Articles tagged #SONY
Articles tagged

Videocraft supports Driving Oz with the Black Dog

Videocraft is proud to announce its platinum sponsorship of Driving Oz with the Black Dog — an incredibly important year-long campaign to raise money and awareness for Lifeline Australia and mindDog. We have been incredibly lucky to be able to collaborate with our industry partners Sony Australia and Avid Technology to be able to put together a video and photography production package to help Paul and Kirstine and their family document their travels to the remote areas of Australia, raising awareness of these two important organisations.

In deciding to support Driving Oz with the Black Dog, Videocraft's Managing Director, Jeanette Taylor says it was a straightforward decision. "For the team at Videocraft, we can all relate to the Roadley's mission of awareness and the importance of supporting services such as Lifeline Australia and mindDog. Within the production and broadcast industry, we have all seen how the stress of the job can take over, and some of us have had experiences with anxiety or depression. It is important for our industry to have the conversation and be open to help our colleagues through these times." So we have geared up Driving Oz with some key products that will assist them in spreading their message further while travelling around the remote parts of our country. As you can imagine space is limited, so we have put together a specific documentary and photography kit that will allow Paul to not only capture the action of travelling around our beautiful country, but also to gather interviews from the field, record events on the tour and capture the key moments to help build the campaign for their very relevant and important messages.      

So what's in the Driving Oz's case of production gear?

With the assistance of David Green, from Sony Australia's Professional Solutions Division, we were able to come up with a kit specifically chosen to work well in the varied climates and locations the Driving OZ team will travel throughout the year. As well as provide tools that can capture the footage and audio at professional broadcast quality. David and the team at Sony went above and beyond to support the Driving Oz with the Black Dog and to support both Lifeline Australia and mindDog. The Driving Oz production kit includes a Sony PXW-X70 Camcorder, Sony A7II Digital Mirrorless Camera, some 4K Sony Action Cams plus a Sony Digital UWP Wireless Microphone package, Sony Monitoring Headphones, Manfrotto Rolling Travel Case and a copy of the industry's best editing software Avid's Media Composer for post production. The package offers them the best in image and sound acquisition in an unbelievably lightweight and compact size — perfect for the Tetris-style packing required for a family to fit their lives into camper/trailer and car for the next year.   We will be staying up to date with the Roadley family on their adventures and encouraging our network of industry friends to helps us to help them in raising awareness and funds for this important cause. So please share their story, donate to their MyCause page and keep the conversation open around your workplace, community, friends and family.

Why do we need to help Lifeline Australia and MindDog?

Suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44. The overall suicide rate in 2014 was 12.0 per 100,000 in Australia. This is the highest rate in 10 years. The most recent Australian data (ABS, Causes of Death, 2014) reports deaths due to suicide in 2014 at 2,864. This equates to almost eight deaths by suicide in Australia each day. Most deaths by suicide in Australia are males, accounting for about three-quarters. However, during the past decade, there has been an increase in suicide deaths by females. The suicide rate amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is more than double the national rate. In 2014, suicide accounted for 5.2% of all Indigenous deaths compared to 1.8% for non-Indigenous people. For every death by suicide, it is estimated that as many as 30 people attempt to end their lives. That is approximately 65,300 suicide attempts each year. Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Somewhere in Australia there is a new call to Lifeline every minute.   mindDog Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to help people procure, train and accredit psychiatric assistance dogs. A mindDog comes in many shapes and sizes, and may look different to other assistance dogs experienced by the public previously. Clients of mindDog are supported to find a suitable dog, train and eventually pass a public access test. Just like other assistance dogs, mindDogs are required access to public spaces in order to fulfill their duties. MEET LUNA Luna is Paul’s Mental Health Assistance Dog, MHAD (also known as a Service Dog). Luna is trained through mindDog Australia. Luna has saved Paul’s life by being there when he is really struggling. Luna senses Paul’s emotional/stress levels and responds when required, without being given a single verbal command. To read more about Luna - read her page on the Driving Oz with the Black Dog website   We also celebrated Kirstine's birthday with the Videocraft Melbourne team, so there was chocolate cake all around!

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Improved Read and Write Speed for Sony SxS PRO+ E Series Memory Card

Sony’s new E Series of SxS Pro+ cards is now available with improved write speed of up to 400MB/s. Designed specifically for 4K video recording.

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Sony expands FS series with new FS7 II camcorder

Sony is expanding its Super 35mm FS series with the new FS7 II camcorder. The latest model builds on the original FS7’s strengths by adding advanced features including Electronic Variable ND technology, a lever-lock E-mount and a new mechanical design for faster and easier set-up. The new FS7 II camcorder supports Sony’s α Mount system, which includes more than 70 lenses to suit every budget and requirement. While Sony's FS7 it remains in the professional camcorder line-up, the new FS7 II will equip creative professionals with a broader range of creative tools and features that Sony derived from actively listening to end users’ feedback. Designed for long-form shooting and production applications, the new FS7 II camcorder is extremely suitable for documentaries and independent filmmaking. Here is a rundown of the key new features of the FS7 II:   Electronic Variable ND Technology

