The HDC-4300 puts you in total control of your content. For the first time, one camera platform is all you need to handle 4K, HD and super slow motion – helping you generate maximum returns on today’s production budgets.
Delivering uncompromised image quality, the HDC-4300 integrates seamlessly with HD infrastructures and accessories as well as the world’s most advanced 4K Live Production workflows. Optional software upgrades let you add amazing 4K 2x and HD 8x super slow motion and 4K image capture to standard HD outputs. All the flexibility and control you demand are right there in a single high-performance platform.
The HDC-4300 joins Sony’s widely acclaimed HDC Series family of Live Production solutions. Operation is reassuringly familiar to operators and cameramen, so you’re up and running faster without expensive re-training.
The HDC-4300 is fully compatible with a wide range of existing products and workflows, including viewfinders, large lens adaptors and camera control units. There’s no need for investment in additional accessories, keeping costs and inventory down.
Featured in the HDC-4300, cutting-edge Sony technological innovation and unparalleled hands-on Live Production experience are crystallised in the design of the world’s first three 2/3-inch 4K imaging device. This advanced optical system supports the next-generation ITU-R BT.2020 colour gamut, enabling more precise colour reproduction in live broadcasts. You’ll see the difference with vibrant, true-to-life images that make viewers feel as if they’re actually there.
European broadcaster BT Sport and facilities partner Timeline TV picked the new HDC-4300 camera to capture breathtaking live motor sports action in beautiful 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160).
Working alongside Host Broadcast Services, Sony provided HD production facilities at all 12 tournament venues, as well as overseeing 4K production for three key matches including the Final in Rio. Pictures were streamed live from Brazil to a UK cinema and projected in Sony 4K.
Major golf tournaments present one of the most testing Outside Broadcast environments in live sports production. Teaming up with Sky Sports for the 2014 Ryder Cup at the historic PGA Centenary Course, Sony’s 4K workflow and F55s were successfully put to the test capturing stunning 4K images live over fibre runs exceeding 5km, uplinked back to Sky’s London HQ.
Collaborating with NT Live, Sony produced the first live 4K broadcast of a drama production. Sony cameras captured the National Theatre stage performance simultaneously in 4K and HD. Pictures were transmitted to the Curzon Cinema in Chelsea and projected in Sony 4K.
In a sporting landmark, Sony and FIFA partnered successfully in a pioneering trial of live 4K production workflow. Three matches at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte were captured using Sony 4K cameras and the world’s first purpose-built 4K mobile production unit.
As part of its long-term partnership with the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Sony deployed 4K cameras to shoot and record match footage on Centre Court and No. 1 Court. The successful 4K trial followed on from 3D broadcasts of the Tournament in 2011 and 2012.
Award-winning band Muse created a breathtaking visual document of its electrifying live show with the help of Sony. Shot using sixteen Sony 4K cameras, the band’s summer performance at Rome’s Olympic Stadium is the biggest live concert movie to date shot in 4K for cinematic release.
Thanks to the 2/3-inch camera mount, the HDC-4300 works directly with B4 lenses. The B4-mount supports both HD and 4K lenses, allowing you to use B4-mount high power large lenses to capture sports scenes with a deep depth of field.
With optional software the HDC-4300 has the function of capturing 4K images. For the HDC-4300, Sony has brought together its leading-edge technologies and deep experience to design and build the world’s first three 2/3-inch 4K imagers with ultra-precision alignment technology used to mount the chips to a newly-developed prism. This new optical system supports the wide colour gamut of ITU-R BT.2020*, enabling more precise colour reproduction in live broadcasts.
*ITU-R BT.2020 is the specification of video format defined by ITU-R.
The HDC-4300’s real 4K imagers capture at four times the resolution of HD. In HD shooting, this can be used to achieve extreme high-speed image capture at a maximum of 479.52/400 fps with the optional software upgrade. The frame rates of 59.94/50, 119.88/100 and 179.82/150 fps are available as standard. In 4K shooting, a maximum of 119.88/100 fps can be achieved. The real-time full digital process is applied to each frame even at high frame rates in the BPU-4000/BPU-4500, producing the same quality in the images as one at the normal speed. Captured images can be recorded to the PWS-4400 or the PWS-4500 4K/HD multi-port AV storage unit for super slow motion replay*.
*Some third-party manufacturer servers may also be used.
