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Sony F55 Film 'Dig' is a Must-Watch Example of What the 4K Camera Can Do

11.30.12 @ 6:30PM Tags : , , , ,

While it seems like it has been all Sony around here, it’s really because the news and videos have been trickling out slowly, rather than in one burst after the recent presentation. We already saw what the Sony F55 with its global shutter could do with one crew, now we’ve got the opportunity to see it in the hands of another. Dig, written/directed by Martin Scanlan and shot by Steve Lawes, premiered at the Camerimage Film Festival in Poland, and was part of the European launch for the F55. Check out the full film below.

Thanks again to Cinester for finding this. Be sure to download the film from Vimeo to check out the full 1080p file in better quality:

Here is a frame grab that really gives you a sense of the depth of the image and the latitude (click for larger):

This is the kind of video I’ve been looking for as an example of what this camera can do. The other video we shared, Mahout, is great, no question, but with the deep depth of field, strong grade, and blurred motion, it was not the easiest sample to judge the camera by. Content aside, the grade that we’re seeing in Dig is much closer to a traditional narrative film. We have rich colors at times, and more subdued tones when the scene calls for it. Even in a compressed web form, it’s clear that the 4K image delivers a tremendous amount of clarity. I’m also extremely impressed with the dynamic range from this video. This shot in particular is one that stood out to me showing that Sony is not underestimating the 14 stops of latitude:

On the content side this film is more my style, but everyone has their preferences. I think the lack of dialogue actually drew me in more, and helped sell the payoff at the end. Cinematic is certainly an intangible word for most people when it relates to the image they can get out of a particular camera, but it’s one of the reasons I have tended to prefer a lot of the material shot on RED or Alexa up until this point. This short gave me that same feeling, I’m sure in no small part to the excellent dynamic range.

I’m definitely curious to see more samples, especially some that are more flat in their grade, but I think this image is going to please lots of shooters. If the workflow is there, and the actual rigs end looking as simple has they have so far, I think this is going to be a real competitor for the productions that normally would have chosen EPIC or Alexa.

What do you think of the footage? How about the dynamic range? Did this impress you as much as it impressed me, or do you still feel that something is off with the footage?

Link: Dig – Sony F55 — Vimeo

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Description image 84 COMMENTS

  • Beautiful short, though I find it bizarre anyone expected this camera would be capable of producing anything less than stunning images.

    We really have to get over “better” we just need to establish when something crosses the capable of producing fantastic imagery threshold.

  • Martin Scanlan on 12.2.12 @ 1:53PM

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the great comments and glad we’re helping the debate.


  • Looks great. But this “global shutter” masturbation is out of control. It makes no difference in the “image” AT ALL. Nothing looks any better, or any worse. Sure it’s great to have, I guess… but let’s all be careful in over-praising what is just a natural improvement in imaging. The more praise and awe we give to “global shutters”, the more likely were going to see “global shutter” cameras with a two-zero markup on them for no reason at all…

    • Whoa, hold on there. Rolling shutters have been a DEFECT of modern cameras ever since they started using CMOS sensors. It was a step backward, period. Rolling shutters exhibit artifacts that film shutters never did. Artifacts that manifest themselves in motion…kind of a problem for a “cinema” camera (cinema getting its name from motion).

      Maybe it’s not a big deal for TV cameras, but it sure as heck is for other mediums. There is a metric crap ton of motion tracking required for most movies due to the high amount of effects work, even in non-effects centered movies. Rolling shutters crap all over attempts to track motion. So next time you say it makes no difference AT ALL, I’d like to see you donate your time and money trying to get around the problems caused by rolling shutter artifacts.

      • Gary Simmons on 12.6.12 @ 4:54PM

        Is there any way to prove what you said a link to some info on it? Because honestly I do not have a clue to how it effects the image and would like to know how it works because if its not necessary then I might as well buy the F5 because I am not concerned with working in 4K yet but want the option which I would have with the F5.

        • John Stephens on 12.8.12 @ 11:51AM

          Think of it this way: a global shutter makes each image at a discrete point in time (all the pixels cover the same time period) while a rolling shutter has different time points for different parts of the frame. In motion tracking, time points equal points in 3D space. A rolling shutter gives a matrix of 3D points which makes things an order of magnitude (2D vs. 3D) more complex.

        • Yes there is a test.

          Global shutter makes a big difference

  • NOW THAT’S HOW YOU DEMO A CAMERAS AWESOMENESS!!! WOW! I have just downloaded the720p file and the clarity and sharpness and details is..jussst…jawdropping! The colors are amazing! But disregarding all the camera specs..that shortis pretty fucking awesome. It jad no dialoige, just a powerful scoring..but a great story unfolded..and it was about love. Sigh.:) And in between all those flashback they were able to show the camera shooting at various conditions and settings (good loght, bad light, no light, craze colored lights, overcast, sunny, macro )…just awesome awesome stuff.

  • what glass was this shot on? cant tell…looks like zeiss…prime cp.2?

    • Joe Marine on 12.5.12 @ 4:38PM

      From Steve Lawes, the DP: “we shot on Cooke S4i’s. Mostly between T2 and T2.8. Two shots were on the Alura Zooms”

  • An excellent example of high-quality camera capabilities in the hands of very talented professionals.

  • Gary Simmons on 12.6.12 @ 4:57PM

    I liked everything about this film the camera is every thing I hoped for in the price range. My thanks to the talented team who made this film. I enjoyed watching it.

  • Please upload this to YouTube at 4K so we can really see what this camera can do…thanks! :-)

  • After watching this over several times I truly believe the F-5/55 will easily stand up to
    the Alexa or Epic without breaking a sweat. Yes, in the hands of such talented people
    as those who crafted this footage, anything is possible. But, given
    the technology built into this camera, this sets without question a new milestone in
    digital cinematography. The F-55 will be around for a long time producing
    beautiful images as we have witnessed here. Yes, technology can always get better, but
    I think we have reached the point of diminishing returns in cinema technology. This is effectively
    as good as it gets, and will be for long time.

  • Looks like really nice video. All the talk about dynamic range and sharpness aside, it doesn’t look like film.

  • Looks like the f-800 with shallow depth of field. Amazing that after all of this time and money and research, Sony produces nothing more than an expensive news camera. Nobody is shooting a high end movie with this camera.

  • $3000 Black Magic Cinema Camera looks more like film than this. Love the ergonomics of this camera, hate the look of the footage.

  • Steve Lawes deserves most of the praise here.

    Beautifully shot and and great use of light.
    A well written and directed short by Martin Scanlan and compelling story as well.

    The camera, very impressive as well.

  • Nice Job to Steve Lawes and his team, but to my eyes f55 looks video-ish ( I’ve seen all the available f55 footages out there. (up to this date ) )

  • I felt that this short was nice, but I could shot the same film on a dslr and got the same vibe. I just don’t feel the Sony F55 was utilized to its full potential. Personally I can only take x amount of close ups before I think the DP is being lazy. Plus why did they use shallow depth of field. You gotta milk that bitch really go wide. Shoot in pitch black and do something with a match or lighter to see its dynamic range. Why not a running spot to see its stabilization of the image.

    This is just me.

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