Sony HDC-F5500 was used as the main camera with a Fujifilm HKZ-25-1000mm lens at the Coppa Italia Final.
The final match of the 2022–23 Coppa Italia Frecciarossa, Italy's premier football cup, was played on 24 May 2023 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome when Internazionale won the match 2–1 against Fiorentina. It was the team's second consecutive and ninth overall Coppa Italia title.
While working together on last year’s Coppa Italia Frecciarossa Final, Sony and Lega Serie A forged a working partnership that has grown into a large-scale filming operation. This year they used three new developments to highlight the drama and improve on-screen detail, and capture the emotions of critical moments in the match.
One of these was using the Sony HDC-F5500 as the main camera with a Fujifilm HKZ-25-1000mm lens to broadcast in better-than-4K quality. They also added a new variable ND filter to their Sony HDC-3500 cameras, allowing them to closely control the image quality, dynamically alter depth of field, and create invisible transitions between different types of shots without compromising image quality. Another innovation was shooting with an FR7, Sony's full-frame, interchangeable lens PTZ camera, in the player’s tunnel, aiming to capture further drama and emotion.
Clarity, Realism, Emotion
As the principal camera, the HDC-F5500 delivered the wide shots of the pitch and was used to broadcast a significant amount of the match. It is a good choice for high-profile live sports coverage because it maintains a broadcast look, while capturing the scene with clarity and realism to please fans.
Its UHD S35mm CMOS sensor, built with global shutter recording, was combined with Fujifilm’s new PL mount HZK lens to capture details that would engage viewers, from the words on player’s shirts to the texture of the grass on the pitch.
Integrating the HDC-F5500 and HZK lens into existing workflows is straightforward, which creates a more integrated experience for operators as well. IP networking features, remote multi-camera operation and in-CCU recording all mean that the camera can adapt to many use cases.
Camera Shading with Variable ND Filters
The ND Filters in particular can be controlled locally or remotely, suiting fast moving live environments. The HDC-3500 cameras used at the final were fitted with an optical variable ND filter as a new way of shading during capture. This method is part of Sony’s Virtual Iris function, and means vision engineers no longer need to constantly monitor image quality and compensate for changes due to shading alterations when shooting in dynamic lighting conditions.
Due to the depth of field control with variable ND, vision engineers can change depth of field as required to match the lighting conditions. With this ability, one camera can perform multiple roles – a single camera with a single operator can switch between two depths of field with minimal effort. The feature is also an advantage for sports broadcasts working in limited space, or for filming multiple, fast-changing environments in a short time period.
Both the HDC-F5500 and HDC-3500s that were in use at the game are fitted with the HDVE-EL760, one of Sony’s full HD OLED viewfinders. Combining full HD resolution with OLED results in a viewfinder with an extremely bright display, responsive enough for fast-moving sports.
The Player’s Tunnel
Sony ILME-FR7 PTZ
A Sony ILME-FR7 PTZ camera was used to capture the players’ expressions and emotions in the tunnel of the Stadio Olimpico throughout the night of the final, documenting the players’ reactions as the game unfolded. As a full frame camera, its lens has a longer focal length than a cropped sensor lens, for shooting the same field of view. This also means a larger aperture for same aperture value.
These factors are largely responsible for the shallower depth of field, revealing to viewers how the players are feeling, up close without background distractions. The pan, tilt, zoom features of the camera also made it possible to remotely capture players’ emotions in the stadium tunnel, a confined space not usually fully accessible to cameras.
Sony IME FX6
Elsewhere, slow motion footage of the game was recorded with Sony HDC-4800 cameras, high frame rate system cameras made for 4K Ultra HD images at up to 400P (8x) or Full HD at 800P (16x). FX6 and FX3 cameras were used to shoot the buildup to the final, from the journey of the trophy to the stadium to behind the scenes of the match entertainment. The FX6 is one of the Sony Cinema Line full-frame cameras with fast AF, 4K (QFHD) high-frame-rate 120fps recording, 15 stops of dynamic range and S-Cinetone colour science. The FX3 is a compact version with the same features.
According to Media Operations & Broadcast Director Luisella Fusco from Coppa Italia Frecciarossa Organiser, Lega Serie A, the organisation is very aware of people watching worldwide on screens. “It is very important that we get as much of that drama across as we can. Lega Serie A and Sony are transforming sports content by using techniques normally used in entertainment formats,” she said. pro.sony