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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
The large-single-sensor "NXCAM 35" unveiled. Plus: writeups, NAB seminars, press release.
By Adam Wilt | March 23, 2011
NEX-FS100 next to a PMW-F3, from a Sony NAB Seminar email.
This image of the "NXCAM 35" camcorder is lifted from a promotional email for Sony's Super 35mm Seminars at NAB (more below). Jon Fauer shows a different configuration from his Japan trip along with his un-embargoed writeup.
Comparison of Gain & Sensitivity and now updated with a Latitude comparison
By Matthew Jeppsen | March 21, 2011
Here's a quick side-by-side candle-lit comparison of the Sony PMW-F3, Panasonic AG-AF100, and the venerable Canon 5D MKII DSLR. The test footage was shot by Dennis Ersöz. This video clip very neatly shows how the native sensitivity of each camera compares, and also how clean the gain/ISO is at high levels. Watch below.
...with RED ONE, Alexa, and EX1 resolution/aliasing comparisons.
By Adam Wilt | March 18, 2011
A PMW-EX3, PMW-F3, and AG-AF100 lined up on a cart.
This past Monday, Art Adams and I went up to Chater Camera to have a quick look at the tonal-scale renderings of the PMW-F3 and AG-AF100, two new large-single-sensor (LSS) interchangeable-lens camcorders, and to torture them with resolution, aliasing, and IR sensitivity tests. [updated 2001-03-19: RED M vs M-X aliasing comparison.]
Sony flew a bunch of journos to Japan recently; here's what they saw.
By Adam Wilt | March 13, 2011
In the past couple of weeks, Sony took industry journalists on a junket to Japan, to get an advance peek at some new cameras (I was invited, but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts). Jon Fauer and David Williams have written up what they've seen.
Sony's S-LOG Gamma encoding reaches a broader audience
By The Sony Tech Guy | February 23, 2011
The S-LOG Gamma curve of the Sony PMW-F3 (blue) maintains camera highlights up to 800% of nominal peak white. This is far beyond the capability of conventional Rec.709 gamma encoding (red).
As the much-talked-about PMW-F3 handheld Super 35mm camcorder hits the streets this month, it comes with the promise of S-LOG Gamma, which will be available as an extra-cost upgrade later this year. S-LOG will join the F3's built-in HyperGamma curves as creative tools for managing high scene contrast. So what can S-LOG Gamma do for your images? How does it differ from HyperGamma? And what are the basic requirements for handling S-LOG Gamma in post? I'm glad you asked.
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Sony F65 - true 4K and Beyond
DPs gave Sony a wish list. Higher resolution than any previous digital motion picture camera.1 Even greater exposure latitude, dynamic range and wider color gamut than Sony's previous best. Plus file-based SR Codec recording for fast, efficient episodic TV production workflow. Plus 16-bit linear RAW to support the most demanding feature films. On the Sony F65 digital motion picture camera, it's all true. And it's only the beginning. Learn More.