NAB 2023: Sony Live Production Line Ups See New Upgrades Focused on Enhanced Creativity and Connectivity

Sony has announced several enhancements to its live production solutions aimed at maximising both content value and facilitating operations. Sony’s Networked Live strategy also sees the launch of a new camera control network adaptor, bringing federation across multiple cameras, be they on site or remote, and reinforcing Sony’s IP-based network ecosystem.

“We’re seeing operators and producers coming up with new and exciting shooting styles, flexing their creativity with new expressions,” commented Anthony Kable, CC group manager, Sony Australia. “We know the new announcements made at NAB will fit right into that trend. With these developments, we have also considered the long-term aspect of any live production investment. This is one way we are approaching sustainability in the live production industry: instead of replacing assets on a very regular basis as technology changes, we want our solutions to evolve and grow with that technology.”

Sony has launched a variable ND filter, the HKC-VND50, to enable camera operators to deliver artistic effects through enhanced control, while being operationally efficient. The filter’s robust body design will withstand the sometimes-extreme conditions of live environments and deliver stand out images. It will allow seamless filter switching while ‘live’, support both HFR and shallow depth of focus images, with depth of field control. Its virtual Iris will adjust brightness levels automatically between the lens, variable ND filter and Gain through a single joystick, giving directors new levels of storytelling freedom. From an operator’s point of view, it means no lens iris effect to work around and manage, opening new shading possibilities.

Sony is also announcing a new sliding mechanism for viewfinders, which allow them to fit and move smoothly around the camera body in various positions providing maximum camera operator comfort and ease of use. This flexibility means the camera and operator can be positioned in a wide variety of environments, from studios to music concerts or sports pitches.

Three new OLED viewfinders will reinforce Sony’s leading position in the field, bringing the clarity of Full HD OLED to camera operators. The HDVF-EL740, HDVF-EL760 and HDVF-EL780, with their Full HD resolution and high contrast levels, will assist operators in keeping precise focus when working on HD, 4K or HDR (High Dynamic Range) productions. These viewfinders also come with new digital and current analog interfaces, allowing them to fit into any existing set up, thus helping with smooth fleet management.

The viewfinders, variable ND Filter and slide mechanisms options will be available as an upgrade for the HDC-3500, HDC-5500 and HDC-P50 cameras, but also as de facto on the new HDC-3500V and HDC-5500V cameras.

Moreover, a new 4K 4x HFR option will be available from December 2023 through a firmware upgrade for the HDC-5500, when used in combination with a HDCU-5000 and the new processor board HKCU-UHF50. A step up from the 4K 2x options currently available, 4K 4x HFR will also become possible through firmware upgrade and hardware modification of the HDC-3500. This will provide users of slow-motion new opportunities for storytelling, particularly in sports production, but also supports 4K for pitch side LED based advertising such as offered by Parallel Ads for the HDC-3500 and HDC-5500.

In parallel to these hardware-based announcements, Sony continues to push ahead with its Networked Live ecosystem of solutions, products, services, and partners, to take full advantage of resources through connected hybrid on-premises and cloud capabilities. The new CNA-2 camera control network adaptor builds on this by allowing third-party systems to easily monitor and manage cameras across a multi-camera, multi-site live production through a simple dashboard. This versatile toolset allows HDC System Cameras to become more powerful through federated and distributed networks. The CNA-2 brings a set of innovative features for controlling, monitoring, administrating and operating remote and distributed environments. Based on WEB API (Application Programming Interface), it makes developing applications for the Sony system cameras simple and easy.

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