Sony Guns for RED with Compact 35mm Mystery Cam
Sony showed two new cameras at IBC this year: one was a shoulder-mounted 3D camcorder that looks like a direct competitor to Panasonic's own forthcoming 3D Camcorder, the AG3DA1, and the other is a smaller form-factor camera with a 35mm sensor that looks like a competitor to the Panasonic AF100 - that, or it's a direct attempt to capture RED's market.
I'm guessing Sony has their sites set slightly higher than Panasonic, as news recently broke that Panny will retail the AF100 for $4,995, which is a grand less than expected. Considering Sony's current HD lineup includes the really, really expensive F35 and SRW-9000 (the latter of which I used on this shoot), I would assume this as-yet unnamed 35mm sensor camera is designed to compete in the same sub-$10k market that RED's oft-delayed SCARLET is supposed to capture (SCARLET also scales well above that pricepoint, depending on options and sensor). Because details are very scarce on the new Sony, I was going to come up with my own questions -- but Ozzy Alvarez summed them up perfectly:
I have three questions regarding this 35mm camera. First, is this thing part of their NXCAM, HDCAM, XDCAM line? Secondly, to what media format does this thing record to, SXS, SDHC, SDHX, Hard Drive, Flash Drive? And finally, from the picture, this camera is not shoulder mounted so it looks like its meant to be handheld like the Z7 or EX1 but it looks too large and heavy. Any idea about the weight and dimensions of this camera?
Listening to the rest of the chatter, it seems this camera will be targeted at the actual pro market, not the prosumer one. It's not a DSLR-killer, it's a RED-killer. So whereas the AF100 uses the AVCHD codec and has a Micro 4/3 sensor, the mystery Sony cam will likely have a much better codec (and it will definitely have a larger sensor). We first caught a glimpse of this Sony back in March, and details are still scarce, which leads me to believe that we won't be seeing it until well into 2011. On the other hand, perhaps that's right around the time we'll finally see RED SCARLET cams. Was FreshDV's Matt Jeppsen right when he speculated that Sony will get the cheese?
In other news, Sony also showed a prototype 3D camcorder, which you can see alongside Panasonic's AG3DA1 here:
The next year should be an interesting one, with plenty of cameras vying to be the ones to capture the $5k-$10k "more pro than a DSLR" market.