Shock! Video Is Sony’s Biggest Opportunity

Kenji Tanaka, VP and Senior General Manager of Sony’s Business Unit 1, Digital Imaging Group, in his interview with DPReview’s Barney Britton, affirms that video is among the company’s greatest opportunities and that demand worldwide for video is strong. Better late than never!

Where do you see Sony’s biggest opportunities in today’s market?

Video is a big opportunity, and full-frame. In China especially, the full-frame mirrorless market is growing. We’re also going to continue to expand our lens lineup to meet the needs of professionals around the world. Those are our biggest opportunities, I think. Full-frame mirrorless and video. Demand for video is now growing in every region of the world.

I’m already invested in Sony and obviously would prefer not to change systems, so this is very encouraging news. I’ve even held off purchasing the splendid 135mm f/1.8 and 20mm f/1.8 lenses solely because it appeared that Sony had been neglecting video. No flagship full frame mirrorless camera by any other manufacturer maxes out at 8-bit 4:2:0!

Several excellent full frame mirrorless cameras already shoot 10-bit 4:2:2 and RAW, (including some increasingly affordable cinema cameras like the Z Cam), but each has its own drawbacks, either:

  • lacking IBIS
  • unreliable AF performance
  • too big or too small 😂
  • poor battery life
  • requiring an external recorder to shoot RAW
  • no flippy screen…
  • is named Canon (just kidding!)

Inexplicably, Sigma gives us 4K RAW from its 6K sensor (lack of processing power?) while Nikon uses pixel binning and on and on…

ProRes RAW, adopted by Panasonic, Nikon and Sigma, records WB and ISO metadata in the files but they aren’t available in Final Cut, in essence, making it not RAW – and ProRes RAW isn’t compatible with the far superior DaVinci Resolve.

Like every major brand, Sony’s also got a close working relationship with Atomos, leading me to fear they’ll implement ProRes RAW as well, requiring purchasing a Ninja V, working in Final Cut Pro and doing without WB and ISO metadata.

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