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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old May 5th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #1
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F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.


It is what it is. The F3, VG10 and Canon T2i, same shot, same lens.

Have to admit the VG10 and T2i are not so bad until you look at the aliasing. Also note the different frame sizes, F3 gives the widest image of the three by quite a bit. You can download the original clips from http://www.xdcam-user.com/2011/05/co...s-to-download/ (Chris H or other mods... feel free to grab the zip file and host it here).
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Old May 5th, 2011, 05:15 PM   #2
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

1) I've watched my vg10/nex-5 video on a 63" monitor and is wonderfully detailed. Every leaf should have been clear in your test. Everything was mush. So something is fundamentally wrong with your test. (The T2i is painfully soft.)

2) viewing angle means nothing as one simply moves the camera or zooms a bit. That's why it makes no difference if the crop factor is 2.0 or 1.6. One buys lenses that match your camera's crop factor.

3) All cameras that shoot photos alias. But the vg10/nex-5 aliasing is so slight it is visible only on some brick buildings. Even in your test you had to blow up the image by 200% for it to be visible.

So the question is -- $800 for a nex-5, $2000 for a VG10, or $13,000 for an F3. Given that 1 out of 1000 viewers will even notice the slight aliasing, and the F3 image looked NO better (only slightly brighter) than the vg10/nex-5 -- how could anyone justify spending 15X more?

You also just made the point that the FS100 at $5000 is a waste of money when the vg10/nex-5 delivers the same quality as the F3. The only difference is the 2-stops greater sensitivity for the F3 and FS100. Of course I'd like the extra sensitivity. But, I can buy several old F1.2 Nikon primes.

And, if I'm correct that the F3/FS100 use an S35 flavor of the 16MP APS-HD chip being used in the 2011 nex cameras -- there is the possibility the same 16-photosite DSP-based binning will be available that will provide a 2 stop increase in sensitivity. So the vg10/nex-5 would then match the FS1000 for less than half the price.

The alternate option with this 16MP chip is to use it to support 4K2K recording. But, I'm beginning to think Sony will not make the move to 4K2K this year.

PS: If Sony just drops a 16MP chip into the vg10/nex-5 then other than being able to market "16MP" I don't see much improvement in image quality coming. But, we can hope camera operation will improve.

The real question mark is the nex-7 that will have a 24MP chip. Most say they will not spend $1300 just to get a 24MP chip. So why is Sony doing this? At that price, the GH2 is the choice for video.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; May 5th, 2011 at 05:49 PM.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 01:01 AM   #3
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

Hate to be a prude, but can we keep all comments professional respectful and stick to the technical point. It really lowers the quality of a forum fast when it starts getting personal. A very interesting thread was already removed last week. No need to respond to this either.

Re Steve's post. A lot of people will feel there is no difference between a DSLR and an F3 or even an Alexa for that matter. I know I can see a huge difference on a 17" monitor though the nature of the shot also will affect what you can get away with on a cheaper camera.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 02:31 AM   #4
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

Steve. There is nothing wrong with the sharpness of my test. The evidence that the cameras are in sharp focus is written all over the brickwork.... the moire. If the cameras had not been in focus or if the lenses were soft or there was some other blurring or softening then there would not have been any moire. I would suggest you take a look at the frame grabs I provided on my blog or the original files as a highly compressed vimeo clip is not the ideal viewing medium.

Crop factor does matter as it changes the FoV which changes the amount of foreshortening of the image and moving the camera to change the size of the foreground will not change the ratio of foreground to background magnification. Thus you do need to buy a wider lens to get the same shot, but fast wide lenses are considerably more expensive than less wide ones and wide lenses are more prone to flare and other distortions.

If you download the original files or even look at the frame grabs I provided you will see how bad the aliasing really is. It's not just the moire on the bricks and the roofs but the jagged lines on the car that appears on the far left of the frame. The Vimeo compression nicely antialiases the clips so you don't see it on Vimeo. I guess if Vimeo or other highly compressed outputs are your end product then perhaps the Canon or VG10 will be OK. But there is no way I could use these clips from the Canon or VG10 in one of my productions.
Anyone that watches my tests will know that the scene I shot in this test is the one I almost always use, it was not picked to specifically show up the aliasing etc.

I don't have an FS100 at the moment, but as we have already seen the FS100 aliasing performance is similar to that of the F3 and if you refer back to my earlier FS100 test shots you will find the same shot done with the same 50mm lens as in this test so you can see the lack of aliasing from the FS100 and similarities to the F3 footage in this test.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 05:55 AM   #5
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

Its all a matter of where is your project aimed at. For web, a VG10, t2i might suffice, even for small TV Spots if graded properly, but not for something where the focus is on image quality- Film, network television, fiction. Yes, 5d's, 7D's, gh2's and even 1/3 prosumer cameras were used in big productions, but never as "main" cameras (excluding Dogma films and reality shows- and Dr House). What the F3 presents is the opportunity for the Independent filmmaker to have an image that, with proper grading, be up there with the big money productions, and without the neeed to avoid problems associated with dslrs and 35mm adapters. 10bit, Slog and 4:4:4 ARE a very big deal. Image quality wise, this camera should outperform even the F950, and should be close to a F35. This camera, on paper, at least, since I do not own an F3 ( but lust for one. I cannot use my Canon EF lenses -and control iris- in it yet, and that is a deal breaker since I wouldn't have the budget to go PL) is the first camera to really open the gates for independent filmmakers to make a film that could stack up to big screen projection and actually challenge visually in traditional cinematography shots-provided if properly used and graded- productions done on film and 100k + priced cameras. Its not 4K, but the 1080p signal should be close enough to the F23, F35,Thompson Viper or the Genesis for the audience to not perceive the image as soft. And lets not forget the Low light, which is fantastic for lower budget shooting.

