The 2015 ARIA Music Awards (Australia Recording Industry Association Music Awards) held in Sydney, was more than just a showcase of the country’s emerging music talent, it also shone the spotlight on a global superstar that is quickly gaining inroads in Australia’s vibrant film and broadcast industry – Sony PMW-F55 4K CineAlta™ camera.
For over forty years, Videocraft, a supply facilities company based in Melbourne and Sydney, has been synonymous with providing high quality audio-visual products and services for broadcasters, film companies and production houses. Recently, it scored the proud distinction of being appointed the exclusive facilities provider for Australian music’s flagship event – the ARIA Music Awards.
Videocraft provided all the outside broadcast and post production facilities for the main awards show, red carpet, and Telstra second screen web streams. And in an industry exclusive, Videocraft covered the main awards presentation with a combination of Sony’s acclaimed F55 large sensor digital cinema cameras and 2/3 inch HDC series cameras.
Featuring a new type 4K Super 35mm image sensor with a 4096 x 2160 resolution and capable of capturing 4K, 2K and HD resolution video in a variety of formats via the camera’s internal recorder, the F55 is amongst the first digital motion picture cameras with a global shutter, which completely eliminates motion skew and other ‘rolling’ shutter distortions. Its large sensors also help deliver a colour gamut wider than that of print film, and a wide dynamic range (14 stops) that faithfully captures light and dark areas with minimal white clip and black crush.
Says James Taylor, Sales Director at Videocraft of the F55: “We have been looking for a solution that allowed us to use large format image sensor cameras in live production. Our clients wanted the ARIA Awards production to look more ‘filmic’ while at the same time keeping to the extremely tight production demands that a live show expects.”
“In this environment, the F55 shone, giving us the look you would expect from a post-produced rock video in the live production. The low light performance of the F55 is stunning, and then coupled with the full OB camera feature set, we had a no-compromise large sensor production system that did everything and more.”
Another important consideration for Videocraft’s selection of the F55 was that the company had recognised the broadcast industry’s eager embrace of 4K resolution and beyond. Says Taylor: “The investment in the F55 is a first step for Videocraft to move into HDR and ensure an end-to-end 4K HDR live production process.”
To achieve the ‘filmic’ 4K quality for the ARIA Awards broadcast, Videocraft teamed up the F55 with the CA4000 4K fibre transmission camera adaptor and the BPU-4000 4K base band processor unit. Adds Taylor: “We use the Sony F55/CA4000/BPU-4000 systems for live production of entertainment, music and dramas. These new systems allow us to mix and match our existing HDC-2400 cameras in HD projects using the same CCU’s and RCP’s, so operators were immediately familiar.”
The F55 joins Videocraft’s impressive armoury of Sony products which include the HDC-2400 and HDC-P1 HD camera systems, XDCAMTM camcorders, OLED and LCD monitors, as well as the MVS-8000G and MVS-6000 Multi-format Switchers.
“We have been very pleased with the seamless integration between our new F55s and our existing fleet of Sony HD 2/3” cameras. The F55 has added the ‘sparkle’ in live entertainment production that could only have been achieved with a large image sensor. Very simply, the Sony F55 4K CineAlta™ camera is outstanding,” says Taylor.