Sony 4k Camera's Eye on the Future

Courtesy of Sony

Sony Electronics has upped the digital-cinematography ante with the F65, a prototype of its new 4K camera, which boasts higher resolution and greater dynamic range. The camera was unveiled April 10 at the annual National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.

Curtis Clark, who chairs the American Society of Cinematographers' technology committee and has been consulting with Sony during the camera's development, took the F65 out for a test drive by shooting a six-minute live-action short called The Arrival, which screened as part of the NAB presentation.

The film was shot in such locations as Los Angeles' Union Station and the wrought-iron-filled Bradbury Building — one of the sites used for Blade Runner. Says Clark, "We wanted locations that would challenge the wide dynamic range of exposures but that at the same time would be able to resolve fine architectural detail and textures [because the new 4K camera] basically opens up the possibility of a whole new photographic canvas."

Most current digital-cinematography cameras, as well as postproduction processes, use 2K resolution. By comparison, 4K offers four times the amount of picture information.

Sony has long been working toward the goal of shooting, doing postproduction work and then projecting a film in 4K. It launched its 4K theatrical projection system in 2005 and reports that about 5,700 projectors have been installed in the U.S. Adding to the base of 4K projectors, Texas Instruments recently introduced its 4K DLP Cinema chip, which can be used in projectors made by Barco, Christie and NEC. The F65, which handle 16-bit 4K, promises to complete the picture.