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


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Old March 5th, 2011, 11:38 AM   #16
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

Yeah, there was a report listing Sony's 1TB recorder at a cost of - get this - $40,000.00.

That is stupid. We're talking O's and 1's. Lacie is rumored to have a 500 gig SSD drive for $300.

I keep thinking that Canon will respond and give us what we want.

35mm imager that is as good as Sony F3.
True 24P, 30 P and at least 60P @ 1920x1080
XLR audio input w/ phantom.
HDSDI
Camera's computer controlled Log output (or RAW) via Apple's THUNDERBOLT (IOW, plug and play).
Choice of view finders.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #17
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

Not my work, mind you, but I'm happy to link you to the goods. Now if only I could find a model like that for my camera tests...
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Old March 5th, 2011, 12:16 PM   #18
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau View Post
Yeah, there was a report listing Sony's 1TB recorder at a cost of - get this - $40,000.00.

That is stupid. We're talking O's and 1's. Lacie is rumored to have a 500 gig SSD drive for $300.

I keep thinking that Canon will respond and give us what we want.

35mm imager that is as good as Sony F3.
True 24P, 30 P and at least 60P @ 1920x1080
XLR audio input w/ phantom.
HDSDI
Camera's computer controlled Log output (or RAW) via Apple's THUNDERBOLT (IOW, plug and play).
Choice of view finders.
Jacques, wouldn't Sony's recorder allow recording to a better color space and codec? That's what you are paying for. $30-60k is pretty standard for 4:4:4 recorder.

I don't think a LaCie 500GB drive will improve the images you record, since it would still be recording 4:2:2 XDCAM @ 35Mb/s.

Regarding 24p, 30p and 60p @ 1920x1080, the F3 does all of those.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 12:45 PM   #19
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

Maybe what I want is impossible or I just have it wrong, but from what I think I understand:

a) ALL of these signals are comprised of Zeros and Ones -
so, 4:4:4 is just another string of them - RAW same thing.

b) The imager is producing electronic signal made up of 0&1s and passing that along a digital pipeline where it can be further processed (compressed or turned into HDSDI or whatever CODE/SIGNAL.

c) With enough ON-Board processing, different signals can be generated for output.

d) IF the camera were able to 'talk' to a hard drive (via its own on-board computer) giving directions to an external hard drive (via thunderbolt) to record when the record button is pushed,

e) it would appear that as long as the drive had sufficient bandwidth, it should be possible for an inexpensive Lacie type drive to record 4:4:4.

Computers used to cost millions. Now Smartphones have super computer capability, so why not?
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Old March 5th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #20
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

If you can't grok the difference between 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 or the merits of uncompressed (or lightly compressed) vs highly compressed, then you're probably right. The $500 option will work fine for you.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 12:55 PM   #21
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

Forgive me, but your response does not address what I stated.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #22
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau View Post
Maybe what I want is impossible or I just have it wrong, but from what I think I understand:

a) ALL of these signals are comprised of Zeros and Ones -
so, 4:4:4 is just another string of them - RAW same thing.
Yes Data is Data but data must be conformed for its purpose. This is why you just can't take a raw stream of video data from the sensor and simply write it to a hard drive. Thinking that you should be able to, tells me that you have a bit to learn about how all this stuff works.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau View Post
b) The imager is producing electronic signal made up of 0&1s and passing that along a digital pipeline where it can be further processed (compressed or turned into HDSDI or whatever CODE/SIGNAL.
Yes, and that signal must be packaged into something usable by components further down the signal line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau View Post
c) With enough ON-Board processing, different signals can be generated for output.
True, but irrelevant to the LaCie Drive discussion. Anything short of an 6/Gb e-sata port and additional processors IN THE CAMERA, you won't be able to record anything other than the camera's built in XDCAM codec to a $500 drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau View Post
d) IF the camera were able to 'talk' to a hard drive (via its own on-board computer) giving directions to an external hard drive (via thunderbolt) to record when the record button is pushed,
That's a nice thought. Very futuristic. No cameras have Thunderbolt ports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau View Post
e) it would appear that as long as the drive had sufficient bandwidth, it should be possible for an inexpensive Lacie type drive to record 4:4:4.
Yes you are correct. I have SSD drives that I record 4:4:4 to. But you're forgetting one important part, the recorder that takes an SDI signal and turns it into a file that can be written to a hard drive. A $500 LaCie drives does not and will not have the capability to turn an SDI signal into a recordable file. Even though it's all just ones and zeros as you say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau View Post
Computers used to cost millions. Now Smartphones have super computer capability, so why not?
True but irrelevant. Why not? Because I'm working with what's possible, today.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #23
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

Even so, there's a difference between hardware and software driven operations. Even on a workstation computer today you add dedicated hardware to provide reliable real time processing for high resolution video - take the RED Rocket for instance.

