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


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Old December 17th, 2010, 09:59 PM   #31
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Btw, the NXCAM will have a MSRP of $5,000 according to fxphd.com. Has this been stated elsewhere? I am assuming they meant MSRP because they included the $16,000 price for the F3 and yet, we know the F3's actual street price is $13,000.

Any other info about the NXCAM yet? Someone mentioned it has the same sensor as the F3, yes - no, hopefully so?
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Old December 18th, 2010, 04:44 AM   #32
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Any other info about the NXCAM yet? Someone mentioned it has the same sensor as the F3, yes - no, hopefully so?
At a hands on with the F3 this week, a Sony rep guaranteed me that the NXCAM would have the same sensor as the F3 and have 10bit 4:2:2 HD-SDI. He was very clear on that and even said I could quote him on having said it. He appeared to be quite senior and very knowledgeable.

I wrote up more about it on my blog along with some of the other goodies they had there: Mike Marriage - Blog
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Old December 18th, 2010, 12:54 PM   #33
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That is very good about the sensor in the NXcam. Let's hope they don't cripple it somehow, like for example despite being the same chip the output is noisier for no apparent reason, or the camera is not as sensitive.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #34
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Nice writeup Mike. You certainly don't seem to like the F3 because of its ergonomics and lack of good VF. I honestly don't think these things will matter for most people in the market for a real S35 video camera. Just look at all the crap people use with the Canon cameras to make them shouldermount with a large LCD, which doesn't even show much resolution. For someone like me who has already invested into XDCAM EX, the F3 is VERY appealing. And if the zoom lens turns out to have a good range and a good price, then I will be purchasing this camera next year for certain to use alongside my EX1/3s. Man, I wish you had asked the Sony rep about the zoom lens.

On a side note, the NXCAM looks like it could work side by side for stereo3D.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #35
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You certainly don't seem to like the F3 because of its ergonomics and lack of good VF. I honestly don't think these things will matter for most people in the market for a real S35 video camera.
It just seems stupid to me to do all the hard work of making the great sensor and then let it down with simple but crucial aspects such as the VF. It isn't a budget issue either as the LCD screen is already there and they could have adapted it like on the EX3 for less money than adding the stupid, waste-of-space VF on the rear.

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Man, I wish you had asked the Sony rep about the zoom lens.
There's a thread over on another forum saying there will be a Sony PL 11-16mm F2.8 zoom in April, a manual F mount 15x 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 a little later in 2011, an automated version of the 15x in 2012 and a 3x 17-50mm F2.8 around the same time. That's secondhand info BTW.

Of course the Sony rep I spoke to may be wrong but he seemed confident and I think he would have fobbed me off if he hadn't known.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 06:44 PM   #36
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Mike,

I totally agree that the F3's VF is extremely stupid and a waste of space and weight; however, I'm glad Sony didn't use the EX3's hybrid LCD/VF because that would have made it much bulkier. Plus, the EX3's VF cannot ve removed so larger cases/bags are needed to transport it. Don't get me wrong, I really like my EX3's VF but at least with my EX1, I have the choice between its regular compact LCD or something like the Hoodman Loupe.

With the 18-270 f/3.5-6.3 lens, I assume the F3's great sensitivity sort of makes it similar to a pro-ENG f/1.9-2.8 lens.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 10:21 PM   #37
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Ex3 ...

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Mike,

I totally agree that the F3's VF is extremely stupid and a waste of space and weight; however, I'm glad Sony didn't use the EX3's hybrid LCD/VF because that would have made it much bulkier. Plus, the EX3's VF cannot ve removed so larger cases/bags are needed to transport it. Don't get me wrong, I really like my EX3's VF but at least with my EX1, I have the choice between its regular compact LCD or something like the Hoodman Loupe.

With the 18-270 f/3.5-6.3 lens, I assume the F3's great sensitivity sort of makes it similar to a pro-ENG f/1.9-2.8 lens.
If Sony had really thought this through ... they would have improved on the viewfinder for the F3 allowing for a slimmer version of the EX3 viewfinder that when uncoupled would allow for the LCD to be slipped under as it is done on the EX1. There is more ways than one to skin a cat.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 10:10 AM   #38
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Damn, since I actually got to play with one last week... the more I think about this camera, (specifically the easier than RED post production) the more I like it...
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Old December 19th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #39
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Damn, since I actually got to play with one last week... the more I think about this camera, (specifically the easier than RED post production) the more I like it...
I'm curious... what do you find is the difference between the workflows for this camera and the RED? And what tools are you using?

