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


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Old February 28th, 2011, 01:32 PM   #1
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PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

OK here we go. Here are some notes from testing my PMW-F3. First thing is… aliasing… a zone plate looks pretty bad with a fair amount of aliasing. I had heard rumours of this from others with pre-production units, but in the field I had not seen anything that would worry me. While the zone plate is not pretty, real world aliasing looks acceptable. I usually use brickwork and roof tiles to test for moire and these look clean on my F3. I think a fine patterned shirt could cause concern and I need to look into this further. I am surprised that there is not more about this on the web!

Excessive detail correction does increase the aliasing, however turning detail and aperture off does not reduce the aliasing significantly. Keep the detail level below -15 to avoid increasing the strength of the aliases. Above -15 the aliasing artefacts are more noticeable. Detail “Off” appears to be the same as Detail -25. Below -25 the image softens, below -45 very noticeably and there are some strange increases in aliasing below -50. For the moment I will be using detail at -17 or off.

The aperture setting can be used to add a little sharpness to the image to compensate for not using detail or a low detail setting. Aperture does not increase the appearance of the aliasing artefacts as strongly as the detail correction. I like the added crispness I can get with Aperture set to +30 combined with detail at -17. I would strongly recommend against using a raised aperture setting if you have detail higher than -15 as this will add sharpness to any detail corrected aliases and lead to twittering edges on horizontal and vertical lines.

Colours have that usual Sony look. Not bad and pretty natural looking, but for me a little on the green/yellow side. For a more natural 1:1 look I quite like these Matrix settings:
R-G +10, R-B +4, G-R 0, G-B +14, B-R +3, B-G -3, Std Matrix.

For a more Canon like look with Rec-709 gamma I came up with these:
R-G -2, R-B +9, G-R -11, G-B +2, B-R -16, B-G -10, Std Matrix, level +14, Blk Gamma -20

For use with Cinegamma 1 I use the above with Matrix Level +25, Blk Gamma -36. Highlights are a little washy, but as with any Cinegamma the best results are obtained by grading in post production.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 04:34 PM   #2
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

Thanks Alister. Looking forward to trying
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Old February 28th, 2011, 06:23 PM   #3
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

Thanks alistair.

The manual doesn't really describe what any of these settings do..... So odd.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #4
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

Thanks Alister, I'll take a look at these.

T.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 08:06 AM   #5
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

My F3 will be here via Fedex this morning. I'll be sure to try your settings in my week of testing.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 08:14 AM   #6
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

Brilliant Alister. Thanks!
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Old March 7th, 2011, 06:31 AM   #7
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

I've been working some more on picture profiles for the PMW-F3, mainly matrix settings. You can download the full set from here: XDCAM-USER.COM PMW F3 Picture Profile Smorgasbord. unzip and place the "Sony" folder in the root of an SxS card or SD card in an adapter. Place the card in the camera and go into the "others" menu and select "camera data" and "recall" to load the data into your camera. This will overwrite any PP's you already have.

Here's the latest settings I have:

ALL use Detail level -17, Frequency +20, Aperture +25 unless otherwise stated.

AC Warm1: Warm look, less blue/yellow

Cinegamma 1, Black Gamma -25, Black Level -2.

Matrix: Standard, level +8, R-G +14, R-B +12, G-R +4, G-B +8, B-R +4, B-G -18

AC Cool1: Stark cool look, maybe day for night.

Cinegamma 1, Black Gamma -25, Black Level -2.

Matrix: Standard, level +22, R-G -44, R-B -24, G-R -34, G-B =28, B-R -7, B-G -69

AC Elec1: Electronic, vivid look.

Gamma STD1, Black Gamma -20, black level -3, Detail Level -10, Frequency -40

Matrix Hi-Sat,

NAT1CG-1: Neutral Look, natural colors, less yellow/green.

Cinegamma 1, Black Level -2

Matrix FL-Light, Level +3, R-G +2, R-B +2, G-R +8, G-B +8, B-R -8, B-G -6

Note that for most of these I have used a cinegamma, that is because I would assume that post work will be done on the footage. If your not planning on doing any grading or post work you should consider using a standard gamma which will give a richer looking image or cinegamma 2 which is broadcast safe.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #8
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

Thanks Alister
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Old March 11th, 2011, 11:01 PM   #9
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

@Alister,
I found the NAT1CG to be a bit noisy in low light. I see you have not mentioned crsipening in any of your settings. Is it irrelevant with the F3?
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Old March 12th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #10
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

Crispening is not irrelevant. I just feel that the camera is quiet enough not to have to mess around with the crispening. Of course the more variety of shots that I do with the camera then the more I'll learn about it's behaviour and that might change.

I'm surprised to hear you say you find that one more noisy than any of the others as the gamma isn't getting stretched and it's CG1 which I use in some of the other profiles.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 11:14 AM   #11
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

Thanks Alister! I'll try these as soon as I get the opertunity.

I have a few questions regarding gammas that are keeping me awake at night. This might be the right thread to get help.

This is my situation. I always grade my footage and want to squeeze as much information as possible in to it. With my EX1r I used to alternate between CG1 for bright high contrast situations and STD3 for indoors and controlled light situations.

The F3 has some new gammas and I don't quite understand which one i should use were I used to use STD3. Is the new STD5 the same? What does the fact that it is limited to REC709 really mean? Is it a color thing (709 has to do with colour space, does it not?) or has it got to do with video levels (gamma)?

Sorry if I am mixing things up here. I feel a bit confused...

Also - when I record using STD5 or CG1 I always get video levels above 100%. When grading I always push these down from 108% to 100% to make video levels safe. Is this the right way to do it or should I ever leave the whites above 100% untouched.

Please help me get back on track.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 08:04 PM   #12
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

Rec-709 is the closest to Std 3 on the EX cameras. Basically REC-709 is the standard gamma and colour space for broadcast HD video, so all HD video cameras should be capable of REC-709 or something close to it. REC-709 defines the colour space and gamma. Colour space is restricted to a particular range so that no matter what camera it is shot on the pictures should look correct on an HD TV or monitor, the same with the gamma curve.

If you are doing anything for broadcast then the levels should be brought down to 100%. Material that will be distributed on Blu-Ray or on the internet can exceed 100% but should never exceed 109% However some TV's or displays may clip whites back down to 100%, while internet delivered material often looks less than peak white when you do not go all the way up to 109.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #13
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

Thanks Alister!

That was kind of what I suspected. Now - that would mean that I am loosing a lot of lattitude when using REC-709 compared to a Cinegamma. I am very happy with CG1 for high contrast situations. Which Cinegamma would be best for controlled light situations instead of ST5 (REC-709) to maximize lattitude but with similar characteristics as STD5?
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Old March 15th, 2011, 11:04 PM   #14
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

Alister, what does the aperture do as opposed to the detail, and why do you have the frequency set up to +20?
Are these settings different than you used n an EX?
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Old March 16th, 2011, 02:16 PM   #15
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Re: PMW-F3 Scene Files. First look.

Hello
Long time lurker, first time poster.
Recently got my F3 and loving it so far, coming from a film back ground using PL lenses are wonderful!
I tried downloading the scene files Alister posted but I dont see a "Sony" folder.
Also, where am i suppose to put the Sony folder, below the BPAV folder?
Please help!
Thank you in advance.
C
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