Sony’s FS7 II camcorder’s Electronic Variable ND filter system, combined with its large sensor, delivers greater exposure control with the option of preset or variable operation modes. Variable ND mode (clear + 2~7 stop range, in seamless transition steps up to 1/128) allows users to adjust the density of the ND filter during shooting and achieve seamless transition between steps. The camcorder’s expanded ND operations enable fine exposure adjustment by relegating iris to set depth of field, preventing soft focus caused by diffraction and color shift caused by stacking multiple external ND filters. The camcorder can compensate for exposure fluctuation caused by iris control while adjusting the depth of field. Users can adjust exposure while keeping the same bokeh in changing shooting or lighting environments. Preset mode allows users to assign three ND settings to the filter turret, which is extremely useful, for example, in selecting the most appropriate filtration range for changing light conditions. Auto ND mode is also available, allowing exposure to stay at a fixed level while adjusting the depth of field with iris control. E-mount (lever lock type) for Professional ShootingWith the new E-mount (lever lock type), Sony’s FS7 II allows the change of lenses by rotating the locking collar rather than the lens itself. Therefore, users can save considerable amount of time during production as they do not need to remove the lens support rigs.               Mechanical Design EnhancementsLike its counterparts in the FS series family – the FS7 and FS5 models – the new FS7 II features several design and ergonomic updates for comfortable and functional use in the field. The FS7 II’s “tool-less” mechanical design allows users to make on-the-fly changes to the camcorder’s set-up and operation. For example, no tools are required to adjust the Smart Grip or viewfinder positions. The viewfinder eyepiece provides a third stabilizing contact point during handheld shooting. Durable square section rods and lever-clamps on the LCD and camera body provide simple and precise front-to-back VF adjustment while retaining level positioning.             New 18-110mm Sony G lensSony is also introducing a new E-mount, Super 35mm lens specifically designed for documentary and motion picture production. The new lens, model E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS (SELP18110G[1]), covers Super 35mm and APSC sensors. Compact and lightweight (1.1Kg) with an 18 to 110 focal range (6x zoom), the new lens uses a new fully mechanical/servo zoom switchable system, capable of snap zooms and entirely devoid of lag. The focal range is also optimized for Super 35 and APS-C sensors. The lens is compatible with Sony’s α Mount system cameras, including the α7 series interchangeable-lens cameras and professional Super 35mm 4K camcorders such as Sony’s FS7 or FS5. Although perfectly suited for still image taking, filmmakers will fully appreciate the lens’ extended creative capabilities for shooting motion images. The lens benefits from Sony’s Smooth Motion Optics (SMO) design, developed to optimize performance during motion image capture. The lens design eliminates undesirable characteristics and artifacts that do not affect still image taking, but can severely limit a lens’ usefulness for motion shooting, such as:
  • Ramping: F stop gradually diminishes when zooming tight.
  • Not holding focus while zooming.
  • Breathing (angle of view variation while focusing).
  • Optical axis shift (image moves in the frame while zooming).
  XQD Cards The FS7 II supports the XQD memory card format, designed for capturing and transferring high bandwidth, high resolution files. Sony’s latest XQD card, QD-G256E – with an industry-first 256 GB capacity – enables recording time of approximately 45 minutes at 4K 60P and 3.5 hours at 2K 30P. Combined with a read speed of 440MB/s and write speed 400MB/s, users can shoot for longer without the need to change media cards.   The new FS7 II is planned to be available from January 2017 onwards[1]Due to a change in the specifications, the SELP18110G is not compatible with the SEL14TC and SEL20TC teleconverters.

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NAB Show 2016 - Day 1 Highlights

The first day of the NAB Show has wrapped up in Vegas. The Videocraft team on the ground have been posting snippets of what is on the show floor and we have been wading through the press release announcements here at the office. Here are a few things that caught our eye and there will be more, make sure you are following us on social media (see the links in the footer of this page) for the most up-to-date information.

