InCinematographer - Issue 3 - 36
www.incinematographer.com | Issue 3
Mirabella chooses the Sony
PXW-FS5 Super 35 4K camera
David Mirabella chooses the Sony PXW-FS5 Super 35 4K camera for
Channel TEN's Cruise Mode loves a Jaguar segment...
avid Mirabella, a Melbourne-based cameraman
with over 30 years experience, started out in
news and current affairs at the Nine Network in the
early 1980s and has been freelancing since 1995. One
of his favorite cameras is the Sony Super 35 4K PXWFS5.
Mirabella explains: "Think about the biggest TV in
the department store, smartphones, hi-res tablets
and computer screens. These are my end users
now, so for the journey from acquisition to delivery,
the PXW-FS5 credibly and reliably does what it was
designed to do and you can't ask for more than that.
I also really like the PXW-FS5 because of how it works
for me in the real world."
Recently Mirabella was engaged by
Executive Producer Maurice Parker
to shoot a unique segment with his
FS5 for Channel TEN's Cruise Mode
Show: "The Cruise Mode loves a
Jaguar segment involved me using my Sony FS5 on
a jib with a remote pan-tilt head. The reason for
this was simple. When people sit down to watch
a car show now, they are already used to watching
particular shows with massive budgets and very
cleverly, the FS5 and an affordable jib and remote
head set up gives a very professional look."
On this shoot Mirabella had to get footage of
several cars and again the FS5 proved to be the
perfect camera for the job. "The economics of using
the FS5 for this style of B-roll footage made complete
sense here. We allocated one hour per car and used
the FS5 to get high shots, low shots, static shots,
moving shots, branding shots, interior shots, exterior
shots and anything else the director could think of.
The compact FS5 was ideal as, particularly with car
interiors and engine bays, you would never get a big
camera in there. By using the FS5 we got all the shots
with one camera and one operator."
Mirabella is a big fan of his Sony FS5 and much
of his enthusiasm for the camera comes from its
flexibility. He says: "For the setup on this shoot I used
the 18-105 kit lens. I removed the handgrip from the
camera and connected a two meter LANC extension
to it then repositioned the handgrip close to my left
hand. This meant I had the FS5's main iris, zoom and
record controls close by for speedy adjustment. I also
had one aftermarket servo motor for the focus and
this too had its controller near my left hand. While
shooting these cars with the FS5 I also experimented
with the auto focus of the 18-105 Sony kit lens and
it worked quite well. For example it would lock in
on the gaps in the car doors, the front grill or the
car's badge. At f4 some might say the 18-105 kit lens
doesn't offer shallow enough depth of field but when
shooting cars I prefer deeper focus as you get to see
David Mirabella and
Cruise Mode loves a Jaguar
the full length of the car's lines. This is also another
example of why being able to relocate the LCD screen
on the FS5 is so convenient as on this shoot it was
in my peripheral vision, while I was mainly using an
On the shoot, Mirabella used a Sony PXW-FS5,
Sony PMW-F5, two Sachtler tripods, various bi-color
LED lights, a director's monitor, a MōVI M5 3-axis
stabilizer and an iFootage Shark Slider.
Mirabella adds: "This segment was shot at Lorbek
Luxury Motors in Melbourne and the team there were
very busy. Again the FS5 was a big help and worked
extremely well with such tight timelines as we used
the SDI out for the director's monitor and hard-wired
the audio as this meant that the sound recordist
could minimize the amount of radio microphones
With the mix of artificial and natural light
constantly changing during the shoot, being able
to make adjustments quickly was a major bonus as
when I was not happy with the Auto White Balance I
could simply dial in my preferred color temperature.
Having the FS5 pre-rigged on the gimbal on standby
was another timesaving plus as I could just pick it
up and go. The Sony engineers who designed the
camera were clever in the way they positioned
various industry standard threads around the camera
body and this is particularly useful when mounting
the FS5 on a gimbal as we did on this shoot."
In terms of workflow for the Cruise Mode loves a
Jaguar Mirabella recorded to both SD cards in the
FS5 for "great for peace of mind", adding: "For Cruise
Mode, the production unit was in Sydney, so I was
transferring footage from all cameras to a portable
HDD using Catalyst Prepare and sending it off by
courier. I backed everything up again in my studio
and kept the files until I received an e-mail from
the post production department that I was clear to
format the original camera cards. This was and is a
simple, safe and efficient workflow."
Shoot & review
All in all Mirabella is happy with his Sony FS5:
"For the Cruise Mode loves a Jaguar segment it was
important that we did not obstruct Lorbek Luxury
Motors' daily business and by using the FS5 and its
small footprint we were able to achieve that. For this
shoot it wasn't possible to use a big set up or to lay
"So by utilizing available light and the latest
generation of battery operated LED lights, the FS5
camera performed beautifully. I also set up a couple
of the Picture Profiles to match other cameras and
I love how simply I could change these settings on
the FS5 for this shoot. I also like the layout of the
buttons, switches and dials on the side of the FS5.
"I am so familiar with the side of the camera now I
can make many of the adjustments without looking.
Sometimes, as on the Cruise Mode loves a Jaguar
shoot, to obtain the client's trust, the external LCD
screen plays a big role as, when I took the shot,
review was so easy with the thumbnails.
"Using the FS5 on the Cruise Mode loves a Jaguar
shoot just reinforced what I already knew - this is a
great, flexible and very high quality camera."