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


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Old November 19th, 2010, 05:32 PM   #106
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I found it odd that it wasn't in the tech specs. 4:4:4 is a big deal, you'd think they'd flag that up! Maybe they just assumed we'd know it would be 4:4:4 due to the dual link - since that's what it's for...
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Old November 19th, 2010, 07:49 PM   #107
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The S-Log gamma curve, as it's name suggests is a logarithmic "S" shaped gamma curve. The Hypergammas and Cinegammas used in the EX and XDCAM camcorders are also logarithmic, but only in the highlights. S-log compresses both highlights and shadow areas leaving the mid range flat and linear. It is still important that you get your exposure correct as you want to use the linear part of the curve as much as possible. The linear area will grade better as more bits of data are used per luma/chroma change than in the compressed Hi and Low areas. The big advantage S-Log brings is the ability to record 12 stops using standard video recorders. This gives you more headroom in the edit for overall exposure tweaks, inn effect you can extract the 8 to 9 stops normally used for natural video display from the 12 stop range. If you do start using the compressed ends of the curve you will see issues as in the extreme low lights and highlights the luma/chroma is very compressed. Trying to stretch these back out to a linear (natural) looking image will introduce stair stepping if taken too far.

The big deal with S-Log is the use of 10 bits and RGB to record it. Buy using 10 bits you gain more discreet steps in the compressed areas so you can push 10 bit S-Log or even 10 bit Hypergammas much harder before introducing artefacts, provided the cameras noise level is low enough. The F3's noise floor is plenty low enough to really make use of 10 bit recording. By keeping the sensors R G and B outputs discreet and recording 4:4:4 you eliminate cross colour and other interactions, again further improving the image and it's adjustability.

While S-Log is not the same as raw, recorded at 4:4:4 RGB 10 bit it will be extremely flexible, but it's not going to cover up badly shot footage. S-Log onto SxS at 35Mb/s is not something I would do for mastering as you are forced to grade the footage (or apply a LUT) to make the image look half decent. 8 Bit 35Mb/s is not going to be good enough for S-Log, you absolutely want 10 bit. However by the time the F3 becomes available there should be plenty of 10 bit recorder choice, may be even some affordable uncompressed recorders or maybe even a Ninja recording ProRes for $1000 US.
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Old November 19th, 2010, 08:44 PM   #108
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The cameras are officially listed at B&H. Price: $16,000 base, $23,000 w/ primes. Available in February.

Sony PMW-F3L Super 35mm Full-HD Compact Camcorder PMW-F3L B&H

Sony PMW-F3K Super 35mm Full-HD Compact Camcorder PMW-F3K B&H
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Old November 19th, 2010, 08:50 PM   #109
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Somebody please give me 16,000 dollars.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 11:26 PM   #110
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Alister ...

thanks for the info on S-Log. It seems that dual HD/SDI out of the F3 will allow for 4.4.4 ... if I'm wrong about that please inform.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 02:21 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Harrington View Post
thanks for the info on S-Log. It seems that dual HD/SDI out of the F3 will allow for 4.4.4 ... if I'm wrong about that please inform.
You are correct, from all the sony reps talking there are multiple videos with sony confirming 4:4:4 out of the dual HD-SDI. It just not in the specs pdf's yet.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 02:45 AM   #112
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ah ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuseppe Pugliese View Post
You are correct, from all the sony reps talking there are multiple videos with sony confirming 4:4:4 out of the dual HD-SDI. It just not in the specs pdf's yet.
This is good news and certainly makes this camera very enticing!!!
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Old November 30th, 2010, 10:23 PM   #113
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Alister - what do you think of S log or Hypergammas at the 4:2:2 10 bit setting. I'm no tech but guessing that 10 bit is the real gift here more important than the 4:2:2 over 4:2:0.

By the way I finally saw your review on the web which answered lots of questions I've been asking.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 06:55 AM   #114
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As I understand it you won't have the option of S-Log or Hypergammas unless you get the 4:4:4 option. Certainly on the cameras doing the rounds at the moment you only have Cinegammas.

S-Log over 10 bit 4:2:2 could still be useful but the extreme compression at the ends of the gamma curve will give banding issues in colours when it's sub sampled to 4:2:2 and then pushed hard in the grade. It's correct that with the low noise of this camera that 10 bit is key but if you have shelled out on the 4:4:4 option then I would want to use a 4:4:4 recorder as well. I'm sure that by next April there will be some interesting 4:4:4 recorders available at sensible prices.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 12:45 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
The cameras are officially listed at B&H. Price: $16,000 base, $23,000 w/ primes. Available in February.

Sony PMW-F3L Super 35mm Full-HD Compact Camcorder PMW-F3L B&H

Sony PMW-F3K Super 35mm Full-HD Compact Camcorder PMW-F3K B&H
When I click on the links I see prices of $13,300 and $18,950. Talk about drooling over something that is just outside of my reach. I need to find some grant money for my documentary so I can justify getting one of these. Anybody have any test footage of one of these with the Sony Primes paired with a nanoFlash yet? I'd love to see how that looks.

-Garrett
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Old December 9th, 2010, 08:38 PM   #116
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Looks like 24 minutes from the Australian conference. Maybe something interesting in this...


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Old December 10th, 2010, 12:03 AM   #117
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I was at the Melbourne showing, and one question I made sure to put to Nick was the sensor type. He confirmed it's a standard Bayer pattern, not the new Q67 pattern.

Also asked about the 4:4:4 S-Log upgrade. He couldn't give a price or if it was hardware or firmware. Same with the SR solid state deck and media, no firm price other than affordable and less than SxS per gig.

He did give one indication of an overall price target Sony were thinking of for a fully kitted F3 with S-Log and the SR deck, and that was around $40K AU. Not firm, but a rough estimate.

It tried the thing with 18db gain, and on the SmallHD monitor I could see zero noise. Very impressive, that's 6400ASA.

We saw Jason Wingrove's short projected on a cinema screen. It held up pretty well considering it was mostly shot in 720, graded in Baselight, compressed to a mov and played back from a Macbook.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 06:40 AM   #118
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Did you get any more details about the sensor specs, David? The general hope and expectation seems to be 4 megapixel, but did you get that confirmed?
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Old December 10th, 2010, 07:01 AM   #119
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I didn't ask as I'd already read else where it's a 3.5K chip. Can't remember where or who said it, but it was a Sony source. It matches the Alexa basically, so Sony's math came to the same conclusion I guess.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #120
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Thanks, David. Yes, somewhere around the 4 megapixel mark is optimal for normal 1080 HD from a single chip - it gives roughly the same number of green sensors as max recorded luminance pixels. A good balance between resolution and S/N and sensitivity, and keeping the processing relatively easy.
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