Feature Design NXCAM NEX-FS100
Feature Design NXCAM NEX-FS100

Awareness of professional needs, in all that meets the eye

Kurokawa: Shifting seamlessly from one shooting style to another is a major requirement in professional cameras. Designers must consider any changes to equipment controls very carefully. That's why we mainly updated the GUI appearance, without changing the structures in previous pro equipment that users are familiar with.

Foremost in my mind was a graphical user interface that looked perfectly natural on pro equipment. Menus on these cameras are mainly text-based. Although using a small font was inevitable, to ensure consistency among display elements, it raised concerns about readability.

In many cases, camcorders are used both in dark studios and outside under direct sunlight. To ensure visibility of on-screen elements anywhere, designers often increase the contrast between text and backgrounds. Too much contrast, however, poses a risk of eye fatigue and may make text appear to flicker. Our solution this time was to tone down the brightness of white text slightly while changing backgrounds from black to gray, which required a delicate touch.

Selected menu items are highlighted in amber, closer to orange than conventional yellow backgrounds. Shading was added to make selected items look more substantial. In video production environments, the illuminated hardware buttons on switchers or editing consoles make that equipment seem dignified and reliable, just as you would expect on equipment of this caliber. I wanted the coloring and tone of the GUI to signal that camcorders are in the same league as other professional equipment.

As for practical details, we introduced new icons in the Camera Settings menu. Consumer models also have Camera Settings icons, but obviously, they can't be used as display elements on models in this class. Although we should probably adopt the same icons across Sony product lines, I worried that existing camcorder icons would be too unfamiliar to professional camera operators, who might not associate them with Camera Settings items. After all, these setting options are much more sophisticated than those on consumer models. Icons are not simply design accents; they symbolize functions and should help make products intuitive and enjoyable to use. From this standpoint, we decided that the camcorder's professional heritage should be apparent in the icons.

Behind the hybrid design, expandability

Niitsu: E-mount systems are ready for significant future expansion and development. As pioneers of this system, Sony designers consider it our mission to expand its potential and further develop it while meeting camera operators' expectations and earning their trust. This sentiment inspires us in hybrid design work extending across all NEX series cameras. Even product categories as different as still cameras and camcorders have been developed true to the same design ideals. This regard for unified design ideals can be seen in our work for the E-mount system and NEX cameras.

Miyashita: The NXCAM line will not end with the NEX-FS100. Each generation enjoys advances in component technology, and surely new models will be developed. Who knows what new lenses we'll see. The trend toward larger image sensors may continue. We may see better image processing and recording performance, and larger cameras. Even if more product lines like this are introduced, there's no need to change the NXCAM design identity. In this regard, at least, NEX-FS100 design is future-proof.

NXCAM may still be a fledgling line, but we have high hopes for its pivotal role in video production, today and tomorrow.

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