Sony Professional HDR

Realism redefined. A world of more creative production solutions.

Young female looking through camera to Red car

How can Sony Professional HDR help you?

High Dynamic Range (HDR) offers broadcasters and content creators limitless expressive possibilities.

Sony Professional HDR can offer the solutions you need to create visually stunning HDR images, for any production.

From cinematography and TV broadcasting to live events and corporate videos, we’ll help realise your vision with a comprehensive portfolio of hardware, recording formats and workflow options – from acquisition to post-production and mastering.

What is HDR?

HDR delivers an immersive viewing experience capturing bright highlights and deep shadow details
with delicate nuances of color, just as if you were looking at the scene with the naked eye.

Learn about the use of HDR technology in today’s productions >

Ornamental wine glasses in different colours with a make up palette and brushes

What are the benefits of HDR?

Learn about the technology behind HDR and how it improves images.

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Flexible HDR workflow from Sony Professional HDR. Quality content your way.

There’s a choice of HDR workflow options from Sony Professional to satisfy every production need:

• For movies, drama, documentaries and commercials where image quality is paramount

• For live production with a focus on premium pictures in real time 

• For events and corporate productions that balance quality with cost

At Sony we understand the goals and challenges of all these production environments. You’ll see this reflected in our innovations for HDR production. Like our S-Log gamma curve that captures extended dynamic range information to match every artistic intent. And our X-OCN recording format that can faithfully reproduce the same rich tonal information as RAW in far smaller files.

3 images, first one is man swimming, second is female gymnast in stripey outfit, third image is a sea coastline with umbrellas and people sunbathing

Sony Professional HDR for cinema, drama, documentaries and commercials

HDR captures subtle expressions of light and shadow to amplify the imagination of every storyteller.

All our latest CineAlta cameras including the acclaimed VENICE are HDR ready, supporting the efficient X-OCN format with our AXS-R7 portable memory recorder.

Shooting in X-OCN allows 16-bit scene linear tonal gradation, retaining the camera’s full dynamic range and affording greater capacity for visual expression with dramatically smaller file sizes.

Learn more about the leading-edge technology of VENICE >

‘Daydream’ shot on VENICE by Jon Joffin, ASC

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Sony Professional HDR for live production – enhanced by Sony SR Live

Sony introduced the SR Live system for the creation of SDR and HDR programs in live production in 2016. Sony’s SR Live for HDR workflow reduces the costs and complexity of simultaneous HDR and SDR programme production by a single crew.

Standing for ‘Super-Reality’ or ‘Scene Referred’ Live production, SR Live for HDR delivers pristine image quality as well as flexible multipurpose distribution format options, including 4K HDR (PQ/SMPTE ST.2084 and HLG), 4K SDR, HD HDR and HD SDR.

Threepeople jumping over the snow with snow bikes

Why use Sony SR Live?

The choice of industry leading broadcasters, production houses and OB Truck Companies around the world, SR Live for HDR offers these compelling benefits:

• Realisation of a Scene Referred HDR production workflow

• Simultaneous creation of both HDR and SDR programme content

• SDR-based camera shading using existing tools and techniques

• ‘As-seen’ conversion, to maintain creative intent throughout the production and delivery chain

In an SR Live production workflow, it is recommended that 4K HDR is used as the principal production format, allowing conversion to any format required for distribution. During shooting, the Video Engineer can perform simultaneous production of 4K HDR/HD SDR by adjusting the HD SDR output as described in the section, “SDR-based camera shading”, below. This eliminates the need for a dedicated crew for HDR adjustment and enables efficient operation that follows the conventional HD production workflow.

These are the summarised key features of Sony SR Live – more detailed information is available in our latest White Paper, downloadable at the link on this page.

HDRC-4000 – the foundation of SR Live production

The HDRC-4000 can support a wide variety of video signal conversion, including 4K HDR, HD HDR, 4K SDR and HD SDR – without signal loss and while achieving greater workflow efficiency.

Importantly, this means that the same picture tone after conversion between 4K HDR to another 4K HDR format, is retained. It is also possible to achieve the same HD SDR image matching after 4K HDR to HD SDR conversion has taken place, at later stage in the production process.

AIR Matching function

The HDRC-4000 can also provide “as seen” conversion of the AIR Matching function to faithfully retain the producer’s artistic intent, across any distribution format, throughout conversion.

SDR-based camera shading

While SDR remains prevalent, broadcasters and production houses must avoid degradation of the SDR production workflow – even if they’re producing in HDR at the same time. With SDR-based shading, camera operators (shaders/painters) can continue using their knowledge of picture quality in SDR production for both SDR and HDR images.

The principle of SR Live for HDR workflow

Create the best 4K HDR, HD HDR, and HD SDR. Perform simultaneous SDR / HDR Live production. Achieve the same high picture quality- from production, through distribution – and take advantage of real-time SDR shading and paint, controlled by a single video engineer, for both HDR and SDR signals.

