NAB 2019: Sony drops two new cameras and upgrades FS7 and FS7 II

To kickoff NAB, Sony announced a new 4K HDR live cam alongside an entry-level camcorder. Sony also revealed new upgrades for the PXW-FS7 and PXW-FS7M2.

The two new cameras coming from Sony are the HDC-5500 and the HXR-MC88. While the HDC-5500 is geared towards live production, the HXR-MC88 is content with being Sony’s next entry-level camera. Also, the PXW-FS7 and PXW-FS7M2 are getting a new build-up kit and a B4 to E mount lens adapter

There’s a lot of news coming from Sony at NAB this year, so let’s break down everything one-by-one:


Sony HDC-5500
Sony HDC-5500. Image courtesy Sony.

Sony’s HDC-5500 is a multi-format live camera that is capable of direct 4K signal output over 12G-SDI. Sony’s also claiming the HDC-5500 features the world’s first 2/3-inch 4K global shutter three CMOS sensor design. Sony says the sensor will “ensure superb image quality in HD, 4K and HDR live production.” But that’s not it. If you install additional software, you can get high frame rates of up to 4K 2x and HD 8x.

“The HDC-5500 provides industry leading flexibility for live production,” said Theresa Alesso, Pro division president, Sony Electronics. “We’ve listened carefully to the requirements of this rapidly evolving market and provided new capability for today’s 3G systems and tomorrow’s IP-based and HDR requirements. We’ve elegantly addressed production needs such as 4K, HDR, HFR, IP, digital triax and wireless.”

The HDCU-5500 is a half-rack sized camera control unit used with the HDC-5500. They’re connected by a single fiber cable without a baseband processor unit. The pair also offers Ultra High Bitrate (UHB) transmission that transmits 2 channels of 4K signals at a time.


Sony HXR-MC88
Sony HXR-MC88. Image courtesy Sony.

The newest addition to Sony’s affordable camcorders is the HXR-MC88. The cam itself is palm-sized and lightweight. It’s an HD camcorder with a BIONZ X image processing engine. Internally, the cam uses a 14.2 megapixel 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor. Sony says the HXR-MC88 “delivers impressive background bokeh defocus effects” and superior sensitivity for capturing high-quality images” with little noise in both bright and dark areas.

When zooming, the HXR-MC88 offers a 12x optical zoom, which can be doubled to 24x with Sony’s Clear Image Zoom tech. However, even though it’s zooming, Sony says that camera will retain its full resolution. Also, the 14.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and Sony’s Digital Extender can double the focal range to 48x. That makes the system viable for both wide-angle and telephoto shooting.

Additionally, the cam has built-in 4 Step ND Filters, an XLR audio input terminal and a microphone holder.

The HXR-MC88 camcorder will be out this July.

New kit and adapter for the PXW-FS7 and PXW-FS7M2

Sony CBK-FS7BK build-up kit
The build-up kit features a adjustable shoulder plate design. Image courtesy Sony.

The PXW-FS7 and PXW-FS7M2 XDCAM camcorders now have a new B4 lens to E mount adapter, along with a new ENG-style build-up kit, CBK-FS7BK.

The CBK-FS7BK build-up kit includes an extension unit with a wireless audio receiver slot, built-in network capability, a viewfinder, a robust cheese plate and an adjustable shoulder plate. Streaming and file transfers are possible through a wireless LAN or a 4G/LTE connection.

As for the new LA-EB1 mount adapter, it allows B4 lenses to be attached to FS7 and FS7 II cameras. This will make shooting deep depth of field with a high zoom ratio possible.

Image courtesy Sony

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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