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


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Old January 11th, 2011, 08:50 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Harrington View Post
... to do film out with the F3 will require added components that will cost in excess of 10 k even if you don't get the camera with the pro-offered 3 lens.
I wouldn't say a film-out requires anything different to 1080p distribution. I actually find film-outs hide undesirable artifacts when compared to a 1080p monitor. I have had several film-outs made from footage recorded to XDCAM EX and the codec did not present an issue.

I can see the rational of designing a camera to use external recorders in order to keeping the base cost down and flexibility high. What bugs me is that the terrible design of the F3 means shooters will need to spend thousands in order to achieve fundamentals of making it balance on the shoulder and have a usable VF. This is acceptable with a cheap DSLR where video is an afterthought but not on a professional "cinema" camera like the F3.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #77
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The F3 is intended for digital cinematography. Why would you want to put it on your shoulder?
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Old January 11th, 2011, 10:03 AM   #78
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Since when did digital cinematography excluded shooting handheld? I've never worked with a professional operator who doesn't shoot from the shoulder for eye-level handheld. A handycam form factor is okay up to a certain size and weight but the F3, with even a light lens, is well beyond that in my opinion.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 10:10 AM   #79
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On shoulder because hand held is an aspect (if sometimes overused) of digital cinematography operating as on the sticks or camera crane. The weight of these cameras with 35mm cine lenses tends not to be as favourable for the handicam layout as say a PD150 or Z1, which also have image stabilization.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 10:25 AM   #80
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As overused as handheld is these days, the impression I'm getting
is that most D-Cinema is still being shot the correct way: mounted
to something (anything).

There a scads of shoulder-mount options; to me it makes sense to
get the one you want and put it on. The F3 isn't a run & gun ENG
camera. I just don't see a need for a built-in shoulder support.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 10:57 AM   #81
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Perhaps not the support built in, but the capability of using the camera on the shoulder by having a forward V/F option. In the past, some cameras with a flat base (like the CP16) were extremely good for hand held work.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 10:59 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
I just don't see a need for a built-in shoulder support.
I respectfully disagree.

The camera is designed to be used with a motorized zoom (once it is released). With the hand grip and zoom rocker in the position it is in, handholding is going to be very awkward. It may not be designed as an "ENG" camera but the presence of the zoom rocker and motorized zooms suggests that it is aimed beyond just digital cinema. I can see such a camera being used extensively in EFP.

From what I have seen with the limited time I spent with the prototype, Sony have worked wonders with the sensor, that must have been expensive. Why skimp on simple ergonomics? If shoulder mount was too expensive, which I doubt because JVC managed it on far cheaper cameras, the design should have been more modular. I am looking forward to seeing what the NXCAM S35 camera brings in this regard.

The Arri Alexa includes a shoulder mount and its ergonomics are widely praised among operators.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
most D-Cinema is still being shot the correct way: mounted
to something
Surely the "correct way" is the way the story (or director) dictates. Would the opening of Saving Private Ryan have been as effective if shot mounted on sticks or even Steadicam?

I think the big problem with handheld is not the amount it is used but the way it is used. The whole point is to mimic documentary. I can't stand constant, deliberate zoom adjustments and crazy long lenses shaking so much that I feel sick.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 11:46 AM   #83
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Of course I agree that SPR was an awesome use of hand-held (the
exception rather than the norm)... that was Janusz Kamiński, after all.
But the cameras he used didn't have *built-in* shoulder supports, either!
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Old January 11th, 2011, 12:42 PM   #84
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But they had forward V/Fs. The built in shoulder pad is optional, for example a Panaflex doesn't have one built in, it's heavy but still pretty good for hand held.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 01:57 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
The F3 is intended for digital cinematography. Why would you want to put it on your shoulder?
At the presentation I went to, Sony themselves were promoting the F3 (amongst other things) as the "ideal B camera to something like an F35", and went on to give examples along the lines of "handheld, to get the POV shots, or where space is too tight to use a bigger camera".

As for supports, then Brian really says it all. You either need an external viewfinder (mounted much further forward) or accept the camera being well in front of the operator. Hardly ideal if the whole point is to have a smaller camera for use in tight spaces.

Yes, no doubt it can (and will) be adapted to get by, but why not just design the ergonomics better in the first place?
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Old January 11th, 2011, 10:00 PM   #86
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Ergonomics are everything. The point is not to only have the viewfinder in the correct (forward) position for handheld, but to also have it there so that you can 'hug' the camera for all sorts of operated shots from sticks. It is hugely beneficial to have your face near the nodel point of the camera.

It's the same reason why most operators do not use extension eyepieces when operating 35mm except out of necessity as in when they are using a geared head or are in a spot where they cannot reach the viewfinder.

Hanging your head off the back of a camera is just silly. Not only for handheld, but just about all the time.

Have a look at the Alexa, or any Aaton - these designers obviously care about the camera and take the time to consult with the users.

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Old January 17th, 2011, 07:42 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Phairas View Post
If they were both the same price, same weight, some functionality. I'd still want the F3 more.
I wonder if you ever worked with raw R3Ds, plus, it is not fair to compare 4K and 1920x1080
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Old January 17th, 2011, 12:22 PM   #88
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I'm sure if Sony used the pixel count as a measure of resolution as Red do, the F3 would be approaching 3K or more. Sony's F35 has 12.4 million pixels to achieve 1920x1080 resolution. Compare that to the 8 MP of Red One used for "4k" or the 13.8 MP that Epic use for the headline figure of 5k. Pixel count does not equal resolution with bayer sensors. I also just noticed that Epic requires a whopping 60 Watts!

I don't know the pixel count for the F3, but as it is a Bayer pattern I expect (and hope) it will be considerably higher than 1920x1080.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 10:23 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
Perhaps not the support built in, but the capability of using the camera on the shoulder by having a forward V/F option. In the past, some cameras with a flat base (like the CP16) were extremely good for hand held work.
This is why they have threaded mounting holes on the top of the camera near where the EVF would be. This is a build it the way you want it, kind of camera. I've had the F3 on my shoulders with a standard shoulder mounting kit and it worked just fine. All I needed to do was ad an EVF or LCD and you're done.

They designed it like a handycam for a reason... If they built it like a red camera where its just a brick, it would cannibalize their upper end. DP's might take it too seriously and end up having the F3 on productions where the 9000PL might be used.

It was made to look a little consumer for a reason, this is not a mistake or poor judgment. The limitations are there so they don't ruin an entire line of cameras that cost much more.

Face it, if the F3 was the exact same specs and insides, but came in a metal housing, no ugly little view finder on the back, and just an option for a proper evf, this camera would be taken just as seriously as the Alexa. Once an F3 has the 444 option enabled its really a no brainier. This is a powerful camera, but it was put into a consumer body so they don't hurt their sales. They might also be coming out with another F4 type camera that could be just what I described above... who knows.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 11:09 PM   #90
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Interesting take Giuseppe, I believe you are onto something. Still the placement of the LCD?!!
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