Category Archives: Burano

Burano – What’s it like to shoot with Livestream

Screenshot-2024-05-26-at-12.24.06-600x395 Burano - What's it like to shoot with Livestream
Live stream with Visual Impact.

I have a busy couple of weeks coming up.  I’m writing this from my hotel room in Dubai having spent the last week helping out Nanlite and Sony at the Cabsat show and then running a completely full house camera and lighting workshop at Garage Studio, Dubai. Tonight I fly home, then I’m off to Dublin for an event there before getting back home again and ready for a Live Stream with Visual Impact on Thursday the 30th of May on – whats it like to shoot with a Sony Burano. For more information on the live stream please see the link below. In the following week I will be off to the USA for the Cinegear show where I will be helping out Bright Tangerine on their booth, so if you are going to Cinegear do drop by and say hello.

Film making workshop in Dubai, 25th May 2024

Screenshot-2024-05-19-at-18.28.29-600x204 Film making workshop in Dubai, 25th May 2024I’m running a film making workshop around “how to get the film look” in Dubai for Nanlite and Sony on the 25th of May. During the workshop I will be showing how to expose S-Log3 on the Sony FX series cameras, how to use CineEI and then looking at film style lighting using Nanlite fixtures. We will look at a couple of different types of scenes, an office, a romantic scene and also at how to light for greenscreen.

I will also be at Cabsat 2024, so do drop by the Nanlite booth to say hello.

Please click here for more information or to book a place.

This is what Burano excels at.

Is Sony’s Burano perfect? No, it isn’t, but then I don’t think there is a “perfect” camera. 
Is Burano a “baby Venice”. No, it isn’t, that’s not what it was ever meant to be, for a start it’s around a third of the price of a Venice 2. It has a different sensor and it doesn’t have all the same scan modes and codecs as a Venice. But there are some things that Burano can do that Venice can’t.
Having recently spent almost a week in Norway using Burano for a shoot I have to say that it would have been next to impossible to have shot what I did, at the quality level that I was able to with any other camera.
wind-mountain_1.10.1-600x338 This is what Burano excels at.
Strong winds over the mountains were a feature of the trip.

I was shooting in extremely challenging conditions. Although a lot of the time it was bright and sunny it was also cold (around -12c to -16c)  with very high winds, the kind of winds that will shake a camera on a tripod enough to make any attempt at a long shot unusable.  However Burano’s built in IBIS stabilisation allowed me to get stable shots even up in the mountains in winds that threatened to rip the door off the car every time I opened it and made standing up challenging.
mountains_3.1.1-600x338 This is what Burano excels at.
Burano’s IBIS was a big help when filming on the ferries and in the wind.
The weather was highly changeable but often extremely bright. The variable ND filter allowed me to dial in the most appropriate amount of ND quickly and easily and was much easier than dealing with external filters in the strong winds and cold. Being able to just turn a dial and have the right amount of ND allows you to choose the aperture you want. You don’t have to use faster shutter speeds to deal with high light levels. Using a matte box in strong winds tends to make the camera wobble more as a matte-box is about as aerodynamic as a kite.   
The AF made getting the focus right very easy. When you are wearing bulky gloves to keep your hands warm operating focus rings is more difficult. When you are trying to work fast to grab a shot in very cold conditions getting the focus right quickly allows you to minimise the amount of time you need to be out in the cold wind.
village_1.16.1-600x338 This is what Burano excels at.
On the bright sunny days having the viewfinder loupe was a life saver. Trying to see any LCD screen and appreciate the contrast correctly when everything around you is brilliantly bright and white is difficult even with a deep hood and bright screen. But being able to close the loupe and look into the completely shielded viewfinder made it easy. You are viewing the image in a perfectly dark viewfinder, so the contrast you see is correct, the brightness you see is correct. This makes it easy to understand whether your exposure is correct and it’s also easy to see whether the shots are in focus.

