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Coppa Italia: Cutting edge coverage

Posted on Oct 17, 2023 by FEED Staff

Three fresh pieces of technology from Sony helped Lega Serie A drive innovation for its broadcast of the Coppa Italia final

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Both Sony and the Lega Serie A Italian football league have a strong tradition of innovation aimed at enhancing the experience of watching live sports. So it was inevitable that they would come to collaborate on Italy’s biggest football event of the year, the Coppa Italia Frecciarossa final.

Following a successful partnership for the 2022 final, the two companies again worked together for this year’s event, which took place at Rome’s legendary Stadio Olimpico on 24 May. The match – which saw Inter Milan meet Fiorentina and resulted in a 2-1 victory for the former – entailed a large-scale filming operation. It utilised 28 cameras, including three eye-catching innovations from Sony intended to highlight drama, improve on-screen detail and capture the emotions of the players.

Underlining the league’s overall emphasis on pushing the technical boundaries, Lega Serie A football TV director Angelo Carosi comments: “Lega Serie A offers an increasingly cutting-edge product to viewers and the world – Sony solutions help us deliver the story from the field.”

Emotional storytelling

The first of three main innovations for this match was the decision to use a Sony HDC-F5500 as the number one camera, equipped with a Fujinon HZK 25-1000mm lens to broadcast in better-than-4K quality. The Sony camera delivered the wide shot of the pitch and was used to capture a significant amount of the match.

Ultimately, the result was a winning combination of the broadcast’s realism and emotional storytelling. 

By employing a UHD Super 35 CMOS sensor with global shutter technology, the HDC-F5500 delivered stunning clarity alongside the new PL mount HZK lens from Fujifilm. From the words on player’s shirts to the texture of the grass on the pitch, Lega Serie A viewers could see more of the game than ever before.

The second innovation was the addition of a new variable ND filter to the Sony HDC-3500s used during the production. Part of Sony’s Virtual Iris function, this technology produces the best picture quality, meaning vision engineers no longer need to worry about image quality changing due to shading alterations in dynamic lighting conditions.

The combination of the ND filter with the HDC-3500 also allowed one camera to perform multiple roles – a clear benefit for media production in all its forms. As an example, a single camera with a single operator can switch between two depths-of-field with minimal effort – ideal for sports productions which are operating in limited spaces, as well as filming in fast-changing environments.

In addition, the HDC-F5500 employed during the final was fitted with one of Sony’s latest Full HD OLED viewfinders. The HDVF-EL760 is a quick-response, high-brightness viewfinder that lends itself to a host of sporting contexts.

The last main innovation for the final was the specification of a Sony ILME-FR7 cinema line full-frame PTZ camera. Positioned in the tunnel of the Stadio Olimpico, the camera’s shallow depth-of-field made it possible to capture how the players were feeling up close – and without any risk of background distractions. 

As well as the trio of highlighted elements, Sony supplied HDC-4800 cameras to film slow-motion footage of the game, as well as FX6 and FX3 cameras to capture the build-up to the big final – from the journey of the trophy to the stadium, to behind-the-scenes preparations.

“Sony has always been at the forefront of innovation, so it’s great to welcome their knowledge, experience and equipment to the Coppa Italia Frecciarossa final,” says Luisella Fusco, media operations & broadcast director at Lega Serie A. “The Coppa Italia Frecciarossa is always packed with action – and with people watching worldwide on screens it is incredibly important to get as much of that drama across as possible. Thanks to the Sony team and innovative imaging technology, we are transforming sports content by using techniques normally used in entertainment formats.” 

Originally published in the Autumn 2023 issue of FEED.

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