Sony Enhances Portfolio With Multiple New Camera, Monitor, HDR Additions

HDC-5500 (Image credit: Sony)

PARAMUS, N.J.—Sony Electronics unveiled a variety of new products and enhancements, including improvements for its Venice digital motion picture camera and FX9 full-frame camcorder; upgrades to its 4K HDR professional monitors; enhanced hybrid asset management that unifies its Ci cloud collaboration and management tools with NavigatorX; and a new Media Analytics Portal.

“Our industry is seeing rapid evolution as the need to develop content for cross-platform distribution has transformed both the creative process and post-production workflows,” said Theresa Alesso, Pro Division president, Sony Electronics.

“Our goal is to help customers maximize their return on investment with technologies that enable them to reach the broadest possible audience, across the widest array of distribution channels, with the simplest production process.”


Sony has announced new firmware for both the Venice and FX9 cameras. Venice Version 6.0 firmware, to be released in November, adds the ability to import a new Advanced Rendering Transform (.art) file, including a new “Technicolor-look library,” a second user frame line and expanded high frame rate (HFR) capabilities.

FX Version 2.0 firmware, available in October, expands shooting capabilities and user operation with the addition of support for 4K 60p/50p recording via oversampling from a 5K cropped area of a 6K full-frame sensor and 16-bit RAW output.


Sony also is announcing other enhancements to its camera line, camera remote control and a new XDCAM disc drive. The company will make the PXW-Z450C 4K 2/3-inch shoulder mount camcorder available in a production package with 18x zoom 4K lens, viewfinder and mic in August.

The PXW-Z190 and PXW-Z280 4K handheld compact camcorders will be offered with RTMP/RTMPS FHD streaming capabilities supporting live streaming and content upload to video sharing sites and social media platforms in early 2021.

Sony also will begin shipping the MSU-3500 and MSU-3000 master setup units, system camera control panels for multicamera remote control in summer 2020. Both include a 70-inch WVGA LCS touch panel. The former is a half rack that is vertically oriented, and the latter is a full rack width that is horizontally oriented.

The PDW-U4 XDCAM professional disc drive, available in January 2021, is a high-capacity unit supporting up to 128GB (Write Once) and 100GB (Rewritable) of storage. It supports four-, three-, two- and single-layer XDCAM Professional Disc media. The unit leverages four-channel Dual Channel Head System (DCHS) technology to deliver file transfers that are 2x (read) and 1.7x (write) faster than the existing PDW-U2.


Sony also is unveiling support for high dynamic range (HDR) across its portfolio. SR Live Metadata eliminates the need for two separate production workflows—one devoted to HDR and the other to SDR. 

The SR Live workflow relies on Sony HDC camera settings being captured by the camera, which are then sent through the production process. Using this metadata makes it possible for an SDR production to be perfectly replicated as intended by a shading craftsperson. Only the HDR signal needs to be switched and routed.

Support for SR Live Metadata will be available for the HDRC-4000 HDR production converter unit, HDC series system cameras, including CCU recording capability, PWS servers and the Sony’s new PVM series 4K HDR monitors in summer 2020.

File-based production systems including the PXW-Z750, PXW-Z450 and PXW-X400 camcorders will support SR Live Metadata with the Catalyst Prepare application software by the end of the year.

Sony also announced the CBKZ-SLHL1 optional software license for the PXW-X400 2/3-inch camcorder that adds 1080 60p/50p HDR support. It will be available in July.

The company will also make available an optional upgrade that adds internal HDR-to-SDR and 4K-HD conversion to its PVM-X2400 and PVM-X180 monitors. The 24- and 18.4-inch monitors, respectively, are scheduled for a July launch with the upgrade due in March 2021. The 4K HDR monitors with Trimaster technology support an all-white luminance of 1000 cd/m2 and match 100% of the color gamut of the BVM-HX310 Trimaster HX master monitor.

Sony also is adding HDR conversion to its XVS series production series in early 2021. It also will offer two mix-effects boards—the XKS-8215 for the XVS-9000/8000 switcher and XKS-7215 for the XVS-7000 switcher. They add four fully functional keyers per 4K ME with resizers, chroma key and key priority.


Sony will update its NXLK-IP50Y/IP51Y SDI-IP converter boards in September with an enhancement to its SDR/HDR and up/down conversion licenses that adds color correction.

The company will enhance its Ci Media Cloud platform in May with the launch of Ci Catalog, which streamlines asset management for large media enterprises and enables better management of finished assets. In June, it will unveil enhanced hybrid operation of NavigatorX and Ci that will make it possible to manage content in any facility or in the cloud.

Sony is also expected to deliver in the fall its Media Analytics Portal, a cloud-based solution offering AI analytics models and services, such as object recognition and speech-to-text, via a single web-based portal. It integrates with Ci Media Cloud Services, XDCAM air and Media Backbone NavigatorX.

More information is available on Sony’s website.  

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.