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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
HD recording with a Super35 CMOS Sensor.


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Old November 8th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #106
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Ned, did Sony USA actually say $16K? I assumed Studio Daily interpolated that info from Sony UK's blurb.

I have a feeling this camera is going to come in quite a bit under $16K. Closer to $10K, is my bet. Making guesses on US pricing using "tentative" Euro pricing I think is a bad idea.

I don't think many folks will bite at over 12 or 13 USD.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 07:07 PM   #107
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Guys, this camera has a PL mount, its not AF101 competitor at all. Probably it will cost around 25K with the 444 out and the SR recording option, so is a budget cinema camera and more a RED competitor.

BUT I AM AMAZED THAT NOBODY HAS NOTICED, THERE 2 CAMERAS UNDER THE RED CLOTH!!!

Sony 35mm Mystery Camera Film and Digital Times: Blog

I guess the second one will be a more formidable AF101 competitor, price/spec wise.

If you also consider the rumor for a CANON APS-C camera with a June release, we definitely living in very interesting times. I just feel sorry about RED. Epic looks more and more like the V2 rocket*.


* For those unfamiliar, Hitler put extraordinary amount of money and resources in order to produce a groundbreaking weapon like the V2 rocket. By the time it was finished, he had essentially lost the war.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 07:18 PM   #108
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BUT I AM AMAZED THAT NOBODY HAS NOTICED, THERE 2 CAMERAS UNDER THE RED CLOTH!!!
Maybe - but I'd sort of assumed it was the prime lenses they talk about for the "K" package?
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Old November 8th, 2010, 07:30 PM   #109
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The size and the shape (too many angles) does not correspond to a lens form factor. More likely a pro NEX 10. Anyway its only 10 days...
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Old November 8th, 2010, 07:49 PM   #110
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Ned, did Sony USA actually say $16K? I assumed Studio Daily interpolated that info from Sony UK's blurb.

I have a feeling this camera is going to come in quite a bit under $16K. Closer to $10K, is my bet. Making guesses on US pricing using "tentative" Euro pricing I think is a bad idea.

I don't think many folks will bite at over 12 or 13 USD.
This is the same thing I keep saying! Trying to know for sure what USA pricing is based on
tentative Euro pricing is not a good idea. Now I'm not saying it WON'T be 16 grand, but it
sure would not surprise me if it wasn't either.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 07:55 PM   #111
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I also think that Sony didn't go the 50Mbit route mainly due to power consumption reasons, along with size and weight benefits as well. If you read the FDT article, this camera doesn't employ a fan at all. Anyway the difference between 35Mbit and 50Mbit is solely in the colorspace. Sony assumed - IMO correctly - that those who need the extra color info, they will use a separate recorder. We all know that for mainstream work, this extra information is rarely appreciated.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #112
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Ahh - but there's a lot more to it than simply physical sensor size.
Absolutely, which is why we really won't know how these cameras compare until somebody is able to test them side by side.

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The AF100 appears to be using an available 12 megapixel sensor - as in all the other Panny 4/3 cameras. Quite sensible as a way of keeping costs down, and using an OLPF does mean it won't have the worst of the aliasing problems of DSLRs. BUT, it is almost certain to still have to use pixel skipping readouts, and that's likely to impact on sensitivity.
For the GH-1 ( and for the new GH-2 ) Panasonic used pixel-binning techniques to reduce the true res of the sensor, which is the main reason why the GH-1 does not suffer the same degree of moire and aliasing artifacts as the Canon DSLRs do. I've heard that the native ISO of the AF-100 sensor is in the 400-640 range, which means that it should compare fairly well against the F3. ( I expect the F3 to have better image latitude at high ISO, but the proof will be in the pudding )

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Sony do say that the F3 has a sensor specifically designed for digital cinematography - I read that as indicating one with less than 12 megapixels, and hence able to not need pixel skipping - whilst being fully adequate for HD video. It's likely to mean some considerable advantages over the AF101, not least sensitivity.
I am curious how the AF-100 will compare with the F3's image sharpness, as having a dedicated cine sensor might give the Sony some advantage here.

