Sony Brings Super-Slo-Mo, Stabilized Shots to Low Price Point
Sony Electronics has pulled the curtain back on two new cameras that offer a new level of capabilities to sports production. The NEX-FS700U delivers super-slow-motion recording for less than $10,000, and the HXR-NX30 palm-size NXCAM camcorder brings gyro stabilization to a price point of $2,500.
The NEX-FS700U delivers Full HD pictures with the help of a new 4K Exmor Super 35 CMOS sensor that has 11.6 million pixels. Frame rates can reach 960 frames per second , although only speeds up to 240 fps are Full HD (480 and 960 fps are at a reduced resolution).
“This camera opens a new door to creative shooting,” says Juan Martinez, senior product manager at Sony Electronics’ Professional Solutions of America group. “You can record beautiful high-speed Full HD movies with the freedom of creative interchangeable-lens choice. The NEX-FS700U, with its super-slow-motion mode, is ideal for promos, TV dramas, commercials, and documentaries, as well as sports and a variety of event shooting.”
Featuring 3G HD-SDI and HDMI connectors, the NEX-FS700U can output Full HD 50p and 60p, in addition to standard HD 60i, 24p, 25p, or 30p frame rates with embedded timecode and audio. With 3G HD-SDI, it can output native 23.98, 25, and 29.97 progressive signals. The user can elect to output PsF over the 3G HD-SDI.
The camera is also 60/50 Hz-switchable to give shooters the freedom of working in any geographic region without being restricted to PAL or NTSC recording.
A key element of the handle is an “active grip” featuring four buttons for commonly used functions: expanded focus, auto iris, still capture, and recording start/stop. Function buttons are also enlarged to make operation easy even with gloves.
A future firmware upgrade promises delivery of 4K images over 3G HD-SDI when the camera is coupled with a Sony 4K recorder.
The NEX-FS700U (body only) and NEX-FS700UK (with 18- 200 mm zoom lens) are scheduled to be available in June priced less than $10,000.
Eliminating Camera Shake
Sony also gives video professionals freedom from camera shake with the HXR-NX30U high-definition camcorder, a palm-size addition to the NXCAM line. The new model uses the company’s new Balanced Optical SteadyShot image-stabilization technology to reduce camera shake in challenging shooting applications. It also features a built-in projector in Sony’s smallest, lightest handheld professional camcorder.
“The gyro-stabilized lens is meant to produce shots that are locked on the subject even if the camera is being held by hand,” says Martinez. “The crew can use it and achieve good results.”
Conventional image-stabilization systems typically “float” an individual lens element with a motor drive to compensate for camera shake. Balanced Optical SteadyShot combines the entire lens and image-sensor assembly into one floating element that moves as a unit to reduce the shaking effect caused by normal motion during shooting.
Images can be recorded at Full HD resolution, and the camcorder’s 1/2.88-in. Sony Exmor R CMOS image sensor can capture images at up to 50 or 60 fps at 1080p resolution.
Using AVCHD recording, the camera has 96 GB of internal memory (approximately 40 hours of HD content), with a single slot that accepts either SD or Memory Stick media cards for additional recording capacity. A built-in video projector lets users play back images of up to 100 in. from a distance of about 16 ft. on any flat surface. This feature is suitable for reviewing footage in the field or on a set, when a monitor is either not available or inconvenient to use.
The HXR-NX30U also features a detachable XLR unit and professional-quality audio, record-level control, the option of Linear PCM audio recording, timecode, and the ability to reset timecode on multiple NXCAMs via infrared remote control.
The HXR-NX30U is scheduled to be available in June priced at less than $2,500.