Sony expands XDCAM line with PMW-400 camcorder

Sony’s new PMW-400 shoulder-mount camcorder is the latest addition to its XDCAM HD422 line-up. The camera is designed for live production or ENG, and uses a 2/3-inch Exmor HD 3CMOS sensor to capture images with high sensitivity and low noise.

“We designed the PMW-400 to acquire high quality, clean images especially in low-light environments,” said Cyndi Lee, XDCAM marketing manager, Sony Electronics. “It’s ergonomically-balanced, easy to operate and includes features that make it fit seamlessly into various types of productions and workflows. This new camcorder opens the door to a range of new creative possibilities and flexible shooting.” 

Capable of MPEG HD422 50Mbps recording, the PMW-400 is unique among the field of 2/3-inch type camcorders with its noise reduction capabilities and diverse selection of formats. Its 3 Dimensional Noise Reducer (3DNR) technology accurately detects and processes images to reduce noise, achieving a signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio of 60dB.

The camcorder supports MPEG-2 HD422@50Mbps, HD420@35Mbps/25Mbps, MPEG IMX@50Mbps and DVCAM. It will also offer future XAVC support for HD.2.

The camcorder’s supplied viewfinder features improved panel resolution of quarter HD 960(H) x 540(V) compared to previous models with resolutions of VGA 640(H) x 480(V). The new viewfinder significantly improves contrast and viewing angles.

The PMW-400 camcorder incorporates an internal Flash Band Reducer that employs a special algorithm to detect and process flash banding inside the camcorder before recording begins. This provides greater flexibility in reducing flash banding across different shooting environments.

The PMW-400 camcorder includes two SDI connections that enable, for example, the director and camera operator to simultaneously check content on two different monitors.

An optional CBK-CE01 50-pin interface lets the PMW-400 connect to two camera adapters for multi-camera operation. By connecting to the CA-FB70 optical fiber and CA-TX70 digital triax camera adapters, the PMW-400 can be used as a studio camera in live productions and also transmit signals over long distances while maintaining high picture quality.

For easy transmission over a network and efficient on-site Wi-Fi operation, a wireless adapter is under development. The adapter will be directly connectable to the PMW-400 to enable proxy files that can be transmitted via 3G/4G/LTE/Wi-Fi to accelerate the ENG workflow. Using Wi-Fi transmission, the adapter is compatible with mobile applications installed on devices such as tablet PCs and smartphones.

Future enhancements planned for the PMW-400 include file browsing management, proxy file preview, stream viewing of camera signals, proxy and high-resolution file transfer, metadata input and remote camera control.

The PMW-400 camcorder will be available in August 2013.

Sony also introduced a new Anycast Touch system, which combines a touch-screen interface common in mobile devices with full-scale A/V performance. This affordable, easy-to-use, ultra-portable all-in-one live production system is ideal for live broadcasting or webcasting in applications such as sports and ENG.

The Anycast Touch system combines a video switcher, audio mixer, special effects generator, PTZ camera control, a real-time streaming encoder, image still store, character generator and scale converter. It uses a sliding, dual touch-screen interface similar to a tablet.

A tilt-screen function allows the two dual screens to split video and audio controls and store them in scene folders with settings including titles, logos and effects. Operators can recall the next video source just by touching its thumbnail picture, and content can be streamed live over the Internet or a dedicated network.

Also, at NAB, Sony added two new 4K cameras to its Cine Alta line—the F55 and F5, joining the flagship F65. The new cameras have already begun shipping. Several TV series and pilots are already using the new cameras.

Sony is also demonstrating 4K technology through “picture stitching”—the setting up of two 4K cameras to provide a horizontal 8K image of an entire playing surface. A new technology called "4K picture stitching" lets sports broadcasters build a complete production remotely using full-HD cutaways.

Sony said more than 31 manufacturers are now support Sony’s XAVC video format—an open format for 4K and HD recording in professional and consumer markets. The company is also unveiling a new consumer-oriented XAVC-S format that will support MP4 encoding of both 4K, HD and proxy video.