Sony has just announced another milestone in their lineup of external recording devices. This time, the buzz is about the successor to the AXS-R5 recorder, which is designed to be used with the Sony PMW-F5 or F55. The AXS-R7 recorder module has a unique new feature in addition to the pre-existing linear 16Bit RAW capabilities: it is able to record a new 16-bit X-OCN compressed RAW format. The Sony AXS-R7 and its Original Camera Negative Format Evolution tends to produce strange effects, indeed. Not long ago, RAW was the buzzword when it came to high quality acquisition. Being able to record unaltered, well, “RAW” information straight from the sensor just seemed to be the holy grail in terms of image quality. The downsides? Well, the resulting massive file sizes significantly slow down the workflow in post. Shoot, edit, deliver? Better forget that unless you have access to some kind of supercomputer. Sony’s new X-OCN is short for eXtended tonal range Original Camera Negative. Now, that is certainly a clunky term, but the underlying technology promises to produce a raw sensor-level quality just as you would expect from a RAW file, but packed into significantly smaller files (read: lower bitrate) and therefore, greater ease of use in your given post workflow. It’s actually pretty much the same as what RED is doing with its REDcode compressed RAW format. The Sony AXS-R7 recording module It comes in two flavors: ST (standard) and LT (lite), and both of them only differ in the bitrates used while maintaining the full 16Bit latitude of the incoming sensor data stream. The ST flavour promises to be visually indistinguishable from the company’s RAW format. The LT version aims for fast-paced workflows while still maintaining the sensor’s full latitude. note: The X-OCN ST bitrate is only about 70% of the RAW bitrate State of Play It all sounds pretty awesome, but there have to be some downsides, right? Well, of course! First of all, there’s the price tag, which hasn’t been published as of yet. Its predecessor, the AXS-R5 retails for $5,350, so don’t expect the AXS-R7 to be any cheaper than that. Plus, you’ll need AXS type storage media, which also comes at a price. A 512 GB AXS card will dig a $1,800 hole in your wallet. Please refer to the chart below to see which media is needed for different resolutions and frame rates: The other major downside is that the new X-OCN format is only available in the PMW-F5 and F55 with the AXS-R7 recording module attached. It’s a highly integrated hardware upgrade and certainly not something you could pimp your existing Sony camera with. Conclusion The lesson is clear: Sony takes aim at the signature RED workflow with the introduction of the AXS-R7 recording module. It certainly comes at a price, but maybe we’ll see the fruits of this development in other cameras down the road. The concept of getting the most of the RAW sensor data while maintaining reasonable file sizes is certainly welcome! At least as long as these file sizes are requesting tremendous amounts of computing power. you’ll need AXS media in order to record the new X-OCN format with the AXS-R7 recording module The AXS-R7 is not here yet, but will be available in September at the latest. There will be an update for Sony’s RAW viewer software in order to support the new format, and I’m sure many of the major color grading software developers, such as DaVinci Resolve, will follow. What do you think? Are you enjoying editing RAW files or do you prefer already processed data like ProRes? Could this new RED-like compressed RAW workflow be an alternative that works for you? For more information, please refer to Sony’s official site.Read more
RED have made some recent announcements at NAB 2016. With “4K for all” and the all anticipated RED Raven around the corner, here are some of the highlights RED users can look forward to. RED Firmware Update RED have introduced a new recording format. All DSMC2 cameras will now be able to record in Avid DNxHR or Avid DNxHD. The new firmware update also allows for a very cool feature that will give some DIT’s relief. Shooters now have the flexibility to simultaneously capture REDCODE RAW and Avid DNxHR or Avid DNxHD – adding a whole new level of powerful workflow improvement to professionals shooting on RED. The firmware update is available for free, here. New DSMC2 Side Handle The new DSMC2 Side Handle is designed for shooters who prefer a compact handheld configuration. It features a molded rubber grip and puts primary camera controls right at your fingertips. The primary navigation wheel (front) offers direct control over lens focus while the secondary navigation wheel on the side supports iris functions. There are four customizable camera parameter buttons which provide quick access to controls such as exposure, white balance, magnification toggle, and autofocus. Besides the obvious record button, the handle has a MARK FRAME button, allowing you to tag frames while shooting and revisit them later in post-production. The DSMC2 Side Handle will cost $950 and will be available in Fall 2016. DSMC2 Jetpack-SDI Expander The Jetpack-SDI Expander is designed for aerial, gimbal, handheld, and other lightweight/remote applications that require 3G-SDI output. It also features connections for power (DC IN), SDI (3G-SDI), Gigabit Ethernet (GIG-E), AUX power, SYNC, and CTRL A selector switch enables the DSMC2 BRAIN to automatically boot when power is provided via the DC IN connector on the expander. This feature allows you to use a connected DC input supply to turn the BRAIN on and off when the camera is mounted in remote or difficult to maneuver locations. The DSMC2 Jetpack-SDI Expander will cost $1250 and will be available in Fall 2016. Red Pro Touch 7″ LCD The Red Pro Touch 7.0″ LCD is a 1920 × 1136 resolution display panel that provides improved color accuracy, high pixel density (at 323 ppi), and 1000:1 contrast. Apparently it is bright enough for operation in high ambient light. The lightweight display mounts to your BRAIN or other 1/4-20 mounting surface and provides a LEMO connection to connect to your camera. The RED Pro Touch 7.0″ LCD is an ideal monitoring option for gimbals, cranes, and remote (away from the camera) viewing. The Red Pro Touch 7.0″ LCD will cost $2950 and will be available in Fall 2016. DSCM2 V-Lock Battery Module The New V-Lock Battery Module can be used with REDBRICK or third party batteries. It offers a P-Tap connector, which is located on the top of the module, and supports a maximum current of 3.0 Amps. The RED DSCM2 V-Lock Battery Module will cost $595 and will be available in Fall 2016. More details about all the new announcements here.Read more
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