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Sony's PMW-F5 Escapes To The Country

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The BBC's Escape to the Country programme has recently selected to the Sony PMW-F5 CineAlta to film its fourteenth series.
Boundless Productions’ Mark Bos said: "Mid-way through this series we took the decision to move to the F5; although it’s a high-end camera and all our Producer/Directors are self-shooters, the results coming back from location are superb.
"When the time came to change the cameras for Escape to the Country, we followed the advice of Mike Thomas, Sales Director, Top-Teks, who originally suggested we test the F5. We were extremely happy with the results of the tests, but the camera offered a host of new features we weren’t familiar with."
"So Top-Teks sent John Shepherd, Technical Director, to our premises to offer bespoke training for our team," says Bos. "We managed a smooth transition to the F5 mid-way through the series, largely thanks to the advice and support of Top-Teks."
"The benefit of using the F5 is down to its picture quality," he added.
"The quality of the F5’s images are great; we are always trying to push quality, technical standards and upping the scale and ambition of the series, and the F5 is part of that strategy.
"The end product from the F5 is fantastic and that’s why we’re using it. There’s so much detail and colour for our graders and online editors to play with in the grade; the end result is a high-quality volume series that consistently delivers."
A single F5 is used for each programme, with a Canon HJ14 wide-angle lens capturing the action.
The show is based on families viewing a series of properties in the British countryside to decide whether to move from a city environment to the country.
"We’ve shot file-based on Escape to the Country since 2007 so have learnt a great deal about file-based cameras and digital workflow and have been HD since 2008, so moving to the F5 was a natural progression and advancement," says Bos.
"Escape to the Country throws up demanding shooting situations with a combination of internal and external shots. Many interiors required lighting but the tight schedule excluded this as an option," says Top-Teks’ Thomas. "So the production needed a camera that was easy to handle, kept the MPEG2 50mb/s codec and workflow, but more importantly had the latitude to cope with the conditions."
"We recommended using the F5 with an IBE B4 adapter so the production team’s existing wide angle ENG lenses could be used. The F5 is one to two stops more sensitive than the PMW-500s that were being used, which compensated for the lens adapter. 14 stops of latitude allowed the operators to expose the interiors even with a window in shot and still retain detail inside and out. The 4K sensor of the F5 produces stunning pictures even when sampled down to HD at 50mb/s, so the F5 was the only real solution."
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