over-fjord2_3.3.1-600x338 This is what Burano excels at.
Aurora over the fjords near Tromso.
Then shooting the Northern Lights at night the 16 bit X-OCN combined with the upper of the dual base ISO’s and S&Q motion allowed me to shoot some pretty faint Aurora’s while retaining the kind of post production flexibility that previously I would only have had by shooting raw still images. Every frame of the video has the quality you would have with a raw photograph. This makes grading and adjustments easy. In addition, by shooting at 8K any noise you do have is much finer and as a result post production noise reduction tends to be much more effective. Shooting the faint Aurora’s that I had on this trip with Burano was easy and I’m really pleased with the outcome. 
over-alta-church_10.1.1-600x338 This is what Burano excels at.
The Aurora over the Northern Lights Cathedral in Alta, shot with Sony Burano.

Another nice thing about Burano is the fast boot up time and relatively low power consumption for a camera that shoots 8K raw. I was using my trusty Paglink 100Wh batteries and a single battery would run the camera for over 2 hours. When shooting timelapse of the Aurora I could stack 2 batteries together confident that this would give me close to 5 hours of continuous shoot time and the ability to hot swap the rearmost battery if necessary to extend this.

What about the rolling shutter? Admittedly, I wasn’t shooting fast action, but I did shoot from a moving ferry boat, did shoot lots of pans across the landscapes, did shoot blowing snow. There was no time where I felt I couldn’t get the shots I wanted to shoot, no time where I was concerened about rolling shutter. I used F5’s and FX9’s (which has a worse rolling shutter) to shoot storms and severe weather, drama and documentaries and it hasn’t been a significant issue. For me Burano reminds me a lot of the F5 that I shot with for so many years, only with better image quality and the added bonus of IBIS and great auto focus.

boats_1.24.1-600x338 This is what Burano excels at.
Fishing boats in the harbour at Honningsvag, Norway.
Sure: I could have used multiple cameras, each optimised for each part of the shoot.  But I was travelling on my own and only having to shift one set of gear around, in and out of a different hotel each night, flying with just one camera etc is so much easier than dealing with multiple cameras. This is where Burano excels. Not everything about Burano is perfect, of course less rolling shutter would be nice, but as a package it is a very capable camera and idea for this kind of shoot where you want the best quality you can get but need to work fast, be very mobile, 

Is This The Age Of The Small Camera Part 2

This is part 2 of my 2 part look at whether small cameras such as a Sony FX3 or A1 really can replace full size cinema cameras.

For this part of the article to make sense you will want to watch the YouTube clips that are linked here full screen at at the highest possible quality settings, Preferably 4K. Please don”t cheat, watch them in the order they are presented as I hope this will allow you to understand the points I am trying to make better.

Also, in the videos I have not put the different cameras that were tested side by side. You may ask why – well it’s because if you do watch a video online or a movie in a cinema you don’t see different cameras side by side on the same screen at the same time. A big point of all of this is that we are now at a place where the quality of even the smallest and cheapest  large sensor camera is likely going to be good enough to make a movie. It’s not necessarily a case of is camera A better than camera B, but the question is will the audience know or care which camera you used. There are 5 cameras and I have labelled them A through to E.

The footage presented here was captured during a workshop I did for Sony at Garage Studios in Dubai (if you need a studio space in Dubai they have some great low budget options). We weren’t doing carefully orchestrated  camera tests, but I did get the chance to quickly capture some side by side content.

So lets get into it.


In many regards I think this is the most important clip as this is how the audience would see the 5 cameras. It represents how they might look at the end of a production. I graded the cameras using ACES in DaVinci Resolve. 

Why ACES? Well, the whole point of ACES is to neutralise any specific camera “look”.  The ACES input transform takes the cameras footage and converts it to a neutral look that is meant to represent the scene as it actually was but with a film like highlight roll off added. From here the idea is that you can apply the same grade to almost any camera and the end result should look more or less the same. The look of different cameras is largely a result of differences in the electronic processing of the image in post production rather than large differences in the sensors. Most modern sensors capture a broadly similar range of colours with broadly similar dynamic range. So, provided you know the what recording levels represent what colour in the scene, it is pretty easy to make any camera look like any other, which is what ACES does.

