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Sony unveils 4K camera with 8K sensor

NAB News: Sony’s new 4K camera, the F65, was the showstopper at its press conference. It records 16-bit raw video and has been put through its paces by a leading cinematographer to glowing reviews.

NAB News: Widely tipped to be revealed at NAB, Sony’s 4K camera was the showstopper at its press conference, writes Adrian Pennington. With no details on release date or pricing the camera has, however, been put through its paces by a leading cinematographer to glowing reviews.

The F65, the latest addition to Sony’s CineAlta range of digital film cameras, features a newly developed 8K 20-megapixel CMOS sensor, which could be upgraded to output as high as 8K resolution to meet any future needs of filmmakers.

It is capable of recording 50 minutes of uncompressed 16-bit 4K raw footage at 24fps to a 1TB SR Memory card. The finished camera is expected to be light enough for use on 3D rigs and Steadicams, and will offer a detachable camera T-head for these configurations.

Curtis Clark, ASC, who lensed Peter Greenaway’s The Draughtsman’s Contract, has shot a short film using the camera, which is showing on Sony’s booth. He was all praise saying: “The dynamic range and filmic look and feel of the camera certainly matches and even exceeds that of 35mm film.”

The sensor also provides a dedicated green photosite for each pixel in the 4K output image. This is twice the amount of green resolution compared to traditional 4K Bayer pattern sensors, making it ideal, Sony states, for VFX processing.

A dockable SR Memory recorder – model SR-R4 – attaches to the camera to record directly onto an SR Memory card of 256GB, 512GB or 1TB capacity.

Existing digital cinematography cameras, as well as post-production processes, more commonly use 2K resolution, however the apparent consumer demand for larger screens and therefore greater picture detail is driving the industry towards 4K tools.

Sony wants to drive 4K acquisition because it markets the first 4K projection system, which is seeing an increasing number of installs in cinemas worldwide. It also has a post-production backbone capable of handling the massive increase in data that 4K entails.