  We highlighted the Sony Press conference on our social media yesterday but in case you missed it, you can view it here . Sony's key announcements were across a wide range of products including a NEW 4K HDR Monitor the PVMX550 which supports High Dynamic Range display and a wide colour gamut supporting DCI-P3 and most of the ITU-R BT.2020 standard. It also has inbuilt a quad view display, with Individual settings of EOTF(SDR/HDR), colour space, Transfer Matrix, Color Temperature, contrast, brightness, SDI/HDMI, RGB/YCBCR, etc. for each display There was a new recorder for F5 and F55 Cameras announced - the AXS-R7. Compared to previous Sony 4K recorders, the AXS-R7 Portable Memory Recorder doubles 4K RAW recording from 60 fps up to 120 fps from the F55 camera*. For shooting at higher frame rates, the recorder captures 2K RAW at up to 240 fps from the F55 and F5, for playback with 10x super slow motion.** Note that the 4K RAW 120 fps recording only available for F55. And also the AXS-R7 Portable Memory Recorder is not compatible with the HXR-IFR5 interface unit. Another interesting camera development was the NEW PXW-Z450 an XDCAM Camcorder with a wide range of recording options including 4K QFHD (3840x2160) at 50p/59.94p, as well as a variety of HD formats including XAVC Intra, XAVC Long GOP, MPEG HD 422 and MPEG HD 420. Thanks to a specially-developed 4K 2/3-type Exmor R CMOS sensor, the PXW-Z450 is ideal for a wide variety of 4K operations, allowing you to use a wide range of commercially available B4 mount lenses without having to use an adapter. It also has great networking features such as built-in wireless module, embedded RJ-45 Ethernet 100B-T connector and Near Field Communication (NFC) function for easy Wireless LAN setup and operation via a mobile or tablet with Sony’s Content Browser Mobile™ application. There was also some great discussion on the 2nd generation of their Optical Disc Archive solution and a release of generation 2 products including a stand alone disk archive drive unit and new 3.3TB write once optical discs. Sony has a long white paper on their generation 2 ODA solution which is a lengthy read, but if your're interested, you can find it on their website here
  A surprise is not that Ross Video just keep innovating, but how great to see them hit the ground at NAB with a camera offering. If you missed our social media posts about it yesterday, Ross Video have released the Acid Cam purpose built for Studio production. It integrates perfectly with their robotics systems such as the Furio Remote Control system in Videocraft's rental fleet (you would have seen it on the Arias Red carpet). There are two models in the range - the ACID H200 is a full HD 1080P, 3 imager camera that utilizes the very latest 2/3” UAIT CMOS sensors that provide unrivaled performance of the very highest quality. Sensitivity, Signal to Noise and overall picture resolution are unmatched by any competitor with its three 2.6 Mega Pixel image sensors and standard 2/3” B4 lens mount. For moderate budgets and less critical applications, there is the ACID Z50. This is an excellent three CCD sensor 1080i/720P HD camera. This camera is also equipped with the UltraChromeHR output to provide a cost effective solution for awesome keying when combined with the Ross UltrachromeHR chroma keyer. Its lightweight, yet rugged construction also makes it the perfect companion for the Ross Robotic Furio Pan/Tilt heads for legislative bodies, House of Worship, educational, and corporate communication systems. For more information check out the Ross Video webpage
  An interesting one for Post-Production was the announcement of Avid NEXIS. Avid NEXIS is the world’s first and only software-defined storage platform, enabling fully virtualized storage for all media environments. What does that translate to for you? The NEXIS intelligent software system does some incredibly powerful things like offer a real-time scalable set of definable/resizable workspaces and a solid protection scheme that can cover you for up to 5 drive failures. Intelligent also means it is a media aware next-generation file system with pre-integrated hardware, which means it’s purpose built and tested to work as a cohesive system (unlike generic storage and third party software). The bottom line is that NEXIS delivers unrivaled flexibility, scalability, control, and extensibility not only to the Avid MediaCentral™ Platform, but also key workflow enabling third-party media applications like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X, so you can meet any production challenge. From the smallest production teams to the largest media enterprises, NEXIS is the only storage platform with the flexibility to easily scale and grow with you at every stage of your business. For more information check out the Avid Blog page about NEXIS.
  Miller Tripods announced a new Arrow X Series of fluid heads - key feature is the 16 Counterbalance PLUS settings so you can add in half settings and are able to rig or re-rig your setup as required. Watch the launch video which covers most of the main points or read their press release for more details. There are three new models in the Arrow X Series - X3, X5 and X7
  As always, there was lots to say from our friends at Blackmagic Design in press releases. They also released a 50 minute video overview of all their announcements on their site and you can view it here - yes, there are more than a dozen and we found these ones were certainly interesting. First up was the new Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder, a high resolution 7” studio viewfinder with variable tension mounting points, tally, external controls. For those of you who have already purchased an URSA Mini, then you will be excited by the announcement of the FREE OS providing URSA Mini with a new user interface and heads up display, which dramatically reduces the number of menus and sub-menus needed to find specific settings and commands. You can now quickly change settings such as ISO, white balance, shutter angle, iris, frame rate, frame guides and more without ever having to navigate through any menus. There are now custom white balance and white balance presets, along with tint control settings. Customers also get more accurate shutter angle selection, including a large easy to use on screen keyboard for easy entry of settings. When entering the shutter angle, the new URSA Mini camera OS will even offer smart flicker free shutter angle suggestions to assist the camera operator. For recording and monitoring you could also take a look at the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K features two built in high speed UHS-II recorders that work with the latest high performance SD cards, making them fast enough to record Ultra HD video up to 2160p30 on widely available, inexpensive SD cards. Files are saved as broadcast quality 10-bit 4:2:2 video in either ProRes or DNxHD formats, making them compatible with all popular editing software, so you can start editing immediately without having to transcode or convert files. Recording can be triggered to start and stop using LANC or over HDMI or SDI from the camera. With two built in recorders, customers get non-stop recording because when one card is full it automatically continues onto the next. Not sure if Blackmagic are going for best pocket-sized product awards - they introduced the Blackmagic Micro Converter SDI to HDMI and Blackmagic Micro Converter HDMI to SDI, two new super small, pocket size broadcast quality video converters. This converts signals from professional broadcast equipment such as cameras, decks, switchers and routers into HDMI so customers can monitor video using big screen televisions and projectors. The Micro Convertors are powered via the same micro USB connection that’s used on smartphones so customers can use the included DC plug pack, any USB device, or even a smartphone charger to power the converters. If multiple inputs and monitoring are your thing, then check out the Blackmagic MultiView 4, a new multi viewer that lets customers monitor 4 completely independent SDI video sources on a single display. Customers can monitor any combination of SD, HD and Ultra HD formats and frame rates all at the same time. Blackmagic MultiView 4 can output to regular HD monitors, however, when customers plug in an Ultra HD display, they will get four times the resolution of a simple HD only multi viewer.   Connecting and controlling formats is hard work, so why not try the latest product announcement from Blackmagic Design featuring the latest 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 technology. UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 has a wide range of digital and analogue connections and is designed to work with virtually all formats ranging from SD and HD all the way up to Ultra HD and digital cinema. Thunderbolt 3 performance allows customers to work with the highest quality 12-bit RGB and highest frame rate video, including stereoscopic 3D and DCI 4K, making it perfect for high end feature film, television and commercial work. UltraStudio 4K Extreme features a hardware codec that can encode in real time into the new H.265 format. Well, with the Shogun and Ninja Flame products hitting our inboxes and showrooms only weeks ago, here we are again with a new fire burning in our pockets for latest release from Atomos - the Shogun Inferno is the combination of the most advanced monitor technologies – 1500nit/10bit/HDR, the latest recording capability – 4Kp60 over Quad-SDI, along with playback and editing functionality that encourages on set collaboration. Shogun Inferno makes mastering a high resolution, high frame rate, high dynamic range workflow available to all filmmakers. Read more on the Atomos Website.

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Sony releases S-LOG LUTs for F55, F5, FS7, FS5 and FS700 Cameras

Sony has released a number of Look Profiles (3d LUTs) as well as a PDF file with information detailing the technical sides of S-Log and S-Gamut.

