Sony’s new top of the range PTZ camera is the BRC-AM7, a 4K 60p model with integrated lens, compatible with Sony’s existing cameras and able to automate subject tracking and framing.

Sony BRC AM710

Sony’s new top of the range PTZ camera is the BRC-AM7, a 4K 60p model with an integrated lens. It is built with a 1.0-type Exmor RS CMOS 14.0 MP image sensor and BIONZ XR image processor, capturing high resolution images with low noise and texture detail. It incorporates a proprietary PTZ Auto Framing function that uses AI processing for recognition, and facilitates accurate, natural automatic tracking of moving subjects.

These developments are intended to help simplify video production for high-quality broadcast, live event and sports applications. Its 24-480 mm lens has a 20x optical zoom range that covers shots ranging from wide-angle to close-ups, and Clear Image Zoom, which achieves high magnification zooming while maintaining resolution to result in telephoto capture up to 30x in 4K or 40x in Full HD.

Compact, Light, Adaptable

Sony BRC AM79

The camera has a smooth, direct pan and tilt drive, silent to suit environments with specific sound requirements, with operating speeds of 0.004 degrees per second, up to 180 degrees per second. This range of speeds widens its scope of applications to include those that need very accurate framing motion, such as dance, concerts, churches and sports. Further control comes through the camera’s pre-set function, used to register and repeatedly recall specific camera compositions.

Planned for release in early 2025, the BRC-AM7 will be one of the smallest, lightest integrated lens PTZ cameras available, measuring 168.7mm wide, 225.2mm high, and 192.3mm deep, and weighing only 3.7kg. The size and weight will mean that users have more flexibility when choosing vantage points and installing the camera in unusual venues or challenging locations on ceilings, cranes or batons on stage, as well as tripod shooting using the 3/8-16 UNC and 1/4-20 UNC screw holes on the bottom surface.

Multi-Camera Production

The BRC-AM7 is prepared for use in multi-camera operations. It is compatible with Sony’s professional camera range in terms of looks and colour matching, due to adding ITU709/709tone, S-Cinetone and S-Log3 support. The camera supports GENLOCK terminals and is compatible with Sony’s Master Setup Units and Remote-Control Panels as well, and can be integrated with Sony’s switchers. It includes a 5K oversampling function for 4K QFHD (3840 x 2160) recording, with 4K HDR imaging, broad dynamic range and a wide colour gamut.

Sony BRC AM73

Regarding power supply, the BRC-AM7 is compatible with the XLR 4-pin connector – used for balanced headphone connections, from a balanced amplifier – and supports PoE++ network switch, the latest generation of PoE with either 60W or 100W of power per port.

To help users expand and customise their systems, the camera’s audio inputs and video outputs are versatile. Users have 12G-SDI and HDMI outputs, and 3G-SDI for monitor output. For audio, the BRC-AM7 has two channels of XLR 3-pin connectors and a φ3.5mm stereo input.

It also has a built-in electronic variable ND filter used to adjust the filter transmittance from 1/4 to 1/128 in smooth progression. As well as adjusting the exposure without changing the depth of field, settings are available to automatically adjust the light intensity to the level set on the camera. These settings will accommodate environments with variable or extreme lighting conditions.

PTZ Auto Framing

Sony BRC AM75

Sony’s PTZ Auto Framing function, which incorporates auto focus, uses built-in AI analytics deep learning to increase the accuracy of recognising humans, identifying subjects and capturing details of their appearance. For instance, it can detect and recognise skeletal structures and heads. From that basis, it maintains the composition that the content creator intends, with camera movements similar to those of a professional human operator.

The camera closely tracks, or follows, the subject at all times – even in compromised situations such as when a subject’s face is obscured or when a specific person must be tracked within a group, or close-ups where it is hard to prevent faces from ducking in and out of frame.

PTZ Auto Framing is currently included in the SRG-A series of PTZ cameras optimised for corporate and education uses, and will expand to other models soon. Planned for spring 2025 or later, Sony will release a Ver. 3.00 firmware update that will add PTZ Auto Framing functionality to the FR7 full-frame, interchangeable lens PTZ camera.

Support for Remote and Virtual Production

Sony BRC AM7 1000x700

The BRC-AM7 supports SRT, RTMP, RTSP, NDI and optical fibre, making remote production possible over IP networks. To allow remote camera control via external commands, it is compatible with VISCA – Sony’s camera control protocol used with professional PTZ cameras – over IP, the S700PTP protocol and the CGI (Common Gateway Interface) data-passing specification. CGI is used when a web server needs to send or receive data generated from an application, such as a database, in response to a request. The camera also supports tally via IP, giving comprehensive support for remote production.

Furthermore, the BRC-AM7 is compatible with the free-d protocol commonly used in AR, VR and other kinds of virtual productions. It can accurately output camera tracking information (pan/tilt/zoom/focus/iris) into a 3D space, making it possible to directly integrate live footage of real people with 3D CG backgrounds and characters, creating realistic composite images. This facility can save a lot of time.