Sony has announced a range of updates to its 4K CineAlta camera line, enabling new features, powerful performance and more flexible production capabilities. The new updates, all direct results of customer feedback, will be available as hardware and firmware upgrades.

Upgrade Sony F5 to F55

“We continue to offer powerful firmware updates along a consistent development timeline for the F5 and F55 cameras, helping professionals keep pace with the rapid advancement of 4K production,” said Peter Crithary, marketing manager for large sensor technologies at Sony Electronics. “To help ensure we protect our customers’ technology investments, Sony is offering upgrades to our existing cameras instead of introducing new versions in the CineAlta line.”

Two options for the F5 to upgrade to 4K

Sony is giving F5 customers an opportunity to extend their creative reach and maximize their technology investment with a comprehensive optional hardware and firmware upgrade that transforms the F5 camera to an F55. This hardware package includes the same image sensor as the F55, with integrated frame image scanning and ultra wide color filter array. The upgrade package also includes firmware to enable on-board 4K recording and live signal output via 3G-SDI, HDMI, and simultaneous recording with XAVC 4K and MPEG 50Mbps 422. This hardware upgrade package has a target price of $16,999.

Sony is also offering a 4K upgrade option that will enable: XAVC 4K/QFHD recording and playback; 4K SDI and 4K HDMI Output; and simultaneous recording (XAVC 4K/QFHD) with MPEG 50Mbps 422. This option is activated by a license key (CBKZ-55FX) and can be installed by the end-user. The target price for the upgrade is $998, and availability is scheduled for December 2014, coinciding with the Version 5.0 firmware release.

CBK-55BK Shoulder Mount ENG/Documentary Dock for F55 and F5

With Sony’s CBK-55BK shoulder mount dock, users can quickly convert an F5 or F55 into a run-and gun ENG/documentary camcorder, and then easily return it to a traditional-style Super 35 camera.

When the camera slides into the dock, users have external White Balance, Gain and Shutter controls in their familiar positions, as well as inputs and outputs, including balanced XLR audio, headphone monitoring and wireless audio receiver. The padded shoulder arch adjusts fore and aft to balance perfectly with a large range of lenses, and with the VCT-14 quick-release tripod adapter built in, locks easily onto the equipped tripod. Target price is $7,999, and availability is scheduled for December 2014.

Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD onboard recording

F55 and F5 users now have more codec choices than with any other camera system. In December 2014, Sony is scheduled to release a new option board (CBK-55PD) to enable these cameras to record in Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD.

Files will be recorded internally to the F55/F5 via Sony’s SxS Pro+ memory cards. The F55/F5 cameras have established codecs including 10-bit XAVC, 10 bit HDCAM SR 444, 422, MPEG 50Mbps 422, and 16-bit RAW using the optional AXS-R5 RAW recorder. This upgrade will offer even more workflow flexibility. Target price for the CBK-55PD is $2250 and availability is scheduled for December 2014.

PMW-F55/F5 Firmware Upgrade V5.0

Continuing the consistent development path for the cameras, the newest firmware upgrade for the F55 and F5 will enable powerful new features, including: interval recording, simultaneous recording with HDCAM SR 422 SQ with MPEG 50Mbps 422 59.94i; support for the optional CBK-55PD Codec Board; support for the optional shoulder mount dock (CBK-55BK) and more. The Version 5.0 firmware is scheduled to be available in December 2014 at no charge.

Sony will continue the development of the F5 and F55 cameras, with more feature enhancements planned. Sony is also announcing new technologies to complement the F65 camera’s performance this week at IBC 2014.

PWS-4400 server version 1.2: for delivering truly powerful 4K/HD

When coupled with the F65 4K CineAlta camera – the camera with the highest resolution in the motion picture industry – the new PWS-4400 server is capable of delivering 4K 120p video shot on an F65 4K CineAlta Camera; combined with the F55 it can offer both 4K and ultra-high-speed HD imaging up to 360 fps, ideal for shooting and presenting sports highlights. The new version of the 4K/HD server, scheduled for release in November, will add optional support for the PWS-CD401 codec, enabling compliance with DNxHD formats.

Super Resolution De-Mosaicing Processor: workflow solution for ‘Beyond 4K’ production

Sony’s Super Resolution De-Mosaicing Processor can develop 8K x 4K 60fps video from RAW data shot on an F65 camera. A cut-out function offers free resolution and free aspect ratio live-action content production. It can be used to drive giant-screen displays through multiple 4K projectors, and to project onto multiple screens freely configured into panoramas or vertical displays.

Catalyst Browse and Catalyst Prepare: support for next-generation workflows

Sony’s development of Catalyst Browse follows industry momentum around the XAVC codec to place it alongside RAW as a major recording format. The new platform combines the capabilities of conventional RAW viewers and content browsers, with upcoming support for a wide range of formats, including RAW, MPEG4 SStP, XAVC, MPEG 2, and AVCHD and Apple ProRes, Avid DNxHD. Catalyst Browse will work with Sony CineAlta and XCDAM lineups (PMW-F55 PXW-FS7, PXW-X500, PXW-X200 and other cameras), and will come as standard on Sony NXCAM units.

The new Catalyst Prepare software package enables secure and efficient management of recorded assets, enabling smooth workflows from shooting through editing. This package includes Catalyst Browse capabilities, and adds verifiable copying, file conversion, and EDL output support.

For more: Sony.

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