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Firmware Update: Sony PZW-FS7 Camera v3.10

This software adds the following functionality:

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Sony introduces PXW-Z150 compact professional camcorder

Sony has announced the PXW-Z150, the latest addition to its XDCAM range of lightweight, easy to use professional camcorders with new functionality to enable wireless operation and 4K*1 high quality shooting. The flexible, effortless set-up capabilities of the portable PXW-Z150 enables content creators of all experience levels to deliver impressive imagery for content and events shooting scenarios, no matter how tight their brief. The PXW-Z150 features a 1.0 type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor, providing users with spectacular 4K recording and impressive 5x slow motion in Full HD - essential functionality for content creators looking to deliver corporate or personal productions to the highest quality. Go beyond what’s been traditionally possible with a camcorder. Catch every moment in up to 120 frames per second (fps) High Frame Rate continuous recording, in full HD quality. The Clear Image Zoom technology operates at 24x zoom and 18x zoom in HD and 4K modes respectively, in addition to the standard optical 12x zoom. The single 20 megapixel*2 1.0 type large sensor size offers clear pictures even in low light, giving filmmakers superb clarity and sharpness, opening up opportunities for flexible shooting in a variety of environments. In response to rising expectations in the fast paced corporate industry, users can now enjoy live streaming capabilities and FTP wireless connectivity with built-in Wi-Fi. Ensuring creative expression isn’t subject to an extensive set up; the PXW-Z150 is ergonomically designed to facilitate shooting with ease. The compact, lightweight body includes integration with advanced features, removing the need for multiple external accessories. The built-in 4-step ND filter is included to offer the flexibility of exposure and depth-of-field control, and the Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe avoids cabling with easy integration between the PXW-Z150 and Sony’s peripherals, such as the UWP-D series wireless microphones. The PXW-Z150 can be easily controlled by a smartphone or tablet using a Wi-Fi connection, and has a battery life which delivers a remarkable 400*3 minutes continuous recording time – allowing you to always be on hand to capture what’s needed. High visibility is delivered with the wide view-angle and high contrast 0.39-type 1440K OLED viewfinder, alongside the 3.5-type 1550K LCD panel. The PXW-Z150 lends itself to a variety of environments and editing requirements, supporting the conventional broadcasting format MPEG2HD (50Mbps/35Mbps) in addition to Sony’s advanced XAVC (Long GOP) format. The PXW-Z150 provides a wide variety of built-in connectivity options including professional standard 3G-SDI, dual XLR inputs, HDMI, USB, REMOTE and composite (phono), eliminating the need for adapters. To extend recording times and workflow flexibility, the camcorder is equipped with two memory card slots and is compatible with SDXC and SDHC cards. The dual media slots enable various recording options such as backup, simultaneous and relay recording. “We wanted to introduce a portable camcorder which supports our customers in demanding situations, where there is the need for a solution that provides a quick set-up and high quality creative options,” said Anthony Kable, Senior Product Manager, Sony Australia. “The compact, lightweight camera body coupled with high quality creative features and 4K capability gives filmmakers the tools needed to take their work to the next level, whether it’s corporate, event or online videography. Clients’ expectations within the creative landscape are constantly evolving and content creators need solutions that can not only provide high quality images, but also deliver this in a timely and professional manner. The effortless set-up ensures flexible shooting, while the Wi-Fi integration means you can take advantage of live streaming, ensuring the PXW-Z150 is ready when you are.”   Key features of the PXW-Z150

  • 4K high quality shooting with a 1.0-type Exmor RS image sensor and premium G lens
The PXW-Z150 supports 4K*1 XAVC Long maximum 100Mbps high quality shooting. The 1.0-type Exmor RS image sensor provides high sensitivity and high performance in low light environments. The high-speed read-out ensures high-speed motion shooting with minimum distortion. Videographers can deliver high resolution and contrast from the centre to the edge of the lens, with the high performance 4K-compatible 29-348mm wide-angle lens with 12x optical zoom.
  • Use on a wide range of applications with 120fps slow motion, rich recording formats and network functions
The camcorder supports full HD 120fps continuous high-speed shooting, which enables 5x slow motion expression. High quality FHD XAVC Long 4:2:2 10bit 50Mbps and the broadcasting format MPEG2HD (50Mbps/35Mbps) are also supported. Users can take advantage of the advanced network functions – such as the camcorder’s built-in Wi-Fi for live streaming capabilities (QoS will be supported by a firmware update) and FTP wireless connections - to integrate wireless workflows, enabling users to keep pace with ever changing client deadlines.
  • High operability and rich interface, within a compact and lightweight body
The PXW-Z150 provides extended functionality with 3 independent lens rings, in addition to high visibility with wide view-angle and high contrast 0.39-type 1440K OLED viewfinder and 3.5-type 1550K LCD panel. Sony’s MI Shoe wireless microphone receivers are supported, increasing the mobility and limiting the need for external cables and multiple accessories. The camcorders rich interface includes: 3G-SDI, HDMI, XLR, Cold Shoe and REMOTE. In addition to this, dual media slots facilitate various recording options such as backup, simultaneous and relay recording.   Notes: *1 4K (3840x2160) up to 30P is supported *2 14.2 million effective pixels *3 Using optional NP-F970 battery while recording XAVC 1080/50i or 60i, 50 Mbps with LCD on.

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Sony's PXW-X500 XDCAM HD Camcorder - Rental Product of the Week

Over many years, we have been using the Sony PDWF800 as our ‘go-to’ camera for almost all things that needed a 2/3” ENG camera. The F800 has been a real workhorse for our clients, but over time we have been wanting a camera that can do everything that the F800 can, but with less weight, lower power consumption, and faster ingest for fast turnaround TV workflow.

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Firmware Update: Sony PMW-F55/F5 Version V7.01 Released

