Sony wants to ensure you have more HDR content for your new TV

sony high end hdr video format workflows
Conceptually, 4K may appear to be a more impressive technology than high dynamic range (HDR), but only because it is easier to wrap your head around. Understanding that 3,840 x 2,160 pixels is more than 1,920 x 1,080 requires nothing more than a basic concept of how numbers work, but the actual perceived difference between 4K and Full HD usually isn’t so clear. HDR, on the other hand, is more difficult to explain, but the difference it makes in image quality is as clear as night and day.

Fortunately, 4K and HDR are being developed almost in tandem, though the latter has lagged a bit behind. As HDR televisions become more common, the problem shifts from the consumer to the creator; without HDR content, there’s nothing to watch. Sony recently outlined its plans for end-to-end HDR workflows at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show, with plans for cinema, online video, and even live broadcasts.

While most of the new tech deals with the back end of production environments, Sony is keeping the lower-budget creators in mind as well. The compact FS5 cinema camera and Z150 camcorder both support Sony’s new Instant HDR workflow. Instant HDR gives lower-scale productions an efficient way to shoot, edit, and deliver HDR content without the need for color grading. This will be useful for corporate and event videos, news, and any other projects with quick turnaround times.

On the higher end, Sony unveiled an entirely new video file format, called X-OCN, that sort of bridges the gap between RAW and compressed formats. Available for the F55 cinema camera, X-OCN offers significant space savings over RAW and even professional compressed formats like Apple ProRes, while including the full tonal range of the sensor with 16-bit precision. While Sony stated it does not intend for X-OCN to replace RAW for large studios, the format should greatly help lower-budget productions which can’t afford the storage requirements for RAW video but still want to maximize image quality.

For more on how HDR works, check out our guide to the technology.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

With the RX100 VI, Sony proves it still makes the best point-and-shoot camera

The sixth generation of Sony's powerful but compact RX100 camera delivers more zoom, incredible speed, robust 4K video, and still fits in the palm of your hand.
Product Review

Sleek and expensive, the Apple TV 4K will still delight the Apple faithful

Is Apple’s latest streaming set-top box a revolution, or too little too late? Find out in our Apple TV 4K review, and learn how this device wins in some big categories, but falters in others.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances to hit home entertainment in years.

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.

Mirrorless cameras were built to be compact, so why have they gotten so heavy?

Mirrorless cameras launched as portable alternatives to bulky and complex DSLRs -- so why are they getting bigger and heavier? Cameras are trending towards heavier models, but that change comes with more advanced features.

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.

The best place to print photos online in 2019

Have you been looking around for the best place to print out your favorite photos online or in store? Don't fret, we've pored through dozens of options and narrowed it down to the seven best.

The Panasonic FZ1000 gets a much-needed update alongside the smaller ZS80 zoom

Panasonic's 2014 superzoom camera with a larger sensor has finally seen an update. The new Panasonic FZ1000 II has a sensor that's better for low light, more physical controls, and new 4K Photo Mode features.

Watch the construction of a 270-degree fisheye lens, the widest ever

Think you've seen wide fisheye lenses? Think again. A team from Lensrentals recently shared a behind-the-scenes look at a custom prototype 4.5mm fisheye lens, which captures a whopping 270-degree view.

NASA celebrates Earth’s incredible natural beauty with free photo book

NASA has published a fabulous new book featuring stunning imagery captured by its satellites over the years. A hardback version is available for $53, though it can also be downloaded to ebook readers for free, and enjoyed online.