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, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

's CineAlta 24P
In video technology, 24p refers to a video format that operates at 24 frames per second frame rate with progressive scanning . Originally, 24p was used in the non-linear editing of film-originated material...

(high definition video
High-definition television
High-definition television is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems . HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD...

) Cameras are a series of professional digital video cameras that offer many of the same features of a 35mm motion picture film camera.


CineAlta is a brand name used by Sony to describe various products involved in content creation, production and exhibition process within digital cinema workflow. Now Sony's products branded by CineAlta include camera, camcorder, recorder, cinema server and projector.


CineAlta cameras record onto HDCAM tapes, XDCAM
XDCAM is a a series of products for digital recording using random access solid-state memory media, introduced by Sony in 2003. Four different product lines — the XDCAM SD, XDCAM HD, XDCAM EX and XDCAM HD422 — differ in types of encoder used, frame size, container type and in...

 Professional Discs or SxS
SxS is a flash memory standard compliant to the Sony and Sandisk-created ExpressCard standard. According to Sandisk and Sony, the cards have transfer rates of 800 Mbit/s and burst transfer rate of up to 2.5 Gbit/s...

 flash memory cards. They have the ability to shoot at various frame rates including 24fps but have a resolution of only up to 1920 by 1080 pixels. The camera can be used with a Miranda DVC 802 converter. This allows the camera to output SDI, DV and multiple HD outputs.

History and use in motion pictures

In 2000 George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

 announced that Episode II
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is a 2002 American epic space opera film directed by George Lucas and written by Lucas and Jonathan Hales. It is the fifth film to be released in the Star Wars saga and the second in terms of the series' internal chronology...

 of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy
Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

 would be the first major motion picture to be shot 100% digitally. Sony
, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

 and Panavision
Panavision is an American motion picture equipment company specializing in cameras and lenses, based in Woodland Hills, California. Formed by Robert Gottschalk as a small partnership to create anamorphic projection lenses during the widescreen boom in the 1950s, Panavision expanded its product...

 had teamed up to develop the High Definition 24P camera that Lucas would use to accomplish this and thus the first CineAlta camera was born: the Sony HDW-F900 (also called the Panavision HD-900F
Panavision HD-900F
The Panavision HD-900F is the first high definition camera that records in 24 frame per second format. In 1997, Panavision and Sony collaborated to develop the first ever high definition movie camera.-Technical aspects:...

 after being "panavised"). However, the science-fiction film Vidocq
Vidocq (2001 film)
Vidocq is a 2001 mystery film, directed by Pitof, starring Gérard Depardieu as historical figure Eugène François Vidocq pursuing a supernatural serial killer...

 was actually the first released feature that was shot entirely with digital cinematography
Digital cinematography
Digital cinematography is the process of capturing motion pictures as digital images, rather than on film. Digital capture may occur on video tape, hard disks, flash memory, or other media which can record digital data. As digital technology has improved, this practice has become increasingly common...


For Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a 2005 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the sixth and final film released in the Star Wars saga and the third in terms of the series' internal chronology....

the more advanced Sony HDC-F950 was used, with higher resolution and better color reproduction than its predecessor. The film was cropped to a 2.35:1 aspect ratio from its native 16:9 frame. As a result only 817 of the 1080 vertical pixels were actually used; but there is an anamorphic adaptor lens from Canon
Canon Inc.
is a Japanese multinational corporation that specialises in the manufacture of imaging and optical products, including cameras, camcorders, photocopiers, steppers and computer printers. Its headquarters are located in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan.-Origins:...

, which allows shooting in 2.35:1 without losing any pixels. Manuel Huerga's Salvador (2006 film) is the first movie shot with this adaptor.

