Sony F5 Super35 CineAlta camera

 

The Sony F5 is a super35mm cinema camera, just like those movie cameras that purred away for decades in film studios.

The F5 delivers a shallow depth of field that we've all seen in the cinemas for many years, the foreground is in focus the background is immediately out of focus; it's a very pleasing look. With an impressive fourteen stops of latitude, the whole picture is reproduced in a very natural way with lots of details in the dark areas with great highlight handling. 

Features:

14 stops of latitude
Low-light sensitivity with a base rate of ISO 2000
Extremely low noise in the blacks
Continuous high speed shooting up to 120 fps; 5 times slower than real life
Time-lapse interval recording starting at 1 frame per second
PL Lens mount.

 

 

 

Sony FX9 full-frame 6K digital cinema camera

 

Image quality is beyond the limits of conventional Super 35mm sensors.

Just like Sony's flagship Venice camera, the FX9 has a full-frame 17:9 sensor, which is over twice the frame size of Super 35mm, it's virtually the same size as the famous VistaVision widescreen film format.  This huge ‘Exmor R’ sensor gives a wider angle of view and a much shallower depth of field than Super35.

For example, when I shoot a close-up in full-frame with a 25mm, I get the field of view a 17mm lens, so I get so much more in the picture without the need to use a wider lens.  The advantage is less distortion, a wider field of view and a shallower depth of field.

 

 

True 4K recording
Most 4K-sensor cameras use a single "Bayer array" sensor, which does not deliver a true 4K picture. Although these cameras record in 4K, the available resolution from the Beyer sensor is around 3K.  The FX9 is a 6K camera, which down samples images in-camera to 4K, so the actual FX9 recorded resolution is true 4K.

The camera’s S-Cinetone colour offers the same immaculate colour palette as the Sony VENICE camera, so you get that wonderful VENICE film look, straight out of the camera without grading.

If your final delivery requirement is standard HD, then the camera can be switched to HD, but that 6K sensor still provides spectacular over-sampled pictures with visibly superior texture and detail.

Dual ISO
The sensitivity that captures the best images is called Native ISO.  The FX9 has Dual Native ISO, so depending on light levels; I can use the low 800 ISO for normal shooting or high 4000 ISO for low light shooting.  So rather than cranking up the camera sensitivity in low light by adding gain, switching to the higher sensitivity produces significantly cleaner images; it’s like having to optimised cameras in one body. 

Features:
15+ stops of dynamic range approaches that of traditional motion picture film.
Dual base ISO, 800/4000
VENICE Colour science
4-Channel audio
Built in Wi-Fi transmission for image monitoring
Continuous high speed shooting up to 180 fps (with firmware update) 7 times slower than real life.
Full-frame, S35 switchable
Lens lever lock e-mount.

The Sony FX9 is not a successor to the FS7, almost every aspect of the FX9 is different from the FS7.

I’m expecting delivery of the FX9 camera around December this year.

 

Sony A7 III full-frame 4K mirrorles camera

 

Going places the bigger cameras can't go, the Sony A7 III is one of the best full-frame mirrorless cameras around.

24.2-megapixel Exmor R sensor for shooting at high ISO without noise concerns. Captures 6K footage from the full frame sensor, data is then condensed into 4K movies at bitrates as high as 100 Mbps. Shoots S-Log3 with up to 14 stops dynamic range and slow motion up to 120 fps in full HD.  Camera has built in 5-axis stabilisation.

Monitor
5-inch Small HD daylight viewable.

Sony XLR Adapter   
Adds two XLR inputs for pro microphones and precision level control into the Sony A7 III camera.

HDMI to HD-SDI Converter
Battery powered HDMI to HD-SDI converter for sending a 1080/50i signal from my Sony A7 camera to SDI feed points or satellite trucks.

 

 
 
Optics
    I have a versatile collection of full-frame Sony e-mount, Voigtlander and specialist lenses.
 

Sony Alpha Lenses
G series lenses integrate seamlessly with Sony FX9 and A7 III cameras.  Exceptional resolution and clarity with super fast focus tracking.
24-105mm     Wide to medium zoom 
70-300mm     Medium to long zoom   
200-600mm   Super-telephoto zoom
35mm            Medium-wide prime 

Voigtlander Primes
One of the oldest optic manufactures in the industry, Voigtländers bring back that lost ‘3D pop’ that lifts the subject away from the background.
15mm           Super-wide             
21mm           Ultra-wide              
50mm           Standard                
75mm           Medium-telephoto

Specialist Lenses
24mm          Macro Laowa probe lens, 2:1 magnification
100mm        Macro Tokina cinema lens, 1:1 magnification
58mm          Helios 44-2 Vintage swirly bokeh flare lens

Super35 Cine Zoom
Ultra-compact, lightweight zoom with outstanding optical performance and low distortion.
18-55mm     Fujinon MK

 

 

 

 

Optical filters

   

Panavision 4x5.65"

Tiffen Ultra Pol Polariser - Linear

 

Tiffen Gold Diffusion FX

 

Tiffen Black ProMists

 

Schneider NDs

 

Schneider Grads
   

Round 138mm

Schneider Tru-Pol Polariser - Circular

 

Schneider +1 Split-Field Diopter Lens
  Schneider +2 Split-Field Diopter Lens
  Tiffen Star 8 point, 2mm
  Tiffen Star 6 point, 4mm
75x80mm  

 

Nisi Neutral Density ND 3.0
  Nisi Neutral Density ND 1.5
  Nisi Neutral Density ND 0.9
  Nisi Neutral Density Graduated ND 0.9

 

Nisi Polariser - Circular

 

 
 

Camera support

 

EyeDirect
The Eye Direct System allows a person to look directly into the lens of the camera and see the interviewer at the same time. Direct address makes viewers feel a more intimate connection to contributors who seem to be confiding in them ‘directly’ instead of looking off-camera at the interviewer/producer.

