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Old August 1st, 2016, 02:37 AM   #1
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Are used F900 or F900R cameras any good?

Hi,
I've noticed that there are a few F900 and F900R cameras on ebay. I'm considering getting one to used with a Atomos Samurai or Hyperdeck shuttle (HDCAM tape isn't great quality). I'm mostly interested because these cameras are 3CCD 1080P and don't have rolling shutter issues.
Are there any issues with regards to these cameras that I should look out for? Also, has anyone got any frame grabs from one of these cameras?
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Old August 2nd, 2016, 12:52 AM   #2
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Re: Are used F900 or F900R cameras any good?

They tend to have pretty complex menu set ups and don't have the dynamic range of more modern cameras.The lenses will be more expensive than the cameras. The Big Bang Theory used the Panavised F900 for a number of series.
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Old August 2nd, 2016, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: Are used F900 or F900R cameras any good?

You're buying an $80,000 camera for $2k. It's a spectacular deal. It is the best camera money could buy 15 years ago. There is obviously a lot of movement in technology over 15 years, but the thing makes the same pictures today it did when it was $80k.

If you had $10k to buy a car, you could buy one of those jellybean things from Chevy that looks like a tin can, or you could buy a 20 year old Porsche that was $100k new. The jellybean will probably run for 100,000 miles without so much as an oil change, but it has the sex appeal of a damp rag. The Porsche will be constant maintenance, but put on a leather jacket while you drive it and you'll look like the Fonz. You could make an argument that you should buy either one, but I don't know what your personal tolerance is for maintenance or your desire for sex appeal.
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Old August 5th, 2016, 12:51 PM   #4
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Re: Are used F900 or F900R cameras any good?

+1 Mike, great post!

All of those old high end Sony cameras are great cameras. I have worked with everything from the analog SD days to Digi Beta and beyond. The F700R was king in its day.

Believe it or not there are still tons of AV companies all over the country running SD DVCAM DXC D50 cameras. Most of them have been beat to crap by unexperienced techs who dont care about the camera but they take the abuse. The corporate world is slow to change. Some companies still don't care if a program is recorded in SD (if it gets recorded at all) and the AV company does not need HD for i-mag so the old D50s are still in use all over the place. Studio kits, tri-ax cable, and CCUs are expensive. They have been renting this stuff over and over again for twenty years! Thats good business if your in the rental business.

Try and get a F700R with a good lens. If you can find a camera and lens in good condition you won't be sorry. The first thing you will need to do is master back focus if you haven't already.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old August 8th, 2016, 07:52 AM   #5
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Re: Are used F900 or F900R cameras any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
They tend to have pretty complex menu set ups and don't have the dynamic range of more modern cameras.The lenses will be more expensive than the cameras. The Big Bang Theory used the Panavised F900 for a number of series.
As long as it has the same dynamic range as a GH4 or a black magic production camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
You're buying an $80,000 camera for $2k. It's a spectacular deal. It is the best camera money could buy 15 years ago. There is obviously a lot of movement in technology over 15 years, but the thing makes the same pictures today it did when it was $80k.

If you had $10k to buy a car, you could buy one of those jellybean things from Chevy that looks like a tin can, or you could buy a 20 year old Porsche that was $100k new. The jellybean will probably run for 100,000 miles without so much as an oil change, but it has the sex appeal of a damp rag. The Porsche will be constant maintenance, but put on a leather jacket while you drive it and you'll look like the Fonz. You could make an argument that you should buy either one, but I don't know what your personal tolerance is for maintenance or your desire for sex appeal.
A bigger camera always looks more professional at shoots.
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Old August 8th, 2016, 08:02 AM   #6
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Re: Are used F900 or F900R cameras any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
+1 Mike, great post!

All of those old high end Sony cameras are great cameras. I have worked with everything from the analog SD days to Digi Beta and beyond. The F700R was king in its day.

Believe it or not there are still tons of AV companies all over the country running SD DVCAM DXC D50 cameras. Most of them have been beat to crap by unexperienced techs who dont care about the camera but they take the abuse. The corporate world is slow to change. Some companies still don't care if a program is recorded in SD (if it gets recorded at all) and the AV company does not need HD for i-mag so the old D50s are still in use all over the place. Studio kits, tri-ax cable, and CCUs are expensive. They have been renting this stuff over and over again for twenty years! Thats good business if your in the rental business.

Try and get a F700R with a good lens. If you can find a camera and lens in good condition you won't be sorry. The first thing you will need to do is master back focus if you haven't already.

Kind Regards,

Steve
I think you mean F900R, I don't think there is an F700R. There is an HDW-700, but it only shoots interlace and I need progressive.
The HD B4 lenses are pretty expensive, but I guess I could use an SD lens (I'm aware of how soft they are, could get 720p our of it) until I get the cash for HD or find a speedbooster for B4 mount cameras.

Is there anything I should look out for when buying one though? I know that the F900 without the R needs a component to SDI adaptor, but are there any other quirks I should look out for?

Options are limited when it comes to global shutter cameras, Digital Bolex shut up shop, Blackmagic decided not to put global shutter on their micro cinema camera (making it worthless IMO) the Blackmagic production camera has fixed pattern noise and really bad low light. At this point I may as well go back to 576p widescreen for fast action work.
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Old August 8th, 2016, 01:28 PM   #7
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Re: Are used F900 or F900R cameras any good?

There's the HDW 750P, it shoots progressive 25p

HDW-750P (HDW750P) : Product Overview : United Kingdom : Sony Professional
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Old August 9th, 2016, 07:21 PM   #8
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Re: Are used F900 or F900R cameras any good?

Hey Patrick,

Yes I meant the F900R, typo.

I don't know what to tell you about quirks? The "R" had some pretty nice upgrades from the original. Check them out ans see what is important to you.

This is weird. B&H says they can still special order them new. That is a long time for shelf life! It must say something about the camera. And yes, they are still $80,000.00!

My big concern if I was doing this would be the crap shoot over the condition of the camera you get. I have always joked with family and friends and told them to never buy anything used from a pro. Pro gear gets used and sometimes abused. Going through e-bay I would take all of the precautions on a purchase Like this. I would not do a no return deal.

Steve
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Old August 10th, 2016, 12:52 AM   #9
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Re: Are used F900 or F900R cameras any good?

According to Sony UK F900R is discontinued:

HDW-F900R (HDWF900R) : Product Overview : United Kingdom : Sony Professional

Could be that B&H is slow in updating their web site, the F900R is hardly a camera you'd keep in stock.
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