This document explains about firmware update of PMW-F55/F5 V7.01 from PMW-F55/F5 V6.02. This firmware can be updated from V6.02, V6.01, V6.00, V5.11, V5.10, V5.0, V4.12, V4.11, V4.1, V4.0, V3.0, V2.11, V2.1 and V2.0. When you want to update F55 and F5 from V1.22 and earlier, you must update to V2.0 first. Regarding the procedure and functions about V2.0, please refer to “PMW-F55/F5 Firmware Version V2.0 Release note” which was released on Oct 4th, 2013. And F55 and F5 must not be downgraded to previous versions after updating to V2.11. We couldn’t guarantee any troubles after downgrading. An “All File” saved by a previous firmware version can be loaded to V7.01 of F55 and F5. On the other hand, “ALL File” created by V7.01 is not compatible with F55/F5 installing earlier firmware version. NOTE: The new Firmware V7.01 for PMW-F55/F5 is only compatible with AXS-R5 running with Firmware V4.1. If your AXS-R5 has installed an older Version, please update to current Firmware V4.1 the same time. Quick menu Quick Menu has been added for easy changing and checking current status with quick response. When you press the OPTION button on F55 and F5, the Quick Menu is displayed in the sub display. The quick menu deploys up to eight often-used setting items in the six categories (Project/Monitoring/MLUT/Media/Viewfinder/Others). MPEG2 Proxy recording on XAVC 4K or XAVC QFHD in 50P/59.94P When the recording format is set to XAVC 4K or XAVC QFHD and the system frequency is set to 50P/59.94P, the MPEG2 HD Proxy recording function is newly available. ITU-R BT.2020 color space in Custom mode (PMW-F55 only) ITU-R BT.2020 is added to the “Preset Select” setting value in“Matrix” of the Paint menu. ITU-R BT.2020 is available for the output signal of the 4K or QFHD or video recorded on XAVC 4K or XAVC QFHD. Note: 2K/HD output signal or viewfinder works on Rec.709 when ITU-R BT.2020 selected. And when the playback picture recorded on ITU-R BT.2020 is output via 2K or HD of F55, the video image does not have correct colors because of playing back 2020 materials on Rec.709 signal output. Extended range of zebra pattern The range of “Zebra1 Level” in the VF menu is extended from “50% to 107%” to “0% to 107%” and that of “Zebra2 Level” is extended from “52% to 109%” to “0% to 109%.” F55 and F5 can show 18% Gray and 90% White output IRE level by zebra pattern on S-Log2 and S-Log3 operations. (e.g. S-Log3 18% Gray output IRE level: 41%, S-Lgo3 90% White output IRE level: 61%. S-Log2 18% Gray output IRE level: 32%, S-Log2 90% White output IRE level: 59%) “Project” Category in quick menu Improved image quality when User Gamma is used When you apply the User Gamma created for the HDC series to F55 and F5, picture quality has been improved by adjusting the pedestal level. Response of the status screen has been improved The toggling speed of the status screen displayed on the viewfinder and external video monitor was improved. Bug Fix When the remote controller was connected via the remote connector and Scene File was recalled from the controller, Gain setting was not applied. This has been fixed. Note: Please store scene file in dB mode. If you store scene file in ISO mode, gain setting is not applied from the controller. In AXS and SxS simultaneous recording mode, sometimes SxS recording kept despite of AXS recording stopped when connection level is not stable between F55/F5 and R5. This has been fixed. 1. iOS setting for Wi-Fi Remote While using Wi-Fi Remote by iOS devices and Safari, please turn off Private browse function. << Version up procedure >> Please refer to “Version Up Guide for PMW-F55 and F5”. For PMW-F55: PMW-F55_V700_7.01_10_2016-01-22_11-35-03_firmware.bin For PMW-F5: PMW-F5_V700_7.01_9_2016-01-22_11-41-04_firmware.bin EOF  

Please visit the Sony FTP site to download

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Firmware Update: Sony HXR-NX3 Camera v2.00

Sony has announced the v2.00 software release for the HXR-NX3 cameras. The big feature addition is XAVC-S support.

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Sony PMWPZ1 Firmware V1.10 Released

PMW-PZ1 v1.10

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Sony PXWX500 Firmware V3.0 Released

PXW-X500 v3.00

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Videocraft Review: Ikan Beholder Gimbal System

The Ikan Beholder MS1 Mirrorless Gimbal Stabilizer brings the simplicity and flexibility of a handheld gimbal stabilizer to the world of mirrorless cameras. It features a 3-axis, motorized gimbal designed to keep your camera level and isolated from hand shake while allowing you to create smooth, organic moving camera shots. The MS1 features two operational modes: a following mode that smoothes your camera movements and a lock mode that will hold your camera in its position as you move. The Ikan Beholder features a thumb button/joystick which you use to select modes. You can also use the joystick to pan and tilt your camera on the gimbal. Main Features:

  • Supports Cameras Up to 1.9 Pounds
  • 3-Axis Stabilizer
  • Sliding Base Plate with 1/4"-20 Screw
  • Removable Li-Ion Batteries
  • USB Charging Port in Handle
Note: Camera not included. Supports Sony A7Sand Panasonic GH4.
  • Sony A7S
  • Sony A7II
  • GH4, GH3, GH7
  • A6000
  • NX500
  • Canon G6
  • RX100 - with included adapter plate
  • NEX series

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Sony introduces the new 4K compact Super35 PXW-FS5 professional camcorder