Motion control
The Rhino EVO Motion and Arc lets me automate both linear and pan motions on 42-inch steel or 24-inch carbon rails.  Works beautifully with my Laowa Macro Cine Probe lens.

Easyrig 5 Vario
Easyrig relieves strain on back, neck and shoulders.  It’s not a camera stabiliser, but footage looks like a blend between steadicam and a hand held look. It’s perfectly suited to handheld reality shooting, documentary or music promos.

Tripods:

O’Connor 1030D head with Sachtler carbon SpeedLock legs
Sachtler FSB8 head with Sachtler carbon SpeedLock legs
Sachtler FSB4 head with Miller Solo legs

My principal tripod is a Sachtler carbon SpeedLock with an O’Connor 1030D ultimate fluid head.  O'Connor heads are world famous for their ultra smooth feel, fluid movement and great balance.  Chad O’Connor sold his first fluid heads to Walt Disney in 1949; today these fluid heads are industry standard in Hollywood.  A Sachtler FSB 8 fluid head with carbon SpeedLock legs has also served me well too for many years; it’s a great ‘go to’ when I travel light.  My Miller Solo tripod with Sachtler FSB4 head is also a good tool as it offers very high to very low in seconds.

Matte boxes
I’ve owned Arri and O’Connor matt boxes which I thought, were the best, until UK based Bright Tangerine came along!
Today I have the VIV studio matte box from Bright Tangerine.  The VIV is a lightweight carbon fibre hybrid that uses industry standard "Panavision" size filters.  It’s a swing-away too, so lens changes quick and simple.  I also have a Bright Tangerine Misfit Atom, which is an amazing ultra lightweight matte box.  Matte boxes help bring contrast to the image by blocking out light flares.

Follow focus
No surprise that my choice of follow focus is also a Bright Tangerine Revolvr ATOM Cine; the best follow focus I have ever used.

Wireless follow focus
I have the PD Movie Remote Air 4 focus system that works up to 100m. A wheel on the hand controller or a dedicated iPhone APP controls focus.

Light meter
My choice of light meter is the Sekonic L-858D Speedmaster.


 

Daylight viewable monitors

 

Although lenses are one of the most important elements of a camera, just as important are monitors.

I've been a fan of Small HD monitors since I first saw them at NAB many years ago, you really have to see the image quality yourself to appreciate them. I have three Small HD monitors.

17-inch Reference Grade Monitor - 10-bit
The Small HD PX3 is a 17-inch high precision monitor with incredible colour accuracy and wide colour gamut display covering 100% of the DCI-P3 colour space for cinema, which is well beyond the rec709 broadcast space.
Mains or battery powered, C-stand mountable, waveform, vectorscope, HDR preview, 3D LUTs, frame guides and 8 audiometers.

7-inch On-camera field monitor - 10-bit
The Small HD 702 Bright is a new breed of on-camera daylight viewable full HD monitors.
Features; waveform, vectorscope, peeking, picture zoom, LUTs, frame guides, audiometers, etc.

5-inch Focus Monitor - 10bit
A DSLR camera-top touch screen daylight viewable monitor that also powers my Sony A7 III camera. This monitor has everything that the bigger Small HD monitors have, waveform, vectorscope, peeking, picture zoom, LUTs, frame guides, audiometers, etc.


 

Sound kit

         

If I’m to film in chaotic environments with dozens of people and you're expectation is to capture great audio on the fly, then it's really advantageous to have a separate sound recordist with a mixer and boom pole.

I take great care to assure my audio levels are within ‘broadcast standards’. Some cameramen still record sound far to hot, i.e. much to high. My audio levels are recorded within ‘recommended broadcast standards’ with peaks between -18 to -20db

BBC Peak levels should not exceed  -10db.
EBU (PAL countries)- tone of 1 Khz @ -18dbfs.

My sound kit consists of:

Sennheiser 416 microphone in Rycote
Sony Dual-Channel UWP-D Receiver and Transmitter Kit (Europe Compliant)
2 x Lapel mics - TRAM TR50
3 x Lapel mics - Sony ECM-77
2 x Bayer M58 reporter/desk mics
2 x AKG D 230 reporter/desk mics
1 x Sony F112 reporter/desk mic
1 x AKG P220 True condenser microphone
Sennheiser HD-26 PRO headphones
High wind covers for clip-on mics
K-Tek short boom pole with Boom Buddy
Mic stand with short boom arm.