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


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Old January 31st, 2011, 01:48 PM   #1
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63db S/N Accurate on F3?

The specs of the F3 have me drooling. However, I just finished perusing the BBC analysis for the EX3 and I noticed they rated the EX cameras at 44db. Much lower than Sony's stated 54db. Also, much has been written about the noise coming from the EX's. I love my EX3 and I have captured beautiful, clean pictures, but I've also captured a few noisy images as well. Anyone else think these figures may be just a bunch of marketing hooplah? I would love to see an independent test.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 07:53 PM   #2
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testing ...

As soon as someone has a production release it will be put through it's paces for sure. Mid-Feb to late-Feb the camera will be in the hands of the first buyers.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 08:38 PM   #3
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Dear Friends,

The footage from an F3, as recorded on a quality extrernal HD-SDI recorder looks great.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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That wouldn't be a 10 bit recorder, would it Dan? :)
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 03:42 AM   #5
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Dear James,

Yes, it would.

I attended a F3 Presentation over a month ago at Sony Pictures Studios.

We were shown footage from the camera itself, and from an external high-end recorder.

I am not trying to be coy, I just do not remember which recorder was used but I think it was a Sony HDCam HD deck. But it could have been their upcomming SR-R1 recorder.

In any case, the footage was just outstanding and to me it showcased the camera's low-noise capabilities.

Also, a friend, Alister Chapman, has tested the camera at various gain levels, including +18 dB gain, which showed a very low amount of gain noise.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 09:01 AM   #6
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Dan,
Not sure if the footage you're referring to is the same demo that I've seen, but much of the externally recorded footage utilized an HDcamSR deck.
There was also some footage at the demo from a different piece that was recorded with the NanoFlash at 50Mbps LongGOP 4:2:2 (The Ice skating wide shots, as I recall), which also looked excellent.
Since at this point there's quite a bit of demo footage out there, it does get a bit confusing...
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 10:00 AM   #7
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I'm hoping the April and NAB will shed some light on the future of external recording options.

I don't expect Sony's deck to be competitive with Nanoflash or Ki Pro pricing, but I'm hoping that it will be competitive with the Cinedeck Extreme. I'm aware that the Cinedeck has some issues - but it does set a baseline price for portable 4:4:4 recording.

Dan has elsewhere made compelling arguments for why the Nanoflash is a strong option against the Ki Pro Mini, and just as soon as the Nanoflash is available in a 10bit flavor, I think I'll agree wholeheartedly.

I realize Convergent Designs, like many companies, doesn't want to tip their hand on upcoming product development, but I'd have to assume they're watching the market trends and adjusting accordingly.

I'm holding off on a external recorder purchase until at least April. By then we should have some field reports on the Ki Pro Mini (and Atomos Ninja for that matter), and hopefully NAB will bring some fresh announcements.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 12:55 PM   #8
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The F3 is one of the quietest HD cameras I've ever seen. It certainly has a lot less noise than an EX1, and I do mean a lot less.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 01:52 AM   #9
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its accurate :)
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Old February 8th, 2011, 07:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Doherty View Post
I noticed they rated the EX cameras at 44db. Much lower than Sony's stated 54db.
From what I understand, the S/N of a camera will differ depending on whether it's measured in highlight or lowlight areas, and I believe it may be due to S/N being linear off the chip, but then affected by the gamma of the camera. Hardly surprisingly, manufacturers tend to choose what suits their marketing people best.

It may not matter which measurement method is used - but if you're comparing cameras it needs to be consistent from model to model.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 11:37 PM   #11
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The F3 is odd because of what Sony claims its "natural" ISO is vs What the menu states as +0dB.

They claim 63dB S/N but is that on the 800ISO ( +6dB) claim of base sensitivity? or the +0dB which is 400 ISO in the camera. Mind you at ISO800 its grain less. At ISO400 the image is eerie its so spotless.

Just for reference ISO 800, looks like ISO 160 on my 5DmkII. ISO 3200 visually looks like ISO 640 on my 5D.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 12:24 AM   #12
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Does the F3 have an ISO indication option? Everything I've read says 800ISO 63db SNR. I always assumed that was at 0db. It's also indicated that in S-Log it's 1600ISO and 57db.

Where did you get 400ISO from?
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Old February 20th, 2011, 03:10 AM   #13
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In the menu you can select the camera to show "Gain" in ISO values. When you select your gain presets, LMH, -3 = ISO280, 0= ISO400, +3 = ISO580, +6=ISO800, +9= ISO1100, +12=ISO1600, +18=ISO3200

Essentially, 0dB = ISO400. Seems odd that they didnt make 0dB 800, but i suppose there is no "-9dB" for ISO280 in the broadcast world.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 10:20 PM   #14
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Re: 63db S/N Accurate on F3?

Mitch Gross just posted this on the other forum. "On the F3, 18db is indeed 6400 ISO. We have tested this and it tracks accurately."

There is something odd with yours if 0db is 400 in the menus?
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Old February 26th, 2011, 11:15 PM   #15
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Re: 63db S/N Accurate on F3?

Well i mean, if you select "L" on the gain switch -3dB and put it here, the camera says "ISO280". If you set 0dB to "L","M" or "H", it says ISO400.... i mean if 18dB is ISO6400 .,.... thats the best ISO6400 i ve ever seen....
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