Handling Sony Raw footage from camera to edit.

Guide for producers and camera assistants, by DoP John Hoare

On-set management of Raw footage requires more knowledge than handling of "regular" digital video. I recommend hiring a DIT or experienced camera assistant to ensure safe passage into post.

The F55 can record Raw: the highest possible quality of image-capture from digital cinema cameras. It means you are capturing the complete 14-stops output from the camera sensor (dynamic-range, resolution, colour-depth), with almost no processing applied; it is your digital "negative". Roughly-graded copies are made for editing ("proxy files"). Once the edit is locked you return to your raw negative to make high-quality graded versions which are assembled to make your finished film.

Laptops used for ingesting and viewing Raw footage off the Sony F55 will need this free software.

Install prior to shoot:

a) Sony AXSM Drive Utility http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/axsmdrive
Enables the laptop to see the Raw cards when plugged into my AXS-CR1 card reader (USB3).

b) Sony Catalyst Browse
For viewing, applying LUTs, and transcoding rushes. It's discussed on this bulletin board, and you can download for free here. It inputs XAVC, XDCAMHD and Sony Raw , grades them, applies LUTs; and outputs XAVC, H.264, Pro Res (Mac Only), DPX, and Open EXR.

Further reading: in-depth overview by Sony of 4K Workflow (Raw, Looks and LUTs): 4K_Workflow_Guide_Version2.0.pdf

Calculating disk-space requirements: in raw at 25fps (normal speed) the F55 records about 8gb per minute in 4K, or 2gb per minute in 2K. I have two 512gb raw cards, each one recording 64 mins at 4k or 240 mins at 2k.