Software implementations may be cheap when possible - write the code once, then distribute it.

Regarding just feeding the SDI data stream into a hard drive... yes, it's 1s and 0s. But for 10bit 4.2.2 it's 1.5GB/s, and for Dual Link it's 2.970GB/s.

Sony's upcoming recorder can handle up to 5GB/s data stream - so technically this might be possible, but those cards will be super expensive.

By comparison, consumer SSD drives have a read/write speed much closer to 230MB/s

Now, if you were able to record the whole SDI data stream to a 1TB hard drive of some sort, you'd only have space for about 12 minutes of 4:2:2 10bit footage, or 6 minutes of 4:4:4 footage.

Using the HDCamSR codec on Sony's upcoming recorder, a 1TB card could hold about 40minutes at 440MB/s.

Please correct my math if it's wrong.

The next thing is, how would you get the NLE to interpret the container file?

This just doesn't seem feasible to me...
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Old March 5th, 2011, 01:18 PM   #24
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

Thanks Aaron. Yes, I am not well versed in digital processing and engineering technology. I'll admit I am not expert as most of my time is working on the front lines of production, and I truly understand it when people say things like, "But can't you just ...". NO, WE CAN JUST OR WE WOULD !!!

We all want the best for pennies, and honestly, with what we can to with the cost of todays tools like the F3 is beyond amazing. I get it and appreciate how far and fast things have come.

Best,

jacques
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Old March 5th, 2011, 01:21 PM   #25
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

And, what I am looking for is something closer to RAW 'visually lossless' (ala red) than true uncompressed.
A codec that can hold up for green screen and similar post production loads like decent color correction capability, but closer to what a Lacie SSD could handle.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 01:30 PM   #26
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

Then what you want Jacques, is the S-log option (upgrade) for the F3 and record the dual-link output of the F3. We all wish would could simply route the SDI signal to a hard drive but alas you need a recorder to do that task for you. Recorders are expensive.

Using this kind of workflow will get you as close as possible to recording exactly what the sensor sees and without "baking in" any compromises to the recorded data, similar to what you say "like RED", raw.

However, the F3 dual SDI out will allow you to record the data "uncompressed", something you can't do on RED until the EPIC starts shipping.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 01:31 PM   #27
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau View Post
And, what I am looking for is something closer to RAW 'visually lossless' (ala red) than true uncompressed.
A codec that can hold up for green screen and similar post production loads like decent color correction capability, but closer to what a Lacie SSD could handle.
But see, now you're asking for a codec. Now you do want the camera to do some form of processing, to reduce the data stream and put it in a container file. That requires additional dedicated hardware. Next you need the hardware to drive the interface with the recording drive - whether that be an SxS card, P2 card, SDXC, a consumer SSD hard drive, or Sony SR Memory.

These aren't purely software implementations where an ingenious coder can unlock the potential of the camera. The hardware used to encode the EXCAM-EX format video files can't magically be given a firmware update to encode in the 50Mbps 4:2:2 pro XDCAM format.

This is one reason why we have the high quality industry standard SDI and Dual Link outputs, that allow us to attach external recording modules. But those recorders have specific hardware components to decode the incoming video signal, then compress and encode it to a selected and supported codec, and then hardware to interface with the recording drive to feed it the data.

On the bottom you've got SxS XDCAM-EX, at the top you've got some recorders and codec for 4:4:4 at a much higher expense, and in the middle there are a few 4:2:2 options like the Nanoflash and the Ki Pro. That's the market, that's what's an option for this camera.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 01:45 PM   #28
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

Any idea when Sony plans to release the S-log option?

What kind of bandwidth are we talking with S-Log

What's needed to accomplish this task in terms of hardware and money?
(Codex digital recorder or some other out of my price range recorder?)
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Old March 5th, 2011, 01:52 PM   #29
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

S-Log comes out April, and is apparently $3,500 license fee, additional to the camera cost. That fee also unlocks 4:4:4.

S-Log is a gamma curve - at minimum 10bit 4:2:2 is advised to have enough data for post. But it's not automatically necessary to work in 4:4:4 to take advantage of the S-Log gamma curve.

That means the Ki Pro and Ki Pro Mini ought to be an option. The Cindeck Extreme is about $10k and can record 4:2:2 or 4:4:4, and like the Ki Pro options, it's portable.

Tethered, you could do 4:4:4 recording to a $1k Blackmagic card by recording direct to a Mac Pro tower. That's the cheapest 4:4:4 option, but the the tether is a significant caveat.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 02:01 PM   #30
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Re: Report: F3 looks almost the same a EX3

James said it all. I record to either Cinedeck SSD 4:4:4 and 4:2:2, or to my Convergent Designs Flash XDR with 8bit 4:2:2.

I don't actually own any SxS cards to use the F3 internal recorder, but eventually I'll have to get some. Having small proxy / backup files is just too good to pass up.
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