For 4K 2x and HD 8x slow motion replay, the following condition is required:
The HDC-4300 is designed to fit into the growing Sony 4K Live Production environment alongside the PMW-F55 and F65 live camera configurations. With an optional software upgrade, the HDC-4300 enables 4K capture for multiple 4K and HD outputs, working directly with the BPU-4000 baseband processor unit and the HDCU-2000 or HDCU-2500 camera control units.
The HDC-4300 is part of Sony’s acclaimed and widely adopted HDC Series family of Live Production solutions and benefits from direct compatibility with its wide range of accessories, including viewfinders, large lens adaptors, remote control panels and camera control units.
The BPU-4500 and BPU-4000 offer real-time 4K digital signal processing and the signal can be simultaneously down-converted to a HD signal and output when connected to the HDC-4300 via an optical fibre cable.
The BPU-4500 is equipped with the IP interfaces which enables IP Live Production for 4K/HD succeeding all the functionalities of the BPU-4000. The detail process can be optimally adjusted in each signal.
(SZC-2001 for HD Cutout function; SZC-4002 for High Frame Rate function)
The full-rack-size HDCU-2000 and half-rack-size HDCU-2500 are available, in combination with BPU-4000 Baseband Processor Unit, for the 4K live camera system. These enable power supply to the camera, interfacing with peripheral equipment, and transferring Intercom, Tally, Prompter, Audio, and other signals. The optical fibre transmission system used in these units maintains the camera’s high picture quality.
Even without an HDCU-2000/HDCU-2500 unit, the 4K live camera system can operate by supplying power to the HDC-4300 locally in a simple configuration. This is particularly useful when you need to minimise equipment during location shooting.
HDLA-1500, HDLA-1505, and HDLA-1507 adaptors do not require any cable wiring. Utilising an unprecedented interlocking mechanism, this solution passes the power, video, and control signals on directly from the portable camera to the HDLA Series adaptor.
This unique mechanism also allows the portable camera to be attached and detached without removing large lenses. Furthermore, a lens can be removed even when the camera is mounted on the HDLA-1500 or HDLA-1505 adaptor. The interlocking mechanism therefore allows for astonishingly quick and smooth setup.
These units record both 4K and HD video signals using as many as four 4K channels through the highly efficient XAVC video format. The recorded content can be easily handled for slow motion replay. For 4K 2x and HD 8x slow motion replay, the PWS-4400 system requires software upgrade V1.4 and the PWS-4500 requires optional software PWSL-HF45.
Operation for live slow motion is available by utilising the PWS-100PR1 and PWSK-4403.
PWS-100MG1 software transfers content to/from removable media (e.g., USB-HDD and Optical Disc Archive unit).
This winning top-end monitor offers the inherent superb and Scientific and Technical Academy Award® winning TRIMASTER EL™ OLED monitor performance technology. In addition, the BVM-X300 supports High Dynamic Range mode and wide colour gamut conforming to DCI-P3 and most of the ITU-R BT.2020 colour space.
This right size, easy-to-use monitor fits for every element of the production workflow including 4K cinema production (on-set monitoring, dailies, and editing), 4K Live Production (camera control and programme preview) and real-time 4K presentation.
Sony’s new 4K/HD system camera, the HDC-4300 – a portable camera suited to live sports and recorded studio broadcasts – was built around the world’s first* 2/3-inch 3-chip 4K image sensor, attracting considerable excitement at its launch at NAB 2015.
Tadamasa Kurashige (product design) and Kazuyoshi Maeda (product planning) two of Sony’s industry-leading product development team in the Professional Solutions Business Group now explain the concepts and back story behind the new camera’s development.
*Based on Sony data, as of April 13th 2015.
Tadamasa Kurashige and Kazuyoshi Maeda begin by explaining the background to the development: “The scope for today’s 4K productions is widening — from movies, commercials, TV dramas to documentaries, and now for the growing demand for the recording and live broadcasting of concerts and sports.
“Sony has innovated various products to meet these needs. For example, broadcasters can configure a live 4K/HD system around a PMW-F55 CineAlta 4K camera together with a PWS-4400 4K/HD multiport AV storage unit.”
However, the broadcast industry does not stand still and with the demands changing to suit a growing desire for 4K content, our customers have continued to tell us of their wish for an even more robust lineup from Sony. In particular, the desire for a 4K/HD system camera that could support the widely used B4 lens mounts was clear. So, this was the main reason we developed the HDC-4300, listening to our customers.
