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Sony PMW-F3


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#41 Huw Jenkins

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:05 AM

I just got an email to say that I get to play with one on the 1st Dec which will be cool


the days are counting down till the 1st, are you gonna have this underwater or just for topside testing?
go on... stick it underwater, and share the results :D

#42 jonny shaw

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 12:49 PM

the days are counting down till the 1st, are you gonna have this underwater or just for topside testing?
go on... stick it underwater, and share the results :D


Definitely not underwater it is a Sony promo night and then a showing of a short film they have shot with it.

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#43 jonny shaw

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 01:49 PM

Last night I got to play with the F3K, albeit for about 30 secs. But I did get to listen to the Sony rep talking it up and also watched a short film shot on it. I wanted to look at it from an underwater perspective and give you my (very layman) opinions.
Before I start though a very annoying thing that went on the whole night from the Director and the Sony guy was that they compared this camera to a DSLR the whole time and ranted on how much better it was…. I should bloody hope so, one is a $2K camera the other is $20K! Also they both went on about how ridiculous all the DSLR rigs are and they ended up shooting the F3K with a RedRock shoulder mount, a Small HD monitor and an Arri Mattebox…. Sorry isn’t that basically DSLR kit!

Size: It is pretty chunky, I would estimate at double the size of an Ex1, not in length but overall volume. It is pretty light (although not with an arri 35mm PL lens and Matte box on the front) but due to it’s size I wouldn’t be surprised if the housings would be the similar size to Deep Red and just as heavy.
Functionality: Very similar to an Ex1, everything you would expect can’t be bothered to go through everything as it’s in the specs. One very cool though is that it has a stack of assign buttons all over it, which would mean access to all control underwater (I would imagine) and easy to reach etc

Sensor: S35mm, which the Sony guy said, was 40% larger than the Panny 4/3 sensor due to the fact that it is a widescreen sensor not a stills which is cropped to 16:9. Obviously this means that it will be great in lowlight but will have a really shallow DOF, which lets face it, underwater will make it challenging.

Format: I don’t know why but for some reason I thought this camera shot 1080 50p but no only 720 50p, slo mo did look awesome but 1080 50p would have been better :D

Pictures: Stunning in a word, Tom Gleeson the DP shot everything at 35mbps, XDCAM Ex, no nano and they looked great. The blacks were black and pretty clean and highlights looked good too. I actually was really impressed, looked way better than Ex1 35mbps and better than 5D.

3D: It has connectivity for syncing this to another for 3D production use and also dual HDSDI outs….

Cost: Expensive in a word, over $20K AUD, with three lenses and that would just be a start, 35mm PL mount lenses are expensive if you want a zoom really expensive…. Plus matte box, plus cards you really are getting into RED territory. When I asked the DP how it compared to RED he said that RED is significantly better but obviously a bigger heavier rig. He said that it would be great for ENG, and small budget broadcast shows and anything where you need to travel.

Rolling shutter / Moire Tests: So for this test they compared it against a 5D and oh what a surprise it was better. There was still however moire on the fine detail but nowhere near as much as the 5D and they was slight skew.

Colour Temp and White Balance on this camera this was not fully functional but it does have the usual presets etc. A really nice feature though which will be on production models is that it will have a button that when you touch it, it automatically will change colour temp to 5600K and you can get the camera to transition. Thus going from shooting in doors to outdoors quick and easy to WB. This would be great for underwater when getting to the surface just hit the button and get shallow water action without having to re-white balance.

Conclusion:
I did like it a lot, with a Duclos 11-16mm (rebuilt Tokina 11-16 in PL) it would be a stunning underwater camera. But big and expensive. As I said at the beginning Sony kept comparing it to DSLR’s when really they should have been comparing it to the Panny AF100 and RED 1. For the price you could buy the Panny with a couple of lenses and a nano and have a fantastic rig. Also lurking in the background is Epic Light (previously known as Scarlet S35) who knows what when and how much but it looks like things are moving in that camp.
Also they did show a small box with a few buttons on it and said that it was going to be a small version of this cam nxcam with the same sensor for around 6K. This actually could be very cool if and a really big if, it has an HDSDI out. The Sony rep said he could confirm but he reckons it will record AVCHD and have HDMI out…. I really am not a big fan of HDMI, it’s fine to plug into your tv and leave it for years but for constant use not great.

Edit: Oh I forgot to mention that they also has a solid sate card that was 1Tb in size which was also RAID 5..... pretty cool stuff

Edited by jonny shaw, 01 December 2010 - 03:53 PM.

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#44 Drew

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 11:05 PM

Sensor: S35mm, which the Sony guy said, was 40% larger than the Panny 4/3 sensor due to the fact that it is a widescreen sensor not a stills which is cropped to 16:9. Obviously this means that it will be great in lowlight but will have a really shallow DOF, which lets face it, underwater will make it challenging.

Perhaps for macro, but for wideangle shooting, it's not as big an issue. Plus you have those T1.x lenses with low distortion and a big sensor with good lowlight. It's not as point and shoot as 2/3" sensors but with water visibility limited to at the most 30m away and subjects usually within 1-5m away, wide angle focus shouldn't be an issue.

As I said at the beginning Sony kept comparing it to DSLR’s when really they should have been comparing it to the Panny AF100 and RED 1.

Why try to pick a fight with someone who's got equal or better specs (cheaper, more resolution etc etc) when you can pick on the little 98lbs weakling with asthma? :D

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#45 Drew

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 02:54 AM

The PMW-F3 S-Log upgrade, the CBK-RGB01, is now shipping. The firmware upgrade allows the use of the F3's dual link HD-SDI to capture 10bit 444 uncompressed video, ostensibly increasing dynamic range by up to 800%. The increased dynamic range allows the camera's ISO800 base rating to go up to ISO1600 in theory, giving it amazing lowlight detail. Uncompressed isn't raw capture but it does allow for LUT and other changes to give the F3 added breadth in shooting ability. Here is an example of how good it is:

[vimeohd]22540499[/vimeohd]

The CBK-RGB01 sells for $3680 at Abel Cine and BH Photo.

As of now, only the Cinedeck Extreme can capture from 3G-SDI or dual link HD-SDI at 444 10/12bit uncompressed, using a SSD drive (SATA III can hit 550MB/s). It acts as a monitor as well and is available now at Abel Cine @ $8990 and up depending on configuration.

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#46 jonny shaw

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 02:23 PM

Would be great if there was a decent housing for it

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#47 Drew

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 02:59 PM

Custom baby... Think about it... it's about $30k for a full kit, so it's cheaper than a R1 and Alexa. The pic quality with S Log lets it hang with the big boys that cost $50k. With the PL mounts, the lenses will be expensive but you also have the MTF adapters for Nikon and Canon FD so it's pretty interesting for underwater. Cinema lenses tend to be massive so for underwater they aren't the easiest to put behind a dome.

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#48 jonny shaw

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 03:42 PM

Very true Drew, I really do love this camera, my only bug bear about it is that they didn't allow it to record in camera at 50mbps. Yes I know we can use external devices etc etc, but it would have been great to have a compact unit for underwater. I believe birger are making a mount for the F3 which will allow canon glass which would be fantastic smallish underwater unit.

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#49 Drew

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 01:31 AM

Is the Birger mount out? They always announce stuff like 6 mths before... which is no use for people needing it now. I understand they've broken the EF encoding, which means using the newer L lenses and also ZE Zeiss. The CP.2 are also nice.

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