Sony unveils PTZ cameras with AI that does shot framing for you


Video recording is becoming more idiot-proof than ever thanks to new technology. Sony’s latest development is a case in point.

This leading camera technology brand has unveiled a set of new PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras that use AI analytics to move around as they track a subject, and then compose shots automatically.

The new PTZ shooters are part of a general trend in enabling video recording without the actual work of tracking and composing subjects manually.

In the case of these Sony models, the company is building on its own existing developments to create superior performance.

Sony had already released a previous PTZ model that has been acclaimed by a number of reviewers and users. This is the Sony FR7, an E-mount full-frame camera with serious cinematic shooting specs that came out in late 2022.

Now, at ISE 2023, this brand has announced an expansion of its PTZ lineup with the two new SRG-A40 and SRG-A12 4K models. With these newer camera editions, users can minimize their own manual workload to a whole new level.

The two cameras feature integrated analytics that automatically tracks and frames subjects even if they’re moving around rapidly. These analytics features use internal AI engines to do their job and are the key features of the SRG-A40 and SRG-A12.

The AI framing capacity of both cameras offers multiple options too. These include close-up shooting, waist-up video, full-body shots and tracking of non-human subjects.

Both cameras also include skeleton tracking and facial recognition technology. Sony claims that the latter works even if a subject is wearing a mask.

Both the SRG-A40 and SRG-A12 come with PTZ motion sync technology for smooth and rapid point, tilt and zoom functionality.

Their reach extends out to a ±170° pan/tilt angle range and users can set a recall feature that lets the cameras move back to any one of 265 different specifically programmed starting angles.

These cameras can also deliver a steady stream of crisp still shots for key shooting moments. Their Freeze Picture preset lets them do this while shooting 4K video at the same time.

Both cameras feature a ½.5-type Exmor R CMOS sensor made by Sony itself and can output 4K video at 30p or 1080p HD video at 60p. These aren’t outstanding recording specs, but they’re useful for a great number of professional recording scenarios.

Sony facial recognition tracking demo

Their sensors also promise strong light and color sensitivity, allowing for both low noise and vivid colors during shooting. They even come with pre-set day and night modes for each of these contexts.

The Sony SRG-A40 comes with an additional feature that its cousin camera lacks. This is a 20x optical zoom for 4K recording. The zoom factor then bumps up to 30x if a user shoots in 1080p. The SRG-A12 on the other hand can only manage 12x worth of optical zoom magnification with either 4K or HD resolution.

Both cameras also include an additional digital zoom technology called Clear Zoom. In the SRG-A40, this delivers an extra 40x of zoom and in the SRG-A12 it handles up to 24x digital magnification.

Both cameras include robust connectivity specs such as 3G-SDI, HDMI, USB  and IP connectivity. They can also be controlled via IP through VISCA/VISCA with a single network cable for power, output and control.

Both cameras also come with Power over Ethernet Plus Plus (PoE++) technology and feature support for Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP). This lets them handle remote viewing. Their Security Reliable Transport (SRT protocol also lets them deliver stable video streaming.

The two Sony PZT cameras are aimed at uses such as live music and performance events, broadcast filming, corporate conferences and seminars.

They can however also be used in many contexts, including movie production and Sony claims they’ve been designed for very easy use even by inexperienced videographers.

The SRG-A40 and SRG-A12 PTZ cameras aren’t terribly expensive either, considering all of their specs and features.

The SRG-A40 will cost roughly $5300 while the SRG-A12 is expected to retail for $4400. They’ll be available in both black and white versions and will start shipping this coming summer.

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