SONY camera approved for Netflix
January 9, 2023
In September, the Sony FR7 became the first PTZ camera to join the company’s popular Cinema line. The camera inherits many functions from the FX6 but in a format that allows remote control of pan, rotate, and zoom. This full-featured camera caught the attention of editors and broadcasters in recent months, and recently joined 13 other Sony cameras on the Netflix-approved list.
Sony FR7 has been approved by Netflix
When it comes to image processing, it’s no surprise that the Sony FR7 made the Netflix-approved camera list. In fact, this model has the same specs as the Sony FX6; This includes a full CMOS sensor, 4K capture up to 120 fps, dual ISO, ND, SLog3, fast hybrid AF, two CFexpress A/SD slots, the same internal codecs, even the ability to display 16 small images. RAW with SDI.
However, as Netflix explained in a video, its camera approval process goes far beyond image quality and considers other factors such as stability, reliability, and overall system usability and this is where things get interesting. In fact, the FR7 is the first PTZ camera to receive Netflix approval. Previously, images from cameras of this type could only be used for a fraction of a program’s total runtime (about 10%), whereas the FR7 can now be used as the main camera.
As with all approved cameras, Netflix has released a dedicated Camera Production Guide which you can find here. The best practices and recommended settings are virtually identical to those contained in the FX6 guide, and there are no specific mentions of PTZ functions.
The new Sony FX6 camera has been added to the list of devices approved by Netflix to stream original content. It is Sony’s 10th camera on this list and has tools that can achieve high quality for photographers who want to enhance their content for sharing through this marketing platform.
As part of the Cinema Line series, the new FX6 combines Sony’s key technologies in terms of an image sensor, processor, and AF (autofocus) function. In addition, the FX6 is compatible with a wide range of Sony E-Mount lenses for creative freedom.
Netflix camera status
90% of the final program footage must be filmed with Netflix-approved cameras. For non-fiction purposes, this section may be changed. Any exceptions should be discussed with the appropriate Netflix project manager.
In terms of resolution, the camera must have a true 4K UHD sensor (equal to or greater than 3840 pixels wide).
Furthermore, capture formats must be RAW (e.g., X-OCN, REDCODE, Arriraw, etc.) or COMPRESSED (e.g., XAVC, AVC-Intra, ProRes or other I-Frame compatible formats). The minimum linear register processing of 16 bits or ≥ 10 bits. Finally, the minimum data rate must be 240 Mbps at 10-bit UHD 23.98 fps.
Capture transfer function
S-Log3, Log-C, V-Log, Log3G10, etc.
4. Capture color space
S-Gamut3.cine, RED Wide Gamut RGB, Alexa Wide Gamut, etc.
No styles or color corrections should be included in the original camera files. Moreover, the files should retain all metadata (i.e., tape name, timecode, frame rate, ISO, WB, etc.).
In addition, it should be noted that not all cameras that meet these capture requirements will be approved. These requirements are the minimum specifications necessary for consideration. Other attributes such as dynamic range, form factor, stability, workflow compatibility, etc. must be considered for them to be Netflix-approved cameras.