Sony F55 – Exposure index when shooting RAW

The most discussed subject when shooting RAW on the F55 is where to set the Exposure Index. Some DPs insist on shooting at 1250EI, which is the base for the F55. This has some merit as it does leave lots of room for highlights.

The fact is that in a 16bit RAW system, that leaves way more highlight protection than you will ever need. It is a bit like driving a sportscar in 5th gear only, because the fuel economy is better. When you get to know the camera better (and most DPs in SA don’t because they never have access to the camera and a grading suite except when they are on a shoot) you will discover that paying attention to the dynamic range lets you lower the EI, which leads to images so clean that it defies belief!

Yes, you have to keep an eye on highlights but that is what DPs do. Don’t compare this to shooting RAW on Blackmagic or LOG Prores on the Arri, 16bit RAW is in another league! My preferred setting is to shoot at 400EI when I can. I have no problem working at higher settings when needed as the images are perfectly acceptable even up to 2500EI, but those low settings make something spectacular happen in grading.

Below is a short video on how to use Sony RAW Viewer. Da Vinci also does a great job working with Sony RAW. Adobe Premiere Pro CC can see the RAW footage but as far as I can tell from users groups, you can not set the exposure index, which makes it useless.

Sony RAW viewer from Willem Viljoen on Vimeo.