Featuring a Super 35mm size CCD sensor, Sony's latest high-end CineAlta system delivers 4:4:4 picture quality, variable film rates up to 50 frames per second and extraordinary dynamic range and latitude, writes Andy Stout.
Launching globally towards the end of 2008, it will give cinematographers a greater choice of either using the F23's 2/3" sensor, which is ideal for a longer depth-of-field or low light conditions, or the F35's Super 35mm sensor, which can capture full resolution 1920 x 1080 RGB 4:4:4 material using a large number of PL mount 35mm film lenses and accessories. Depending on which lenses users own and the desired image, the F35 has been designed to compliment the benefits of the F23 as its images offer an extraordinary dynamic range between the highlights and shadows.
"The digital cinematography market is becoming more competitive than ever. As a manufacturer Sony stands out due to the quality and functionality that we deliver in our range and the continuous improvement we make to our cameras based on customer input and feedback. The F35 is the latest top-end camera in our CineAlta line-up joining the F23 and is aimed directly at those cinematographers who want the full Super 35mm image size along with all the benefits of full resolution RGB 4:4:4 digital imaging," explained Richard Lewis, chief engineer, Sony Professional Solutions Europe.
The new F35 shares the same body as the F23 but features a single Super 35mm size CCD sensor with PL-mount lens. The Super 35mm size CCD uses an RGB stripe approach, as opposed to the interpolated Bayer pattern CMOS sensor used on some other cameras. The RGB stripe allows full resolution 1920 x 1080 RGB output, with no sub-sampling at all, while the CCD sensor ensures a huge dynamic range with full detail in the black regions. Like the F23, the F35 is also designed to record on to an HDCAM SR recorder, which can be docked directly on to the back or top of the camera, or connected remotely via cable.
A number of prototype versions of the camera have been released in Japan with the aim of consulting widely with the industry to gather feedback on its functionality. "Just as we did with the F23 before launch, we intend to show cinematographers the F35 as soon as possible. User feedback is essential to our vision of building and delivering cameras with the best functionality and features within the cinematography field as we know from experience of this market that compromise on functionality is not allowed," added Lewis.