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SONY Cinealta cameras take center stage on HOLLYWOOD’S major cinema and television projects


“Tekken, “Public Enemies,” and “Final Destination 4,” Shot with Sony F23 Cameras, Top the List of High-Profile Projects Scheduled for Release in 2009

PARK RIDGE, N.J.– With its film-style ergonomics and broad dynamic range, Sony’s F23 digital cinematography camera was the production tool of choice for many high-profile motion picture and television projects in 2008, with that trend continuing into 2009.

The camera was used to shoot several upcoming productions, including “Tekken,” “Public Enemies” and “Final Destination 4” as well as many of 2008’s box-office successes such as “Cloverfield,” “Quarantine” and “Speed Racer.”

On the TV schedule, the camera is behind the scenes of “Privileged,” “Weeds,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Starter Wife” and “Knight Rider,” among others.

“The F23 has excellent dynamic range, handling highlights beautifully with a film-like quality,” said Glen MacPherson, director of photography (DP) for “Final Destination 4,” the first digital 3D action movie to be shot on location instead of primarily behind a blue or green screen. “It’s also virtually noiseless in the shadows, and the 2/3-inch image sensor is ideal for shooting 3D. The F23 is my camera of choice for all those reasons.”

The F23 camera uses three 2.2 megabit 2/3-inch type progressive CCD imagers and a 14-bit analog-to-digital converter. The system supports multiple 1080 formats, including 24 and 60 fps in progressive mode.

“The F23’s feature sets are expanded from our previous 24P cameras,” said Rick Harding, senior manager in Sony Electronics’ Content Creation Systems Group. “It can shoot true variable frame rate (exposure time matches frame rate) and speed ramping (one to 60 frames per second). These functions are available to the director on the set in real time and can be immediately reviewed. There is no post step required. These features, along with compatibility with ARRI accessories, ultimately mean familiar operations, higher quality images, lower production costs and more footage at the end of the day’s shoot.”

The camera delivers 12.5 stops of latitude – more than any other 2/3-inch chip digital cinema camera. Cinematographers can also work in LOG mode, a camera setting that “allows for an even more film-like shooting experience,” according to Harding.

Sam Nicholson, founder and CEO of Stargate Digital, worked with the F23 on “Knight Rider” and noted the distinct cost- and time-saving advantages of working with the camera’s dockable recorder, since it requires no reloading in the field and its “perfectly integrated speed ramps that go from zero to 60 fps at the turn of a knob, minimizing the need for on-set adjustments.”

Nicholson is working with the F35 as VFX DP for a new pilot drama called “Defying Gravity,” a fictional space epic about the first manned space mission across the solar system.

“The real attributes of the F23 and F35 are their bullet-proof HDCAM SR® workflows,” said Nicholson. “These are the most smoothly integrated cameras on the market.”


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