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


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Old July 11th, 2011, 02:55 AM   #1
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Design Shortcomings for Sony PMW-F3

The Sony PMW-F3 is no doubt an excellent camera, perhaps a vague 3rd or 4th behind it's more expensive Sony siblings, RED camera and then ARRI. But after using it thoroughly for two months and also from what I've read, it has some shortcomings and it's all to do with the design.

Before I list my four concerns, let me assure those who are reading this post that I keep all my equipment in metaphoric COTTON WOOL! I've still got fully functional Super 8 cameras from my grandfather, so I know how to thoroughly look after my stuff!

This is what I've found with the F3, which is really getting under my skin for such an expensive camera.
(1.) The view finder is flimsy. I have already read of one which had to be replaced for one user.
Hasn't happened to me, thank goodness!
(2.) The optical port should be completely sealed. It's just a cheap, plastic frame held by four small screws.
From Day 1 there has been dust behind the optical port on mine and a little on the ND filter slides.
(3.) The two sets of four outward pins on the PL mount are easily bent.
Mind did, despite an absolute clinical and text book approach to attaching lens. Speaking of....
(4.) Attachment of a lens is incredibly awkward.
You have to line it up beyond meticulously for the lens to attach correctly.

So, there are my concerns. I'm not really someone who likes engaging in forums, but since buying this camera I've found myself spending more time reading about the F3 than actually using it. I would appreciate feedback from anyone regarding the above four observations and other issues I haven't noticed.
Peter G. Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2011, 05:40 AM   #2
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Re: Design Shortcomings for Sony PMW-F3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter G. Johnson View Post
...since buying this camera I've found myself spending more time reading about the F3 than actually using it.
Actually I find myself spending more time spending money on it than actually using it, so far. My F3 is re-defining the term "user bits" as the cost of accessories I need to purchase will eventually equal or exceed the cost of the camera itself, not including lenses. My business is broadcast and corporate run and gun, half handheld and half tripod, long shoot days and quick turnarounds. I wanted a permanent, flexible shoulder mount solution with integrated rods, tripod mount,VF, top cheeseplate and provisions for power distribution and mounting wireless audio and outboard recorders. I think I've finally found and ordered all the parts I need. These "user bits" should finally make it usable camera for the kind of work I do, but oh my gosh, what a pain!
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