Sony is to launch two 4K cameras, the PMW-F5 aimed at TV drama and mainstream TV production and the PMW-F55 targeted at high-end drama and commercials.

Both will be available from February and sport a new 4K-capable codec, XAVC. The two cameras are intended to help the industry make the transition towards higher resolution production.

Sony head of AV media Olivier Bovis said: “MPEG 2 is the most widely used codec today, but if you want to cover 50-60p production, or 4K, or high frame rates, then you need something different. This is our response.”

Bovis added: “The XAVC can do proxy, HD and 4K recording on a single chipset. It will become the heart of a lot of [Sony] future products. The majority of our clients still have a lot of legacy HD and even DV requirements, so a lot of people will shoot 4K for archive.”

The F5 will be able to shoot 4K at 60 frames a second compressed using XAVC recording to new SxS Pro+ cards. It has a large format Super 35 sensor and takes PL mount lenses. The addition of a new recorder, R5, will enable Raw 4K at 120fps from the camera.

Manufacturers including Avid, Adobe, Grass Valley and Codex plan to implement support for the cameras on launch. For viewing, Sony is releasing a 30-inch 4K LCD monitor, the SRM-3000. The model succeeds, but does not replace, the PWM-F3 and is being seen as a response to Canon’s C300 and C500 cameras by some rental houses.