The footage captured here was captured during a workshop, we weren’t specifically testing the different cameras in great depth. For the workshop the aim was to simply show how any of these cameras could work together. For simplicity and speed I manually set each camera to 5600K and as a result of the inevitable variations you get between different cameras, how each is calibrated and how each applies the white balance settings there were differences between in the  colour balance of each camera.

To neutralise these white balance differences the grading process started by using the colour chart to equalise the images from each camera using the “match” function in DaVinci Resolve. Then each camera has exactly the same grade applied – there are no grading differences, they are all graded in the same way.

Below are frame grabs from each camera with a slightly different grade to the video clips, again, they all look more or less the same.

A-graded_1.1.11-600x316 Is This The Age Of The Small Camera Part 2
The graded image from camera A. Click on the image to view the full resolution image.


B-graded_1.2.1-600x316 Is This The Age Of The Small Camera Part 2
The graded image from camera B. Click on the image to view the full resolution image.


C-graded_1.3.4-600x316 Is This The Age Of The Small Camera Part 2
The graded image from camera C. Click on the image to view the full resolution image.


D-Graded_1.4.1-600x316 Is This The Age Of The Small Camera Part 2
The graded image from camera D. Click on the image to view the full resolution image.


E-graded_1.5.1-600x316 Is This The Age Of The Small Camera Part 2
The graded image from camera E. Click on the image to view the full resolution image.

The first thing to take away from all of this then is that you can make any camera look like pretty much any other and a chart such as the “color checker video” and software that can read the chart and correct the colours according to the chart makes it much easier to do this.

To allow for issues with the quality of YouTube’s encoding etc here is a 400% crop of the same clips:


What I am expecting is that most people won’t actually see a great deal of difference between any of the cameras. The cheapest camera is $6K and the most expensive $75K, yet it’s hard to tell which is which or see much difference between them. Things that do perhaps stand out initially in the zoomed in image are the softness/resolution differences between the 4K and 8K cameras, but in the first un cropped clip this difference is much harder to spot and I don’t think an audience would notice especially if the one camera is used on it’s own so the viewer has nothing to directly compare it with. It is possible that there are also small focus differences between each camera, I did try to ensure each was equally well focussed but small errors may have crept in.


OK, so lets pixel peep a bit more and artificially raise the shadows so that we can see what’s going on in the darker parts of the image.


There are differences, but again there isn’t a big difference between any of the cameras. You certainly couldn’t call them huge and in all likelihood, even if for some reason you needed to raise or lift the shadows by an unusually large amount as done here (about 2.5 stops) the difference between “best” and “worst” isn’t large enough for it to be a situation where any one of these cameras would be deemed unusable compared to the others.


So, if we are struggling to tell the difference between a $6K camera and a $75K one why do you want a “better” camera? What are the differences and why might they matter?

When I graded the footage from these cameras in the workshop it was actually quite difficult to find a way to “break” the footage from any of them. For the majority of grading processes that I tried  they all held up really well and I’d be happy to work with any of them, even the cameras using the highly compressed internal recordings held up well. But there are differences, they are not all the same and some are easier to work with than the others. 

The two cheapest cameras were a Sony FX3 and a Sony A1. I recorded using their built in codecs, XAVC-SI in the FX3 and XAVC-HS in the A1. These are highly compressed 10 bit codecs. The other cameras were all recorded using their internal raw codecs which are either 16 bit linear or 12 bit log. At some time I really do need to do a proper comparison of the internal XAVC form the FX3 and the ProResRaw that can be recorded externally. But it is hard to do a fully meaningful test as to get the ProResRaw into Resolve requires transcoding and a lot of other awkward steps. From my own experience the difference in what you can do with XAVC v ProResRaw is very small.

One thing that happens with most highly compressed codecs such as H264 (XAVC-SI) or H265(XAVC-HS) is a loss of some very fine textural information and the image breaking up into blocks of data. But as I am showing these clips via YouTube in a compressed state I needed to find a way to illustrate the subtle differences that I see when looking at the original material. So, to show the difference between the different sensors and codecs within these camera I decided to pick a colour using the Resolve colour picker and then turn that colour into a completely different one, in this case pink.

