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Sony PMW-F55 4K Camera Taken To The Extremes (12-09-13)


Since purchasing his Sony PMW-F55 from Lemac, Gavin Rawlings has been putting the camera through it's paces in some amazing & challenging environments. Sony recently issued a press release to demonstrate just how well the F55 handles life in the field.

Anyone who visited Lemac's stand at the 2013 SMPTE Exhibition would have seen the stunning 4K images that Gavin captured with his F55. In the press statment, Gavin explains the reasons he chose Sony's PMW-F55 and his experiences with the camera in the diverse and often harsh locations he regularly visits.

Sydney-based lighting cameraman Gavin Rawlings has covered more amazingly diverse terrain than many other people, much of it in Australia and recently all of it captured with his new Sony PMW-F55 camera which he purchased from Lemac Australia.

Rawlings explained, “I've had the opportunity to do a lot of remote area traveling with the Sony F55 camera lately. My first shoot with the F55 was in the Simpson Desert earlier on in the year. After that I was sent up to the top of Australia to Cape York where we filmed on both the east and west side of the Cape then made our way over to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Some of the 4K images I was able to capture up there were absolutely stunning! I've also taken the F55 to northwest Australia to film in the Pilbara as well as Australia's southwest where we followed a river system in 4WDs through a 10,000-hectare property. One of my favourite shoots with the F55 was over in Vietnam a couple of months ago. The image quality of the F55 really blew my clients away which I was extremely happy about.”

Rawlings’ decision to purchase his F55 began late last year when he was looking to purchase a whole new camera kit, almost settling on an alternative system before considering the F55.

Rawlings continued, “I started hearing rumours about the new ‘F' camera and decided to hold off on my purchase until I found out more about it. I'm glad I did. The features that were available in the F55 just blew me away. Multiple resolutions, a variety of codecs, high frame rates, the list goes on. The nature of my work means I get to travel to a lot of places most people will never see. The idea of having a 4K camera with me to capture these locations in all their beauty really excited me. After talking with the producers at work they too were very keen to see what this camera was capable of.”

Rawlings particularly wanted a 4K camera with high frame rates. Due to the often remote and unpredictable nature of his work he also needed a robust camera that could withstand harsh elements.

Rawlings added, “The F55 met my requirements whilst at the same time offering a lot more. The Super 35mm sensor, extremely wide colour gamut, SLog2 gamma and RAW recording means that I have a camera that's incredibly versatile and suits a wider client base. In the Simpson Desert we were shooting in temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius and the F55 had no problems. Not all of my work requires 4K just yet but that doesn't stop me from taking advantage of its versatility, for instance I find myself using 4K for reframing shots in a HD workflow. I also love the idea of capturing unique and remote locations in the largest frame size I can for stock footage. On top of that, Sony's new XAVC format means 4K is a lot more manageable now. This is very handy for remote area work where we have storage limitations. I also chose to buy Sony’s AXS-R5 RAW recorder because I wanted to unlock the F55 to its highest quality and fastest frame rates. Also, having a 16-bit linear RAW file is a lot of fun to play around with in post.”

As an owner/operator in a challenging environment Rawlings has built up and appreciates a good working relationship with the team at Sony Australia. He added, “Like many other cameramen, I'm a one man band a lot of the time. I really like the fact that Sony has supported me well and taken a keen interest in my experiences and travels with the F55. They've even invited me to check out my footage at their headquarters on an 85 inch 4K TV which I thought was pretty cool.”

Gavin Rawlings is a Sydney based lighting cameraman. For more information on Gavin Rawlings go to: