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


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Old October 9th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #1
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Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240

My friend and I will be testing the F3 + S-Log and recording out to a PIX240 into DNxHD and Pro Res HQ at the highest settings (this means 1080 29.97p - PR HQ is 220Mb/s vs 172Mb @24p).

I want to know from more experienced testers what sort of tests and objects will work best to highlight both the differences in the codecs as well as the difference between 422 and 420. I know that I can easily bring into After Effects and layer on top of one another and set the top layer to Difference. Besides that, what else can I do?

Thanks.

Last edited by Steve Kalle; October 9th, 2011 at 11:52 PM.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 09:23 PM   #2
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

That could be interesting !
Do you have a Pix 240? are they available now I have one in order ( and fully paid) since June !
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Old October 9th, 2011, 09:54 PM   #3
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240

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Originally Posted by Pier Laurenza View Post
That could be interesting !
Do you have a Pix 240? are they available now I have one in order ( and fully paid) since June !
Cheers
Pier
I don't own a PIX240 but my friend has one available for us to use. He had loaned it to someone from the NFL who field tested it to see if he could break it under very demanding use. He just got it back a few days ago and we used it Friday night with S-Log. One area of concern was with Sony L batteries as the power source. With one battery at 45% left, the PIX would power down after a few seconds. So, we used another battery with 65% left in addition to the other battery (there are 2 slots for batteries on the back), and this gave us roughly 30 mins of recording time. It seems that the PIX requires voltage above 6.8v to record and 6.6v just to stay powered on. Once you hit record, the voltage drops by .2-.3v. Next time, we will use an AB battery which requires a Hirose to D-tap cable (which I left with my nanoFlash in my studio).

Another observation - the PIX240's LCD is not any better than the F3's LCD and requires you to view it at a direct angle. As soon as you start moving off axis, the screen's image begins deteriorating very quickly.

Last edited by Steve Kalle; October 9th, 2011 at 11:53 PM.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 11:03 PM   #4
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

Hi Steve,
If you have time, do you think you could record a bit of comparison S-Log with your NanoFlash? It would be great to hear your opinion of how the 8-bit recording compares to your other record options (after similar grading).
Obviously sublects that may challenge the dynamic range of the sensor would be great to see/ hear about, especially things with lots of highlight detail and shadow detail, plus large smoothly graduated mid-tones which could potentially create banding issues in post grading.
Would love to hear about / see your results.
One other thing -- be very careful about the Hirose adapter cable. As I recall, My NanoFlash hirose connectors use a completely different pin assignment than my Sound Devices mixer power supply. DON'T PLUG IN UNTIL YOU CHECK VOLTAGE POLARITIES!!!
Thanks,
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Old October 10th, 2011, 02:01 AM   #5
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

I can tell you right now that 8 bit S-Log can be done and you will have some grading ability, but you will run into problems with any flat surfaces or things like sky where banding will limit your grade to the point where it is near impossible to get a correct looking image. I've tested S-Log on the NanoFlash as well as recording to 10 bit 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 on a Decklink card and the difference is night and day as to what you can do in post. 4:4:4 was the most flexible, but 10 bit 4:2:2 was very close behind.

The difference between 8 bit and 10 bit is similar to trying to grade a jpeg photo from a DSLR vs a RAW image.

I would imagine that the Pix240 at 220Mb/s would hold up and grade very well.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #6
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240

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Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Another observation - the PIX240's LCD is not any better than the F3's LCD and requires you to view it at a direct angle. As soon as you start moving off axis, the screen's image begins deteriorating very quickly.
That's interesting as I was watching Andy Shipsides from Abel
Hands-on with the PIX 240 | CineTechnica
where in mention the viewing angle and he even wrote " And, it also works as a nice small monitor; the built-in LCD has a 800480 resolution and wide viewing angle."

Maybe it's not a production sample ? or not...
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Old October 10th, 2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

Well the F3 LCD is 1920 x 480, so higher resolution. It's also smaller so will tend to appear sharper. 800 x 480 is the same as a Cineroid or Zacuto EVF. Useable and useful but higher would be nicer.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 12:08 PM   #8
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

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Originally Posted by Dave Sperling View Post
Hi Steve,
One other thing -- be very careful about the Hirose adapter cable. As I recall, My NanoFlash hirose connectors use a completely different pin assignment than my Sound Devices mixer power supply. DON'T PLUG IN UNTIL YOU CHECK VOLTAGE POLARITIES!!!
Dear Dave,

Our nanoFlash power connectors will not plug into the Sound Devices recorders.

Thus, the Pin-Out being different is not a cause for concern, as our cable connectors will not mate with the Sound Devices connectors, thus is is practically impossible to cause any damage.

We use Pin 1 as Positive and Pin 4 as Ground.

We did this since the popular Toshiba Point of View cameras use the same connectors that we wanted to use, and we felt that our cables could inadvertently be plugged into the Toshiba cameras, causing damage. Thus, we adopted the Pin 1 = Positive, and Pin-4 = Ground that Toshiba used, to avoid potential problems.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #9
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

I have a demo PIX240 due to arrive on Wednesday. I don't know exactly when I'll be able to shoot something with it but will work to get something going.

Dan, if you need a tester for a Gemini let me know! :)
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Old October 10th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #10
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

+1 for the Gemini 444 beta test application. I can't wait to have one in my hand. Still refusing to buy a KiPro Mini but I have two jobs coming up next week and I need to record onto something!
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Old November 30th, 2011, 03:46 PM   #11
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

Just wondering if any of the tests described in this thread have been "published" yet?

Thanks.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #12
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

There's been some healthy debate on the subject in a recent forum topic:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...et-gemini.html

It started off as a discussion on cheaper alternatives to the Gemini and I pitched in with some impressions of the Pix 240. I received one around one month ago and I'm very happy with its performance. My main reason of choice was the cost of these external recorders, as I couldn't realistically justify the Gemini, however the Pix 240 has worked out fantastically!

I just record everything in ProRes422 10 bit @ 220 mbps in progressive mode. You can get over one hour's worth.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #13
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

Thanks Peter. How is the audio with the PIX240? Also, how do you power it?
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Old November 30th, 2011, 07:43 PM   #14
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

A 75oHm BNC cable will do, for both sound and picture. (HD-SDI to SDI.) Alternatively you can plug the F3 microphone into the XLR inputs on the Pix 240. I couldn't really figure out why they bothered, but then I remembered that Sound Devices are known mainly for their audio gear. Perhaps they wanted to remind everyone.

The Pix 240 comes with a power cable, or you can run it off 2x Sony L batteries.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 08:18 PM   #15
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Re: Testing F3 + S-Log to PIX240 & Cinedeck

Thanks. I wonder if the audio sounds better run through the PIX vs via SDI?
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