What this allows you to see is how precisely the picked colour is recorded and it also shows up some of the macro block artefacts. Additionally it gives an indication on how fine the noise is and the textural qualities of the recording. In this case  the finer the pink “noise” the better, as this is an indication of smaller, finer textural differences in the image. These smaller textural details would be helpful if chroma keying or perhaps for some types of VFX work. It might (and say might because I’m not convinced it always will) allow you to push a very extreme grade a little bit further.

I would guess that by now you are starting to figure out which camera is which – The cameras are an FX3, A1, Burano, Venice 2 and an ArriLF.

In this test you should be able to identify the highly compressed cameras from the raw cameras. The pink areas from the raw cameras are finer and less blocky, this is a good representation of the benefit of less compression and a deeper bit depth.

A-Compression_1.1.1-600x316 Is This The Age Of The Small Camera Part 2
Camera A. Click on the image to view the full resolution image.


B-Compression_1.2.1-600x316 Is This The Age Of The Small Camera Part 2
Compression and codec Camera B. Click on the image to view the full resolution image.


C-Compression_1.3.1-600x316 Is This The Age Of The Small Camera Part 2
Compression and codec Camera C. Click on the image to view the full resolution image.


D-compression_1.4.1-600x316 Is This The Age Of The Small Camera Part 2
Compression and codec Camera D. Click on the image to view the full resolution image.


E-Compression_1.4.1-600x316 Is This The Age Of The Small Camera Part 2
Compression and codec Camera E. Click on the image to view the full resolution image.

But even here the difference isn’t vast. It certainly, absolutely, exists. But at the same time  you could push ANY of these cameras around in post production and if you’ve shot well none of them are going to fall apart. 

As a side note I will say that I find grading linear raw footage such as the 16 bit X-OCN from a Venice or Burano more intuitive compared to working with compressed Log. As a result I find it a bit easier to get to where I want to be with the X-OCN than the XAVC. But this doesn’t mean I can’t get to the same place with either.


Not only is compression important but so too is resolution. To some degree increasing the resolution can make up for a lesser bit depth.  As these camera all use bayer sensors the chroma resolution will be somewhat less than the luma resolution. A 4K sensor such as the one in the FX3 or the Arri LF will have much lower chroma resolution than the 8K A1, Burano or Venice 2. If we look at the raised shadows clip again we can see some interesting things going on the the girls hair.


If you look closely camera D has a bit of blocky chroma noise in the shadows. I suspect this might be because this is one of the 4K sensor cameras and the lower chroma resolution means the chroma noise is a bit larger.

I expect that by now you have an idea of which camera is which, but here is the big reveal: A is the FX3, B is the Venice 2, C is Burano, D is an Arri LF, and E is the Sony A1.

What can we conclude from all of this: 

There are differences between codecs. A better codec with a greater bit depth will give you  more textural information. It is not necessarily simply that raw will always be better than YUV/YCbCr but because of raws compression efficiency it is possible to have very low levels of compression and a deep bit depth. So, if you are able to record with a better codec or greater bit depth why not do so. There are some textural benefits and there will be fewer compression artefacts. BUT this doesn’t mean you can’t get a great result from XAVC or another compressed codec.

If using a bayer sensor than using a sensor with more “K” than the delivery resolution can bring textural benefits.

There are differences in the sensors, but these differences are not really as great as many might expect. In terms of DR they are all actually very close, close enough that in the real world it isn’t going to make a substantial difference. As far as your audience is concerned I doubt they would know or care. Of course we have all seen the tests where you greatly under expose a camera and then bring the footage back to normal, and these can show differences. But that’s not how we shoot things. If you are serious about getting the best image that you can, then you will light to get the contrast and exposure that you want. What isn’t in this test is rolling shutter, but generally I rarely see issues with rolling shutter these days. But if you are worried about RS, then the Venice 2 is excellent and the best of the group tested here.

