My shooting kit at a glance

 

 

SONY FX9 CAMERA
Full-frame, True 4K
VENICE Colour science
Dual base ISO, 800/4000


 

 

SONY A7 III CAMERA
Mirrorless Full-frame, 4K
A high-end performance B-roll camera


 

 

SONY F5 CAMERA
Super35, HD
ENG Zoom lenses with Sony B4 adaptor

 

 

LENSES
With focal lengths from 15mm to 600mm, I have a total of 11 primes and zooms comprising of Sony G Masters, Zeiss, Voigtlander and modified vintage optics.

 

 

LIGHTING
I own an extensive range of lights including large surface soft lights, LED Dedolights, Kino Flo, RGB and HMIs from 200w to 1.2kW

 

 

SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT
EyeDirect, for direct address into the lens of the camera.
A long tubular probe lens for bug eye perspective filming.

 

 

 

MONITORS
SmallHD Daylight & OLED, 5-inch, 7-inch, 17-inch

 

 

SOUND
Radio mics, reporter mics & high wind cover.
  Four audio channels on the new FX9 camera.

 

 

GRIP
Easyrig 5 Vario camera support,
track dolly, jibs and motion control slider.

 

 

Sony FX9 Large-Format 6K Sensor Camera

The frame size and image quality from the new Sony FX9 camera goes way beyond the limits of conventional Super 35mm sensors.  Just like Sony's flagship Venice camera, the FX9 has a large-format 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.  When shooting with large format image sensors, the wide end is something really special.  For example, a 15mm lens on a full frame camera has the same angle of view as a 10mm on Super35 camera but without distortion. 

 

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 a Beyer sensor camera is actually 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.  If your 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.

The huge ‘Exmor R’ full-frame sensor captures a much wider background than S35. 
For example, if use a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera and a super35 camera to shoot a medium close up of something, when I match the frame sizes so the subject is the same size on each camera, the full-frame camera shows much more of the background than the Super35 camera.

Venice film look
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. 

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 FX9 is an extremely sophisticated camera and different from the FS7 in almost every aspect, it's not a successor to the FS7 camera

 

 

 
 
Sony F5 Super35 4K Sensor 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.

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 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.

Comes with B4 adaptor so it can be used with traditional ENG Zoom lenses.

 

 
 

 

 

 

Sony A7 III  Full-frame 4K Sensor Camera

I use the Sony A7 III as a second camera whilst filming interviews.  I think it’s the best high-end full-frame mirrorless camera around.

24.2-megapixel Exmor R sensor for shooting at high ISO without noise concerns. Captures 6K footage from the full-frame sensor is downscaled from 6K into 4K. 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
Converters 1080/25p into 1080/50i for connection to SDI feed points and satellite trucks.

 

 

  LENSES
 

I have a total of 11 full-frame lenses comprising of Sony G Masters, Voigtlander and modified vintage optics with focal lengths from 15mm to 600mm

Zoom Lenses   Prime Lenses
16-35mm Sony, Ultra wide-angle, G Master   35mm Sony, Medium-wide-angle
24-105mm Sony, Wide-angle to short-telephoto zoom    50mm Voigtlander, Standard
28-135mm Sony, Wide-angle to telephoto, FX9 kit zoom   85mm Sony, Classic medium-telephoto portrait
70-300mm Sony, Medium to long telephoto zoom   135mm Sony, Classic telephoto portrait, G Master
200-600mm Sony, Long to super-telephoto zoom
(300-900mm if used in Super35)
  24mm Laowa, Macro probe lens, 2:1 magnification
      58mm Helios 44-2 Vintage swirly bokeh flare lens
 
  OPTICAL FILTERS

 

Panavision 4x5.65"

Tiffen Ultra Pol Polariser - Linear

 

Tiffen Gold Diffusion FX

 

Tiffen Black ProMists

 

Schneider NDs

 

Schneider Grads
   

138mm Round

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 & GRIP

Tripods
My principal tripod is a Miller SX18 fluid head on Miller Sprinter II Carbon fibre legs.  Ultra-smooth fluid drag with rock solid fast deploy legs.

