Sony BURANO & the Future of Cinema Line Discussed With Nobutatsu Takahashi-san

During IBC 2023, we sat down with Nobutatsu Takahashi-san, General Manager of Sony Cinema Line, to further discuss their newly-announced BURANO 8.6K full-frame CineAlta camera as well as the direction that the company plans to take for future development of its cinema products.

The last time we interviewed Nobutatsu Takahashi-san was exactly one year ago at IBC 2022, when my colleague Nino did his very best to gain as much insight as he could on the roadmap of Sony’s Cinema Line. At the time, the company had just expanded the series with the FR7 PTZ full-frame camera and was about to do the same with the “entry-level” FX30.

Sony only responded to some of our questions last week when they finally unveiled the new high-end BURANO. However, this was not enough to satisfy Nino’s endless curiosity. So, fast-forward one year, and the two are back at the same table for what will likely become a recurrent, friendly discussion.

Sony BURANO 8.6K full-frame CineAlta camera
Sony BURANO 8.6K full-frame CineAlta camera. Image credit: CineD

Sony BURANO – not just a “stopgap” camera

To start with, according to Nobutatsu Takahashi-san, the new BURANO was not simply designed to fill the gap in the lineup between the FX9 and the flagship VENICE 2. Instead, it is Sony’s attempt to bring something unique to the market by carefully listening to their customers’ feedback.

We already have a very in-depth article and 24-minute interview covering every technical bit of the new camera. You can check it out here. Nonetheless, let’s quickly sum up the main reasons why the new BURANO camera is so special – not only within the company’s Cinema Line but for the general advancement of camera technology:

  • 8.6K full-frame sensor with dual native ISO (800 / 3200 ISO)
  • Same color science of VENICE 2
  • World’s first PL-mount camera with In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS)
  • World’s first camera to combine IBIS and built-in electronic ND (2-7 stops)
  • X-OCN LT (Lite) 16-bit RAW
  • New XAVC H codec extending H.265 beyond 4K and up to 8K
  • First Cinema Line camera to record on CFexpress Type B cards (by the way, check out our recent interview with Angelbird on the future of this media standard here)
  • Same advanced AF system as FX6 and FX9
  • Smaller and lighter than VENICE 2
Sony BURANO sits among the high-end CineAlta cameras
Sony BURANO sits among the high-end CineAlta cameras. Image credit: CineD

Undoubtedly, Sony had to go through some serious engineering challenges while developing this camera. Combining the built-in IBIS with the electronic ND used to be considered an “almost impossible” task and, indeed, it took them 5+ years of development to achieve this remarkable result.

However, according to Nobutatsu Takahashi-san, it’s not about satisfying their engineering team’s ego but about empowering filmmakers’ creativity by providing the necessary tools for the job. In this sense, Sony has proven that they sincerely care about the filmmaking community. For instance, they’ve organized an online competition to celebrate the work of the most talented creators worldwide.

Sony BURANO 8.6K full-frame CineAlta camera
Sony BURANO 8.6K full-frame CineAlta camera. Image credit: CineD

In Nobutatsu Takahashi-san’s opinion, Sony’s goal for the long-term future should be that of carefully trying to match their “engineering dream” with the invaluable feedback of cinematographers around the world. And we must say that this new camera is a very promising start.

Price and availability

If you’re interested in picking up the new Sony BURANO, it is now available to pre-order from B&H and CVP. Its official retail price is set at $25,000 / €24,894 (excluding VAT) respectively. The camera will become available in the spring of next year.

For more information, please visit Sony’s website here.

What do you think of the new Sony BURANO? What features would you like to see implemented in Sony Cinema Line cameras? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!


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