Last night Sony went in-depth about their new camera offerings, the F5 and the F55, and their accompanying accessories, and also detailed the list pricing for all of those items. In addition to the presentation they showed a plethora of footage from both the F5 and the F55. Now we've finally got one of those samples online -- from the F55 -- thanks to the good people over at Stargate Studios. Click through to check out some of the first images from this camera.
Here is part of the description below the video:
Sony asked Sam Nicholson, ASC, and Stargate Studios to produce a short film to test the F55. Nicholson, along with production teams from Stargate LA and Stargate Mumbai, travelled to Sri Lanka to produce the film, hiring local talent and crew to help in the production. "Mahout" follows an orphan girl who helps a baby elephant escape an abusive owner and return to his herd in the wild. Nicholson directed and shot "Mahout" throughout the spectacular environments of Sri Lanka, from crowded urban locales to remote jungles, rivers and beaches, often struggling with monsoon rainstorms, severe humidity and unpredictable weather. “Mahout” features a young bull elephant, local Sri Lanka children, sacred stone temples and a large herd of wild elephants.
Thanks to Cinester for finding this:
Quite a bit of this footage looks like it has been shot with a more open shutter -- which is unrelated to the fact that this camera has a global shutter CMOS vs. a rolling shutter CMOS sensor. For example, if the entire video was shot at 24p (which it seems like it was except for the slow motion parts), the normal shutter would be 180 degrees or 1/48 of a second, but there are a few shots, like when the girl is hiding out at night, and near the end, that have a lot more blurring in the motion -- so it would stand to reason that a 1/24 of a second or 360 degree shutter was used at those times. Plenty of the film looked fine, but there were enough moments that stood out to me. It's possible that this technique was used to gain an additional stop of exposure during certain scenes, which could also allow for shooting with a deeper depth of field.
As far as the look, it seems very similar to much of the other offerings from Sony. Watching in compressed form on Vimeo is certainly not ideal, especially since this was shown in 4K at the presentation yesterday, but one of the biggest things that is impressing me is the dynamic range. For a global shutter camera, it's remarkable that Sony has pulled this much latitude out of the sensor. The highlight rolloff is nice in many shots -- and some of the them are just downright impossible if you're not using a camera with a lot of range. In certain places it does seem that the grade has been pushed hard, and shadows and highlights are slightly lost -- but if you're shooting RAW, it's going to take a lot to not have a usable image with the F55.
I think the big thing with this camera will be to see how far the compressed 4K can be pushed. I have a feeling that's going to be used quite a bit by productions because you get all of the advantages of 4K -- like reframing and stabilization -- without the massive data requirements of RAW (and keep in mind that Sony is also using compressed RAW with their recorder, so you are saving a little bit of space from uncompressed).
I'm interested to see how far the prices will come down when the cameras are actually delivered, since those numbers listed yesterday were just the MSRP. I would definitely like to see more samples and some RAW examples to really make any judgements about what this camera can really do, but the specs are there -- it's just going to come down to whether you personally like the look of the camera.
What do you guys think about the look so far? How about the dynamic range? Are you warming up to Sony's offering if you were initially on the fence?