Sony F23 makes inroads in network TV production

Sony’s F23 digital cinematography camera is increasingly showing up on more television production sets, due to its film-style ergonomics and broad dynamic range.

In 2008 and into this year, the camera is behind the scenes of such TV series’ as “Privileged,” “Weeds,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Starter Wife” and “Knight Rider.”

The F23 camera uses three 2.2Mb 2/3in-type progressive CCD imagers and a 14-bit analog-to-digital converter. The system supports multiple 1080 formats, including 24 and 60 fps in progressive mode. The camera also delivers 12.5 stops of latitude, and cinematographers can work in LOG mode, a camera setting that allows for a more film-like shooting experience.

With the ability to shoot true variable frame rate (exposure time matches frame rate) and speed ramping (one to 60 frames per second)‚ the F23’s feature sets are expanded from Sony’s previous 24P cameras. In addition, these functions are available to the director on the set in real time and can be immediately reviewed. There is no post step required. For the user, these features, along with compatibility with ARRI accessories, mean higher quality images, lower production costs and more footage at the end of the day.

Sam Nicholson, founder and CEO of Stargate Digital, worked with the F23 on “Knight Rider” and noted the distinct cost- and time-saving advantages of working with the camera’s dockable recorder, because it requires no reloading in the field and it has “perfectly integrated speed ramps that go from zero to 60 fps at the turn of a knob, minimizing the need for on-set adjustments.”

Nicholson is now working with the F35 as VFX DP for a new pilot drama called “Defying Gravity,” a fictional space epic about the first manned space mission across the solar system.

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