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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old December 29th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #46
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Ron,

The F3 viewfinder is adequate to check focus especially if you are using the peaking function. It is no that good for checking color and for this, the built-in LCD is very good. My understanding is that the F3 viewfinder is identical to the EX1R (not EX1...) and during the bit of hands on I have had with the F3, the viewfinder felts indeed like the EX1R's.

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Old December 29th, 2010, 08:00 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
But a shoulder mount camera is difficult to use any way other than shoulder mounted or tripod mounted because of the length.
With the lenses that will be used with this, even the EX3 form factor wouldn't be useful. Full shoulder is the only way to use the F3 hand held in any reasonable way. But as you pointed out it would make using it for anything else more difficult. Plus it would have probably made it even more expensive.

I guess that is why Sony just decided to make it like the baddest Handycam ever made. Makes it small enough to fit in tight places or carry around easily, and after you rig it all up you can make your own shoulder mount.

I do still wish they had made that rear Viewfinder removable! That way I could have chucked it in a box (without voiding my warranty) and forgotten it was ever there to begin with.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 04:03 AM   #48
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[QUOTE=Erik Phairas;1602907 Full shoulder is the only way to use the F3 hand held in any reasonable way. [/QUOTE]
I don't agree, I found it very easy to hold using the top handle for low shots and handycam style for many other shots. If you use the Sony lightweight PL's or a DSLR lens the weight is not a problem.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 06:42 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Thierry Humeau View Post
The F3 viewfinder is adequate to check focus especially if you are using the peaking function.
It isn't great though, nowhere near as good as the EX3 IMO. I would rather Sony had ditched it and focused on something higher end in a better position, even if it was an paid for option.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 06:53 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
But a shoulder mount camera is difficult to use any way other than shoulder mounted or tripod mounted because of the length.
I've never really found shoulder mount designs to be awkward when shooting from the hip or holding the top handle. It is very rare that I shoot like that anyway. I certainly think a shoulder mount design is better for 95% of shooting and hate having to make any adaptations between tripod and handheld. The only time I prefer handycams is for discrete shooting where you are trying to look amateur.

With all the amazing advances in recent years, ergonomics seem to have been forgotten. The Aaton LTR/XTR S16 cameras hardly ever need anything bolted to them, they just work properly as designed. The latest handycams seem to have outgrown the limits of their PD150 ancestors and the manufactures haven't noticed or bothered to go back to the drawing board.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 06:59 AM   #51
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Although I find the F3's viewfinder quality to be adequate, I'd have gladly paid a couple thousand more dollars for the F3 just to have a connector that would allow me to mount the C35W viewfinder from my F800. What a terrific camera that would be!!

Mike, I'm sure we'll see several 3rd party viewfinder solutions that will basically transform the F3's flip-out LCD into an EX3-style viewfinder. I will be first in line to buy one. I already tried the Hoodman Loupe that I use on my EX1 but it's too short to accomodate a comfortable shooting position. We need something with a rigid extension tube that is several inches long -- just like the EX3 viewfinder.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 07:10 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Mike Marriage View Post
With all the amazing advances in recent years, ergonomics seem to have been forgotten. The Aaton LTR/XTR S16 cameras hardly ever need anything bolted to them, they just work properly as designed. The latest handycams seem to have outgrown the limits of their PD150 ancestors and the manufactures haven't noticed or bothered to go back to the drawing board.
I'll agree with all that 100% - with the exception of JVC. In pure ergonomic terms, their recent offerings have shown you can have a camera of this size/weight which can be comfortably used on the shouder without compromising use in other ways.
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Mike, I'm sure we'll see several 3rd party viewfinder solutions that will basically transform the F3's flip-out LCD into an EX3-style viewfinder.
Maybe, but the real problem is that the viewfinder needs to be much further forward. Then it becomes possible to have more of the weight of the camera further back and out of the way beside the head. It's not just a weight and balance issue - in confined spaces, having to have the entire length of the camera in front of the cameraman would become a real pain, which no amount of third party solutions will be able to solve.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 09:06 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
I don't agree, I found it very easy to hold using the top handle for low shots and handycam style for many other shots. If you use the Sony lightweight PL's or a DSLR lens the weight is not a problem.
You can still shoot this way with a JVC. Quite a few people will be using the camera with much heaver lenses like the Cookes and Master Primes.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 09:13 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Thierry Humeau View Post
Ron,

The F3 viewfinder is adequate to check focus especially if you are using the peaking function. It is no that good for checking color and for this, the built-in LCD is very good. My understanding is that the F3 viewfinder is identical to the EX1R (not EX1...) and during the bit of hands on I have had with the F3, the viewfinder felts indeed like the EX1R's.

