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Sony F23


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#1 Tenolian Bell

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 07:46 PM

Sony Electronics today introduced the F23 camera, which will support 4:4:4 1920 by 1080 RGB imaging.

The system will join the HDC-F950 camera at the high-end of the company?s CineAlta line of acquisition products for digital television and motion picture content creation. It uses three 2.2 megabit 2/3-inch type progressive CCD imagers and a 14-bit A/D converter. The system will support 1080/23.98P, 24P, 25P, 29.97P, 50P, 59.94P, 50i and 59.94i formats.
?With this new system, content creators and program producers will have one more extremely versatile high-end production tool in their arsenal,? said Rob Willox, Sony?s director of marketing for professional content creation products. ?Developed for cinematographers, this system will offer the technical and mechanical flexibility they need, as well as a compact and rugged design to withstand the challenging conditions often encountered on location.?

The new system will share the HDC-F950 camera?s 1920 by 1080 RGB 4:4:4 design, but also incorporate several new features, the direct result of feedback from production professionals.

The SRW-1 digital 4:4:4 recorder will dock directly to the top or to the tail of the new system. This eliminates the need for cumbersome cable handling between the camera and recorder. When more mobility is required, the recorder can also be tethered using a ?dual-link? cable connection so the camera is as small and light as possible.

In order to be ?film user-friendly,? the camera body will be compatible with a variety of film camera accessories, including bridge plates, matte boxes and follow focus units. These can be attached to the unit without modification. For increased durability and reliability, and to withstand the numerous lens changes that often happen on location, the F23 system will use a harder material for its lens mount (B4 type).

When used with Sony?s SRW-1 VTR, the new camera system can capture and record variable speed images from 1P to 60P (1P to 30 FPS at 4:4:4 and 1P to 60 FPS at 4:2:2) at the full HD resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. This allows for quick- or slow-motion functionality, also known as ?undercranking? or ?overcranking,? to produce special motion effects commonly used in high-end production.

These variable speed images can be played back by the SRW series of VTRs immediately after shooting.

The system?s control surface layout, indicators and menu system were designed to give film camera users a familiar and intuitive user interface.

Users can operate the system with the supplied ?Assistant Panel? remote controller. This device connects to the camera with a single cable and allows users to remotely execute basic camera and VTR operations, such as REC/STOP, changing frame rates and shutter angle.
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#2 Arni Heimir

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 08:54 PM

Does anyone think Sony is perhaps two years too late with this one?
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:15 PM

Well, it's a pretty radical redesign away from the ENG style of their other HD cameras. I think the camera is perhaps a year late but certainly not two years late -- it's basically a Genesis camera with 2/3" CCD's, and the Genesis is only a year and a half old afterall. Now you may think that a 2/3" 3-CCD prism-block is "old school" compared to the new 35mm single-sensor designs, but not everyone wants 35mm-style depth of field.

I'm more concerned that Thomson doesn't seem interested in improving the Viper camera; I talked to one Thomson executive and he basically implied that the company doesn't have a lot of interest in the Viper and digital cinema in general compared to their more profitable broadcast cameras.
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#4 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:44 PM

I was at Panavision this morning and I asked about it. They don't seem too concerned about it since all their customers prefer 35mm depth of field. Furthermore, a 2/3" chip can't have as much latitude as a larger full frame sensor...the reasons which I only partially understand.

Am I crazy or did I just hear recenty that Thompson announced an upgraded Viper. When did you talk to them David?
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 11:17 PM

Am I crazy or did I just hear recenty that Thompson announced an upgraded Viper. When did you talk to them David?


I know there is a "Viper 2" coming but my impression is that it is not a major upgrade. I was just a little surprised that some Thomson exec would be so dismissive of the digital cinema camera market. I'm sensing a split in the company in terms of what direction they want to go in terms of camera design, just like with Sony. Companies that make most of their money in broadcast technology don't sense a lot of financial reasons to go after the smaller digital cinema market.
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