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Secondly, you have to think about the way it seems to have been designed around a lens system - the AF101 seems to be thought of as a body to make use of various lenses that are available.
Actually it appears to have been designed ideally for Panasonic 4/3 lenses, but is completely adaptable to almost any lens on the market. I am curious to see how the Birger adapter for Canon EF mount lenses performs, because having a wireless focus puller that can control both focus and aperture with Canon L glass looks very interesting. ( I am a big fan of Canon still cameras, so being able to use my lenses for both stills and video work would be a big bonus for me )

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The trouble is that such lenses (at least zooms) are likely to be about f4. Compare that to a 2/3" camera with an f2 lens and you can expect exactly the same depths of field! What the 4x bigger sensor gets you, the two stops smaller lens takes away.
Starting with the 4/3 format, we have top-notch Olympus f 2.0 zooms at: 14-35mm and 35-100mm, along with a 150mm f 2.0 prime and a 90-250mm f 2.8 zoom. Panasonic plans some new faster lenses, though for now you have to settle with 14mm f 2.5, 20mm f 1.7, 25mm f 1.4. With the Birger adapter, we can then add all of the Canon DSLR L glass, with a wide range of focal lengths between f 1.2 - f 2.0. ( 24mm - 200mm ). And being DSLR glass it will likely cost a fraction of the equivalent cine lenses would cost.

I think the big deal with cameras like the AF-100 is going to be electronic lens control for both f-stop and focus. ( the Birger demo video for their RED adapter looks very impressive, so I hope the AF-100 adapter is just as good )

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As video DSLR replacements without aliasing problems, remember that 4/3, even super 35mm, sizes are much smaller than full frame 35mm.
I personally think that FF sensors are too big, in that the DOF is so shallow it becomes a bit of a gimmick. ( you also have to close down 2 f-stops to get the same DOF as the 4/3 or S35 formats )

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Combined with aperture issues, some people may find the AF100 dof disappointing compared to the DSLrs they are used to.
I actually think it's going to be quite the opposite, in that a fully rigged camera with fast f 1.4 - f 2.0 glass with remote wireless focus and f-stop control, 1080P variable slow-motion overcrank ,simultaneous uncompressed 4:2:2 output both HDMI and HD-SDI ports, and uncompressed audio is going to totally rock in the $10K and under price range. ( Yes, you could easily push $15-20K with lots of lenses and toys, but I think that you could definitely put together a great package for $10K )

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But I'm also surprised that the native codec is 35Mbs - I'd have expected 50Mbs, I agree. All I can say is that at least 35Mbs XDCAM is much better than AVC-HD.
From my perspective it looks like Sony is trying to protect it's digital cine line, so they had to hamper the F3 in some way.

...And if you want to slag the Panasonic implementation of the AVCHD CODEC please show us the proof David, because I've seen nothing from you to back up this silly claim. I've posted both the Crews.TV and Barry Green's tests that prove the opposite of what you are saying, that the Panasonic AVCHD CODEC at 21 MBits is superior to the Sony XDCAM-EX CODEC at 35 Mbits, and that the AVCHD CODEC compares favorably to the AVC-Intra CODEC for general video shoots. ( I've also got a quote from Adam Wilt, where he states that he considers these two CODECs at these rates to be essentially equivalent, and there's also Mr. Philip Bloom who posted that he found essentially no difference between the AVC-Intra 100 MBit and AVCHD 24 Mbit CODECs when he was shooting with the AF-100 pre-production camera.

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I suspect it may be seen as not good enough to satisfy more discerning users - but too expensive for those on limited budgets, bearing in mind that lens issues don't make it very good as a "general purpose" video camera.
David I think we both need to wait until a professional comparison of the finished products can be done. You seem to be bent on slagging the AF-100 camera, but I don't see you backing this up with any statements from the people who have used the current pre-production camera. So I think you need to wait for technical reviews of the finished production camera which should be very soon. ( Philip Bloom and Barry Green are in Japan right now, and it sounds like they will get to play with a finished production camera this Wednesday. )
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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:35 PM   #113
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Adam Wilt, who's been involved DVInfo ShootOuts I believe, has a first look (from afar?) at the AF100. I don't like pointing to offset articles but I'm assuming Adam Wilt is a "friend" of this site.

ProVideo Coalition.com: Camera Log by Adam Wilt | Founder | Pro Cameras, HDV Camera, HD Camera, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, RED, Video Camera Reviews
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Old November 9th, 2010, 02:07 AM   #114
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Well, the more I see of it, the more the AF100 looks to be an amazing camera for the price. Seems to be the dream wedding cam, and a pretty good indie cam to boot. Don't love the 4/3's dealio, but I don't hate it either.

