Sony HDC-F5500 Super 35mm system camera and HDC-3500 camera with innovative optical variable ND filter help Lega Serie A document the spirit and excitement of Italy’s biggest footballing event.
Sony has always been at the forefront of technological innovation, so it’s great to welcome their knowledge, experience and equipment to the Coppa Italia Frecciarossa Final.
Luisella Fusco, Media Operations & Broadcast Director
Coppa Italia Frecciarossa Organiser, Lega Serie A
Lega Serie A teams Fiorentina and Inter Milan met on May 24th 2023 for Italy’s biggest football event, the 2022-2023 final of the Coppa Italia Frecciarossa. Broadcast live from Rome’s legendary Stadio Olimpico to millions of sports fans in 50 countries around the world, the match was a showcase for cutting-edge Sony production technology.
Sony and Lega Serie A had already forged a strong relationship while working together on the previous year’s Coppa Italia Frecciarossa final. For this year’s match, the partnership expanded further into a large-scale technological initiative, with a total of 28 cameras around the stadium bringing the drama and emotion of the final to TV viewers with unprecedented clarity and detail.
Sony’s HDC-F5500 system camera was used in combination with a Fujinon HZK25-1000mm PL mount box lens with 40x zoom ratio in the principal ‘Camera 1’ position. Responsible for many key moments of match coverage for TV viewers, this combination of the HDC-F5500 with its Super 35mm sensor and large lens was responsible for capturing wide shots of the pitch as well extremely fine details, from words on players’ shirts to the texture of grass on the pitch.
Combining a Super 35mm 4K CMOS sensor with global shutter technology, the HDC-F5500 captures detail-packed pictures with high dynamic range and extremely low noise, bringing the thrill of sport and other live events even closer to viewing audiences.
Complementing the HDC-F5500, Sony’s HDC-3500 system camera was also deployed to capture pristine images of the final at the Stadio Olimpico. A major innovation of the HDC-3500 is its optical variable ND filter that allows precise control over light levels falling on the sensor. The camera’s newly developed Virtual Iris function allows vision engineers to keep within the ‘sweet spot’ of the attached lens – typically around F4 – by adjusting light levels entering the camera without changing its iris value. This gives the engineer fine control over the camera’s depth of field under varying on-pitch light conditions, adjusting brightness using the optical variable ND filter instead of the lens iris.
The flexibility of the camera’s optical variable ND filter also allows the HDC-3500 to perform multiple roles in a fast-paced live production environments such as sport. For example a camera with a single operator can switch rapidly between two depths of field with minimal effort, making the camera ideal for operation in restricted spaces.
The HDC-F5500 was equipped with the HDVF-EL760 Full HD 7.4-inch OLED viewfinder. Offering very high brightness and contrast, the viewfinder enables extremely accurate focusing and exposure control by the camera operator in fast-moving sporting and live production environments.
Elsewhere in the stadium Sony HDC-4800 system cameras were used to capture on-pitch action for slow-motion replay. Meanwhile VENICE, FX6 and FX3 Cinema Line portable cameras documented the build-up to the final, from the trophy’s journey to the stadium to behind-the-scenes footage.
On-pitch action was augmented by two remotely operated FR7 Cinema Line PTZ cameras strategically located in the players’ tunnel of the Stadio Olimpico – an intimate space not always accessible to full-size cameras and their operators. Controlled from the OB van, the full-frame camera’s cinematic image quality and shallow depth of field was ideal for capturing the players’ close-up expressions and emotions in the tunnel of the Stadio Olimpico without the intrusion of a human operator.
“Sony has always been at the forefront of technological innovation, so it’s great to welcome their knowledge, experience and equipment” says Luisella Fusco, Media Operations & Broadcast Director, from Coppa Italia Frecciarossa Organiser, Lega Serie A. “The Coppa Italia Frecciarossa is always packed with action, and with people watching worldwide on screens, it is very important that we get as much of that drama across as we can. Thanks to the Sony team and innovative imaging technology, we are transforming sports content by using techniques normally used in entertainment formats.”