CAMERA



Sony F-Series

Since 2012, Sony has released three F-series cameras under the CineAlta 4K brand.

●    Sony F5
●    Sony F55
●    Sony F65 

The F5 and the F55 are the most commonly used CineAlta cameras, they are very compact and modular. Both devices are equipped with a large Super35mm 4K CMOS sensor and deliver 14 stops of dynamic range. The F5 / 55 are cheaper than the F65 which has been designed for cinematography. 

The CineAlta cameras use the Sony XDCAM HD422 and HDCAMSR444 formats. For HD recordings, the new XAVC codec is used.

The F5 offers 2K recording via the XAVC codec. These cameras feature two SxS card slots for recording. Only the F55 is capable of recording 4K within the camera.  A 4K recording is only possible with the new SxS Pro + generation of cards. It is highly advisable, especially when shooting in higher frame rates in 4K, to use the SxS Pro+ memory card with increased capacity and write speed to avoid dropouts and memory bottlenecks. In 4K XAVC, a 16GB card holds only about 7 minutes. 

A Sony RAW recording is only possible  through the addition of a bolt-on AXS-R5 recorder. This records onto AXSM memory cards (similar to the SxS cards). 16-bit Sony RAW can be recorded in 4K at up to 60fps, and in 2K at up to 240fps (F55 only ) using the AXS-R5 recorder. 

The AXS-R5 bolt-on attaches seamlessly to the F55 and F5 cameras, allowing the cameras to maintain an ergonomic design and form factor.  The F55 is capable of simultaneously writing a 4K XAVC data stream and an MPEG2 data stream on the same memory card. So it’s possible to design a workflow that involves recording a 4K file in tandem with a compressed HD ‘proxy’ file. 

Another key difference between the F5 and F55 is the way in which the sensor is read. The F55 has a global shutter. The entire sensor information per image is read simultaneously, as opposed to the rolling shutter of the F5 which reads sensor information row by row. When panning rapidly or using fast camera movements this can lead to unwanted artifacts.

However, the F5 is slightly brighter than the F55. According to the manufacturer, the F5 has a light sensitivity of ISO2000, while the F55 has ISO1250.

Stills camera lenses are usable with the F5 / 55 through various compatible adapters. The cameras come installed with an FZ-Mount, which can be adapted to all standard mounts. In addition, both camera systems can be easily integrated into fibre networks or SDI-based broadcast / live camera environments via adapters. This means that the F5 / 55 can be applied to a wide variety of applications.

The 4K XAVC codec in the F5 / 55 is now well established in post-production workflows and is  supported by a wide range of software manufacturers. XAVC is implemented in Sony Vegas Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Grass Valley EDUIS Pro, Avid Media Composer , Apple Final Cut Pro, Assimilate Scratch , Codex, Colorfront OSD , FilmLight Baselight , Matrox, MTI, Quantel, Rovi, and YoYotta.

The flagship of the Sony digital video cameras range is currently the F65. With its Super35mm 8K CMOS sensor and 14 stop dynamic range, this camera is capable of outputting high quality material by oversampling in 4K. Higher resolutions are possible in post-production. The cameras produce all common aspect ratios from 1.33:1 (4:3) to 2.35:1 (widescreen cinema) and create 1.3x or 2x (trimmed) anamorphic recordings.

Four internal ND filters (ND0.9 - ND1.8) plus a PL-mount, as well as the form factor and design, clearly classify the F65 as a digital film camera.

The camera itself has no built-in recording option. The dockable SR-R4 is needed for recording. However, this modular approach offers the advantage that the camera can be configured to perform differently in different scenarios and is future-proofed for expansion.

A 4K live camera adapter allows it to easily integrate into 4K live productions.