Sony F900 Rental

What should you know as a producer if you're interested in renting a Sony HDW f900 camera from Saturnalia Productions?

Cost savings of Sony f900 camera HDCam workflow compared to 35mm film
You’re a producer, so it’s probably best to start with the financials before discussing the technical aspects and other considerations associated with your Sony f900 (formerly known as Sony HDW f900 or f900 Cinealta).

In the early days of HD in the United States, producers gravitated toward Sony HDW f900 rental for one reason – it saved money. There were other great reasons to rent a Sony 900 camera, of course, like WYSIWYG (what you see on an on-set HD monitor is what you get), versatility (it can be used as a Cine camera or a ENG HD camera), and its unprecedented control of the output image (the Sony f900 camera is, in essence, a computer – a post production system which is able to capture moving images electronically). However, let’s return to the financial savings.

Let’s face it, if digital (or HD) cameras didn’t save production companies and producers money, HD cameras wouldn’t have swept through the television industry in the United States and abroad. Digital transmission to free up precious bandwidth and digital non-linear editing invariably led producers and others to question when digital capture would follow suit. That is where the cost savings, associated with Sony f900 rental, are most visible when compared to the renting a 35mm film camera. Quite simply there is no need to transfer the source material to a digital format, so an editor can digitize / ingest it into his or her digital computer in order to edit. It's already digital.


Sony HDW f900 Rental and Cost Savings
The above information is a great overview, but what are the specifics. You might say “I’m a producer, and I want a line item – a specific cost saving associated with Sony HDW f900 rental over 35mm film camera rental.

The cost of Sony HDW f900 rental versus 35mm film camera rental is roughly the same for a weekly and a monthly charge. The cost of a digital imaging technician roughly offsets the cost of a film loader. A producer could ask either to double as an AC, so the line item can roughly be identical.

Renting a Sony f900 means that you are buying a HDCam BCT-40s for roughly $35.00 each. Let’s say, you’re shooting a feature so you’re shooting in 23.98p in order to closely match a film frame rate. That means each HDCam BCT-40 will capture roughly 42 minutes of HD source material. That tape then needs to be downconverted in one of two fashions, so an editor can deal with it.

  • Downconvert to Tape. You can downconvert to another digital tape format like Digibeta or DVCam. These standard definition (“SD”) formats will take up 1/6 of the storage space when digitizing and also allow your offline editor to edit without having to purchase an HD card in order to deal with the raw HD footage. It costs roughly $75 to downconvert an HDCam BCT 40 tape to a 40 minute DVCam tape.
  • Digital ingest. After your Sony f900 rental, and capturing source material on HDCam tapes, rent a Sony JH-3 player only deck and digitize all source HD footage over a weekend or two.
    A 35mm film camera rental, on the other hand, means you’re purchasing 1000’ of for roughly $700. 1000 feet equals 11 minutes of source material captured. That same 1000’ of film cost .20 per foot to develop / transfer to DVCam costs $200.

So for 44 minutes of 35mm film - it’s $2800 for source film plus $800 to develop. That’s $3,600 to get it into the offline editing bay / digital intermediate bay.

For 42 minutes of HDCam footage - it’s $35 for the source tape plus $75 to downconvert to DVCam tape. That’s $105 to get it into your offline editing bay. You can even save more money, if you have numerous HDCam tapes you shot with after renting the Sony f900 by renting a JH-3 deck and digitizing in low-res directly into your computer.


Saturnalia Productions offers f900 rental
Saturnalia Production rents Sony f900 cameras, in addition to providing any other HD production services or HD post-production services you desire. We are based in Los Angeles, California but can rent to any client in the world. We have shot thousands of hours of HDCam tapes using the Sony f900 camera throughout the world. The Sony f900 camera was designed to be a workhorse. It is an incredibly reliable, versatile 1920 x 1080 HD Camera.

Since we can bundle services, you’ll see the lowest Sony f900 rental rates in the industry. Simply contact Saturnalia Productions for any upcoming Sony HDW f900 rental or any other HD Camera rental.


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