Providing ultimate handheld shooting and complete creative control to a wider audience. Enabling professionals to shoot in any style, at any angle, anywhere Sony has announced the PXW-FS5, the latest addition to its rugged range of professional camcorders that combine flexible shooting with superior creative features. The versatile “grab and shoot” style PXW-FS5 enables unsurpassed on-the-go shooting in the most demanding of conditions. Complementing the successful PXW-FS7, this compact camcorder delivers high quality imagery suitable for a range of professional applications, from event videography to corporate and online video production. The PXW-FS5 is ergonomically designed with the user in mind - the light 0.8kg body has excellent weight balance ensuring reliability and comfortable all-day handheld shooting, for almost any location, even airborne mounted on a drone. Ease of use for a variety of shooting applications is possible with the one-touch rotatable grip - all of the key controls are at the user's fingertips allowing for ultimate shooting flexibility and fast switch-over between low or high angle shooting. In response to user demand for more ergonomic flexibility, the 3.5-inch type LCD panel can be attached to different positions on the handle or the compact camera body, further supporting easy handheld operation and offering customisable shooting. On-board 4K and HD XAVC recording combined with a Super35 Exmor™ CMOS sensor incorporating 11.6 million pixels and 8.3 million effective pixels allow capture of detail and image texture that even HD sensors cannot see. The high sensitivity and large size of the sensor delivers background defocus, increased low-light sensitivity and lower image noise coupled with stunning picture quality. High quality imagery is further ensured by High Frame Rate cache recording at 10-bit 4:2:2 in Full HD with an incredibly high frame rate of up to 240fps, in 8 second bursts, making 10x Super Slow Motion possible without sacrificing bit depth or loss of image quality. The PXW-FS5 is the world’s first* Super35mm camcorder to feature built-in electronic variable ND filters, further supporting the use of shallow depth of field with the large-format sensor and enabling flexible exposure control, encouraging the user to reach their full creative potential. Professionals can push their work to the next level with a high-end cinematic look to footage, coupled with the mobility of the camcorder. Integrating easily with other camera lenses, the α Mount System offers unsurpassed compatibility with both Sony and third-party lenses. The PXW-FS5’s E-mount can take virtually any lens – from Sony’s E-mount and A-mount lenses to a whole world of other SLR lenses via adaptors, ensuring the camcorder can be used in many shooting environments. The PXW-FS5 is available body only, or as the PXW-FS5K kit model which includes a compact 18-105mm F4 E-mount power zoom lens (SELP18105G), enabling single-handed zoom operation and allowing ease of framing, even in difficult shooting locations. The camcorder offers enhanced interfaces include 3G-SDI, HDMI output and SD dual card slots for recording. Equipped with Wi-Fi and a wired LAN terminal, the PXW-FS5 features enhanced network functions such as file transfer and streaming transmission. Furthermore, a future firmware update will provide RAW output. “At last year’s IBC we launched the PXW-FS7, which changed the way many television programmes, documentaries and film productions could be made. With that in mind and building on the great success of the PXW-FS7, we’re introducing a lighter more compact camcorder, the PXW-FS5,” said Nick Buchner, Senior Product Manager for Content Creation with Sony Australia and New Zealand. “The PXW-FS5 presents unrivalled flexibility coupled with complete creative control, equipping professionals with all the tools needed to exceed any brief. It stands apart in the current market as a comfortable handheld, lightweight camera, which at the same time delivers high quality imagery for content creation spanning genres such as corporate shooting, indie production, cinematic wedding videography, online and event videography. Users will have all the practical and creative functionality at their disposal, leaving them without any limits to realise their full potential.” *as a Super35mm camcorder with integrated electronic variable ND filter, based on Sony research. Key features of the PXW-FS5• Flexible handheld shooting with a compact 0.8kg lightweight body The lightweight body with excellent weight balance ensures comfortable handheld shooting as well as an easy fit with a drone or gimbal. The one-touch rotatable grip makes it quick and easy to switch between low or high angle shooting. Shooting parameters can be changed with one hand even during recording thanks to the multi-functional grip. In the same way a power zoom lens can be operated with a single hand. The detachable handle, one-touch rotatable grip and flexible LCD panel support varied shooting styles. • Creative expressive performance, including 4K shooting and 240fps high-speed shooting The camcorder is equipped with an 11.6 million pixel Super35 Exmor™ CMOS Sensor, enabling 4K XAVC long GoP video shooting. It is the world’s first Super35mm camcorder with a built-in electronic variable ND filter, supporting linear control from 1/4ND to 1/128ND and further expanding the creative use of depth of field. 10x times Super Slow Motion capture is possible thanks to the 10-bit 4:2:2 Full HD 240fps High Frame Rate, with no sensor cropping. Low light capabilities and background defocus are heightened by the high sensitivity and large sensor size. On top of this, the 14 stops of exposure latitude deliver strong grayscale rendition without crushing shadows or blowing-out highlight details. • Variety of shooting applications and rich network functions The camcorder is equipped with enhanced interfaces including 3G-SDI, 4K HDMI output, Multi-Interface shoe, dual SD memory card slots, integrated Wi-Fi and wired LAN terminal, supporting various system configurations. The Clear Image Zoom feature allows users to zoom in up to 2x, even with a fixed focal length lens.   There is a great collection of videos on the Sony You Tube Camera Channel you can view them by clicking here

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C3 Church Presence Conference captures quality vision with Videocraft’s new Sony HDC2400 studio cameras

The system was designed by Videocraft’s engineering team and built onsite across 3 key areas: Videocraft’s Mobile Production Centre was configured as the Camera Control Unit production space for four CCU positions. Alongside was a site shed containing the system backbone including the extensive EVS and Avid ISIS 7000 systems. The external master control room was built in the back dock of the QCU Arena, utilising the latest in IP technology to minimise connectivity between these locations.

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So what did Videocraft take away from the NAB Show in 2015?

While everyone has their own take on the show depending on what interests them, here is what our very own James Taylor (@VideocraftJames) took from NAB this year. 4K is everywhere now. This was absolutely the case, with pretty much every company having 4K logos on their gear. Obviously 4K has been around for a while now in digital cinema production, but is now a real option to now produce 4K for live television. I may be jaded and cynical, but walking between all of the stands I felt that 4K on big TV’s did not feel as ‘special’ as maybe I would have hoped. But with an exception: the new hope is not more pixels, but High Dynamic Range (HDR), also defined as a new standard, BT.2020.

