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Filming with a CineAlta video

Sony's CineAlta 24P HD cameras are a series of professional digital video cameras that offer many of the same features of 35mm motion picture cameras.


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 as 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[edit]

In June 1999, 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 2.40:1 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 2.39:1 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 86 minute take. This was very complicated, as there wasn't yet widely available technology for high capacity hard disk-recording; even less for doing this portably, on battery power, with the camera moving inside and outside, from -23 °C to +23 °C. 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:


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. With the release of the F65 in January 2012, Sony has begun to create a 4K workflow from acquisition to distribution.

List of CineAlta cameras[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]