Fluid Head   Load Capacity   Tripod  
Miller CX18   0 - 16kg   Miller Sprinter II Dual stage, carbon fibre  
O'Connor Ultimate 1030D   0 - 13.6 kg   Sachtler SpeedLock, Dual stage, carbon fibre  
Sachtler FSB8   1 - 10kg   Sachtler SpeedLock, Dual stage, carbon fibre  
Vinten Signet post-head   2 - 10kg   Vinten ENG, Single stage, alloy  

Matte boxes
Matte boxes help bring contrast to the image by blocking out light flares.
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 that uses industry standard "Panavision" size filters.  It’s a swing-away so lens changes are quick.  I also have the Bright Tangerine Misfit Atom with top flag which is an amazing ultra lightweight matte box. 

Manual 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. 

Manual Follow focus for hand-held shooting
When a cameraman uses a traditional follow focus on a shoulder-mounted camera, it’s general never in a comfortable position to operate; that kind of follow focus was designed to be used by an assistant/focus puller.  When shooting hand-held I use a Zacuto Z-Drive which has a further forward downward angle focus dial, which makes a more comfortable operating position.

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 classic Sekonic L-858D Speedmaster.

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.

Camera dolly
Wally-Dolly with 4m of seamless alloy track and lowboy attachment. 
Super smooth, lightweight and quick to set up.

Jib-1  Losmandy Porta-jib
This jib gives maximum stability with a rise and fall of almost 6-foot.  The under-slung fluid head allows front jib operation, so the camera can be moved all the way to the ground; which isn’t achievable with traditional top-slung fluid heads.  Its unique telescopic design allows it to be used in confined areas. 
Max rise and fall of 1.73m (68")
Supports up to 18kg (40lbs) of camera and fluid head.

Jib-2 Genis Mini-Jib
The is the most portable jib I own.  It’s super lightweight so great for traveling, perfect for quick unplanned simple jib shots. 
Max rise and fall of 1.87m (6ft)
Supports up to 4.25 kg (9.4lbs) of camera; ideal for Sony A7 III

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.

 

Monitors

 

 

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

I've been a fan of SmallHD 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 four SmallHD monitors.

17-inch Reference Grade Monitor, HD PX3, SmallHD (17.7W-48W)
The 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.  SDI or HDMI with an amazing viewing angle, mains or DC powered, C-stand mountable, waveform, vectorscope, HDR preview, 3D LUTs, frame guides and 8 audiometers.

7
-inch On-camera field monitor, HD 702, SmallHD (11W)
The Small HD 702 Bright is a new breed of on-camera daylight viewable full HD monitors.
DC or mains powered, waveform, vectorscope, peeking, picture zoom, LUTs, frame guides, audiometers, etc.

5.5-inch OLED Monitor, Focus SDI, SmallHD  (5.6W)
This OLED 1920×1080 on-camera monitor gives true blacks, is very sharp, has amazing contrast and a wide colour gamut.  Features high resolution Scopes, Waveform, False Colour, Focus Peaking, etc.

5-inch LCD Monitor, Focus HDMI, SmallHD
Battery powered on camera, touch screen daylight viewable LCD 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.

5-inch Video Assist Monitor/recorder 10bit, Blackmagic
Full HD touchscreen monitor with built in ProRes and DNxHD recording.

 

  Sound Kit

 

 

I take great care to assure my audio levels are within ‘broadcast standards’. 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.

If I’m to film in chaotic environments with several 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. 

My radio mic frequencies are UK legal - TV-channel 33-41, 566,025-630,000 MHz

Sound kit consists of:

Sennheiser 416 microphone in Rycote
Sony Dual-Channel UWP-D Receiver and Transmitters.  
2 x Lapel mics - Sanken COS 11D      
3 x Lapel mics - Sony ECM-77
2 x Reporter/desk mics - AKG D 230 
2 x Reporter/desk mics - Sony F112  
1 x Reporter/desk mic - Bayer M58
1 x AKG P220 Studio condenser microphone
2 x 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.