Assuming you have shot well there is no reason why an audience should find the image quality from the $6K FX3 unacceptable, even on a big screen. And if you were to mix and FX3 with a Venice 2 or Burano, again if you have used each camera equally well I doubt the audience would spot the difference.


So this brings me back to where I started in part 1. I believe this is the age of the small camera – or at least there is no reason why you can’t use a camera like an FX3 or an A1 to shoot a movie. While many of my readers I am sure will focus on the technical details of the image quality of camera A against camera B, in reality these days it’s much more about the ergonomics and feature set as well as lens and lighting choices.

A small camera allows you to be quick and nimble, but a bigger camera may give you a lot more monitoring options as well as other things such as genlock. And….. if you can – having a better codec doesn’t hurt. So there is no – one fits all – camera that will be the right tool for every job.  

Is this the age of the small camera? Part 1.

As Sony’s new Burano camera starts to ship – a relatively small camera that  could comfortably be used to shoot a blockbuster movie we have to look at how over the last few years the size of the cameras used for film production has reduced.

Which-is-which1-600x474 Is this the age of the small camera? Part 1.
Which was shot with an 8K Venice 2 and which was shot with a 4K FX3?


Only last year we saw the use of the Sony FX3 as the principle camera for the movie the Creator. What is particularly interesting about the Creator is that the FX3 was chosen by the director Gareth Edwards for a mix of both creative and financial reasons.

the-creator-600x338 Is this the age of the small camera? Part 1.

To save money or to add flexibility?

To save money, rather than building a lot of expensive sets Edwards chose to shoot on location using a wide and varied range of locations (80 different locations)  all over Asia. To make this possible he used a smaller than usual crew.  Part of the reasoning that was given was that it was cheaper to fly a small crew to all these different locations than to try to build a different set for each part of the film. The film cost $80 million to make and took $104 million in the box office, a pretty decent profit at a time when many movies take years to break even.

Creator-BTS-600x337 Is this the age of the small camera? Part 1.
FX3 on gimbal during the filming of The Creator

The FX3 was typically mounted on a gimbal and this allowed them to shoot quickly and in a very fluid manner, making use of natural light where possible.  A 2x anamorphic lens was used and the final delivery aspect ratio was a very wide 2.76:1. The film was edited first and then when the edit was locked down the VFX elements were added to the film. Modern tracking and rotoscoping techniques make it much easier to add VFX into sequences without needing to use green or blue screen techniques and this is one of those areas where AI will become a very useful and powerful tool.

You don’t NEED a big camera, but you might want one.

So, what is clear is that you don’t NEED a big camera to make a feature film and The Creator demonstrates that an FX3 (recording to an Atomos Ninja) offers sufficient image quality to stand up to big screen presentation. I don’t think this is really anything new, but we have now reached the stage where the difference in image quality between a cheap $1500 camera like the FX30 and a high end “cinema” camera like the $70K  Venice 2  is genuinely so small that an audience probably won’t notice.

There may be reasons why you might prefer to have a bigger camera body – it does make mounting accessories easier and will often have much better monitoring and viewfinder options. And you may argue that a camera like Venice can offer greater image quality (as you will see in part 2 – it technically does have a higher quality image than the FX3), but would the audience actually be able to see the difference and even if they can would they actually care? And what about post production – surely a better quality image is a big help with post – again come back for part 2 where I explore this in more depth.

which-is-which2-600x438 Is this the age of the small camera? Part 1.
Which is the Arri LF and which is the Sony A1?

And small cameras will continue to improve. If what we have now is already good enough things can only get better.

8K Benefits??

