Sony 4000 nit mastering monitor and Burano CineAlta camera preview

posted on Friday, 8th December 2023 by Steve May

Sony  Pro AV  Mastering Monitor  CineAlta Camera 


Sony has introduced a new mastering monitor capable of 4,000 cd/m2 (nit) peak brightness which it hopes will persuade studios to be more creative with HDR on consumer content going forward.

The BVM-HX3110 is being positioned as the new standard for film and television production, and comes with a host of novel technologies which should encourage directors, cinematographers and colour graders to more aggressively embrace peak HDR brightness.

The implications for the content industry, Pro AV and CI are profound.

While this isn’t the first 4,000 nit mastering monitor to appear, it is the one most likely to find favour with the production industry at large. Sony’s existing BVM-HX310 is widely regarded as the default mastering monitor of choice, but it’s limited to a 1,000 cd/m2 ceiling.

To show off the considerable talents of this new display, Inside CI was invited to Sony’s Yokohama facility in Japan, for a hands-on session.

The briefing offered an opportunity to directly compare the BVM-HX3110 with its predecessor. Sequences limited by the 1,000 nit ceiling (after which peak brightness clips) lacked the colour detail and ‘real world’ dimensionality of the BVM-HX3110, particularly when it came to footage of sunsets and scenes with bright specular detail.

The 30.5-inch 4k Trimaster HX display is the most advanced mastering monitor produced by Sony’s Professional division. It features a dual layer LCD cell, and is able to display a sustained 4,000 nit 10 per cent measurement patch, without flagging. Obviously this requires far more power than a consumer display.

But that’s not its only talent. The BVM-HX3110 also has a built-in waveform monitor and boasts a unique low reflectively screen treatment that substantially reduces reflectivity without impeding brightness or colour fidelity.

Sony says the AR processing technique used by the screen is analogous to noise cancellation techniques used by noise cancelling headphones.

I found that while it doesn’t completely eliminate reflections in higher ambient light, in low light mastering room conditions, there’s virtually no intrusive reflections, allowing for more precise grading and black level reproduction.

During my time with the BVM-HX3110 I also noted a big improvement in off-axis viewing, certain to prove a boon when directors, DoPs and graders all gather around the BVM-HX3110 during evaluation.

Currently, broadcasters recommend a 1,000 nit limit for HDR programming, and many shows don’t even utilise half that potential peak brightness, presumably cognisant of the fact that the majority of viewers will be watching tone mapped interpretations of their work.

The arrival of the brighter BVM3110 plays into the hand of Sony’s Consumer Electronics division which makes no secret of the fact that it wants to drive higher brightness large screen TVs into the consumer mainstream.

Sony Burano Camera In Japan

Introducing the Sony CineAlta Burano cinema camera...

While evaluating the BVM-HX3110, I was also offered an opportunity to get up close and personal with the latest member of the CineAlta cinema family, the Burano, a relatively compact movie camera which is expected to launch early 2024.

It slots in below the Venice 2, and should quickly become a firm favourite with filmmakers, looking for CineAlta quality on a tighter budget.

Relatively light and versatile, it should prove popular with new filmmakers keen to make their mark with low budget genre pictures, as well as documentary makers and sportscasters.

The new Sony Burano utilises a 8.6K full-frame sensor, and comparable 16-bit colour science to its bigger Venice stablemate.

Its lightweight usability marks it out for some daring cinematography, where it can be suspended from a rig or crane for high octane action shots and aerial sequences.

A key feature of the Burano is its in-body stabilisation system, the first on a PL mount camera, I'm told. It also has electronic ND filters.

The Burano is not likely to replace the Venice Rialto configuration, which permits users to separate the sensor block from the camera body, for remote use, but it does open new doors for the creative industry.

I can’t wait to see what these new content tools deliver!

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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