New Sony High-Definition Camera For 'Episode III'

LucasFilm have announced that they will be using a new Sony High-Definition recording system for Star Wars: Episode III. Here is the full text from the press release:

Sony's new 4:4:4 RGB high-definition (HD) camera and new high-data rate HDCAM SR(TM) recording system (without pre-filtering or sub-sampling) will make their inaugural debut in the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode III.

The latest additions to Sony's CineAlta(TM) family -- which include the HDC-F950 HD camera with full-bandwidth uncompressed digital 10-bit 4:4:4 RGB outputs, HDCAM SR portable and studio recorders (the SRW-1 and SRW-5000, respectively) and specially formulated BCT-SR series videocassettes capable of recording full-resolution HD digital RGB component video -- will be utilized in Episode III, just as Sony's previous generation of HDCAM® equipment formed the technical backbone of Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones.

Plus8Digital, the digital motion picture technology rental company with offices in Burbank, Calif., Vancouver and New York City, will supply the HDC-F950 camera and HDCAM SR equipment to Lucasfilm. Fujinon will supply all of the lenses for the principal photography.

Production on the latest installment in the Star Wars saga is expected to begin in June at Fox Studios Australia. Episode III is due to be released theatrically in summer 2005.

The image quality of the HDC-F950 system permits the highest caliber digital imaging of principal photography for feature motion picture production, said Larry Thorpe, senior vice president for Content Creation Systems at Sony Electronics' Business Solutions and Systems Company.

"Lucasfilm has championed digital motion picture production, producing compelling work that offers dazzling imagery and sets significant industry benchmarks," Thorpe said. "The combination of the HDC-F950 camera and HDCAM SR recording, the latest additions to our comprehensive CineAlta family of content capture and production tools, provides direct benefit for principal photography, the shooting of miniatures and HD blue/green-screen compositing that are central to the Star Wars saga."

"Star Wars: Episode III will break new ground with the help of this new 4:4:4 RGB 24P CineAlta camera and HDCAM SR recording," said Rick McCallum, producer of Star Wars. "Sony continues to help us push the frontiers of digital motion picture production. We first saw the possibility for 4:4:4 RGB recording in the HDCAM platform while shooting miniatures in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, and we judged this to be the new high-performance bar for the entire production of our final Episode III."

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