We have had image sensors for quite a while now with fantastic ability to handle dark areas and highlights in a RAW mode for later grading, but very simply it is about choosing what you want to throw away in post. The idea of HDR is that the performance of the imager can be more faithfully produced, and coupled with a wider colour gamut I had found this so much more impressive. The colour reproduction was so much better, and having the ability to see in to dark areas without the bright areas blowing out was a revelation to see on a domestic style screen. I would personally choose HDR images over ultimate resolution, but I suppose we get both. If we all have to go through the upheaval of changing everything to 4K, I feel that the extra pixels really did not add anything to experience if we are still constrained by the current 709 colour space used in HD systems. So, look out for HDR!   Using IP infrastructure to replace traditional video cabling. I think that NAB 2015 could be defined as the year where IP infrastructure could be defined as a real thing, and all of the big companies had large amounts of new toys on their stands all vying to be the ‘new standard’, within the SMPTE ratified standards, if that makes sense! Right now, it is very much a product line for the top end of town, and I think that there will be a fair bit of pain and suffering over the next few years as everyone tries to establish their place on the market. I found it interesting that while I always thought that the idea was to be able to use standard (although high end) IT infrastructure, at this time I don’t think that that really is the case. When I look at what has happened in professional audio over the years, many standards have come and gone, and only now are we really starting to see some possibility of audio over IP systems talking together with the AES67 standard. It is absolutely the way of the future, and I am excited about it, but right now I do have total interoperability with my copper (or fibre) HD SDI cable which will go between any brand of equipment, but right now I don’t think I would be able to as easily achieve that on IP. We only have to look at the myriad of file types in post-production workflows now to imagine what our future could look like!   The 8K Sideshow. The Japanese, driven by NHK are driving 8K demands, and while it is amazing at the data rates we are seeing, it does feel a very long way off when you live in a country with the bulk of free to air TV is being delivered in heavily compressed SD. It was such a pleasure to watch good-looking HD broadcasts over in the US, and I continued to marvel at what HD should look like, and lament what could have been for HD in Australia. It all feels like something that is being pushed on us so the TV manufacturers can make us buy new TV’s… I think also exactly the same reason why we need 4K! Amazing technology though that when you think in DSLR speak, these cameras are taking a 33 mega pixel still 60 times a second…   Sony Optical Disc Archive. I wasn’t really intending to focus on a particular brand, but I suppose it is my opinion and I really liked it for a lot of things we do! We have been using (and will continue to use) LTO tape as our long term archive solution. I won’t go in to the whole reason why we go to tape, but suffice to say that if your archive is on a single hard drive, then it is not an archive! The Sony Optical Disk archive system has matured, and it has had some major new clients over the past year apparently. What we like about it is that we have an archive grade media system with random access, and that is a huge advantage. In conjunction with an archive system, such as Storage DNA, it really makes it possible to use an archive media as a nearline storage system without having to have another pile of hard drives just to park your media away from your really expensive online storage. Extra capacity is as easy as buying more cartridges, and you have media that is more stable than tape. I could go on about it for hours, but I really do see this as the ideal archive system for the needs of the Digital Cinema and TV industry. We will be pursuing this further once we get back to Australia, so stay tuned! They were the main things that I took from NAB this year, and I know that there were lots of other things out there that I didn’t even get time to look at! Enjoy!

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Videocraft provides NSCC with Hybrid Broadcast Production Facility

With a broadcast facility entering its twelfth year, it was clear to the team at the North Shore Christian Centre (NSCC) that an upgrade was well overdue. With weekly services and a half-hour TV program on TVS Channel 41 to produce, the facility was rapidly coming to its end of life - something NSCC Operational Pastor Ross Stewart turned to Videocraft for help with.
Stewart explained, “Our facility was over twelve years old and some of the equipment was almost thirty years old. We needed a major upgrade that would give us higher quality pictures for our live services and broadcast TV programme. We also wanted to go 16:9. As Videocraft specialises in these types of broadcast facilities and solutions we put together a tender and asked them for their advice.” Stewart met with Videocraft NSW state manager Andy Liell to discuss requirements, options and critically, budget. He continued, “We had a budget but it was one that required Videocraft to be creative and I’m delighted to say there were. We simply didn’t have the money to purchase all new equipment, so Andy put together an amazing deal based on a hybrid solution consisting of their best high quality rental equipment and some brand new kit.” The Videocraft solution included four Sony BVP-E30 SD triax camera chains and a Panasonic AV-HS450 vision switcher with Venitex Aux Bus control panels providing the NSCC with simple switching for two stage side screens independent of the broadcast feed. Stewart added, “The solution was a good one and the way Videocraft installed the switching console so we could overlay song lyrics over live video was particularly clever. Andy also designed the system so we could independently switch the side screens from the broadcast cut using the flexibility and versatility of the Panasonic vision switcher. It was very clear that Videocraft understand how to utilise the full potential of the AV-HS450 and how, by using third party add-ons, we could achieve a very cost effective workflow.” The Videocraft installation also integrated AJA Ki Pro hard disk recorders that enabled a fully file based workflow for the NSCC’s post requirements, a Ross router, Sony monitoring, new Sony projectors, Fujinon ENG and box lenses and all back end glue, wiring and cabling. As the NSCC facility is staffed by volunteers, ease of use was something that had particular attention paid to it with Stewart commenting, “Our volunteers are not broadcast industry professionals so Videocraft had to take that into consideration. The broadcast facility we now have is simple to use and yet gives us very high quality results. It’s a great example of how Videocraft have created a full broadcast facility on a very tight budget. As a result we have all our bases covered as, by upconverting, we are able to produce HD content for all our in house requirements whilst delivering an SD master for broadcast. Our aim is to upgrade to HD cameras in the near future. The other points worth mentioning were around Videocraft’s expertise and professional approach. Nothing was too much trouble, we were able to test before we purchased and no question was ever left unanswered.”  

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New Australian Multi-Platform Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror Series uses Fujinon Cabrio Lenses, Sony F5 Cameras and Videocraft