Either the Sony is just that much better, or we have the makings - potentially - of some real tough marketing times ahead for them. 'Cause this AF100 is looking like Godzillia right now.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 03:41 AM   #115
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Reading the specs for this camera, I would have thought that it would be the least suitable camera for shooting live events like weddings - until I read about the face tracking feature, for exposure as well as focus....
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Old November 9th, 2010, 06:06 AM   #116
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Ned, did Sony USA actually say $16K? I assumed Studio Daily interpolated that info from Sony UK's blurb.

I have a feeling this camera is going to come in quite a bit under $16K. Closer to $10K, is my bet. Making guesses on US pricing using "tentative" Euro pricing I think is a bad idea.

I don't think many folks will bite at over 12 or 13 USD.
Yes. Sony US actually quoted $16K camera alone; $23K with lens package.

Studio Daily report was absolutely accurate and the same thing I heard.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #117
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That would be sound reasoning in an $8K camera but not for a $16K camera IMHO.

People looking to push things in color correction would want at least 4:2:2 color space. In fact the need to add an external recorder drives up the prices and notches down the "ease of use" advantage the camera might have vs RED for example (although it certainly has other "ease of use" advantages).

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Originally Posted by Emmanuel Plakiotis View Post
I also think that Sony didn't go the 50Mbit route mainly due to power consumption reasons, along with size and weight benefits as well. If you read the FDT article, this camera doesn't employ a fan at all. Anyway the difference between 35Mbit and 50Mbit is solely in the colorspace. Sony assumed - IMO correctly - that those who need the extra color info, they will use a separate recorder. We all know that for mainstream work, this extra information is rarely appreciated.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #118
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Sorry for posting so much but I have to articulate why I and others are disappointed.

EX1 and the EX series is a leader for us because:
Sony brought larger sensors in at a lower price. 1/2" for just over $6K (EX1)
We got interchangeable lenses for just over $8K (EX3)
We got full shoulder camera for about $12K (PMW-320)
We got 2/3" for $19K (PMW-350)
We got 2/3" CCD with 50mbps 4:2:2 to card rather than disc for $25K (PMW-500)
We got 35mbps VBR to card when others were 25mbps CBR tape or difficult to use 24mbps AVCHD or large file size AVC Intra.

Sony has been leading price performance throughout the EX series.

Canon offers large sensor HDSLR (albeit compromised) used by video pros in about $1K-$3K
Panasonic offers large sensor camera with video body for $5K
Sony, the price performance leader offers NOTHING in the range. Not even an announced future product.

Instead Sony offers an EX1 style camera with basically the same codec and related features in large sensor format with the addition of PL Mount, LUT, not yet implemented Dual Link (sure to increase the cost), otherwise the need to add on an external recorder to improve the codec (increasing the cost) to compete against the RED when it does not match the feature set of RED and once using the add on needed, it's ease of use factor begins to decline . . . for $16K.

It's market seems basically for those who prefer ease of use vs RED's additional features. It's beaten in price performance on the low end and it's beaten in features (IMHO) in the market it's trying to compete it. That gives is a very narrow niche (IMHO). Maybe it'll be the F35 for reality TV shows where ease of use is critical but in a world of declining budgets I have a hunch the AF100 (even with its compromises), at 1/3 the cost, will win there too.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 02:25 PM   #119
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Totally agree Craig....
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Old November 9th, 2010, 02:27 PM   #120
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Feeling the same as Craig. I'm currently in line for an Epic at $19.5k, but for various reasons really don't want to invest that much when Red rentals in LA are ridiculously low, and there's an insane amount of Canon shoots.

If Sony could fix all the problems Canon brings to a job, then that's awesome, but if it costs almost the same as a Red, then why bother? I'm calculating a $13K street price for the F3 based on EX1R pricing, but even 13K isn't really enough. Needs to be 11K at most, and that's pushing it, considering I'd need to spend another 2500 for an external recorder to get the good stuff. At the end of the day its still a plastic box that wears worse than a pro camera, but it's definitely got pro pricing. $16K for a body with that useless, fragile rear finder? You're kidding me.

One thing that COULD save it is if it truly is as quiet as a church mouse, and gets that 13 stops they're saying. Nobody is getting anything like that without spending a $25K for a Red with MX at the moment.

I hope Sony revisits this pricing. I suspect this camera will truly be great for what they desigined it to be (built in ND filters with PL glass?! Purpose built zoom for run & gun? You crazy!), but it will be for naught if AF100s and Epics are on the other ends of the spectrum.

I want one, and can afford, but very much doubting it's smart money.
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Last edited by Nate Weaver; November 9th, 2010 at 03:01 PM.
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