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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old June 28th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #1
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60 Minutes and the F3

I have been using the F3 on a regular basis. Rigged to the Nano each time. My 800 has become the de facto hand held tool, while the F3 has become the de facto interview/B-roll tool.
I had a chance last week to use it on 2 CBS 60 Minutes gigs. The first was a producer interview, who had limited time. I said lets find a room with a window for a key with a minimum of 8 feet from the background. I'll use the F3 and guarantee you will be blown away with the image. He was and so much so he showed the footage to the senior producers and had me email them the particulars of the camera.
The second chance was with CBS's new Evening News anchor and 60 Minutes corespondent Scott Pelley. We had a three camera set up in a bar. 2 PDW 800's and an F3/Sony 50mm prime/Nano 50Mb
. The scene was a 1 on 4 round table. A single key, 200 Joker in a Chimera Med Pancake. 2 200 Kinos for grease. 1 1x1 Lite Panel kicker for Scott, 12 feet away. Less than 8 amps.
The producers were blown away. as well as Scott. I need a second F3 right away.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 04:58 PM   #2
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Re: 60 Minutes and the F3

You are the man!!!

Congrats.

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Old June 28th, 2011, 05:05 PM   #3
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Re: 60 Minutes and the F3

if you need an operator to go with that second f3 or a rental send me an email.

That's pretty exciting how great the quality is on these cameras. I was at a workshop on the alexa the other day and was blown away that for literally a quarter of the cost you can have the same quality from the f3 that you can have with the alexa (granted you'd need to get the upgrade and a nano or kipro mini but even with those purchases you come in at less then 1/4 of the 83,000 list for the alexa.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #4
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Re: 60 Minutes and the F3

Nick,
I'll keep your info.
Lets not kick the Alexa. Its all about price point. If my clients wanted the Arri Alexa, I would go with it in a second. It is a terrific camera. see The Great Camera Shootout 2011: SCCE ~ Episode One | Zacuto USA
But I'm in a world where they want to keep Beta rates for ever. I work in Broadcast Network News Docu TV. If they could replace me with an intern and a 5D they would, artifacts accepted. Their credo is quantity over quality.
I spend every day trying to prove them wrong. The F3 has enabled me to raise the bar a bit further. S Log and now SR recording, Sony | Showcase, will help me raise it even further. Albeit I have to convince the Data Managers that the extra server space is worth it. But as a serious f--kin professional, I must be diligent in this endeavor. And so must we all.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 09:47 PM   #5
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Re: 60 Minutes and the F3

Don't forget that for the SCCE they didn't have S-Log on the F3 and that would have given it a further 2 stops of latitude. Also the yellowing on overexposure from the F3 in the SCCE makes me think they were using Rec-709 with knee as the Cinegammas don't tend to blow out in such an ugly way.

Yes, Alexa is a mighty fine camera and produces a stunning image, but then so too does the F3, that's why I just purchased my second one.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 03:31 AM   #6
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Re: 60 Minutes and the F3

Hey dennis not by any means kicking the alexa, it is a quality camera, but literally sitting in on this lecture and listening to the features it offers vs the price point and having worked with both, I'll take the f3 with a gemini/sony sr/whatever plus the upgrade, a kipro mini and lenses for 50k less any day.

I will say that the 5th software and a new recording module on the alexa+that is supposed to be introduced at the end of the year and will allow 120fps full res hd is an upgrade I wish we could do on the f3. I don't think that sony will give us that level of support. Also the alexa is pretty freaking robust the body could probably survive for 20 years, unfortunately I don't believe the technology will.

When I'm not shooting I'm engineering multicam shows, I know all about the beta rates that people are pushing these days.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #7
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Re: 60 Minutes and the F3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Don't forget that for the SCCE they didn't have S-Log on the F3 and that would have given it a further 2 stops of latitude. Also the yellowing on overexposure from the F3 in the SCCE makes me think they were using Rec-709 with knee as the Cinegammas don't tend to blow out in such an ugly way.

Yes, Alexa is a mighty fine camera and produces a stunning image, but then so too does the F3, that's why I just purchased my second one.

Alister,
Have you been able to discern the distribution of the extra 2 stops of latitude in S Log above and below the Zero/800 reference, (-7 to +4.3).
And could you expand on how using Cinegammas reduces color shifts in overexposures. My guess is you sacrifice detail to maintain the color ?
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Old June 29th, 2011, 01:42 PM   #8
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Re: 60 Minutes and the F3

The extra stops initially appear to be gained entirely in the highlights, but it's a little tricky as the gain/ISO is doubled when you switch to S-Log so the zero point is raised by a stop compared to the standard/cine gammas. So I think actually we are gaining one stop at each end in reality, one extra below and one above. This makes more sense and explains the ISO increase. I've not had a chance to shoot a decent latitude wedge or chart yet, this is all based on eyeballing side by side real world shots.

Cinegammas tend to be better on highlights as the gain reduction happens gradually starting at 60 IRE with the top 49 IRE recording around 5 stops so the chroma saturation shift is much less pronounced compared to the knee which is either on or off. So luma/chroma is either linear or compressed, nothing in between and typically it's all happening in the top 24 IRE with 4 stops getting squashed into that, so the compression/chrom shift is far more dramatic.
According to my information when you use the cinegammas the same log-like gamma is applied to the Y R-Y, B-Y in equal amounts whereas with the knee the luma gets compressed by one circuit while the sat compensation is handled by another.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #9
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Re: 60 Minutes and the F3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Dillon View Post
And could you expand on how using Cinegammas reduces color shifts in overexposures. My guess is you sacrifice detail to maintain the color ?
Rec709 gammas have a "bug" of sorts where when it goes into clip, it does it unevenly between the color channels, causing weird shifts in the clipped areas.

The Cinegammas have a related problem, but not as bad...some weird things happen to highly saturated colors if they are too bright and go into clip as well...just looks different. I have some neon green foliage outside a window that was just *almost* blown out on an interior interview using CG1.

And of course, S-Log avoids all this. As it goes into clip it's beautiful and very natural/filmic looking.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #10
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Re: 60 Minutes and the F3

Alister, Nate,
Thank you for explaining how 709 and cinegamma deal with the upper end. It makes a lot of sense how cinegamma has less shifting than the knee function.
I really need to get my main clients to accept Log material. Because a typical project may involve 2-4 DP's, they like to maintain Standard 709 for easier CC. I can see their point, but I must make an effort to extoll the Log benefits and help develop this from a group approach.
Again gentlemen, thank you.
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