Since the launch of Burano I’ve become more and more convinced of the benefits of an 8K sensor – even if you only ever intend to deliver in 4K, the extra chroma resolution from actually having 4K of R and B pixels makes a very real difference. Venice 2 really made me much more aware of this and Burano confirms it. Because of this I’ve been shooting a lot more with the Sony A1 (which possibly shares the same sensor as Burano). There is something I really like about the textural quality in the images from the A1, Burano and Venice 2 (having said that after spending hours looking at my side by side test samples from both 4K and 8K cameras while the difference is real, I’m not sure it will always be seen in the final deliverable). In addition when using a very compressed codec such as the XAVC-HS in the A1 recording at 8K leads to smaller artefacts which then tend to be less visible in a 4K deliverable. This allows you to grade the material harder than perhaps you can with similarly compressed 4K footage. The net result is the 10 bit 8K looks fantastic in a 4K production.

A1-Face-600PC-600x317 Is this the age of the small camera? Part 1.
Sony A1 cropped and zoomed in 6x.

I have to wonder if The Creator wouldn’t have been better off being shot with an A1 rather than an FX3. You can’t get 8K raw out of an A1, but the extra resolution makes up for this and it may have been a better fit for the 2x anamorphic lens that they used.

So many choices….

And that’s the thing – we have lots of choices now. There are many really great small cameras, all capable of producing truly excellent images. A small camera allows you to be nimble. The grip and support equipment becomes smaller. This allows you to be more creative. A lot of small cameras are being used for the Formula 1 movie, small cameras are often mixed with larger cameras and these days the audience isn’t going to notice. 

Plus we are seeing a change in attitudes. A few years ago most cinematographers wouldn’t have entertained the idea of using a DSLR or pocket sized camera as the primary camera for a feature. Now it is different, a far greater number of DP’s are looking at what a small camera might allow them to do, not just as a B camera but as the A camera. When the image quality stops being an issue, then small might allow you to do more.

This doesn’t mean big cameras like Venice will go away, there will always be a place for them. But I expect we will see more and more really great theatrical releases shot with cameras like the FX3 or A1 and that makes it a really interesting time to be a cinematographer. Again, look at The Creator – this was a relatively small budget for a science fiction film packed with CGI and other effects. And it looked great. Of course there is also that middle ground, a smaller camera but with the image quality of a big one – Burano perhaps?

In Part 2……

In part 2 I’m going to take some sample clips that I grabbed at a recent workshop from a Venice 2, Burano, A1 and FX3 and show you just how close the footage from these cameras is. I’ll also throw in some footage from an Arri LF and then I’ll “break” the footage in post production to give you an idea of where the differences are and whether they are actually significant enough to worry about.


Sony Burano Events and Workshops

Now that the Burano cameras are shipping I will be running a number of events at various dealers. At each event I will go over the basic configuration of the camera. Look at lens options and how to expose correctly for S-Log3, X-OCN and S-Cinetone. Then I’ll cover workflow with X-OCN.

The first will be at Vocas in Holland on the 12th of March:

Then I have one at CVP Brussels on the 19th of March

And then one at AVS Nordic in Copenhagen on the 23rd of April.


Where Can I Buy a Burano?

Many were expecting the Sony Burano camera to start shipping this week. However there is currently a small delay of around 2 weeks while some additional calibration work is being done. So, at the moment it looks like camera will ship at the end of February or very early March.

Where can you buy one? Burano is a CineAlta camera and can only be purchased from approved dealers. To be a CineAlta dealer you must be able to provide the expertise and support expected for a camera of this level. As a result the number of dealers that can sell it is smaller than for cameras like the FX6/FX9 etc.

If you follow this link you can locate dealers in the USA:

For the UK click here:

For other countries if you go to the Pro.Sony webpage for Burano and set the country/region to your country and then click on the “Where To Buy” button you will get a list of your local approved dealers. If you can’t see a button to set the country go to the very bottom of the page where there should be a box that allows you to change the region and country. Then go back to the Burano page and from the Burano page select “where to buy”.


Sony Burano Tutorial Videos

Sony have released a series of 4 videos that I made for them about the Burano camera. You can view these here or for full screen and the best quality on the Sony YouTube channel.

The first video covers the general configuration of the camera and some details on the “Home” page menus and main menu system.

The second video covers the different scan sizes and the corresponding codecs that are included in Burano . 

The third covers the lens mount, IBIS and variable ND filter and the fourth video covers Burano’s fast hybrid AF autofocus system.

