Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Since their launch the Sony F5/55 are making in-roads to the drama and documentary community now overtaking the popular Canon C300 which is looking very lame in comparison. As it stands the Canon C300 is one of the most saught after cameras for filming interviews during 2013 and uses very accessible CF cards while the F5 is still relatively new and not so accessible SxS Pro Plus cards.


Firmware version 2.0 will be released at the end of September and will include the high speed raw shooting modes, 2K at up to 240fps. In addition there will be the addition of waveform, vectorscope and histogram.

The Audio button and File bottom on the side panel will be become active. The audio button adding 2 pages of Audio control functions including quick switching for each channel between manual and auto as well as manual level control via the large menu knob. The file button gives quick access to load and save a number of “all files” so you can quickly switch between different camera setups.

Further new features are full support for the Fujinon Cabrio lens (the lens will need a firmware update too) with zoom control and rec start/stop. Support for Sony’s new LA-FZB1 (5000 Euro approx) and FZB2 (9000 Euro approx) lens adapters for B4 lenses.

This is a very significant update for the cameras and includes a lot of other smaller new features.

When shooting 2K the camera uses the full sensor, but it is read in a different way, one that create larger “virtual” pixels (my words, not Sony’s). This means that as the sensor is now operating as a 2K sensor that the factory fitted 4K optical low pass filter (OLPF) is not optimum for controlling aliasing and moire. Sony will be offering (for sale) a drop in replacement 2K OLPF. The 2K OLPF will control aliasing and moire at 2K as well as providing a softer look at 4K for those wanting this. It is almost essential for the 2K high speed modes and gives a smoother look at 4K that works well for beauty, cosmetic, period drama and similar projects. I could not get a price for the 2K OLPF but I have been assured that it will be affordable (even for me and my small budget).

Version 3 Firmware will be released at the end of year, probably a little after Christmas. Version 3 will add the compressed XAVC high speed modes as well as a new feature which is a 2K super 16mm crop mode. The S16 crop mode will allow you to use S16 PL mount lenses or B4 zoom lenses using the MTF FZ-B4 adapter without the 2x extender and only a 0.3 stop light loss. Also included will be AES/EBU digital audio and other features not listed here.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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