Many broadcasters and videographers today are forced to use standard dynamic range (SDR) because they’re shooting on older technology that isn’t capable of delivering high dynamic range (HDR) images. And by using older video tech, video professionals aren’t getting the most current, up-to-date capabilities for applying effects like slow-motion to video clips — essential in sport broadcasting. Using older video tech ultimately squanders the potential for a more polished, more aesthetically pleasing image.
But as HDR-supporting video technology becomes more readily available, broadcasters, video professionals and serious enthusiasts now have access to HDR and boundary-pushing slow-motion like never before; they just need the right equipment. Sony’s PXW-Z90V, HXR-NX80 and FDR-AX700 cameras could just be what they are looking for. These new camcorders deliver 4K HDR recording along with SuperSlow slow-motion in a reliable and effective way.
4K HDR is an emerging feature that could significantly enhance the broadcasts you watch, but when people try to define HDR, it can get a little complex. The best way to understand what HDR is, let’s define contrast and dynamic range first. In video, contrast is the difference between the darks and the lights in a single clip. Dynamic range essentially describes how much detail can be achieved between those extremes. With that in mind, HDR allows for detail to be captured in both extremely light and extremely dark areas of the frame simultaneously. HDR doesn’t have the limitations that you get with older video signals because it’s able to describe colors and brightness on a wider scale, meaning you won’t have to compromise when it comes to exposing an image in mixed light.
Sony promises that their users will be able to get great looking video with the PXW-Z90V, HXR-NX80 and FDR-AX700 since they all support for 4K HDR recording with Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), which combines standard dynamic range and high dynamic range images into one single signal that can be transmitted to SDR or HDR screens. You can see how the PXW-Z90V and HXR-NX80’s HGL compares to SDR in the video below:
Sony also promises users an Instant HDR workflow that will allow users to produce high-quality HDR content smoothly. The Instant HDR workflow that Sony is offering promises to enable simple shooting, editing and viewing of HDR content in HLG, without the need for color grading during post-production. In addition, the cameras will also have S-Log3/S-Gamut3 capabilities that Sony says will let users to create and work with images as they desire.
But HDR video isn’t all these camcorders are offering. The cameras look to bring 120 frames per second (fps) Slow and Quick (S&Q ) Motion to the video community with no record limit. Sony proudly reports that the cameras are capable of capturing five-times slow-mo clips running longer than 30 minutes. The cameras also have up to 960 fps Super-Slow-Motion capabilities, which works out to an impressive 40 times slow-mo.
Having access to HDR and quality slow-mo is very important, and at times essential. As mentioned before, if you’re a sports broadcaster, you can’t report on sports professionally without using slow-motion to slow down the clips, and HDR sport broadcasts are much clearer and easier to analyze. And if you aren’t a sports broadcaster, HDR and slow-motion still punches up the overall quality of your videos, making them feel more professional and cinematic. To get HDR and good slow-motion capabilities, you need the correct equipment, and Sony’s PXW-Z90V, HXR-NX80 and FDR-AX700 all strive to offer the best HDR and slow-mo to broadcasters, professionals and serious enthusiasts.