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


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Old April 1st, 2011, 05:22 AM   #16
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Re: F3 BBC Report

I was a little surprised to see that Alan forgot to add the customary conclusion to his report. Reading in between the lines, is it fair to assume that along with an external recorder the F3 is 100% compliant with the BBC's (and Discovery/Nat Geo) HD requirements?
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Old April 1st, 2011, 02:35 PM   #17
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Re: F3 BBC Report

I always wonder how the heck are they going to know what whether you used a nanoflash or SxS cards?
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Old April 1st, 2011, 02:45 PM   #18
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Re: F3 BBC Report

I think there is a machine that spots the characteristics of different cameras and recording systems. All part of checking SD or up-rezzed material within an HD programme.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 03:20 PM   #19
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Re: F3 BBC Report

Can they really tell SxS 1080 4:2:0 from 4:2:2 ? I'm dubious but very interested.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 09:56 PM   #20
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Re: F3 BBC Report

You can if you know what to look for very easily spot the difference between 4:2:0 interlaced and 4:2:2 interlace. With progressive it's a lot harder, but the difference can be seen as a difference in chroma resolution from horizontal to vertical.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 03:47 AM   #21
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Re: F3 BBC Report

Have you guys heard of shows getting busted for trying to pass?
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 07:52 AM   #22
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Re: F3 BBC Report

I don't know about busted, but I've heard of BBC shows needing to redo material and they weren't even HD.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 10:48 AM   #23
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Re: F3 BBC Report

Yes, a major UK based production company is having to re-shoot an entire series after trying to pass off XDCAM EX as XDCAM HD. They were contracted to shoot on XDCAM HD but used EX instead. It's possible that they may also get sued.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 02:59 AM   #24
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Re: F3 BBC Report

Alister,
Do you know how they were caught? Was it the footage itself, or did they get busted in some other way - i.e word of mouth, set photos, etc.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 04:17 AM   #25
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Re: F3 BBC Report

No, I don't know.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 09:20 AM   #26
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Re: F3 BBC Report

As a documentary editor when you look at material you get a feel for picture characteristics. When cutting a mixture of formats together although there is nothing wrong it can be easy in many cases to spot EX1 material for example in amongst HDCAM pictures as the lens quality can jump out at you if nothing else.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 10:56 AM   #27
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Re: F3 BBC Report

The engineers tend to use higher quality monitors, which reveal flaws giving clinical, rather than the nicest looking pictures.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 02:22 PM   #28
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Re: F3 BBC Report

Lens quality is pretty easu to spot, but for example, would you be able to easily spot EX or F3 footage shot on a Nanoflash at 8 bit 4:2:2 from an SxS card at 8 bit 4:2:0. Lots of people have said you generally only see it in the grading.
Who's to say how you shot the camera unless there is a real gotcha. Do they do an investigation with interviews and make you swear on the bible?

I've been asking this of a few people recently and no one has given me a clear answer except they have good monitors and are smart engineers. No doubt but what is it they will look for if the images look good as we know they can from either an EX or F3 if shot right in the first place. Certainly as good as lots of stuff shot on 720 HDCam did.

There must be people BS'ing this and getting away with it but I guess they're not about to come forward are they. Kind of like cheating on your taxes.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 03:09 PM   #29
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Re: F3 BBC Report

I was recently involved with a documentary for a major UK broadcaster who insisted on XDCAM HD 50Mbps. Fair enough as they are the commissioner.

I explained the additional cost to the producer who had planned to shoot XDCAM EX (PMW350/EX1/3). The producer explained to the commissioner that XDCAM HD would cost x pounds more. They then decided that XDCAM EX would be fine. The additional cost was small, I think we added about 50% cost of the Nanoflash and CF cards but it was enough to make XDCAM EX "good enough."

I would never lie to a client but if if they want higher end kit, the budget should reflect those demands.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 03:32 PM   #30
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Re: F3 BBC Report

Regarding lens quality....

On F3 footage, regardless of using a nano or not, a poor lens will taint the image more than a sub-par recording media. I suggest folks budget for renting good lenses, prior to shooting important projects.
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