Russian Ark
Russian Ark
Russian Ark is a 2002 Russian historical drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov. It was filmed entirely in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage Museum using a single 96-minute Steadicam sequence shot...

was recorded in uncompressed high definition video using a Sony HDW-F900. The information was recorded uncompressed onto a hard disk which could hold 100 minutes, thus allowing the entire film to be shot in a single 99 minute take. Four attempts were made to complete the shot; the first three had to be interrupted due to technical faults, but the fourth attempt was completed successfully. Extra material on the DVD release includes a documentary on the technology used.

Other notable movies that were shot with CineAlta cameras include:
  • Once Upon a Time in Mexico
    Once Upon a Time in Mexico
    Once Upon a Time in Mexico is a 2003 action film written, edited and directed by Robert Rodriguez. It is the final film in the "Mariachi Trilogy", which also includes El Mariachi and Desperado. Antonio Banderas reprises his role as El Mariachi...

     (released 2003, shot May 2001)
  • Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002)
  • Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
    Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
    Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over is a 2003 American action-adventure family film directed by Robert Rodriguez and the third film in the Spy Kids series. It was released in the United States on July 25, 2003. The film featured the return of many cast members from the past two films, although most were in...

  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
    Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
    Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a 2004 American pulp adventure science-fiction film written and directed by Kerry Conran in his directorial debut. The film is set in an alternative 1939 and follows the adventures of Polly Perkins , a newspaper reporter, and Harry Joseph "Joe" Sullivan ,...

  • The World
    The World (film)
    The World is a 2004 Chinese film written and directed by Jia Zhangke. Starring Jia's muse, Zhao Tao, as well as Chen Taisheng, The World was filmed on and around an actual theme park located in Beijing, Beijing World Park, which recreates world landmarks at reduced scales for Chinese tourists. The...

  • Zebraman
    is a 2004 film directed by Takashi Miike. The film's name references the main character, a superhero named "Zebraman". A sequel, Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City, was released in 2010 featuring the addition of Masahiro Inoue of Kamen Rider Decade to the cast.-Plot:It is 2010...

  • Sin City
    Sin City (film)
    Sin City, also known as Frank Miller's Sin City, is a 2005 crime thriller film written, produced and directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez...

  • Crank
    Crank (film)
    Crank is a 2006 American comedy movie, written and directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, and starring Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Efren Ramirez, and Dwight Yoakam...

  • U2 3D
    U2 3D
    U2 3D is a 2008 American-produced 3-D concert film featuring rock band U2 performing during the Vertigo Tour in 2006. The film features performances of 14 songs, including tracks from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb , the album supported by the tour. The concert footage includes political and...

  • Cloverfield
    Cloverfield is a 2008 American disaster-monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams and written by Drew Goddard.The film follows six young New Yorkers attending a going-away party on the night that a gigantic monster attacks the city...

  • Rachel Getting Married
    Rachel Getting Married
    Rachel Getting Married is a 2008 drama film directed by Jonathan Demme, and starring Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin and Debra Winger. The film was released in the U.S. to select theaters on October 3, 2008. The film opened the 65th Venice International Film Festival. The film also...

  • Yesterday Was a Lie
    Yesterday Was a Lie
    Yesterday Was a Lie is a 2009 neo-noir film written and directed by James Kerwin and starring Kipleigh Brown, Chase Masterson, John Newton, and Mik Scriba...

  • Tetro
    Tetro is a 2009 drama film written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Vincent Gallo, Alden Ehrenreich and Maribel Verdú. Filming took place in 2008 in Buenos Aires, Patagonia, and Spain...

  • Public Enemies (2009)
  • Avatar (2009)
  • Tron: Legacy (2010)
  • Sanctum
    Sanctum (film)
    Sanctum is a 2011 Australian 3D adventure drama film directed by Alister Grierson from a screenplay by John Garvin and Andrew Wight, and story by Wight...


List of CineAlta cameras


Sony has announced on several occasions that Cinealta 4K, a 4K production suite including a 4K digital cinema camera, recorder and production tools, is being developed. The results might be still a few years in coming.

External links