The principle of SR Live for HDR workflow diagram

SR Live Metadata

Sony’s recently introduced SR Live Metadata packet stores 26 parameters, describing creative decisions and camera adjustments made by camera operators during production. Embedded within the SDI signal, this metadata provides information to allow exact duplication of the SDR programme from the HDR layer. This is available even if conversion from HDR to SDR takes place at a later stage in the production process at the broadcast station. It also allows metadata parameters to be checked visually, both live and during post-production.

SR Live MetaFile

The HDRC-4000 HDR converter unit performs HDR to SDR / SDR to HDR conversions within Sony’s SR Live production workflow.
The parameter settings for each conversion, including SR Live Metadata, can be saved within the HDRC-4000 or stored on an external USB memory as an SR Live MetaFile (.srm) file.

The SRM files can be shared between multiple devices using the file transfer function of an MSU (Master Set-Up Unit) or via the USB memory storage. The files can be used to store a production team’s preferred conversion parameters, or to apply a pre-set value for each parameter.

Preset SR Live MetaFiles and SR Live 3D LUTs

  • Standard Setting and Versatile Setting (.srm)

In SR Live, picture painting is based on the customer’s preference, but it could also be used for trials for set-up and easier, more convenient settings by determining the standard value of setting. For such purposes, Sony has provided a selection of pre-set SRM files that have been optimised for use within an SR Live workflow. They can be used for the efficient configuration of equipment for a real-world production, or as the basis of a workflow test prior to a live event.

There are two (2) kinds of SRM files have been provided. One is called “Standard Setting”, and the other one is “Versatile Setting”. Users can select either a “Standard” or a choice of “Versatile” settings. The “Standard” is fixed and primarily intending to derive a conventional look of SDR images, while the “Versatile” settings provide a degree of control over the dispersion of brightness in the HDR signal.

HDR signals can be displayed smoothly even when mixing image signals that have different criteria for brightness as it is possible to express wide luminance signals.

On the other hand, with SDR signals, the luminance level must be strictly controlled.

For this reason, when converting HDR signal to SDR signal, Gain setting decisions for HDR to SDR conversion can be more challenging especially when an input signal is painted/shaded in HDR domain that has a different brightness managing criteria.

To address this challenge, versatile SR Live setting value that can maintain certain SDR image quality can be provided as a “Versatile Setting” SRM file.

Download SR Live MetaFile >

  • 3D-LUT (.cube)

Sony has also created a set of 3D-LUT (.cube) files for use in HDR to SDR / SDR to HDR conversion equipment within an SR Live workflow.

The SR Live 3D-LUT files can be used within an HDR production chain to convert a program output from HDR to SDR, or when assessing image quality using an SDR picture monitor.

As same as the set of SRM files, users can select either a “Standard” or a choice of “Versatile” conversion quality. The “Versatile” settings provide a degree of control over the dispersion of brightness in the HDR signal.

Download 3D-LUT >

Read our SR Live for HDR whitepaper

Sony Professional HDR for events and corporate productions

As demand for premium content increases, video professionals are taking advantage of the higher luminance, contast and wider colour gamut that HDR provides. What’s more, content creators need to deliver content quickly without compromising picture quality or their own personal creative vision.

Sony’s entry-level handheld camcorders offer ‘instant HDR’ with Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) recording for easy file-based HDR workflows. You’ll enjoy the creative freedom to shoot, edit and view HDR footage on an HLG compatible display without the need for additional hardware or colour grading.

See more on how Sony ‘instant HDR’ can transform your content >

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Create stunning images with the complete family of creative HDR tools from Sony

Produce in High Dynamic Range (HDR) and maximise the appeal of all your content – from sport, live entertainment, drama and cinema to commercials and corporate productions. We’ve got the creative HDR tools for every production including live system cameras, large sensor cameras, camcorders, switchers, servers, recorders, monitors and creative software.

¾ view of HDRC-4000 production converter unit
HDR live system cameras, switchers and 4K server

Shoot spectacularly detailed images that spark even more excitement and audience immersion – in 4K and 8K.

See all HDR live system products

¾ view of VENICE CineAlta camera
HDR large sensor cameras, 4K recorder and creative software

The choice of discerning cinematographers, documentary makers and content creators.

See all HDR large sensor, 4K recorder and creative software products

¾ view of PXW-Z750 4K 2/3-type 3-chip CMOS shoulder-mount camcorder
HDR shoulder and handheld camcorders

Catch all the excitement and realism of the moment – capture arresting HDR pictures in any situation.

See all HDR shoulder and handheld camcorders

¾ view of BVM-HX310 31-inch 4K TRIMASTER HX™ professional master monitor
HDR professional monitors

Industry-acclaimed professional monitors – the choice for unsurpassed HDR image accuracy and consistency.

See all HDR professional monitors

Case studies
James Cameron

James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment to Shoot AVATAR sequels on Sony’s VENICE Camera

Find out more >

HDR Tech SkyPerfect

SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation describe the successful upgrade of their studio control rooms in Tokyo Media Centre with Sony’s 4K HDR solutions

Find out more >

JSTV crew in group shot

JSTV broadcasts Chinese New Year celebrations in simultaneous 4K and HD with Sony

Find out more >

Learn more about Sony Professional HDR