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Old December 19th, 2008, 12:09 AM   #1
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Sony F35--first experience

We just wrapped a 7 day pilot for ABC with the F35. The camera performed well and the images were beautiful, very soft and flattering on the actresses even without diffusion.

On the operating end of things, it's got a way to go. The supplied viewfinder is based on an ENG design with a right angle optic and the guts projecting to the right, which makes it difficult to orient fore or aft of the designated mount via extended finder bar (you have to slide it massively away from the body). Sony is working on a 2nd gen. viewfinder, but with the F23 having been out for as long as it had, I would have thought that they might have cracked this nut earlier.

We forewent mounting the SRW deck on the camera, preferring to keep it at the DIT tent with fiber link which worked flawlessly. This kept the power draw and weight of the camera down significantly but it did make balancing for handheld difficult for the reasons listed above. We were primarily a handheld show so I ended up removing the eyepiece and using the finder in flip-out mode, jacked as far forward as I could which was generally right above the eyebrow. Since it's near impossible to judge critical focus in the eyepiece anyway, I was able to see more than well enough to frame this way and reduced a lot of eye and neck strain in the meantime. We also used the Easyrig mount to transfer much of the weight to the body, which helped tremendously with stamina (some takes were 20 minutes long, and the camera weighed in at probably 35 lbs plus).

I did find it quite easy and relatively light for Steadicam work, nothing much to report on in that arena.

When Sony introduces their onboard flash mags, this camera coupled with an HD transmitter and the Wifi-based remote paint control will make this a really attractive film replacement from a mobility standpoint--no cables!
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Sony F35--first experience-f35left.jpg  
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Old December 19th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #2
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(I want one...)
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Old December 19th, 2008, 01:33 AM   #3
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Looks like the 1000' mag is missing?
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Old December 19th, 2008, 02:22 AM   #4
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I think it needs some wings to make it more aerodynamic, and maybe a couple of lights attatched, some rear view mirrors will also help!!!!!!

Nice shots and thanks for the review.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #5
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Wow, thanks for the pics, Chas... very cool! Guess that Easyrig is mandatory for long takes, eh?
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Old December 19th, 2008, 07:25 PM   #6
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Red On Roids?

If only one thing else was to come out as a response to the RED development it would have been this system.

Anyone gonna get me one for Christmas? ?? ???
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Old December 19th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #7
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I don't know Bob, haven't seen the 2 for price yet....Anybody know what it costs for one of these ?
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Old December 19th, 2008, 07:53 PM   #8
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About $250K I think.

This is a continuation of the product line that started with the F900 and continued through the Genesis all of which was designed prior to RED's existence, so I think it wouldn't qualify as a "response" to the RED.

re: Chris and Easyrig, yes, it worked out well on this job. Wasn't quite aware of how much of a difference it made until I put the sucker on my shoulder directly well into the job. It also helped with the front-heavy nature of the camera--I got it to the point where the camera just sat level on my shoulder with no hands.

The only problem with the Easyrig is that when the camera wasn't onboard, I kept forgetting I was wearing it and whacked a few people with the thing, especially if I bent forward. Comedy. My excellent AC Emily festooned the top with mistletoe for our last day, I netted a few smooches as a result.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 02:00 PM   #9
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That sure is a pretty AC... don't let the people I work with know that there are good looking women in the camera dept- I will be out of a job!
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Old December 21st, 2008, 02:04 PM   #10
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That sure is a pretty AC... don't let the people I work with know that there are good looking women in the camera dept- I will be out of a job!
All hard workers as well.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 05:52 PM   #11
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I've worked with scores of focus pullers over the years including 20+ year veterans with legendary credits--Emily is one of the best and she makes it look easy.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 09:11 PM   #12
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I concur. Sony would have had this base covered. To have R & D'd it from scratch as a reaction to the RED would have been a big ask.

My previous comment was more a speculative imagining than worthy comment.

I wonder though, if the rumblings of the RED did not cause them to bring it forth into the world a little sooner than they might have been inclined, for financial and marketing reasons.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 01:52 PM   #13
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I concur. Sony would have had this base covered. To have R & D'd it from scratch as a reaction to the RED would have been a big ask.

My previous comment was more a speculative imagining than worthy comment.

I wonder though, if the rumblings of the RED did not cause them to bring it forth into the world a little sooner than they might have been inclined, for financial and marketing reasons.
I believe the F35's only delay to market was a contractual agreement with Panavision that included a time limit on when Sony could enter the market with a 35mm sensor based camera. The bones of the camera have been in place since the launch of the Genesis and has nothing to with Red's presence or menace :)
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 10:55 PM   #14
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That shows how dumb and uninformed I am. I thought the Genesis was 2/3".
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Old December 27th, 2008, 02:01 AM   #15
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If you were TRULY serious about pimping that rig to the fullest, any self respecting cinematographer would have finished it off with spinners, that was the only thing missing.

;)
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