If Birger had their adapter on sale today, I would buy my F3 tomorrow!
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Last edited by Sergio Perez; May 6th, 2011 at 06:44 AM.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 07:07 AM   #6
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
...

So the question is -- $800 for a nex-5, $2000 for a VG10, or $13,000 for an F3. Given that 1 out of 1000 viewers will even notice the slight aliasing, and the F3 image looked NO better (only slightly brighter) than the vg10/nex-5 -- how could anyone justify spending 15X more?

You also just made the point that the FS100 at $5000 is a waste of money when the vg10/nex-5 delivers the same quality as the F3. The only difference is the 2-stops greater sensitivity for the F3 and FS100. Of course I'd like the extra sensitivity. But, I can buy several old F1.2 Nikon primes.

...
You really think you'd save money by shooting a feature film on an NEX-5 instead of an F3?
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Last edited by Peter Moretti; May 6th, 2011 at 01:48 PM.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 07:51 AM   #7
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

Thanks for the tests, Alister. Presented clearly and professionally as always.

Much of what these test are confirming is that there are little or no cameras out there "perfect" for every situation, but, there are terrific opportunities to use all of them as the "perfect tool" when the need arises.

That need may be depth of field, size, weight, best quality, low light or low budget. In reality, I believe that only the camera manufacturer needs to convince you that their camera is the perfect one.

A GoPro is an amazing tool, for what it does and I'd rather strap one of those on a roller coaster than my EX1 or a 5D, but will, it's just a tool, and useless for other projects. Still, great and the right price point when I need it.

That fact that you can occasionally "get away" with using a $2,500 camera instead of using a $13,000 camera, or for that matter, a $13,000 camera when you'd prefer a $ 70,000 camera is great sign of the times and affords options in some of productions that might not have been available previously, but to evangelize any one of these cameras as the only way is just silly.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #8
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergio Perez View Post
It's not 4K, but the 1080p signal should be close enough to the F23, F35,Thompson Viper or the Genesis for the audience to not perceive the image as soft. And lets not forget the Low light, which is fantastic for lower budget shooting.
I might disagree with this one a bit. I own both F3 and Viper and I don't think the F3 image is nearly as rich and detailed as the Viper's image. 27 megapixel vs 3.3 megapixel? I agree the F3 is great in low light but watch some of the viper movies filmed in the dark with no lights. I've done scenes like that myself too. Viper in low light is nothing short of amazing.

Every now and then, I consider doing a viper vs f3 test but then then I think again. Why? No one would care and no one wants to shoot Viper anymore anyway so what's the point. It's an expensive camera that doesn't have a recorder and you can't buy it or rent it anymore.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 10:59 AM   #9
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergio Perez View Post
This camera, on paper, is the first camera to really open the gates for independent filmmakers to make a film that could stack up to big screen projection and actually challenge visually in traditional cinematography shots-provided if properly used and graded- productions done on film and 100k + priced cameras.
+1

The AF100 came close to this. If it had more resolution and nicer highlight roll-of without the chroma clipping (this is one of the problems as far as I understand it) it could compete in the above mentioned production purposes. As such the FS100 with an external recorder is also a valid video-cinema camera (don't know how to name this:).
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Old May 6th, 2011, 02:15 PM   #10
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

Thanks Chuck and well said.... Right tool for the job.

I have a major shoot coming up in three weeks that will make use of many of the cameras that I have tested recently. We will have an SRW9000PL for a couple of key shots, we will use F3's for the general purpose shots and hopefully a FS100 for shots that we want to shoot at 60fps. There will also be a number of DSLR's for some fill in shots. The biggest challenge will probably be getting the Canon DSLR's to match the Sony cameras colour wise, but each camera has it's strengths. Even if we had the budget to do the whole thing with SRW9000PL's we would not, as the F3's are better suited for the main shots. You should be hearing much more about this shoot as it unfolds over the next three weeks.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 03:08 PM   #11
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
Hate to be a prude, but can we keep all comments professional respectful and stick to the technical point. It really lowers the quality of a forum fast when it starts getting personal.
The policy on this site is, rather than making this type of post, please just click the "report post" function (it's the little "!" icon to the left of any post). I have withdrawn a couple of posts which question the credibility of a fellow member, which is never allowed here.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #12
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

Thanks Chris,
Never even noticed the little "i". Good idea.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 03:34 PM   #13
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Re: F3-VG10-T2i side by side shots.

It probably needs to be made larger... *sigh*
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