VETUS is a new multi-platform Australian sci-fi/fantasy/horror live action web series, comic book and video game set in 15th century Romania. Directed by Alan Chen and starring Mia Pistorius (Wonderland, Spartacus) as Rosa and Jai Koutrae (Terminus, The Half Dead) as Vlad that used Videocraft as an equipment partner and a Sony F5 camera and Fujinon Cabrio lens combo to shoot its live action. Producer and cinematographer on VETUS Benjamin Shepherd explained, “I have been working on-set with the Sony F5 for sometime now, so much so that I fell in love with it and had to add it to my kit. It’s such a versatile camera, you can spec up or down depending on the type of project and its requirement. I have found it serves as a great camera for about 70% of my work. I am still a big advocate in picking the right tool for the right job so my approach to each project is the same. That said it’s great to see the Sony F5 come up as often as it does.”   [caption id="attachment_1923" align="aligncenter" width="433"] Sony F5 and Fujinon Cabrio lenses in use on the set of VETUS. Photo by Philip Erbacher[/caption] Shepherd had a number of technical considerations as joint cinematographer and producer when selecting the right camera and lens package for the VETUS series teaser and four character clips. He continued, “Without giving too much away the teaser film is broken up into two distinct visual styles which I wanted to achieve in camera. My approach to achieve this was to shoot the ethereal world sequence with vintage anamorphics and the rest of the sequences with spherical lenses. Anticipating that the films, especially the teaser, were to be treated with heavy VFX I needed a camera that would ideally be able to deliver at least 4K resolution and RAW. I intended to shoot the ethereal world sequence with anamorphics so the camera of choice needed to be able to handle the 2x anamorphic lenses along with a range of spherical glass. Another technical requirement was shooting the character clips off speed and doing so while at 4K RAW was an added requirement.” [caption id="attachment_1922" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Sony F5 and Fujinon Cabrio lenses in use on the set of VETUS. Photo by Philip Erbacher[/caption] Shooting out on location at Oberon in a pine forest Shepherd and the VETUS crew were dealing with rough undulating terrain and also a tight shooting schedule. The camera and lens package needed to be small and nimble as they had a reduced camera crew and didn’t want to jeopardise the Steadicam operator’s safety running with a large camera rig. Shepherd continued, “The versatility and quality of the F5 for the price point is fantastic. It can be built as a run and gun ENG style camera but then also spec’d up to a 4K RAW cinema camera. These days we are spoilt for choice with so many camera options, but I feel the Sony F5 is one of the best bang for your buck cameras in the market. The evolution of the F series has been really impressive, Sony are keeping their promises and even listening to users on their online community which says a lot considering the experiences users are having with some other camera manufacturers. The F5 is sitting in a position in the market where it can be considered for drama, documentaries and ENG productions, all without too much compromise and it won’t break the budget.” [caption id="attachment_1921" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Director Alan Chen working overseeing the performance. Photo by Philip Erbacher[/caption] The workflow on VETUS was simple and efficient. Dual recording 4K RAW on SSDs and 2K XAVC on internal SxS cards meant Shepherd walked off set with proxies ready to go. Offline was done in Adobe Premiere CC with Cutting Edge grading the teaser. As well as choosing the right camera Shepherd had a choice of equipment partners to consider. His choice was a straightforward one as he explained, “Videocraft and Panavision are my go to rental houses for the VETUS project. Videocraft being Sony specialists supplied me with specific Sony gear and also the Fujinon lenses. The Videocraft team are delightful to work with and with a relationship ongoing for close to 10 years now, they are one of my favourites. I have bought and hired plenty of gear with Shane in sales and Nick in rentals, as they have been very supportive and unknowingly a key factor to my growth as a cinematographer in the industry.” With camera and equipment partners chosen all that remained was his choice of lenses. The result was surprising according to Shepherd due to the quality he ended up achieving for the price. He added, “The Fujinon Cabrio series are such a neat set of lenses. My criteria for the spherical lenses was resolution, clarity, speed, look and feel and practicality of on-set use. When researching my options I knew I needed to produce an image that maintained the 4K resolution but at the same time wasn't overly sharp. Pulling references and reading various articles I found that the Cabrio lenses performed at their sharpest at T5.6, but for my purposes it was too sharp, the image contrast and resolution was looking a little too harsh so I shot the with the Cabrios around T4, as wide open at T2.9. They are a touch softer compared to T4 but once closed down by half a stop the image settles nicely.” Comparing the use of primes versus zooms brought in the two criteria factors of lens speed and practicality of use. Ultimately the shooting schedule and reduced camera crew in rough terrain meant we needed a swift and nimble setup, so the zooms were chosen and the Cabrio 19-90 and 85-300 lenses were able to pull through with workable speeds of T2.9 and T4 respectively. The Cabrios did such a great job and have a really nice look. For VETUS stylistically I decided to work with more mid to longer focal lengths, the Cabrios bokeh had a really nice look and the colour rendition was very natural.” On-set Shepherd set about using his F5 and Cabrio combo to the best of its capabilities. He added, “I also underrated the native ISO (2000EI) of the sensor by setting my light meter and in camera monitoring LUT to hover between 640 and 800 ISO. By over exposing the RAW I could take full advantage of the sensor’s dynamic range and data but also make sure my shadows were super crisp and as noiseless as possible. Being a dark film I wanted to make sure the image was going to have as much flexibility in the grade and VFX. I opted to use the slog3/sgamut3 as my gamma and colour gamut setting with a hypergamma as my monitoring LUT.” [caption id="attachment_1924" align="aligncenter" width="650"] The series' lead, Rosa played by Mia Pistorius, prepares for the next scene along side Alan Chen and Benjamin Shepherd. Photo by Philip Erbacher[/caption] The Sony F5 had two basic setups for two different scenes in the VETUS teaser. When the crew were shooting the ethereal world sequence they were using vintage Lomo Anamorphic lenses with the F5 configured to handle the 2x squeeze factor of the lenses which meant Shepherd could watch a de-squeezed image on-set – something he found a real bonus explaining, “That was such a great feature to have even though the Super35 sensor is a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. When shooting the rest of the sequences I was shooting with the Fujinon Cabrio spherical lenses. These lenses took advantage of the full frame of the Super35 4K sensor, therefore in camera we ran anamorphic guide frames so we could match all footage for the final aspect ratio output of 2.35:1. When we approached the VFX live action plates I ran the viewing monitor naked without any guide frames, framing with the full 1.85:1 image which meant I could give VFX as much resolution as possible.” For more on VETUS go to: or

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#NAB2014 Sony Delivers 4K Solutions From Acquisition To Distribution

by Michael Curwood

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Sony’s Enhanced Live Production System Offers Superior Performance and Flexibility in Set-up for High Definition Productions

Unveils new HSC-300R/300RF and HSC-100R/100RF studio cameras with 2/3-inch Power HAD FX CCDs for high picture quality and low noise, plus MVS-3000A multi-format switcher with added control panel options and performance features

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