I find my workflow for RED and XDCam to be nearly the same.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #40
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I had a long discussion about the F3 with the Sony reps at Band Pro's Xmas Open House last Thursday. Here's what I found out about it;

> No news on the zoom lens or when it might appear
> No response to why Sony didn't equip it with their already existing 4:2:2 50Mbs codec
> No idea when the 3D option would be available (they guessed post NAB 2011 as a software update)
> No idea when the 3G feature would be available

I think I'll wait for the F3A version.

One interesting item which was not on display but talked about was their new SRW-R1 recorder/player which will utilize the new solid state media in 256Gb, 512Gb, & 1Tb sizes to record 4:4:4 SR & to list at "under" $20K USD.

I guess I learned a few things, not many of which were positive at this point.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 07:14 PM   #41
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I dunno Bruce, there is so much to like about this camera. They left out the 4:2:2 because the solid state EX cameras don't support that. Keeps everything under the same umbrella while still allowing you to go crazy with the dual SDI later on. I mean when they come out with the F5 they gotta have something to lure you in. :)

3D option should be less important than making a great image, I'm glad that is not a top priority.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 07:56 PM   #42
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Erik: technically, SxS can in fact support 50Mb/422 as is the case with the new PMW500. However, it does surprise me that Sony did not make the F3 capable of 50Mb. Just based on what I know, it seems that Sony uses the same encoding chip for 35 and 50 Mb because C-D uses Sony's chips in their nanoFlash. On a side note, I hope this camera really pushes C-D to make a 10bit recorder. Currently for me, I would purchase the Aja Mini for the F3 rather than the nano for TVCs; however, I'd still rather use the nano for all other broadcast and event work due to longer record times and HOT Swap. Actually, I'd probably buy the nanoFlash and just rent the Aja Mini because I still need the nano for to record from a switcher.

However, the 35Mb MPEG2 is an amazing codec and if given the choice, I'd take the 35Mb over AVCHD any day.

Furthermore, someone mentioned that the F3 can't output true 444 due to debayering but that confuses me because both the Red One and F35 can output 444 and both are single chip sensors that require debayering. Can someone shine some light on this subject?
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Old December 19th, 2010, 09:44 PM   #43
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Furthermore, someone mentioned that the F3 can't output true 444 due to debayering but that confuses me because both the Red One and F35 can output 444 and both are single chip sensors that require debayering. Can someone shine some light on this subject?
Red doesn't have a live 4:4:4 output that I know of? The F35 isn't a Bayer sensor, it's RGB stripe.

4:4:4 used to describe a colour subsampling system based on frequency and resolution back in SD analogue days, it's changed now to mean the colour subsampling pattern independant of resolution. 4:4:4 now means full colour info for each pixel, no subsampling.

To get 4:4:4 information directly from a sensor you must have an equal number of red, green and blue photosites for each pixel. Bayer has 2 green, 1 blue and 1 red. You can't get 4:4:4 till it's been processed.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #44
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I'm curious... what do you find is the difference between the workflows for this camera and the RED? And what tools are you using?

I find my workflow for RED and XDCam to be nearly the same.
Oh I don't edit... That's what editors are for! :)
I'm pretty much producer only these days, so for me the difference is all about the time/money and from what people have told me, the F3 will speed up post/save money.

I'd love to hear an opposing point of view of course, especially from the financial side. You own a Red (I'm assuming). Which XDCam do you own? And what similarities do you find with the tools you use?
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Old December 20th, 2010, 12:23 AM   #45
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I can see where Dylan is coming from. Editing R3D 4k requires some serious horsepower so many tend to use the old offline/online which requires extra time. Furthermore, most editors don't use Premiere Pro CS5 so transcoding can be required, which adds more time.

There are businesses who have taught classes solely on the R3D workflow such as FXPHD.com encompassing 10 classes and even re-doing the entire course each year. You couldn't dream of making a 10 week course on the XDCAM EX workflow.
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