Sony FS5 II, PXW-Z190, PXW-Z280 Cameras Arrive

Sony FS5 II

At their NAB press conference, Sony announced a number of new video camera systems, the most notable being the FS5 II, the update to the popular FS5 Super 35mm camera.

The FS5 II has improved color science, which will allow it integrate with the company’s “Instant HDR” workflows.

More importantly, though, the FS5 II brings raw output to the camera. This includes the ability to record in the new Apple ProRes RAW format, also announced at NAB, when recording to Atomos recorders.

Sony PXW-Z190

When recording externally, the camera can record 120fps at 60hz, 100fps at 50hz and 4K RAW for a four-second burst capture. It can also shoot at 2K at 240fps and 4K 60fps or 50fps to an external recorder.

The FS5 II can capture 4K internally, and Full HD 4:2:2 at 10bits, capture rates up to 240fps, and it will shoot continuously to 120fps while capturing Full HD.

We’ve been working with the Sony 4K camcorders and their HLG Rec.2020 HDR workflows, and they provide a good way for cinematographers and broadcasters to quickly create high dynamic range content without having to apply LUTs.

Sony PXW-Z280

Sony also announced the PXW-Z190 (a 1/2” Exmor R CMOS sensor), and the PXW-Z280, which is the first 4K 3-chip camcorder.

The two units can shoot 4K at 50 or 60fps, and record 4:2:2 10-bit HD. These camcorders use Sony’s face detection AF, which we’ve previously tested in other Sony camcorders, and find to be one of the best autofocus solutions in professional video.

Our Sony Video Camcorder AF Tests

More information is available at

See the press release below.

Sony’s NAB Show 2018 Press Release

Business Updates and News:

Changing consumer viewing habits, industry consolidation and new business models have created a “sea change” in the media industry, according to Katsunori Yamanouchi, president of Sony’s Professional Solutions Americas group.

“Media customers need to deliver content anytime to any platform, in a range of different formats, and in high quality,” Yamanouchi said. “Often they need to do all this with fewer resources. Sony is continually adapting to meet our customers’ changing needs, helping them develop practical workflows to help them meet their technical and financial goals.”

Yamanouchi added that increasing acceptance of cloud technology has seen more companies move content and their operations into the cloud. Additionally, media companies need to maximize and monetize the global distribution of their content, while also balancing capital and operating expenses.

Sony and CenturyLink, Inc. today announced the successful completion of a test to determine the operational latency of a long-distance Remote Integration (REMI) connection between New York and London. Broadcasters today are challenged to meet an ever-growing demand for video content at the lowest cost possible. However, remote production workflows, which reduce costs, can often result in operational latency when content travels internationally. As part of this test, the companies simulated a live broadcast for a global news organization, resulting in the world’s first transatlantic SMPTE 2110 IP live transmission. The simulation yielded no discernable operational latency on the video sources.

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) has reached an agreement in principle with Sony to collaborate on new workflows designed to distribute and preserve the organization’s 50-year library of historical assets. NHRA’s use of Sony’s Ci Media Cloud, Memnon Digitization and Ven.ue solutions makes them the first major sports organization to adopt these cloud-based tools for digital asset management.         

Sony’s Media Solutions Division

Sony’s Media Solutions Division is harnessing the power of cloud collaboration and automation to develop and bring to market customized technologies for content owners/creators, distributors and platforms. The group combines many of Sony’s technology resources designed to drive efficiencies at every stage of the media production lifecycle — from content acquisition to distribution to archive. Sony’s Media Solutions is demonstrating how the integration of several of its solutions can solve customers’ unique challenges for:

Master Control in the Cloud for Disaster Recovery

·         The Sony-based solution uses a new cloud-based version of Crispin technology, Sony wireless streaming camcorders, the Ci Media Cloud Platform and new cloud-based switching technology.

·         As a result, stations can stay on air when they are no longer able to operate on the ground. 

News Production:

·         XDCAM Air, a cloud-based ENG solution, uses Sony’s QoS technology and Dual link connectivity to give broadcasters the ability to reliably and efficiently stream high-quality content from their Sony cameras and smartphones to air over LTE and WiFi. XDCAM Air also provides seamless integration with production systems, editors and social media networks for streamlined workflows. 

Reality Shows and Dramas are also looking to connect their cameras to the Cloud for collaboration, processing and distribution. Using a Sony wireless cloud-based workflow, production companies can eliminate days of downtime, saving a tremendous amount in production costs and getting shows distributed more efficiently.

