Sony Announces F5- New CineAlta 4K Camera


The Internet has been buzzing with rumors as to what exactly Sony was going to announce today… and I don’t think very many people were disappointed. In addition to two new 4K cameras, Sony decided to also release a full line of PL mount prime cinema lenses.

Sony PMW-F5 CineAlta Camera

Sony has effectively filled the huge gap between the Sony F3 and F65 CineAlta cameras with the announcement of the F5. From Sony’s press release:

You’ll get superior, super-sampled pictures with noticeably higher contrast, rich color reproduction and greater clarity. This is the next generation of the incredibly popular F3 and offers robust built-in recording modes, all with vibrant 4:2:2 color. Irresistible options include the amazing precision of 16-bit linear RAW 2K/4K recording and high speed shooting at up to 120 fps without cropping.

The Sony F5 features a Super 35mm sized 4K sensor with 8.9 million effective pixels. It’s big brother, the Sony F55, even features a global shutter which address rolling shutter artifacts. As for dynamic range:

Cinematographers paint their images with light and shadow. So the ability to render tones from deepest shadows to brightest highlights is a crucial test of any digital camera. The F5 excels, with an impressive 14 stops of exposure latitude, extraordinary low-light sensitivity and extremely low noise in the blacks. The result? Graceful rendering of scene contrast, even in searing sunlight.

The Sony F5 CineAlta camera features high speed shooting at up to 120 fps in 2K. Frame rate options include:

60 fps out of the box (XAVC HD).
120 fps with a planned upgrade (XAVC 2K/HD). Unique to this process, there is no line skipping
or sensor windowing. So there’s no crop factor, no loss in angle of view.
120 fps 2K RAW, with the optional AXS-R5 outboard recorder and a planned upgrade,
achieves high frame rates while retaining exceptional, 16-bit image quality. This not only exceeds
12-bit RAW with 16 times as many Red, Green and Blue gradations. By design, it exceeds
the capabilities of human vision!

The Sony F5 will accommodate the use of PL mount cinema lenses via an included PL to FZ mount adapter like that used on the Sony F3. No pricing has been announced as of yet, but our guess is that it will be slightly more than that of the Sony PMW-F3 when it was announced ($16,000 USD- body only). That would put the Sony F5 in the water with the likes of the RED Scarlet, which also offers RAW recording options and frame rates up to 120fps. One big difference between the two is the crop factor when recording at 120fps. The Sony F5 will allow high speed 120fps recording with no crop at 2K resolution, while the RED Scarlet offers 120fps at 2k with a Super 16mm-like (3.24x) crop factor. No word on what frame rate options will be available when recording 4K RAW. With a complete RED Scarlet package running about $18,710.00 (RED Scarlet-X Lightweight Collection), the Sony F5 is sure to turn the heads of those wanting to invest in 4K without committing themselves to a RED workflow.


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