Sony's LiveWire

SRMemory.  The maximum medium.

SRMemory.  The maximum medium.

Next-generation cameras need a new generation of media.

By The Sony Tech Guy | November 30, 2011

One trillion bytes in your shirt pocket.

How many hours are you willing to spend backing up your assets after a long day's shoot? What kind of data protection do you need for an indie project, a TV episode or a $100 million feature? What data rates do you need to record uncompressed 1080p high definition? Or 16-bit linear RAW at 4K and beyond? These questions aren't simply rhetorical. They're the issues Sony grappled with in developing the next generation of high-end recording media: the SRMemory card. About the size of a smart phone, the new media card neatly accommodates today's recording needs-and anticipates tomorrow's. Read More


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PsF’s missing workflow, Part 3: Sony’s AVCHD & NXCAM cameras

By Allan Tépper | October 31, 2011

In part 1 of PsF’s missing workflow, we introduced the new terms benign PsF and malignant PsF (Progressive Segmented Frame), reviewed their vital importance and fragility in post-production, and clarified the PsF status of two Panasonic professional AVCHD cameras (branded as AVCCAM). In part 2, we clarified the PsF status of the Canon XA10 professional AVCHD camera. Now, in part 3, we’ll clarify the PsF status of Sony’s professional AVCHD cameras, some of which carry the NXCAM brand.

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Join Sony at Createasphere for an in-depth exploration of the Sony Super 35mm family of cameras!

The Sony Super 35mm Intensive • Wednesday, November 2nd • Theater One • Burbank Marriott • 4:15 p.m to 6:15 p.m.

By Kristen Stamm | October 28, 2011

Juan Martinez, Senior Product Manager, will present the features and benefits of the NEX-FS100U, Sony's Super 35mm camera that opens a new world of high-quality production convenience and creativity. He will demonstrate how, thanks to the flexibility of the universal e-mount, this camera provides virtually unlimited choices in 35mm lenses including SLR, legacy 35mm and Cine, for a wide range of production applications. Read More


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The CRT Replacement Is Here…Finally!

Sony Trimaster OLED monitors really deliver.

By Terence Curren | October 04, 2011

With the death of CRTs, those of us who needed to critically evaluate video images in a standardized display universe were left with no adequate replacement. Most of us have been nursing along our aging CRT monitors and hoping something of equal or better quality would arrive before our trusted displays give up the ghost. Well, that product has finally arrived, and I predict that Sony is going to own the pro monitor market for delivering it. Read More


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Sony is Hosting 1-hour Open House Seminars on 3 Hot Topics Directly from Sony Booth #302

Taking Place at Createasphere's Entertainment Techonology Expo September 20-21 at The New Yorker Hotel.

By PVC News Staff | September 08, 2011

Seats are first-come, first-served to registered attendees of the Expo. Educational and informative - guaranteed. Read More


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Less Jello, Please

Reducing CMOS Jello-cam.

By The Sony Tech Guy | August 19, 2011

Stop that train! Right-to-left subject motion causes the train's verticals to tilt, while the foreground fence is unaffected.

With much respect to the fine people at Kraft Foods, purveyors of Jello® brand gelatin desert, there is another Jello that we're not fond of: the Jello-cam of some CMOS cameras. An artifact typically visible in moving subjects with strong vertical lines, Jello-cam can make uprights appear slanted and table legs look wobbly. A powerful Sony technology addresses this image distortion. Read More


Hold on a moment

Hold on a moment

Shedding some darkness on sample-and-hold displays.

By The Sony Tech Guy | July 27, 2011

This is a beautiful picture.

Ironic but true: CRT phosphors flash briefly and then go dark for most of the frame duration. Film projectors also go dark when the film gets pulled down to the next frame. Isn't the whole point of these displays to produce light? After more than a century of flickering images, the present generation of monitors is built on sample-and-hold technology, such as LCD and OLED. Today's monitors can show pictures that are absolutely unblinking. Is constant illumination display nirvana? Actually, no. The purpose of video displays is not simply to produce light. It's to trick the human visual system into perceiving a sequence of still images as continuous motion. And that's a good reason to embrace the darkness. Read More


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Acres of Diamonds

When Sony can't break the laws of physics, we bend them.

By The Sony Tech Guy | July 21, 2011

The diamond pixel pattern of Sony's ClearVid CMOS sensor is featured on small-chip camcorders including the HXR-NX5U and HVR-Z5U.