Media Backbone NavigatorX – For production facilities requiring asset management and orchestration of on-prem and cloud content NavX is fully integrated with Ci and with Avid and Adobe edit platforms. NavX uses HTML5 Apps to quickly ingest, organize, manage, and search for content across multiple departments and locations.

Customers also need secure and scalable on-premise archiving. Our Optical Disc Archive System is enhanced through continued collaboration with our partners. Qualstar is developing an enterprise-class Optical Disc Library with Sony.  And, Mitsubishi Chemical Media Co., just signed an agreement with Sony to produce Optical Disc Archive cartridges.

Taking center-stage in the NAB exhibit is Sony’s Crystal LED display system, in an 8K x 4K (32 ft. by 18 ft.) configuration. Fox Sports announced it chose this CLED for its studio set in Moscow for their upcoming World Cup coverage, from June 14 to July 15.

Sony’s NAB 2018 New Product and Technologies

At NAB 2018, Sony will highlight its comprehensive and growing line of cameras and camcorders, with 4K and support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) at every level.

Cameras and camcorders

Sony is expanding its XDCAM line of professional camcorders with its new flagship handheld PXW-Z280 and a 4K compact camcorder PXW-Z190.Both models have Advanced Face Detection Autofocus (AF) including “Face Priority AF” and newly added “Face Only AF,” and Sony’s Electronic Variable ND filter ensures greater exposure control by smoothly varying the density of the ND filter during shooting while maintaining resolution and depth of field.

Sony is expanding its XDCAM line of professional camcorders with its new flagship handheld PXW-Z280. The new model boasts three 1/2-type Exmor R CMOS sensors, ideal for high sensitivity of F12 (59.94p), long zoom ratio and deep depth of field, ideal for news gathering. Its 3-chip sensors and 4K 4:2:2 10-bit adds vivid imagery and delicate color gradation. Enhanced network features, versatile formats and interfaces enable direct-to-air workflows, making this model ideal for broadcasters, production companies and documentary creation. 

The PXW-Z280 is designed for easy use, with features such as advanced Face Detection Autofocus (AF) function. Users can select “Face Priority AF,” convenient for automatic face detection and optimization, or the newly introduced “Face Only AF” for more demanding 4K shooting applications. The camera detects a specific person automatically, keeping them in pin-sharp focus. A 17x zoom lens and three independent control rings with end-stop allow manual control of focus, zoom, and iris for quick and precise adjustment. Sony’s unique Electronic Variable ND filter allows greater exposure control by varying the density of the ND filter during shooting while maintaining resolution and depth of the field. The camera also supports S-Log3 and Sony’s Instant HDR workflow. The PXW-Z280 includes advanced network features to enable a secure, seamless wireless Electric News Gathering (ENG) workflow.

Sony’s PXW-Z190 is a 4K compact camcorder with enhanced usability for independent shooters in corporate, event production and education applications. The camcorder’s newly developed three 1/3-type Exmor R CMOS image sensors capture RGB light independently and delivers 4K 50p/60p imagery with high resolution and a wide range of gradation. 4:2:2 10-bit ensures vivid and rich color content in HD.

The new model incorporates a 25x optical zoom lens to cover a wide focal range for multiple shooting requirements, with three independent lens rings to support intuitive operation. Using optical zoom lens with Digital Extender in an HD mode, a 50x zoom equivalent image without any picture degradation can be captured thanks to its 4K resolution sensor.  Advanced Face Detection Auto Focus (AF) features include the “Face Priority AF” and newly added “Face Only AF,” which help to ensure a specific person within a group automatically stays in pin-sharp focus, ideal for shooting interviews or lectures.

Sony’s Electronic Variable ND filter ensures greater exposure control by smoothly varying the density of the ND filter during shooting while maintaining resolution and depth of field.

Sony’s new Large Format Sensor lineup is expanding with the introduction of the FS5 II (Body: PXW-FS5M2, Lens Kit: PXW-FS5M2K). Complete with stunning 4096 x 2160 4K HDR and 120fps performance at 60Hz mode (and 100fps at 50Hz mode), as well as RAW capabilities, the new Super 35 mm camcorder marries outstanding image quality with an ergonomic modular frame, offering content creators ultimate creative flexibility.  

