Sony PMW-F5 Super35 Cinema Camera


Shoot HD, 2K or 4K with the Sony F5

The F5 delivers a shallow depth of field that we’ve all seen in the cinemas for many years, the foreground is in focus the background is immediately out of focus; it’s a very pleasing look. With an impressive fourteen stops of latitude, the whole picture to be reproduced in a very natural way with lots of details in the dark area of the screen with great highlight handling. And if your final delivery requirement is standard HD, then the camera can be switched to HD, but that 4K sensor still provides spectacular super-sampled pictures with visibly superior texture, colour reproduction and detail that ordinary HD cameras cannot touch. My clients are blown away with the picture quality of the F5; it’s become their camera of choice.

  • Shoots HD, 2K or 4K
  • 14 stops of latitude approaches that of traditional motion picture film
  • Extraordinary low-light sensitivity with a base rate of ISO 2000
  • Extremely low noise in the blacks
  • Continuous high speed shooting at up to 120fps; 5 times slower than real life
  • Time-lapse interval recording starting at 1 frame per second
  • PL Lens mount

Filming with the F5

F5 shoots require similar disciplines to film shoots, i.e. time taken to light and frame each shot properly before rolling the camera. The F5 has a super sharp LCD viewfinder and an Vocas shoulder mount for shooting handheld ‘reactively’ for documentary.

Choosing the correct Gamma setting

Standard Gamma 5 (rec709) For footage to be used as shot in camera; no time to grade. Standard Gamma gives you a broadcast safe tv signal without grading. Rec709 is default HDTV standard gamma.

HyperGamma Is intended for minimal color correction and can be graded in-house using popular edit systems. With 10 stop dynamic latitude, hypergamma is Sony’s halfway house between Standard Gamma and S-log. Hypergamma captures much more detail in light and dark shades than rec709.

S-Log S-Log exploits the F5’s full sensor with it’s 14-stops dynamic latitude for the widest choice in the grade. S-Log footage is normally graded by someone who has the tools and skills ‘most likely a professional colorist’ in a dedicated grading suite.

PL Mount Cine Lenses

Fujinon Cabrio 20-120mm

PL Mount Cine Lenses are a big investment, but I believe they will outlast the cameras I own in the future. A cine lens has to capture frames that may be projected onto a 30×20 foot screen. That’s why “top quality” cine lenses normally exceed the resolution of the camera sensor.

20-120mm Fujinon Cabrio 4K Cine Zoom

The new Fujinon Cabrio 20-120mm is a Super35 wide to medium telephoto PL-mount cine zoom lens.It brings 4K to the whole picture, right out to the edges and corners; at every focal length. The Ks go way beyond 4K in the Cabrio’s centre zone. Images have a good filmic quality, creamy, smooth and sharp with good contrast. The Cabrio 20-120mm is truly on par with prime lenses.

11-16mm Ultra-Wide Angle Cine Zoom 

The Tokina Cinema 11-16mm is a Super35 PL-mount cine zoom lens that delivers stunning ultra-wide angle perspectives. Centre resolution is way beyond 4K and edge-to-edge sharpness is excellent; it has the optical quality of lenses that cost 10 times as much.

100mm Macro Cine Prime

The newly designed Tokina Cinema AT-X 100mm T/2.9 PL Mount macro lens is used to film extreme close-ups of objects. With a minimum close working distance of 11.8 inches (0.3 meters),  the Tokina Cine Macro is a true 1 to 1 macro lens, which means it can focus on something the same size or as small as the cameras sensor; awesome macro capability. An audience can appreciate for the first time, the delicate complexity of everyday items. Even printed words and maps take on new importance when we can see the very texture of the paper or the indentations of each letter produced by a typewriter.  Macro filming brings your audience’s focus into places their eyes normally don’t go.

16mm, 25mm, 50mm, 85mm Veydra Mini Cine Prime Set

Veydras Mini Primes are true top quality Super35 cine lenses built from the ground up; not re-housed photo lenses.
I knew these lenses were something special when I heard they were listed in Panavision’s rental catalogue.


Supporting my F5

oconnor2 copy

Matte box wise, I use a VIV studio matte box from Bright Tangerine. VIV is a lightweight carbon fibre hybrid that uses industry standard “Panavision” size filters. It’s a swing-away too so lens changes quick and simple. I’ve owned Arri and more recently O’Connor matt boxes, which I thought were the best, until UK based Bright Tangerine came along!

My choice of follow focus is the O’Connor O-Focus Cine, which is double sided so it can be operated from either side of the camera.

O’connor’s ultimate 1030D fluid heads are known for their ultra smooth feel, fluid movement and great balance. Chad O’Connor sold his first fluid heads to Walt Disney in 1949, today they have become industry standard in Hollywood.


Footage is recorded internally to SxS cards as XAVC, HDCAM SR and XDCAM HD or to an optional external recorder in Apple ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes or Avid DNxHD. Shot material is transferred via my MacBook Pro to your portable hard drives. The media is edit suite friendly and compatible with up to date Avid, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, etc.

A full kit list can be viewed at my website

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