Sony Unveils HDC-F5500 4K/HDR ENG Camera, Alpha FE 70-200mm/f2.8 Lens
Sony’s professional products group, introduced Tuesday an advanced 4K video camera with a Super 35mm sensor and the ability to easily capture shallow depth of field productions, HDR and high frame rate content of up to 4K/120fps.
At the same time, Sony Electronic’s more consumer friendly Alpha cameras group introduced the new FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II G Master telephoto zoom lens, which ships in December at a $2,800 suggested retail price. The Alpha series E-mount mirrorless camera lens offers very light weight for greater flexibility of use. It provides ultra high resolution with Bokeh and supports the latest autofocus (AF) system with a constant F2.8 aperture.
The Sony HDC-F5500 professional electronic news gathering 4K/HDR camera will be priced beyond the range of most advanced amatures when it ships to professional broadcast equipment dealers in December, but we offer the announcement of its features here to show our videophile audience how the state of the art in content production is advancing behind the scenes to bring better and better content to your television screens.
The HDC-F5500 features a highly sensitive Super 35mm, 4K CMOS global shutter and is positioned as “a tool for those in need of creative expression with a cinematic look, in a system camera form factor and workflow,” Sony said.
The camera’s global shutter effect prevents rolling shutter distortion and flash band, while the camera’s up 120fps high frame rate is useful for sports and live entertainment production, Sony said.
In addition to this, the camera also supports 24, 25, 30, and 60 frames per second recording and can capture two times slow motion while recording at 60p and up to five times if recording at 24p or 25p.
The Sony HDC-F5500 offers professional and advanced videographers high light sensitivity and low noise for work shooting dark settings and scenes, which Sony points out is especially beneficial for drama productions.
“There is a strong desire to integrate the ‘cinematic look’ into sports and entertainment productions to heighten emotions and enable more connected storytelling,” said Theresa Alesso, Pro Division President, Sony Electronics. “Listening to the voice of our customers, we’ve taken our expertise with 35mm cinema cameras and our learnings in industry-leading system cameras and created a new Super 35mm system camera that will match perfectly and easily work alongside our HDC camera series, as well as our portfolio of production solutions.”
The systemized S35mm HDC-F5500 is also said to be the first of its kind to utilizes a motorized 8-step ND filter, which is used in Sony’s digital motion picture camera VENICE. It can be controlled locally or remotely, for increased operational flexibility, Sony said.
The Sony HDC-F5500 offers precise selection of focus depth as well as controlled capture of fast-moving subjects even in bright lighting conditions.
The camera has the ability to support capturing a wide color gamut of up to BT.2020, while S-Gamut3/S-Gamut3.cine and HLG support enhance creativity and reality in HDR work to “match seamlessly with the color science driving Sony’s most in-demand cameras,” Sony said.
The new camera allows numerous workflow enhancements for more efficient live production, and integrates with Sony’s IP Live production system through the use of the HDCU-5000 series, which supports SMPTE ST 2110 and AMWA NMOS standards.
The HDC-F5500 can utilize the new IP extension adaptor HDCE-TX50 for remote production or multi-camera flight pack “CCU-Less” operation. The HDC-F5500 is also compatible with Sony’s existing SR Live for HDR workflow with HLG and S-Log3 HDR profiles.
Other features include the new developed Automatic Restoration of Illumination Attenuation (ARIA) function, for use with supported PL and zoom lenses, and calibrates and compensates picture appearance when shooting at a distance.
The Sony HDC-F5500 also includes a viewfinder slide mechanism compatible with existing large viewfinders that minimizes the camera operator’s body movement while panning and allows for use in tight or challenging environments. The HDC-F5500 also has an ergonomic grip for handheld work, and side tally lamp.
Meanwhile, Sony’s Alpha cameras division said the new 37-ounce E-mount-compatible FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II supports fast, precise quiet AF and continuous AF tracking capabilities to help advanced photographers and video creators. The ultra-light lens is approximately 29% lighter than the previous model, and allows up to four times faster AF, with focus tracking while zooming — an approximately 30% improvement over the previous 70-200mm model.
“Sony is always listening to our customers. Thanks to feedback from users around the world, including leading professionals, Sony continues to develop and evolve the G Master lineup,” said Yang Cheng, Sony Imaging Solutions VP. “The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is lightweight and offers outstanding handling in any shooting situation. The newest addition to our G Master series will make a perfect telephoto zoom addition to any creator’s kit who is looking to maximize their gear potential for both stills and video.”
Sony said the advanced optics in the lens will deliver clean and clear images from corner to corner throughout the entire zoom range, even when the aperture is open wide. Sony uses two aspherical lens elements, including one XA (extreme aspherical) element manufactured to 0.01-micron surface precision. The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II effectively controls distance-related aberration variations for optimized resolution throughout the image area, Sony said.
The lens employs two ED (extra-low dispersion) spherical glass elements and two Super ED spherical glass elements to significantly reduce chromatic aberration without color bleeding. Also included an ED aspherical element for the first time in an Alpha system lens, which simultaneously suppresses chromatic and spherical aberration that are issues commonly found in other telephoto lenses.
The F2.8 aperature assures mooth, beautiful bokeh backgrounds, using a newly developed 11-blade circular aperture unit. The optical design further incorporates an XA element to “thoroughly suppresses the unwanted ‘onion ring’ effect.”
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is said to be excellent for close-ups with deep bokeh.
“The minimum focusing distance is just 15.7 inches (0.4 meters) at 70mm and 32.3 inches (0.82 meters) at 200mm, with a maximum magnification of 0.3x. Moreover, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II can be easily paired with Sony’s high-performance 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter to extend the lens’ focal length to 400mm at an F5.6 aperture.”
Autofocus support extends to Sony’s latest advanced AF systems in its camera bodies, employing four Sony-original XD (extreme dynamic) Linear Motors for fast and precise AF.
When paired with Sony’s flagship Alpha 1, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II is capable of high-speed continuous shooting at up to 30 fps, Sony said.
The AF tracking is also available even when using a teleconverter and offers smooth and quiet AF while reliably capturing fast-moving subjects while zooming.
For easy video-use operation, the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II offers independent control rings for focus, zoom, and aperture (iris) in manual operation. The aperture ring also has a click ON/OFF switch.
A supplied lens hood also features an opening to operate circular polarizing filters or variable ND filters.
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By Greg Tarr
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