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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 12:29 PM   #31
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Re: Handholding an F3?

QUOTE: "Hand held has traditionally meant using a camera without a tripod or similar and body stabilization systems

For the best quality hand held camera work you usually need two or three points of support, this becomes more important as the cameras become heavier and especially if the cameras don't have an image stabilization systems.

Hand held means more than holding the camera in your hand, it's a short hand for operating the camera without an other means of support, just using your body. Of course, you move the camera using your hand, but it's also stabilized using parts of your body.

The advantage of your shoulder is that you can hold the camera for longer periods of time compared to just using your hand. Cameras like the F3, with 35mm cine lenses, are getting beyond the handicam PD 150 type form - the Canon XF 300 is probably is just about the limit, although I wouldn't like to hold that like a handicam for too long."

First of all, let me say that I not a photographic neophyte, and to arrive at such an assumption without knowledge aforethought is a tad insulting. That said, I am fully aware of the advantage of a shoulder mounted camera, since I currently own and use a TRUE shoulder mount (PMW-350) and have owned numerous others over the years. However, to imply that hand-holding is anything more than the phrase literally implies is grossly misleading, regardless of its jargon usage. If that were the case, all shoulder mount cameras should likewise be considered hand-holdable cameras and while I guess, in some very specific circumstances, they can be used as such for POV grabs when held by the handle—that was not the intent of their design. It's unfortunate that a large sector of today's younger population has chosen to alter the English language to the extent that literal comprehension cannot be easily accomplished. So if your lexicon portrays hand-holding as anything that is not tripod mounted, I guess I understand why. However, I personally will continue to view the phrase in the literal, and for me, a shoulder mount is a shoulder mount, not a handheld mount.

BTW, I currently own an F3 and can say that it is by design a hand-holdable camera. I must admit, however, that it is not the best rendition of the aforementioned—given its ergonomics—but it was clearly not intended to be a shoulder mounted device.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 12:54 PM   #32
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Re: Handholding an F3?

For years I've had the same solution for an HVX, EX-1 and now for the F3. A monopod with a cheap manfrotto tilt plate sitting in a fanny pack on my waist. I've been shooting with it though not with a rails or matte box and its been fine. Comfortable, flexible and not exhausting. TVLogic has been essential for focus though and I would prefer a decent EVF since the hoodman doesn't seem safe on this flip out.

It seems fine to me though I'm long overdue for comparing it to a shoulder rig I have around here to see if I really am as stable as it feels. Maybe I've been fooling myself.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 01:19 PM   #33
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Re: Handholding an F3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Wilk View Post
QUOTE: However, I personally will continue to view the phrase in the literal, and for me, a shoulder mount is a shoulder mount, not a handheld mount.

BTW, I currently own an F3 and can say that it is by design a hand-holdable camera. I must admit, however, that it is not the best rendition of the aforementioned—given its ergonomics—but it was clearly not intended to be a shoulder mounted device.
I apologise if my post appears insulting it wasn't intended to be.

Personally, I prefer clean designs that are ergonomically well thought out and given that Sony are intending to people to use PL mount lens, which can weigh 4 lbs without accessories, and the camera alone weighs just over 5lbs, the handicam form factor isn't the best.

I would say that people are seriously discussing modifying it into a shoulder camera and you can see one mod in the S-log behind the scenes video.

Abel Cine have made prototypes with ET and are discussing the mod with Sony. ET did a lot to make the RED One a more usable camera.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 04:04 PM   #34
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Re: Handholding an F3?

I just used the F3 again on a commercial. Full crew, mostly working off sliders and jibs. (Tiny bit of handheld). I have to say, it's not a well designed camera. In terms of true design the F3 is terrible.

We ran with Zeiss CP2's, Zacuto baseplate, Arri MMB-1, Arri Followfocus, Small HD Monitor for me to operate from, NanoFlash, and a V Mount Battery at the back.

Not having a fully orientable viewfinder slowed us down. It's a huge step backwards. Very similar to working with a DSLR. The balance and the bulk of the rig was awkward.

It just seems to me that so many things have to be added to the camera to make it work. Things that should be included and designed into the camera.

If you have a look at Dieter Rams 10 principles for good design: Dieter Rams: ten principles for good design

I don't think that the F3 ticks any of the boxes!

I am sure that I will continue to use the F3 (I have jobs booked with it next week), but I won't be buying one.

At least with a Red it's designed as a camera, with a viewfinder, and a body that does not need bits added to it. It's heavy, but by the time all of these bit's are added to an F3 I was wondering why I didn't just go ahead and rent in a Red MX? I have had great results from it with less hassle.

However, the only camera on the market at the moment that actually seems to have been designed is the Alexa. It is head an shoulders above the competition. (unfortunately the price also reflects that!)
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 04:15 PM   #35
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Re: Handholding an F3?

Understood and apology accepted.
I agree. It appears that the Sony design team has given little consideration to ergonomics with this camera format. First it was the ungainly duo, consisting of the EX1 and EX3, and now the F3. And I agree as well, that when used with PL lenses the camera quickly departs from the realm of hand-holdability.

I have been using the MTF adapter along with a bevy of old NIkon AI-S primes—they tend to add very little front-end weight. I plan to add a few Zeiss ZF lenses as well, and wish there was an adapter for the box of Leica M lenses that I have sitting on a shelf and which I use with a Leica M8.