Physics can be a harsh taskmaster. It constantly forces image sensor designers to walk the line between high resolution (which requires smaller photosites for a given imager size) and high sensitivity, signal-to-noise ratio and exposure latitude (which all favor larger photosites). In small-format sensors, the challenges are especially severe. While Sony engineers must respect the laws of physics, creative designs can give us a little wiggle room. Sony's ClearVid design rotates the conventional pixel array by 45 degrees and employs diamond-shaped photosites to address the specific challenges of small-format sensors. Read More


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Up with downloads

Perceptive people pick popular pages

By The Sony Tech Guy | July 20, 2011

We're campaigning. This is our button.

You might not know this, but one of our motivations in launching the Sony Livewire vendor blog was to have a place on Pro Video Coalition where readers could have easy access to Sony downloads. On the right side of the Livewire home page there lives a series of DOWNLOAD buttons, ready to serve up goodies for XDCAM, XDCAM EX, AVCHD and HDV products. If web traffic is any indication, it seems to be working. The download pages are among Sony's most popular. For example, about once every two minutes someone makes a download from the relevant XDCAM optical web pages. And now we're making that process even nicer. Read More


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Open for Optics

Lens choices with the NEX-FS100U and Sony's E Mount system

By The Sony Tech Guy | July 13, 2011

The NEX-FS100U accepts tons of lenses. For example, these Sony A Mount lenses work via the LA-EA1 adaptor.

It's Cinematography 101: the right lens does more than establish the frame. It can help communicate emotion and tell us something about space, character and story. The ability to choose lenses is no small thing. Which brings us to the NEX-FS100U Super 35mm digital motion picture camera. Thanks to Sony's E Mount system, the FS100U helps tell your story through a robust selection of lenses. Read More


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OLED Enters the Monitor Mainstream

Trimaster EL technology for the rest of us

By The Sony Tech Guy | June 28, 2011

An all-in-one chassis design, the PVM-2541 includes a range of inputs, standard.

Sony's BVM Series Trimaster EL™ monitors were big news at the HPA Tech Retreat in February, and an even bigger hit at NAB, where they garnered one award after another. Designed for critical evaluation, the BVM Series has always served the elite. So it was all the more newsworthy that NAB saw the introduction of two new PVM Series monitors that combine Trimaster EL technology with tremendous value. The PVM-1741 (16.5 inches viewable area, measured diagonally) carries a suggested list price of just $4,100 while the PVM-2541 (24.5 inches) has an MSRP of $6,100. This places OLED performance right into the monitor mainstream. Read More


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Untapped features in Sony NXCAM’s new HDMI output

Uncompressed 1080 50p/59.94p, timecode, and even RGB 4:4:4 from your camera's HDMI port!

By Allan Tépper | June 09, 2011

Sony's latest NXCAM cameras fortunately feature unprecedented new features with their live HDMI outputs, including uncompressed 1080p at 50p or 59.94p, timecode, and even RGB 4:4:4 capabilities as an alternative to the standard YUV 4:2:2 modes. They also offer special pulldown modes for 23.976p (2:3), 25p (2:2), or 29.97p (2:2) (model dependent) with flags to help an external recorder reverse-telecine and recover the original, pure progressive signal. This is great for those of us that -for certain projects- want to record an even better signal than what's possible inside of the camera with AVCHD. However, today's external HDMI recorders don't yet support these new features. This article is about which NXCAM models include these new features, more details about them, and the response from each external recorder manufacturer about the likelihood of supporting these features, either in their current -or future- models. We'll also explore which new NXCAMs say farewell to 29.97p. Read More


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The DSL not R

A camera shoots for the virtues of a DSLR without the motion picture vices

By The Sony Tech Guy | June 06, 2011

The NEX-FS100U is designed from the ground up for motion pictures.

From the moment they came out, HD-capable DSLRs have intrigued shooters with their ability to deliver Hollywood-style selective focus on a micro-budget. But even as HDSLRs have gained adherents, shooters have pointed to a list of pictorial, practical and ergonomic shortcomings. To be fair, these issues are the result of taking an excellent platform carefully optimized for still photography and adapting it for moving pictures. Sony understands. We know DSLRs, we love DSLRs, and we make a growing family of Alpha HDSLRs along with a large-sensor Handycam camcorder with still camera roots: the NEX-VG10, which uses an APS-C size image sensor. But we also wanted to create a purpose-designed professional camcorder that would combine the key benefits of HDSLRs without the limitations. The result is the NEX-FS100U. Read More


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Critical Evaluation goes OLED

Sony's first BVM-class Trimaster OLED monitors

By The Sony Tech Guy | June 01, 2011

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Sony's BVM-E170 and E250.

