3-inch 4K global shutter three CMOS sensor system. The HDC-3500 offers high modulation of depth for HD & 4K production as well as wider dynamic range. The system camera supports HD, HDR and 4K, as well as IP capabilities. The HDC-3500 has exchangeable transmission side panel. Users can choose any of Sony’s three optional side panels, depending on their operational needs: Triax, Fibre or wireless transmission. All can easily be switched using Sony’s unique and simple side panel interface.
  • HDC-3100 and HDC-3170 – Sony’s new affordable Fibre (HDC-3100) and Triax (HDC-3170) system cameras with 2/3-inch HD global shutter three CMOS sensor system are ideal for productions working primarily in HD, with the occasional need for 4K. Both systems are capable of HDR and SMPTE ST2110. The HDC-3170 supports 3rd generation digital Triax technology and is capable of connecting over distances up to 1800m.
  • HDCU-3170 – The new Camera Control Unit HDCU-3170 is compatible with the new 3rd generation digital Triax system cameras and can be fitted with already-available option boards for HDCU-3100 (Fibre). The CCU supports various interfaces such as 3G-SDI and SMPTE ST2110*, and can provide outputs of HD, HDR* and SDR. The HDCU-3170 is recommended for Triax users, but can also host an extra Fibre interface (SMPTE* or Single Mode*). It will greatly benefit production companies doing live production in different venues requiring different transmission systems.

*Require option board or license

All new system cameras also provide “SR Live for HDR” workflow to enable single production of HDR and SDR simultaneously with just one production team. These new fibre systems are also backwards compatible with the current HDC-2000 series of system cameras, which will allow users to easily add new models alongside their current cameras and CCUs.

Additional Features

The new systems announced also strengthen and improve customers’ operations, keeping Sony’s leading reputation & philosophy:

  • HDC series Operability and Robustness
    • Users can seamlessly blend new system cameras with existing HDC series system cameras.
    • The same magnesium alloy used for HDC-2500 is used for new cameras to create a camera body which is both robust and light.
  • Electronic Paper Display for camera number (HDC-3500 only)
    • An assigned number for each camera is indicated by Electronic Paper Display on the camera body and, if preferred, graphics can also be used. Information can automatically be updated when system settings change.
  • Focus position meter
  • It can indicate both pre-registered focus points and current focus points graphically, with three colours of RGB on the view finder, helping camera operators to precisely focus in any shooting conditions
  • Wider space handle grip
    • Handle grip space is made wider than existing live system cameras, making it easier to grip, carry and place.
  • HDLA docking (HDC-3500 only)
    • With an HDLA-1500 series lens adaptor, a high magnification large lens can be easily attached in simple steps without any complex mechanical adjustments required.

All HDC-3000 series will be available from October 2018, the HDC-P50 POV system camera being available from February 2019.

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