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Graham Bennett - Broadcast & Production
Graham Bennett – Videopro Business Solutions: Broadcast & Production

Last month, Sony Australia launched its highly anticipated PMW-F55 (F55) and PMW-F5 (F5) CineAlta 4K cameras. The new F55 and F5 join Sony’s family of large-sensor motion picture cameras, that complement each other, and deliver powerful new capabilities to cinematographers working at every level of production.
 Sony P5 and P55
The Sony lanuch was held in one of the Hoyts 4K Digital Cinemas at the Entertainment Quarter in Sydney with over 150 attendees from the industry. The attendees were able to get a “hands on” feel for the cameras and view them in 4K resolution.

A 15 minute short film “Mahout” shot on the F55, by award winning Director/Cinematographer Sam Nicholson in ASC of Stargate Studio’s in Sri Lanka was shown. This is a very thorough film, and Digital Times special report is not an official Sony document, Sony said it’s more an “Unofficial biography of the F55 and F5 at its launch” produced by the well-regarded Jon Fauer, ASC. To view the F5 and F55 Booklet by Jon Fauer, click here.

The new CineAlta 4K brochure is also out, covering the F55, F5 and PMW-F65 (F65).

What’s Different?
The main differences are, that the F55 is the more expensive, feature-rich sibling. The comparison of features makes the head spin. Here’s the two sentence pitch of differences:

  • Get the F55, if you want to record 4K, 2K or HD internally to SxS Pro+ Cards, have electronic frame image scan, and have the same type of colour filter array technology used in Sony’s F65.
  • Get the F5, if you want to save money, record 2K or HD internally to SxS Cards (but not 4K internally), skip the idea of electronic frame image scan, and have an F3 type of colour filter array.
  • Electronic frame image scan eliminates “jello effect” on objects moving across the frame and distortion causing vertical lines to tilt.

    Some more differences are:

  • F55 has internal 4K recording: up to 60fps.
  • F55 records HD to 180fps.
  • F5 does not have internal 4K.
  • F5 records HD to 120fps.
  • F55 has 4K output via SDI connections.
  • F5 does not have 4K output.
  • F55 is rated at ISO 1250 (in S-Log 2). Other figures lurk.
  • F5 is rated at 2000 ISO (in S-Log 2).
  • What’s common to both cameras?

  • Exposure latitude is 14 stops.
  • Both the F55 and F5 record 4K (and 2K) RAW onto a modular onboard AXS-R5 recorder that uses a new AXS Memory Card.
  • Both cameras have a Super 35mm, 4096 x 2160 single CMOS sensor (11.6M total photosites, 8.9M effective) – Super 35mm 3-perf format size, 24 x 12.7mm, 27.1mm diagonal.
  • The camera weighs about 4lb 14oz (body only), and measures 7 1/4″ long x 4 7/8″ wide.
  • It consumes 12 V DC (11V – 17V) at about 25W in 4K at 60P.
  • There are 3 behind-the-lens optical filters: clear, ND 0.9 (3 stops) and 1.8 (6 stops).
  • Electronic shutter angle is variable from 4.2 – 360 degrees.
  • Shutter speeds adjust from 1/24 – 1/6000 second.
  • White balance choices are 3200, 4300, 5500K, Memorized, and ATW (Auto).
  • There are 6 standard Gamma Curves, and 6 HyperGamma Curves: HG1, HG2, HG3, HG4, HG7 and HG8. The last two have 800% range, the difference is where middle gray is 33% and 42% respectively.
  • For any further information on the PMW-F55 and PMW-F5, please contact me or the production team at production@videopro.com.au. Videopro will have the cameras available for evaluation in early February.

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