What’s in my Camera Bag: Sony Artisan Jeff Berlin

by Jeff Berlin 10/01/2013, in Photography

“What’s in my Camera Bag” is a blog series in which Sony Artisans of Imagery provide a closeup look of the photography equipment they use regularly. We’re kicking it off with celebrity and fashion photographer Jeff Berlin.  

Since this photo features much of the camera and supporting equipment I recently took with me to shoot an indie feature film, let’s instead call this “What’s in my bags?”


A – Sony PMW-F55 CineAlta 4K cinema camera – State-of-the-art digital cinema camera with broad exposure latitude, global shutter and very wide color space (gamut).

B – Sony CineAlta 4K prime lenses. PL mount. 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm. Cine lenses are a bit different from still lenses; they don’t have an f-stop ring with clicked detents, and on cinema lenses f-stop is called T-stop. T-stop is a measure of the actual amount of light that reaches the film plane and accounts for light loss during transmission through the lens. F-stop is simply a measure of the aperture opening.

C – Sony AXS-R5 4K raw recorder – I shot this film in 4K raw. This is the recorder that attaches to the camera body and writes raw files to high-speed memory cards.

D – AXSM memory card, 512GB – a high-speed flash memory card for recording high frame rate 4K and 2K, 16-bit video. The write speed is up to 2.4 Gigabits/sec(Gbps). Since I was shooting 4K raw at 24fps, I was recording to the card at 1Gbps, or 125Mbps, and it took 66 minutes to fill the half-terabyte card.

E – OLED viewfinder for F55 – OLED, for organic light emitting diode, offers superb clarity, brightness, contrast, response and deeper blacks compared to an LCD. During nearly three weeks of 12+ hour shoot days, my eye never fatigued while using this viewfinder.

F – AXSM Memory card reader – works just like your SD or CF card reader.

G – Sony shoulder mount for F55 – has integral fittings to mount it to a tripod quick release plate. Allows easy transitions from tripod to handheld shooting and back again.

H – Redrock microFollow Focus Blue – I really like the integrated, adjustable hard stops on this unit, allowing me to set two focus points and rack between them.

I – Battery adapter for F55

J – Two of four batteries for F55 – they last an hour or less. Less when running the 4k recorder.

K – Atomos Ninja-2 HDMI recorder, monitor and playback deck. Used this handy little guy to record high-quality files for assemblies, dailies and on-set review. Records uncompressed HDMI signal from the camera, 10-bit, 4:2:2 Apple ProRes. Not too shabby.

L – Handles for shoulder rig

M – Sony VG900 Full Frame camcorder – I love the quality I get from this camera. It accepts all my Zeiss lenses that I use for still shooting and I have it with me on every shoot.

N – Sony a99 Full Frame DSLR – My go-to camera for work. Fabulous image quality and ergonomics. Shoots great video.

O – Sony a77 DSLR – This and the NEX-6 are my two favorite APS-C sized sensor cameras. Shoots 60P at full HD, 1920×1080. Many APS-C, and full-frame, DSLRs won’t.

P – Sony / Zeiss 24-70mm zoom lens, Sony Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Lens. Fast glass. Great color, contrast, clarity, and with just enough resistance in the focus rings to make manual focus a pleasure.

Q – Sony Action Cam w/ waterproof and skeleton housings.

R – Tape measures for pulling focus. With this we measure the subject’s distance from the film focal plane and mark focus points accordingly.

S – Minolta Autometer IV F light meter. I also own the Minolta Flash Meter IV and Minolta Color Meter IIIF. These meters are still some of the best, most intuitive available, if you can find them.

T – Leatherman-type tool

U – A clamps and clothespins. Film folks call clothespins, C47s, but to me, a C-47 is the military version of the DC-3 airplane.

V – Articulating arm for mounting monitors to the F55.

W – China marker for pulling focus. I would use this to mark focus points on the follow focus unit’s marking disk… that white thing that I, or my 1st Assistant Camera, turns.

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