“The development began in the autumn of 2013, when we decided that the advent of the 4K era would require a studio camera with a 2/3-inch image sensor. Using our in-house research and development team, the plan was launched to develop the new sensor.
“When we started considering the design of the sensor, the first question was to determine the design and characteristics of the cameras to be used with it. So we went ahead and worked with the R and D team to decide on the camera and sensor specifications and so on. I should say that Sony really stands for our ability to design our own image sensors, and in the care and attention we put into design and production which customers expect from our professional cameras.”
“I guess its okay to reveal that when we were first setting our goals for the new sensor, it seemed that the development of the camera itself would be postponed. That’s because Sony had already introduced the PMW-F55 camera, with its super-35mm 4K CMOS sensor. That camera was positioned as part of a Live Production system, based on PL-mount lenses and other components. So there was a feeling that this type of system would be sufficient to meet 4K demands.
“Of course, if I do say so myself, the PMW-F55 is a wonderful camera! Thanks to its super-35mm sensor and its PL-mount lenses, it’s a great solution for shooting dramas, music, documentaries, and so on. And if you add in some magnification optics and a lens support, you can even use it with high power lenses.
“But, when it comes to shooting sports, you’d need to use an existing large lens adaptor (HDLA) to enable easy attachment of a high power large lens. And with shooting in stadiums — where you have so much direct light — you would need the camera to deliver optimum sensitivity as our HDC Series do.
So we decided that we really did need to come up with an HDC-type 3-chip 4K camera.”
“The key device of the HDC-4300 is the 2/3-inch 3-chip 4K image sensor block. We developed a new optical system to hold the 4K CMOS sensors and prism. With our unique alignment technology, we could precisely mount the three sensor chips to the optical system. In this way, the 2/3-inch 3-chip 4K image sensor block is formed.
“As a result of this approach, the new design supports the next-generation ITU-R BT.2020 the specification of video format defined by ITU-R, allowing for extremely precise colour reproduction over a very wide colour space.
“It also delivers the images with a deep depth of field you need for sports broadcasts — so you don’t just see the players gathered around the ball, for example, but also the players moving about further back on the playing field.”
“Of course we had to design in the functions and the performance level that would be needed for a successful system camera. We leveraged everything we’d learned so far with the HDC series, and as a result we were able to achieve the same high sensitivity and the same high SN ratio (above -62 dB) available with existing system cameras. And the built-in, servo-controlled ND and CC filters make operation very consistent with those cameras, as well.”
“In its standard configuration, the HDC-4300 can capture images at 3x the standard frame rate (in HD). But if you install the separately-sold SZC-4002 software package, then you can also capture HD at 4x, 6x, and 8x frame rates. You can store the resulting video into a PWS-4400, and then replay it at up to 8x super slow-motion.”
“By connecting the HDC-4300 to our BPU-4000 baseband unit and a HDCU-2000/2500 camera control unit, you have all the functions you need for live broadcasts and studio productions — including power supply, intercom, tally, and return video.
“As a result, this system can also work in combination with a PMW-F55 or F65 Live Production system, giving you a wide variety of features and enabling you to shoot, record, and relay 4K video for many different applications. And because the HDC-4300 camera body and design are very close to those of HDC-2500 multiformat portable camera, you can easily configure it with existing HDC-2000-series devices and make use of your existing HD lenses and peripherals. You can use the HDC-4300 to shoot 4K as needed, while making a smooth migration from HD to 4K at your own pace.”
Tadamasa and Kazuyoshi conclude: “So, as we’ve explained, we have leveraged what we learned from our earlier, highly successful HDC models, and as a result we were able to design and build the HDC-4300 in a relatively short time — in just about 18 months.
“But of course, our development work is always ongoing. Once our designs get out into the field, they generate new needs; and of course it’s absolutely essential that we monitor these needs alongside our customers, and then address them in updates to our current models and in the new ones we are coming up with.
“Naturally, we shall continue working to attract customers to Sony cameras. The new HDC-4300 is an important addition to our F65 and PMW-F55 lineup. We hope it will help customers meet emerging needs, and support a more rapid migration into 4K.
“As Sony designers, we are happiest when we can make a positive contribution to the way the industry does video.”