Sony to announce a “new F” on 10/31/12 – PMW-F5? PMW-F4k?

Is Sony taking lessons from the newer cinema companies in their marketing strategy?  It started as a tweet, then an announcement webpage went up to announce the announcement, then a store offered a preorder page for what they are assuming is a camera.  Within 24 hours it has turned into a circus of cryptic details about the “new f” mixed with speculation and rumors.

Before I get into the announcement rumor mill, let me tangent on Sony’s marketing strategy.  As I just pointed out, seems they are doing a little of what RED and Canon did to muster hype about their newest offerings…but alas because of the following statement on their announcement of the announcement page…I’m thinking that’s not the case.  Here’s what they said:

"...we don’t believe in simply shouting to everyone and anyone.
We want to tell those who want to hear."

Why in the name of all things would they not want to shout it on a mountaintop?  This is the exact problem of the F3 in that clients and producers haven’t ever heard of it…but drop buzzwords like 5d, RED, and C300 and they start watering at the mouth.  That’s because RED and Canon BELIEVED in simply SHOUTING TO EVERYONE AND ANYONE…that’s why they are enormously popular!  I don’t get it.  Okay…end of rant.

CHECK OUT THE SONY ANNOUNCEMENT PAGE: http://www.sony.co.uk/pro/article/thenewf

So what will this new offering be?  We will find out in 14 days.  But man it’s fund to speculate.

Here’s what we know about this new camera:

1) It will be somewhere in the vast expanse between the F3 and F65.
2) It addresses many of the feature requests Sony entertained from F3 users.
3) It is a camera.

This is what else we know about Sony:

1) Sony is not above placing existing advanced sensors in cheaper bodies. (F3 sensor in FS100)
2) 4k is a very real competitive market right now.
3) The F3 is due for a replacement according to the historic release dates.
4) the F3 is at its limit for any profound firmware updates.
5) there is a huge gap in the Sony 4k offerings between the fs700 and the F65, and the price point is near F3 territory.
6) They have entertained suggestions on F3 improvements, which include (and seem to be the most popular requests) 50mbps internal codec, RAW output, faster framerates, viewfinder, ergonomics, menu structure, and build quality.

My Prediction:

1) They will be announcing a camera near the F3 original price point with the F65 sensor, i bet it will be called the F4k…or they may stick to skipping over the Japanese bad-luck number and make it the F5.
2) With a compressed codec at 50mbps 1080p 4:2:2 to internal cards, more or less the same s-log and 1.5g and 3G dual link outputs, ability to send out 4k RAW to their simoultaneously announced 4k raw recorder (that can be used on the F4k and the fs700).
3) The 1080p shooting would have more advanced fs700 framerates without buffer restrictions, but the 4k option framerates will fall short at no more than 60i.
4) Better menu structure.
5) The camera will be ergonomical, better mounting options, and look more like a modular “cinema camera” with a viewfinder congruent to that ideology.

So there you have it.  I for one am glad I don’t have to wait very long to see this announcement, even though we have no idea when the camera itself will be released.  I just hope Sony would see the success RED and Canon had with their announcements and would follow suit.  I believe Sony to be at the top of digital cinema, but unfortunately that isn’t the only factor when you are trying to get hired by people who never hear about their products.  Of course I could be completely wrong on my prediction…but it sure is fun to speculate!  I’ll come back and post a followup with the actual specs after the announcement.

 

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