Borealis: The Northern Lights.

Well here is a little teaser from my trip to Norway to shoot the Aurora. Over 24,000 still frames were shot with the Sony Alpha A99 and NEX5. Over 4 hours of video rushes shot on the PMW-F5, Action Cam and A99. All in all an extremely successful trip and some really great material to use in my short film that will be released a little later in the year. Quite a few people have been asking about how the cameras performed, I will write it all up as soon as I get time. The F5 really surprised me. Some of the footage has really blown me away.

PMW-F5 Frame Grab
PMW-F5 Frame Grab

Not so much the sensitivity (I think the F3 is slightly more sensitive) but the really incredible dynamic range. Take a look at the fire frame grab. You can almost feel the heat from the fire! The richness of the image speaks for itself and this is ungraded. For interviews against the brilliant white snow the dynamic range really helped. I was really lucky to come across some traditional reindeer herders up on the arctic plateaux.

Frame Grab from PMW-F5.
Frame Grab from PMW-F5.

It was one of those un planned situations with the very real risk that the herders would have to dash off at any moment, so no setup, just grab the interview asap. The cameras broad dynamic range was a real help and the interview looks perfectly OK, even though I’d rather have used a reflector for a little fill and sparkle in the guys eye’s.

Anyway here’s the video clip, mainly time-lapse from the Sony Alpha A99:


2 thoughts on “Borealis: The Northern Lights.”

  1. The sensitivity of F5 is a little surprise for me, because its beaten by F3. Ok, both cameras use same sensor, but why F3 is more sensitive? Dynamic range is great in F5, as i can see it from your frame grabs, but which camera produces overall cleaner image? The final thought is, that F3 isn’t that bad camera..

  2. The F3 and F5 sensors are quite different. The F3 sensor has approximately 2.5K pixels horizontally compared to the 4K pixels of the F5. As a result the F3’s pixels are considerably larger (I believe the F3/FS100 sensor has the largest pixels of any video sensor ever produced). This is why the F3 is more sensitive.

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