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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old January 6th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #1
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A note about the PMW-F3 pre-production units

All,

Here is a quick note about the pre-production PMW-F3 cameras currently being used for tests, demos and so forth. These cameras are pre-production units and do not represent the feature set, implementation of the official release version of the camera, due in February.

Also keep in mind, as with most new generation file based cameras, the firmware will be updated over time to expand the feature set.

Thank you for your enthusiasm and continued support!

Regards

Peter Crithary
Marketing Manager, Production
Sony Professional Solutions of America
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Old January 6th, 2011, 02:06 PM   #2
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Thanks for addressing this Peter, I'm glad we got to meet on Tuesday, and figure it all out.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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Hi Peter,

Welcome to DVinfo. It's great to have your participation here.
I look forward to meeting up with you again in a couple of weeks at Rule.

I suggest that anyone who is located in the Boston area, and is interested in seeing an F3 in person, plan on attending Rule's Learning Lab from 10:00-12:00 on Wednesday January 19th.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Crithary View Post
All,
Also keep in mind, as with most new generation file based cameras, the firmware will be updated over time to expand the feature set.
]
Peter,
I'm sure it is. But on my EX1 (S/N #68) I had to pay for the firmware updates and send to the factory. Will they be free updates like canon does with their gear? Will the 4:4:4 Option be a free update for early adapters or will we have to pay for that update to? Will we be able to download the firmware to manually upgrade?

I'd also love to see the S&Q do 1080 60P. Is that a firmware deal too?

Thanks!
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Old January 6th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #5
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If they're not even including a battery and a charger with the camera, I doubt they'll provide free firmware updates.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 01:52 AM   #6
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It's well publicised that the 4:4:4 option is a chargeable upgrade option. It won't be free.

Sony's firmware updates are almost always free. However on early EX's updating the firmware could not be done by the end user without a high risk of bricking the camera. What you were paying for was for someone to install the upgrade correctly. I would guess that the F3 will be the same as the EX1R where the end user can self install firmware updates.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 02:05 AM   #7
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Really?! thats better. I have one on pre-order, Its a lot of money to not get any updates. What's the cost on the 4:4:4 option? Anyone know yet?
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Old January 7th, 2011, 02:52 AM   #8
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I owned a PDW-F350 from 2006 to 2008. The firmware updates were fast and furious for quite a while, and they were all free.

I have heard as well that the 444 option will be software only, but will definitely be a paid thing.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 06:46 AM   #9
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I think I saw $1,200 - $1,500 US somewhere.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 08:01 AM   #10
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It didn't take long with the EX1 (and I have one of the first also) before the firmware files and explicit instructions to upgrade were available online for free - but not officially from Sony. I also paid to have my EX1 firmware upgraded the first time, but have done it myself ever since. I helped a friend update his EX1 right after I had paid to do mine and it was an easy and flawless process

No doubt Sony's decision to require an authorized service center firmware upgrade was due to the very real possibility of 'bricking' the camera, but once the exact routine was published, that turned out to not be much of an issue.

I don't think paying $1200 - $1500 for the 4:4:4: option is uncalled for and we can only hope it also possibly includes an update to 4:2:2 for the internal recording codec.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 09:54 AM   #11
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I don't think paying $1200 - $1500 for the 4:4:4: option is uncalled for and we can only hope it also possibly includes an update to 4:2:2 for the internal recording codec.
Bruce, I asked Sony about this and they said the camera was not designed with an upgrade to the onboard recording in mind. It wasn't a definitive "no" but the rep said he didn't think anything was planned.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #12
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This pricing matrix Sony is developing for this camera is going to be revealing for a lot of people as this camera is going into new territory for the video industry. This is really the first time that a camera has been introduced into the prosumer market that goes very far into the realm of high-end production cameras where dropping 3 thousand, 5 thousand and even 10 thousand dollars on things is quite commonplace.

As an example, the operators who work with F35s and Genesis cameras who are directly targeted to buy these cameras will be saying "bring it on, bring it on" when they here the upgrade to get 444 10 bit will ONLY cost them 1500 bucks. Frankly, I was expecting the upgrade to cost between 3 and 5 grand given the access to markets this camera will bring. If Sony is charging only 1000 bucks (which I have heard floated), is because they expect the prosumer customers to be complaining about the upgrade cost as being unfair. Sony understands this is a significant part of their numbers on this camera and will get their pound of flesh out of the recorder/media costs.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #13
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I was expecting the upgrade to cost between 3 and 5 grand
This was the price I was told from my sony dealer in Alberta last week..
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