CineAlta is a brand name used by Sony to describe various products involved in content creation, production and exhibition process within digital cinema workflow. Now Sony's products branded by CineAlta include camera, camcorder, recorder, cinema server, and projector.
CineAlta cameras record onto HDCAM tapes, XDCAM Professional Discs, SRMemory, or SxS flash memory cards. They have the ability to shoot at various frame rates including 24fps and a resolution of up to 4K. The camera can be used with a Miranda DVC 802 converter. This allows the camera to output SDI, DV, and multiple HD outputs.
History and use in motion pictures
In 2000, George Lucas announced that Episode II of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy would be the first major motion picture to be shot 100% digitally. Sony and Panavision had teamed up to develop the High Definition 24p camera that Lucas would use to accomplish this and thus the first CineAlta camera was born: the Sony HDW-F900 (also called the Panavision HD-900F after being "panavised"). However, the science-fiction film Vidocq was actually the first released feature that was shot entirely with digital cinematography.
For Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith the more advanced Sony HDC-F950 was used, with higher resolution and better color reproduction than its predecessor. The film was cropped to a 2.35:1 aspect ratio from its native 16:9 frame. As a result only 817 of the 1080 vertical pixels were actually used; but there is an anamorphic adaptor lens from Canon, which allows shooting in 2.35:1 without losing any pixels. Manuel Huerga's Salvador is the first movie shot with this adaptor.
Russian Ark was recorded in uncompressed high definition video using a Sony HDW-F900. The information was recorded uncompressed onto a hard disk which could hold 100 minutes, thus allowing the entire film to be shot in a single 99 minute take. Four attempts were made to complete the shot; the first three had to be interrupted due to technical faults, but the fourth attempt was completed successfully. Extra material on the DVD release includes a documentary on the technology used.
Other notable movies that were shot with CineAlta cameras include:
- Once Upon a Time in Mexico (released 2003, shot May 2001)
- Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002)
- Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)
- Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
- The World (2004)
- Zebraman (2004) 
- Sin City (2005) 
- Crank (2006)
- U2 3D (2007)
- Cloverfield (2008)
- Rachel Getting Married (2008)
- Yesterday Was a Lie (2008)
- Tetro (2009)
- Public Enemies (2009)
- Avatar (2009)
- Tron: Legacy (2010)
- Real Steel (2011)
- Just Go with It (2011)
- Shark Night 3D (2011)
- The Darkest Hour (2011)
- Sanctum (2011)
- The Sunset Limited (2011)
- Mirror Mirror (2012)
- The Awakened (2012)
- Oblivion (2013)
- After Earth (2013)
- White House Down (2013)
- The Smurfs 2 (2013)
- Evil Dead (2013)
Sony has announced on several occasions that CineAlta 4K, a 4K production suite including a 4K digital cinema camera, recorder, and production tools, is being developed. The results might be still a few years in coming. With Sony's release of the F65 in January 2012, Sony has begun to create a 4K workflow from acquisition to distribution.
- "Once Upon a Time in Mexico Technical Specifications, IMDB". Retrieved 2009-01-31.
- "Zebraman Technical Specifications, IMDB". Retrieved 2011-08-24.
- "HD World: The World of High Definition, Created by Sony" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2007-01-31. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
- Goldstein, Gregg (2006-10-31). "Mysterious ways: U2 in 3-D concert film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
- Official CineAlta page
- Sony Professional
- Sony's first global news release of F35
- Sony US's announcement with information of CineAlta 4K