What CFExpress Cards Can I use with a Sony Burano?

Burano-Media-e1706111847296-600x299 What CFExpress Cards Can I use with a Sony Burano?

Sony’s Burano camera is about to start shipping and one question that keeps coming up is “what cards can I use”?

The official line and my own recommendation is that you use CFExpress type B cards that are certified to the VPG400 standard. No other type of card is GUARANTEED to work. 

Certainly if you want to get production insurance you are going to have to use the recommended media and if you are shooting something that can never happen again, you really want the security of that VPG400 performance guarantee.

Screenshot-2024-01-24-at-13.22.21-e1706109500159 What CFExpress Cards Can I use with a Sony Burano?
Sony VPG400 CF Express type B. Guaranteed t work with a Sony Burano.

You don’t have to use Sony cards, you can use VPG400 cards from other brands such as SanDisk, Exascend or Nextorage. If you use a Sony VPG400 card not only do Sony guarantee it will work but in the event of a card failure Sony will do their utmost to try to recover any data from the card for you free of charge. You might not get the same service from other brands.

But what about other non VPG400 cards? After all VPG400 cards are a bit thin on the ground right now and they are also rather expensive, tpically around 4 times the price of other fast but non VPG400 cards.

I can say that I have used other non VPG400 cards in pre-production Burano’s and they have worked. Each time you insert a non VPG400 card you get an “unsupported media” warning, but the camera will still allow you to use the card.  I’ve used Integral Ultima Pro X cinema grade cards and so far have not had any significant failures. BUT the cards do run very hot and when you stop recording it takes noticeably longer for the write process to finish compared to a VPG400 card.

integral-ultima-e1706109642953 What CFExpress Cards Can I use with a Sony Burano?
I have used these cards and others MIGHT work. But they are not guaranteed to work.


I have been able to crash the camera when using these cards by rapidly starting and stopping recordings and then to get the card to work again you have to allow the camera  do a “restore media” . Whenever I have had to perform a restore media with these cards I have lost the last clip on the card. But in normal use, provided you don’t try to record instantly after stopping this hasn’t happened.

Integral state that these cards can sustain a write speed of around 800MB/s which is faster than the VPG400 spec. OK, so that sounds good. But I have to wonder why the cards are not in that case certified as VPG400? My guess is that when the cards start to age and are near full their performance will start to drop off and that the card won’t be able to sustain 400MB/s under all circumstances. 

So – what to do? 

My recommendation remains: Follow Sony’s advice and use VPG400 cards. These are guaranteed to work, no if’s, no but’s. They will work and they will be reliable. But if you can’t get a VPG400 card……………

If you do use other cards do let me and everyone else know in the comments. I’d love to hear about what works and what doesn’t. I would hope that in time VPG400 cards will become more common and the price gap will narrow. I do not advise that you use cards that are not VPG400, but I thought I would share my own findings.

The Wingman by James Friend – shot on Burano

Screenshot-2023-11-19-at-17.10.06-600x335 The Wingman by James Friend - shot on Burano
Frame grab from The Wingman by James Friend


I was recently involved as a technical advisor for the production of this short film by James Friend ASC BSC. James is best know for his work on “All Quiet On The Western Front” which won him an academy award for best cinematography.

Screenshot-2023-11-19-at-17.09.46-600x335 The Wingman by James Friend - shot on Burano
Cockpit view from The Wingman shot by James Friend.


This film is a homage to “Top Gun”. It was hot mostly with Sony Burano’s, but there is also some Venice 2 footage in it too. It was a bit of a gamble shooting it in the UK in October, but the weather gods were kind to us and we got some really great skies. Filming took place over 3 days, mostly in Somerset. The aircraft is a Yak-50 and it was flown by renowned aerobatic pilot Paul Bonhomme.   If you follow the link to the Sony website you will find a lot more information about the production as well as a BTS film and the main film.  Click here to go to the Sony website where you will find the video.

Screenshot-2023-11-19-at-17.09.04-600x335 The Wingman by James Friend - shot on Burano