Thierry.
Thank you and all others for their helpful replies.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 09:32 AM   #55
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Maybe, but the real problem is that the viewfinder needs to be much further forward. Then it becomes possible to have more of the weight of the camera further back and out of the way beside the head. It's not just a weight and balance issue - in confined spaces, having to have the entire length of the camera in front of the cameraman would become a real pain, which no amount of third party solutions will be able to solve.
I disagree. There will be 3rd party solutions that will work.
I think you are misunderstanding what I'm saying. I'm NOT talking about using the viewfinder that is at the rear of the camera. I'm talking about adding a 3rd party device to the flip-out LCD so that it functions like the viewfinder on an EX3. That LCD is already forward on the camera, and the addition of an optical tube-style viewfinder to the LCD should put it pretty close to the right position with the addition of a short shoulder brace or shoulder rest. Same as the EX3. The F3 should have been designed like the EX3 and I wouldn't be surprised if that body style was just around the corner. Just look at the history of the EX1 and then the EX3. There's going to be a lot of pissed off F3 owners if Sony announces another camera soon after the buy their F3. But it should come as no surprise and I'll have no sympathy when they start crabbing that they bought the wrong camera. There's always going to be something new around the corner.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #56
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To work well, the display device needs to be further forward than the LCD on the side if the camera. I don't think it's a huge mechanical deal designing a mounting system that say also allows 15mm rods & handle below the camera and a V/F (or LCD) forward of the camera body, This would allow the camera to sit on your shoulder.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I think you are misunderstanding what I'm saying. I'm NOT talking about using the viewfinder that is at the rear of the camera. I'm talking about adding a 3rd party device to the flip-out LCD so that it functions like the viewfinder on an EX3.
No, that is what I understood. Just don't think it's still far enough forward. Fully agree when you say "should have been designed like the EX3".
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Old December 30th, 2010, 09:32 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I'm talking about adding a 3rd party device to the flip-out LCD so that it functions like the viewfinder on an EX3. That LCD is already forward on the camera, and the addition of an optical tube-style viewfinder to the LCD should put it pretty close to the right position with the addition of a short shoulder brace or shoulder rest. Same as the EX3.
Doug are you familiar with the Hoodman Loupe for the EX1? Should work out of the box on the F3. I am sure Olof will develop a rig and one can always slap on a set of rails with a shoulder pad and hang a batt or two over the shoulder. That's what I would do if I was going to be handbombing a fair amount but I expect it will be living either on a tripod or a Steadicam in my case.

Quote:
The F3 should have been designed like the EX3 and I wouldn't be surprised if that body style was just around the corner.
I have given up trying to figure out Sony on their industrial design and marketing ploys. Sometimes, most times, things just don't add up except for the rather broad strokes in which they decide where to place their cameras on their product shelf. I think they, for the most part get that right. But really, the viewfinder issue... WHY?! They produced the EX1, then came out with the EX3 to great acclaim. The most talked about (positive) thing on the EX3 was how good the viewfinder was and then they come out with the F3 which was greeted with a huge pile on from almost every shooter that looked at the promo shots when it was first announced. Do they not do focus group testing on their gear as it is being developed?

I still think it is a nice camera but I would either use a Hoodman Loupe or a Marshall
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Old December 30th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
I don't agree, I found it very easy to hold using the top handle for low shots and handycam style for many other shots. If you use the Sony lightweight PL's or a DSLR lens the weight is not a problem.
Well you've held it, I haven't, so let's compromise - let me borrow yours. :)
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Old December 31st, 2010, 02:46 AM   #60
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I use the EX-1 with a hoodman and its a reasonably good solution though not always as solid as I would like. However I dislike the EX-3 because although the basic optical viewfinder works quite well , they changed the way the color peaking circuit works and it is far less accurate than it is on the EX-1. I rely on it on the EX-1 but on the EX-3 its nearly useless as its too gross an adjustment. That's a big deal to me.
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