First Aus TV drama shot with Sony F65: A Place to Call Home

11 March, 2013 by Brendan Swift

Upcoming TV series A Place to Call Home has become the first Australian drama to be shot exclusively with the Sony F65 camera.

The decision to shoot with the high-end F65 was made by cinematographer John Stokes ACS, who had previously used the camera on a TV commercial and been impressed with its picture quality.


“We tested the F65 by using it in the real world,” Stokes said in a statement. “The main reason for this was that we knew the cameras would be used to shoot a lot of scenes against windows with very high contrast and we had to know they were up to the job. On set I’m delighted to say the F65s performed exceptionally well in all areas – over-exposure, under-exposure and high-dynamic range. I also particularly like the mechanical shutter.”

The upcoming Seven Network melodrama, from the producers of Packed to the Rafters and Winners & Losers, is set in 1950s Australia and stars Noni Hazlehurst (footage can be viewed here). Stokes also shot one series of Packed to the Rafters and oversaw their switch to the Sony F35, which relies on a similar workflow to the F65. (The first series, and the last two series of Packed to the Rafters were shot by Russell Bacon ACS on Sony 9000s supplied by Gear Head in Sydney. The F65s on A Place to Call Home were supplied by Lemac Australia’s Sydney office, which also provided ongoing support.)

TV production is still dominated by the ARRI ALEXA although the new Sony F55 and F5 cameras may make a larger impact on that sector of the market.

The 20-megapixel F65 has been used to shoot a number of Hollywood films which will be released this year including After Earth, Oblivion and Evil Dead.

CORRECTION: (March 13) Added the sentence which shows Packed to the Rafters switch to Sony 9000 cameras and Russell Bacon ACS's contribution.