Sony Alpha has announced the launch of the new CineAlta Burano camera line. This full-frame 8.6K sensor camera is scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2024. Sony has graciously hosted PRONEWS Global for a pre-release reveal at their headquarters in Shinagawa, Tokyo. It should be noted that the camera released in global markets may vary from the one released in Japan, revealed to PRONEWS global.
Burano – a New Line of Sony Cinema Cameras
The Sony Burano is considered the second line in their cinematic cameras. It slots in between the Venice 2, considered the benchmark digital cinema camera, and the FX9, which is used for ‘run and gun’ shoots with its compact body. However, this camera is still designed to be compact and high powered, with an autofocus mechanism that is a first for the PL Mount.
The explanation event at Sony City touted its cinematic capabilities and flexibility, but with a more compact body. Not the Venice 2, not the FX9, this is the Sony Burano.
The Inner Workings
The Burano has an 8.4K full sensor that incorporates in-body auto-stabilization, with yaw and roll control. The camera also has built-in ND filters that are positioned directly in front of the sensor, a first for its kind.
A first for the PL mount, the sensor contains built-in yaw and roll controls. Using AI that was introduced for prosumer Sony Alpha models, the sensor also allows for auto-focus capabilities with PL mount lenses. These include improved camera tracking and subject focus tracking. The monitor also utilizes touch focus.
The ND Filter
The Burano contains ND filters built into the camera. This filter is positioned directly in front of the sensor. This position allows for much more control over the light and sensor settings.
Other features of the Sony Burano sensor include:
8.6K full frame sensor
Digital base ISO (ISO800-3200)
Sony PL mount
The adapter can be removed for E-mount lenses
Utilizing Sony Venice 2 Color Science.
Sony Burano Firmware and Shooting Settings
The Burano’s initial firmware contains four LUTs that change the mood and color of the shoot. These distinctive colors include Warm, Cool, Vintage, and finally Teal and Orange. Other firmware upgrades may bring about more variety of LUTs.
The Burano shoots in the following formats:
X-OCN LT, Sony’s native RAW format.
XAVC H, a new video format codec from Sony
XAVC, the already widely-available video formatting.
XAVC H format itself comes in 3 modes – Hi Quality, at 1200mbps at 29.97p, Mid Quality, and Light File Size. Light File Size mode shoots at 520mpbs at 29.97p.
Other Features of the Burano
The Burano contains a cooling system for the body, allowing for full-functionality in its compact body. High-functioning cameras can sometimes overheat when the body size is small, so this cooling system was built into the design.
The Burano also contains 2 CFExpress Type B ports. Sony is developing a CFExpress B card (to be announced later) that can be natively incorporated into the Burano. It also contains an SD card port.
The monitor, as viewed above, is a 3.5 inch LCD monitor. During the unveiling conference, the Sony rep recalled that non-Japanese ADs as well as younger Japanese students in film school developed a preference for such a monitor. More traditional camera operators who prefer a viewfinder can have a mirror viewfinder attached to the monitor. The monitor, however, does have a multitude of functionalities, such as the previously mentioned AF feature.
The operating firmware for the Sony Burano already has a scheduled update in the summer of 2024. The first update will include connectivity to remote control protocols as well as anamorphic lens resolution. Other upgrades to the firmware include 4:3 aspect ratio image mode, other anamorphic functions, and other upgrades. These however do not have a scheduled release date.
First, it was truly an impressive experience to witness the unveiling of the Sony Burano. The camera slots into a much-neglected line of cinema cameras, but also further evolves cinema cameras to meet the needs of today’s digital filmmakers. Sony understands the modern cinematographer desires a versatile camera that can be mounted on a boom, mounted on a dolly, or hoisted on one’s shoulder. It is clear that Sony is attempting to meet that demand with the Burano. The compact size, sensor functionalities, and impressive data abilities make this a camera that every production house may want to consider exploring when it is released. PRONEWS Global was invited by Sony to further witness the camera’s abilities at Interbee 2023.