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Sony F55 at 2013 Sundance Institute Directors Lab: Blog Series Week 2

by Sony Pro Team 06/21/2013

Production (Camera) Blog 6
By: Bryce Maschino – Camera Assistant

It is coming to the end of week three at the Sundance Institute Directors Lab and we have discovered many tips that make our setups easier: we need less lighting, less batteries, less downtime between camera setups. We can focus more on helping our Directing Fellows achieve their goals. One tip is the back focus system of the Sony F55.

Here at the Directors Lab, we have many different models of lenses for our DPs to choose from, and some sets are collimated slightly differently from other sets. With the Sony F55 setup, we can quickly correct between flange depth adjustments in under a minute in some instances, which makes our speed and flexibility increase exponentially. We noticed the lack of a familiar adjustment collar at the front of the camera to fix any back focus issue. Instead, there is actually a small 7/64 hex key receiver directly above the mark for the focal plane on the operator side of the camera. The placement of this allows us to look into the eyepiece and adjust the back focus. The DVF-EL100 OLED viewfinder has an excellent crisp image with focus magnifier so we can accurately check that focus is correct.

"Directing Fellow Jan" Photographer - Ryan Muirhead

“Directing Fellow Jan” Photographer – Ryan Muirhead

Another interesting tip is how to decode the string of numbers that make up the name of the hyper gammas. There are six hyper gamma curves built in the camera, and at first glance, the name HG1 3250G36 may seem daunting, but you can actually glean quite a bit of information from this name. HG1 is the name of the profile, 325 means 325% dynamic range, 0 means a white clip at 100 IRE, and G36 means that 18% grey fall at 36 IRE on your waveform monitor.

Name Dynamic Range White clip (IRE) Grey Point (IRE)
HG 1 325% 100 36
HG 2 460% 100 30
HG 3 325% 109 40
HG 4 460% 109 33
HG 7 800% 109 40
HG 8 800% 109 33

You can see from this chart that HG 1, 3, and 7 have a high grey point, and therefore would do very well to hold shadow detail. The wide dynamic range of HG 7 makes it great for grading later, but you can also add a bit of contrast back into the image through the paint menu if desired.

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Post – Production (Editing) Blog 7
By: Devin O’Rourke – Assistant Editor

The post-production workflow here at the Sundance Institute Directors Lab is very time sensitive. As an assistant editor, I receive the card with dailies when shooting wraps and must have the footage properly sorted in Avid and ready to view for the editor and director within half an hour. With the Sony SxS card, I am able to forego the transcoding process and screen dailies immediately via AMA link, saving me valuable minutes.

"Editor Marc Vives" Photographer - Ryan Johnson

“Editor Marc Vives” Photographer – Ryan Johnson

The ability to edit with the native XDCAM codec is also a huge plus. I’ve worked with many other types of media in post-production workflows that involve a much longer transcoding process, making a quick turnaround into editing impossible. Other cameras’ workflow, for example, involves more transcoding time because the raw clips are in an H.264 codec, which is not suitable for editing. I’ve also spent days converting other cameras’ footage into an editable format. The Sony SXS card, meanwhile, allows us to go straight from shooting to editing within a matter of minutes. That efficiency is invaluable.

"AC Jason Ball" Photographer - Ryan Johnson

“AC Jason Ball” Photographer – Ryan Johnson

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