Designed to meet the requirements of today’s content creators, the FS5 II features an all-new look with a refined picture tone to capture natural highlights, subtle, alluring and well rendered facial tones and a softer tonal look, for capturing lifelike portrayals.  Using the accumulated expertise of Sony’s digital cinematography camera VENICE, the FS5 II promises a fresh and vivid look while still retaining plenty of creative options in post-production, as a result of its high-performance 4K Super 35 Exmor® CMOS sensor.

IP Live Production Solution

Sony’s IP Live production solution offers an alternative to the separate infrastructures of SDI for live production and IP for file-based production; creating a single, unified IP network. It lowers equipment costs and lays out a logical upgrade path to 4K, HFR, 8K and beyond. Broadcasters worldwide are embracing IP. Sony is a pioneer in this area with its Networked Media Interface.  Sony is also investing in the future of IP Live interoperability with industry standards such as SMPTE ST 2110.

Sony is building SMPTE ST 2110 into its legacy and new products, making it among the first manufacturers to bring its entire portfolio of IP products into ST 2110 compliance. In addition to collaboration with many IP switch manufacturers, Sony and Cisco have announced a new global collaboration to create IP networking technologies for 4K/HD live production applications in the broadcast, media and entertainment industries. The agreement between the two companies will give customers worldwide an expanded range of flexible, proven and reliable IP systems.

Sony is expanding its IP Live Production system with a new camera control unit, the HDCU-3100. The 1.5U size of the compact fiber camera control unit brings IP capabilities to Sony’s system cameras, from the flagship 4K HDC-4300 with BPU-4000 series, including the new BPU-4500A, through to the HDC-2000 series and HSC fiber system cameras.  Combined with a new HKCU-SFP30 option board, the HDCU-3100 is able to support SMPTE ST 2110 Professional Media over a managed IP Network suite of standards. The essential functionalities required for live production including tally, intercom and return video, which can all be provided through IP.  Support for NMOS IS-04/05 is in future scope.

Sony’s new live production switcher, the XVS-9000, is designed to address the demands of advanced 4K and HD productions as High Dynamic Range (HDR) content increases. The XVS-9000 offers up to 80 inputs and 40 outputs in 4K and up to 160 inputs and 80 outputs in HD adopting the latest interfaces for both IP (SMPTE ST 2110) and 12G-SDI in 4K, as well as hybrid system of both, for large sporting and entertainment events.  

Archive and Storage Solutions

Sony is highlighting the newest generation of its Optical Disc Archive System and announcing new agreements with partner companies. Qualstar Corporation entered into a Product Development Agreement with Sony to develop an Enterprise Class Optical Disc Library, and Mitsubishi Chemical Media Co., Ltd. has signed a License Agreement with Sony to produce Optical Disc Archive cartridges. Sony further enhances Optical Disc Archive with stable production and new addition of product line. Sony is also embracing an open platform approach for broad compatibility, providing technologies and support to encourage other manufacturers to develop complementary products for the technology. 

Monitoring Solutions

Responding to customer feedback, and the move toward 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) production, Sony is releasing firmware updates for BVM-X300 master monitor and PVM-X550 picture monitor.  The common feature upgrades are, Flexible Area Marker enabling two markers to be freely set on one 4K screen, Time Code Display capabilities for the display of LTC and VITC time code at the top or the bottom of the 4K screen, and New Input Setting to simplify a flow of settings into one integrated assignable button.  In addition, the number of assignable settings are increased from 4 to 8.  High Brightness Mode for PVM-X550 delivers wider dynamic range to reproduce more realistic colors and to optimize 4K color grading with over 180% in HDR Peak Luminance, when compared to the current PVM-X550.

Technology and Product Upgrades

Sony is helping customers extend the life of their current Sony technologies by continually introducing new upgrades, enabling new features and performance. These include:

VENICE full-frame motion picture camera – Sony’s next-gen CineAlta system began shipping 2 months ago, and it’s already well accepted by the market. At NAB, Sony is previewing upcoming VENICE features including variable frame rate and a newly developed dual base ISO 2500 mode.

PXW-Z450 – This versatile 4K production camcorder is now even more flexible through a recent firmware upgrade for HDR support including high-quality S-Log3 shooting and recording, ITU-R BT.2020 color gamut support, as well as HLG live output.

HXC-FB80 – This accessible entry into 4K- and HDR-ready studio and live production camera based on a 3G-SDI platform with 1080/59.94p capabilities. The new system fits a range of commercial applications where professionals need high-quality HD with a “future-proof” path to 4K and HDR production.

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