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


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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #1
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PMW F3 sensor cleaning

This might seem like a mundane question, but it's important to me, and I haven't seen an answer yet.
How are we going to keep the F3 sensor clean? Has Sony said anything about this? I've always been a big fan of Sony's designs, but their service department is another story. Won't the large sensor need cleaning on a regular basis? Is this something that a user can do without violating the warranty? If not, do I have to send the camera back to Sony (i.e., kiss it goodbye for a lengthy, undefined period of time)?

And, as long as I'm posting niggling little questions: does anyone know if Sony plans to include a few basic accessories with the camera? Battery, charger, etc? I've ordered one without the lenses ( I have a drawer full of Nikon glass and an MTF adapter on order )--don't know if I even get a body cap with it.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #2
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It won't be any different to any other removable lens camcorder. The sensor itself is buried well behind the optical port and filter wheel, so in practice the only thing you can clean without full workshop facilities will be the optical port. This should also be the only thing that ever needs cleaning unless some bozo with canned air has blasted a ton of dust into the camera body (I've seen more camera wrecked by the use of canned air than any other single issue).

AFAIK the standard kits will not include batteries or chargers. These will be optional items.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 12:21 PM   #3
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Thanks. Now that you mention it, I did read that the camera had a ND filter wheel. That must be pretty substantial, given the size of the sensor. Didn't realize that there was also an "optical port" between the sensor and the outside world. I've never done any critical testing, but the ND filter on my HPX-500 looks like it degrades the image, especially if I have the lens wide open. I'm curious to find out what happens with the ND on the F3.

You'd hope that anyone who can spend over $10k on a camera would know enough not to squirt propellant all over the sensor, but I guess it's a big world out there....
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Old December 27th, 2010, 01:15 PM   #4
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AFAIK the standard kits will not include batteries or chargers. These will be optional items.
Very surprised at that. I would have assumed the F3 package would, like the EX series cams, include a 30 watt hour battery, charger and 1 SxS card, presumably the 16GB this time around along with sundry cables...

Not that this is going to be an issue for many of us who plan to keep their EX cam around.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 01:59 PM   #5
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Looks like a hand-held camcorder, sort of, but doesn't come with the extras we're used to getting with a little camera. Bigger, shoulder-mounted cameras don't come with batteries, so I suppose that's Sony's logic. I'm not crazy about having to buy another charger and batts. Has anyone seen a good way to put a brick on it?
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Old December 27th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #6
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Looks like a hand-held camcorder, sort of, but doesn't come with the extras we're used to getting with a little camera. Bigger, shoulder-mounted cameras don't come with batteries, so I suppose that's Sony's logic. I'm not crazy about having to buy another charger and batts. Has anyone seen a good way to put a brick on it?
There are alot of 4 pin to various mounts (v mount or AB) options, thats what I plan on using to power it.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 05:11 PM   #7
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Any one better than the others?
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Old December 27th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #8
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Any one better than the others?
I have this:

IDX C-EBXLR V-Mount Plate with 4-pin XLR C-EB-XLR B&H Photo


I've never had a problem with any IDX stuff in the past, thats why I went with this.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #9
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Thanks. Now that you mention it, I did read that the camera had a ND filter wheel. That must be pretty substantial, given the size of the sensor. Didn't realize that there was also an "optical port" between the sensor and the outside world. I've never done any critical testing, but the ND filter on my HPX-500 looks like it degrades the image, especially if I have the lens wide open. I'm curious to find out what happens with the ND on the F3.

You'd hope that anyone who can spend over $10k on a camera would know enough not to squirt propellant all over the sensor, but I guess it's a big world out there....
Jim,

The ND function is not a wheel type but instead, a pretty ingenous dual shutter that slides vertically in front of the sensor.

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Last edited by Thierry Humeau; December 27th, 2010 at 09:39 PM.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #10
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Ryan - the IDX adapter looks solid, just wondering how and where to attach something like that to the F3. For balance, I'd put it in back, but I hate to block connectors and card slots.

Thierry - Thanks for the clarification on the ND function of the camera. Are there any diagrams or more detailed descriptions? Other than reducing the amount of light that hits the sensor, does this shutter
have any impact on how the camera records motion? I'm really glad to hear that the ND isn't an actual filter--can't see how that wouldn't cause trouble...
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Old December 27th, 2010, 06:14 PM   #11
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Ryan - the IDX adapter looks solid, just wondering how and where to attach something like that to the F3. For balance, I'd put it in back, but I hate to block connectors and card slots.

Thierry - Thanks for the clarification on the ND function of the camera. Are there any diagrams or more detailed descriptions? Other than reducing the amount of light that hits the sensor, does this shutter
have any impact on how the camera records motion? I'm really glad to hear that the ND isn't an actual filter--can't see how that wouldn't cause trouble...
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Old December 27th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #12
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Ryan - the IDX adapter looks solid, just wondering how and where to attach something like that to the F3. For balance, I'd put it in back, but I hate to block connectors and card slots.
Hey Jim,

I have a zaucto base plate, with the rods, which I intend to use with the camera. I also have a redrock micro plate;
Redrock Micro MICROBALANCEPLUS ACCESSORY PLATE 2-068-0001 B&H

which I attached the mentioned adapter to one side, and on the other side just a v mount plate to hold a batt to power various other accessories, like monitor or a nanoflash.

The plate is a little pricey, I am sure someone more handy than myself could've made one quite easily, but I had this plate for a little while thought I would put it to use.

Ryan
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Old December 27th, 2010, 08:10 PM   #13
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Wow. An dovetail offset cheese plate. That looks handy.

Looks like the F3 is going to need rails, one way or the other. I've got an assortment of stuff for my 5D, but now I'll have to find a good base plate for this camera.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 09:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jim Tittle View Post
Ryan - the IDX adapter looks solid, just wondering how and where to attach something like that to the F3. For balance, I'd put it in back, but I hate to block connectors and card slots.

Thierry - Thanks for the clarification on the ND function of the camera. Are there any diagrams or more detailed descriptions? Other than reducing the amount of light that hits the sensor, does this shutter
have any impact on how the camera records motion? I'm really glad to hear that the ND isn't an actual filter--can't see how that wouldn't cause trouble...
By shutter, I meant that the ND filters are just dropping down in front of the sensor and stay there. Not like a SLR like shutter that goes down and up. I am sure that the quality of the ND material should not affect at all the picture quality. The thing to keep in mind when using ND is to always use enough ND filtering so you are a stop or two away from your lens's smalest aperture setting.

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Old December 27th, 2010, 10:40 PM   #15
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Thierry,

Don't you mean LARGEST aperture setting?
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