UPDATE: Please note the details of this story have always been in the varidof.com webpage source code. Take a bow CVP, and Sony hopefully you will not receive irate calls from resellers accusing you of withholding stock from them.
Just when you are capturing your breath over the Sony 4K FS700 camera and how or why such a 4K for 8K camera would exist, you need to sit back down because Sony have a PMW-V350 XDCAM EX VariDoF camera that uses a 65mm CMOS sensor, that can right now deliver a native 2K resolution in 1/3″ mode and would be able to soon resolve over 16K in 65mm mode if the recording medium and processing engine could handle it.
Video thanks to CVP:
As professional camcorder sales become more and more dominated by large sensor cameras designed to emulate the aesthetically pleasing shallow DoF (depth of field) normally associated with 35mm film, we’ve learned that Sony have licensed a revolutionary new technology called VariDoF from the VariDoF Corporation. The acronym stands for Variable Depth of Field and through the combination of a super high resolution 65mm CMOS sensor, sophisticated secondary optics and a custom-manufactured RISC processing engine the system is able to seamlessly vary the effective sensor area in real-time without the need to change lens.
This means that just as a DoP can today pull-focus or aperture it is now possible to ‘pull DoF’ too.
Opening up a whole new dimension of creative possibilities.
The prototype camera looks like a PMW-350, however it is distinguished by a slightly elongated sensor block housing and VariDoF control port. The effective sensor size can be accessed and preset through the camera’s internal menu system. Preset sizes are 1/3″, 1/2″, 2/3″, s16, s35 and 65mm. A VDC-R1 remote controller can be connected to the VariDoF port to provide a precise control surface for real-time DoF control.
To vary the DoF the secondary lens system adjusts the lens’ area of projection whilst the active area of the CMOS sensor is simultaneously varied to match. Focus is tracked simultaneously so that the operator’s preset focus point is maintained.
The prototype camera featured a Sony 2/3″ B4 type lens mount, meaning that the camera could natively accommodate a wide range of ENG, EFP and Cine-Style lenses. Sony tell us that the technology is such that the system can be easily modified to accept any lens from 1/3″ to PL mount with the secondary lens system compensating automatically for the different projected image sizes.
Sony haven’t specified the resolution of their 65mm CMOS sensor, however they have confirmed that it can deliver a native 2K resolution in 1/3″ mode and would be able to resolve over 16K in 65mm mode if the recording medium and processing engine could handle it.
Sony’s license is not exclusive at this stage and VariDoF Corp are inviting other interested parties to contact them at VariDoF. Also if you need more information please check the VariDoF source code :)