As for Mr. Levy's mention of a monopod, on my supplier's recommendation, I have been using a Manfrotto monopod with detachable plate as well, and have found it to be a great alternative to a heavy tripod, albeit not quite as good for stability, but still better than nothing.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 10:25 PM   #36
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Re: Handholding an F3?

Although I've used just about every kind of camera in the business over the past 20 years, I own a DVX100 and EX3 and prefer smaller cameras as they generally are better for run&gun situations. That said, I have used a modified support plate on the EX3 with a Marzpak over-hang camera system for hand-held shots for the past 7 years for both the DVX100 and the EX3 that has kept my back in good order. The Marzpak is no longer being sold or built for that matter. I'm glad I got one when it was as it can easily carry 25 pounds (or more maybe ... haven't tried that yet) of weight in a balanced way. I have several mono-pods that I use in crowded situations that more or less works ... stability factors not the best ... that allows for the smaller cameras to be lifted above the crowd. I sweat each time I do this for fear of the camera falling but what the hey ... hasn't so far. Smaller cameras require some creative effort on the hand-held level ... I can see that the F3 is going to push this shoulder support effort to new heights
Peter Mykusz shows a photo of a tripod mounted system that will translate into a shoulder mount with some ease that I like very much.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 01:03 AM   #37
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Re: Handholding an F3?

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Originally Posted by Dean Harrington View Post
Although I've used just about every kind of camera in the business over the past 20 years, I own a DVX100 and EX3 and prefer smaller cameras as they generally are better for run&gun situations.
It's horses for courses, but I've always prefered any of my ENG-style 2/3" cameras for run-and-gun. With fast servo zoom, sharp B&W viewfinders, excellent shoulder balance and ergonomics, they are ideal for R&G.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 01:17 AM   #38
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Re: Handholding an F3?

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Originally Posted by Ben Ruffell View Post
At least with a Red it's designed as a camera, with a viewfinder, and a body that does not need bits added to it. It's heavy, but by the time all of these bit's are added to an F3 I was wondering why I didn't just go ahead and rent in a Red MX? I have had great results from it with less hassle.
When it came out the RED One was wasn't a good hand held camera, you can find many threads on a number of cinematography sites about the subject. It was ET and other 3rd party manufacturers who produced the accessories needed to make the RED better.

It seems that some RED One owners are losing business to both the F3 and the Alexa. There could be an element of new kid on the block, but also the non RAW workflow seems to be a cost factor for some producers.

Strangely, the cheaper FS100 looks like a better modular design.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 02:54 AM   #39
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Re: Handholding an F3?

Just shot my friends blues band in small cramped dark club. F3 on monopod with TVLogic 5.6 and Nikon 17-35 and 28-70 f2.8 shutter off, 18 DB.
Shot for 2 hours steady and I'm still standing.
I could shoot eye- level, waist-level, knee-level and a foot above my head. Hold the camera over the drums while moving it around or swinging underneath and 2' away from an incredible blues guitarist, and all the while watching focus with the TVlogic and changing those different levels in moments. Monopod took the weight most of the time.

Its got its flaws and I would love a decent EVF , but this camera can rock

Actually started to see a use for the god forsaken rear viewfinder . If you run with it in B&W the peaking is still red and stands out.
My beef is exteriors because there's no decent EVF and the hinge on the flip out seems to weak to support a hoodman.

All in all I think for run and gun there are advantages to little cameras with flip out or add on monitors, and to traditional shoulder mount cameras - depends what you're shooting.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 03:20 AM   #40
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Re: Handholding an F3?

On the 3D commercial shoot I did the other week the focus puller was able to look at the LCD on the side of the F3 with peaking on, to confirm focus, while the DoP and myself worked with a transvideo 3D monitor.

The F3 really isn't a run and gun camera in the traditional handycam sense. The lack of high range, servo zooms (for now) and the inherent shallow DoF and maybe even auto iris or one-push iris make it hard work compared to an EX1 or similar.

The FS-100 was designed to be modular. When I and others were invited to Sony to meet the design team it was one of the recurring messages that we gave and clearly they listened. It will be interesting to see whether other future designs follow the FS-100 style or continue to follow the more traditional F3 style.

I've been using a monopod with my F3 as because I no longer need my left hand to support the weight, that hand is free to concentrate of focus and iris etc. I also think that the F3 is a good candidate for a Turtle Rig or similar.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 07:21 AM   #41
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Re: Handholding an F3?

Here are two very promising solutions for better balance and ergonomics. Both assume a third party EVF is used.

EXMount
EXMount.com

MovieTube CR
MOVIEtube CR

Thierry
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Old May 10th, 2011, 07:44 PM   #42
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Re: Handholding an F3?

And I noticed this in the Movietube description:

"...options for broadcast view finders from Sony and Panasonic in SD/HD, color or b/w, PAL/NTSC"

That would be pretty cool.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 03:58 PM   #43
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Re: Handholding an F3?

Here is a 12 min story for swedish television that I shot and edited last week on my F3. It has some handheld using my easyrig. It aired tonight and you can watch it 44:30 minutes into the show. Uppdrag granskning | SVT Play
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Old May 12th, 2011, 06:54 PM   #44
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Re: Handholding an F3?

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Originally Posted by Ola Christoffersson View Post
Here is a 12 min story for swedish television that I shot and edited last week on my F3. It has some handheld using my easyrig. It aired tonight and you can watch it 44:30 minutes into the show. Uppdrag granskning | SVT Play
The Marzpak is similar to the easy rig. Too bad they went out of business!
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