The place: Palm Springs. The time: February. The audience: a generous portion of the world's best informed, most demanding users of professional monitors all gathered for the HPA Tech Retreat 2011. It was here that Sony chose to introduce our second-generation OLED monitors: the critical evaluation BVM-E170 and E250. According to Debra Kaufman, blogging for Studio Daily, the retreat's emcee Mark Schubin called these monitors "what we've been waiting for." You can read Mark's own blog posts here and here. Pro Video Coalition's Adam Wilt recaps the technical presentation here. So why are these monitors such a big deal? What relationship do they have to today's high dynamic range cameras? And what does OLED imply for you? Read More


NEX-FS100U: The Inside Story

NEX-FS100U: The Inside Story

Juan A. Martinez explains it all

By The Sony Tech Guy | June 01, 2011

Juan A. Martinez introduces the NEX-FS100U Super 35mm NXCAM® camcorder at Sony's Pre-NAB Training. Get the inside scoop on imager technology, lens options, recording formats, and some really useful hardware features.

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Investing in image sensors

Resting on laurels is not in the playbook

By The Sony Tech Guy | May 20, 2011

The new F65 digital motion picture camera would not have been possible without major Sony advances in CMOS image sensor technology.

Ordinarily, it's hard to see the connection between stuff that directors of photography might be expected to care about (exposure latitude, highlight handling, low-light sensitivity) and $1.7 billion in investments. But when the money goes to Sony CMOS image sensors, the investments become a little more relevant. Recent Sony sensors have been headline news. It started with the launch of the award-winning PMW-F3 camcorder, which also marked the debut of a new Sony Super 35mm Exmor CMOS image sensor. Then came the long-hinted-at 8K sensor of the award-winning F65 camera, another Super 35mm Exmor CMOS design. And then Sony announced, that oh by the way, the NEX-FS100U, another award winner, features the same image sensor as F3. Sony is now actively building on these successes. Read More


AVCHD with a twist

AVCHD with a twist

NXCAM camcorders feature Sony's operations-adaptive codec.

By The Sony Tech Guy | May 04, 2011

Smarter than your average codec: the AVCHD encoder in Sony's NEX-FS100U.

Compression encoders are "content-adaptive." They keep a watchful eye on the complexity of the video signal and make content-based adjustments on the fly. Now a new generation of encoders adds a clever twist. On Sony NXCAM camcorders such as the NEX-FS100U and HXR-NX5U, our proprietary AVCHD encoder is not only content-adaptive, but also operations-adaptive. When you engage camera gain, the control bus signals the encoder, which adjusts accordingly. For example, when you boost the gain, the codec anticipates noise in the scene, minimizes the loss of encoding bits to noise and improves picture quality. When you cut the gain, the codec maximizes picture detail. As a result, you get a substantial advantage: image quality optimized for each gain setting. Read More


Sony FS100 at NAB

A detailed video walk through from Sony's senior product manager.

By Scott Gentry | April 15, 2011

Sony FS100 with Juan Martinez from Sony from ProVideo Coalition on Vimeo.

We spent time with Juan Martinez at NAB who walked us through step by step with the FS100. My apologies for the audio, as you can see Juan had his hands full of microphone and camera.Running time about 5:50. Read More


Sony F3 at NAB 2011

Shot at the Sony Booth

By Scott Gentry | April 15, 2011

Sony F3 at NAB from ProVideo Coalition on Vimeo.

This Video runs a little over 6 mins, but if you're an F3 fan, want to learn a little more, it's worth 6 minutes of your time. I spent a good deal of time with the F100 and F3 at the show. I left drooling for both. Read More


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PMW-F3 Dynamic Range Test

Abel Cine tests Sony F3 Dynamic Range on the charts

By Matthew Jeppsen | April 01, 2011

Abel Cine has been doing a short series of tests on the new PMW-F3 camera from Sony, and the latest episode is a very thorough dynamic range test. In it, they chart the F3 at a solid 12-stops of dynamic range, and then go on to show how the various Cine Gamma modes affect the way information the camera is capturing. It's a very well done test video, watch below... Read More