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


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Old February 4th, 2012, 02:51 AM   #31
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
When there's a new camera, it's not going to be called an F4. The number 4 is bad luck in Japanese culture and Sony won't use if for a camera model. An F5 or F3R is more likely.
I am waiting for the F7.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 01:16 PM   #32
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

Oh ya, well then I'm going to wait for the F9!
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Old February 4th, 2012, 02:11 PM   #33
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

After investing $3680 for the S-Log upgrade only weeks ago, you might say that I was royally upset when the price reduction announcement appeared. I understand that most F3 owners will not likely take advantage of the rebate offers, but I had been debating the pros and cons of the 14x zoom. Considering that the ultimate rebate equates to the rough equivalent of the original S-Log upgrade price, I decided to purchase one ... not sorry I did. Despite its maximum and iris ramping aperture issues, the lens is very sharp (sharper than my Nikon 80-200 ED 2.8, and 17-35 ED 2.8) and contrasty. I haven't had much opportunity to put it through the hurdles yet—have only had it for 24hrs and the outside weather is nasty—but I have made some indoor tests with available light and have not been disappointed. The auto features have their place and will come in handy, particularly for a one man show with a monopod. The Steady cam feature is a nice addition as well. As lenses go, once you subtract the currently available rebates, it's really a bargain. Will post again once the rain stops.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 02:13 PM   #34
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

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Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
It's a long stretch to say the C300 sensor is suitable for 4K?
For a Bayer sensor you should be able to get luminance resolution of about 80% of the sensor dimensions after deBayering. So it's true enough that the "4k" that the C300 sensor should give won't be as good as what would be expected from a 3 4k chip design, or a 5k deBayered and downscaled design.

But what will be the case is that the difference between it's current use for 1080p and using it deBayered with 4k recording is likely to be significant and worthwhile - of the order of 60% on each axis. For the F3 chip, 1080 recording is capturing as much as it's capable of.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 06:26 PM   #35
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

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Originally Posted by Ron Wilk View Post
I have made some indoor tests with available light and have not been disappointed. The auto features have their place and will come in handy,
Hi Ron, its interesting to get your feedback on the zoom lens as I haven't read many comments from people who have used it.

Am interested to hear a little more about how low light performance with the zoom compares for example with that of an EX1/3. (Obviously different cameras with different purposes but most of us are familiar with how the EX1/3s perform in low light so a reasonable reference point.)

Also be interested in any more feedback you may have on the auto focus.

Many thanks.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 07:06 PM   #36
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

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Originally Posted by Ron Wilk View Post
After investing $3680 for the S-Log upgrade only weeks ago, you might say that I was royally upset when the price reduction announcement appeared. I understand that most F3 owners will not likely take advantage of the rebate offers, but I had been debating the pros and cons of the 14x zoom. Considering that the ultimate rebate equates to the rough equivalent of the original S-Log upgrade price, I decided to purchase one ... not sorry I did. Despite its maximum and iris ramping aperture issues, the lens is very sharp (sharper than my Nikon 80-200 ED 2.8, and 17-35 ED 2.8) and contrasty. I haven't had much opportunity to put it through the hurdles yet—have only had it for 24hrs and the outside weather is nasty—but I have made some indoor tests with available light and have not been disappointed. The auto features have their place and will come in handy, particularly for a one man show with a monopod. The Steady cam feature is a nice addition as well. As lenses go, once you subtract the currently available rebates, it's really a bargain. Will post again once the rain stops.
Have you seen an official announcement from Sony on the 14x Zoom rebate? On their rebate page, I can't seem to find it.

Last edited by Steve Kimmel; February 4th, 2012 at 07:39 PM. Reason: Link wrong
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Old February 4th, 2012, 07:23 PM   #37
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
For a Bayer sensor you should be able to get luminance resolution of about 80% of the sensor dimensions after deBayering. So it's true enough that the "4k" that the C300 sensor should give won't be as good as what would be expected from a 3 4k chip design, or a 5k deBayered and downscaled design.

But what will be the case is that the difference between it's current use for 1080p and using it deBayered with 4k recording is likely to be significant and worthwhile - of the order of 60% on each axis. For the F3 chip, 1080 recording is capturing as much as it's capable of.
You "might" get close to 3K in ideal circumstances, pointing it at a res chart that doesn't move. More likely 2.5K in general use. Plonking that into a 4K bucket just increases your data processing and storage overhead for no gain.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #38
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

Hi Steve,
There are actually two rebates that may nor may not apply to everyone. The first is a $1200 Loyalty Rebate and here is the link: Current Promotions
The second is a $2500 rebate that is mentioned on the B&H website but has yet to appear on the Sony rebate site. I'm assuming that Sony has yet to add that to their site. If your purchase conditions apply, I've been assured that they are stackable for a total of $3700.00.

Hi Simon,
You are correct. There are very few reviews of the 14x Zoom, however, what little I did read was encouraging, so much so, that I bought one.
In regards to its autofocus, it works reasonably well. I have only had the lens since yesterday and it's been raining here in S Florida. Therefore, all of my testing has been indoors with available—incandescent or natural—lighting. The autofocus is not lightening fast—but fast enough—under these circumstances and very accurate (no hunting and no visible breathing). I will reserve any further comments in this regard until I've had some time with it outdoors. The IS does what it's supposed to do and is welcomed feature.

As for light sensitivity as compared to the standard lens on an EX1/3, not sure a direct comparison can be made, given the inherent sensitivity of the F3 and the Zoom's variable lens speed. At first glance, however, one would assume that its t3.9-6.8 limitations would make it much slower than the EX1/3. However, since the F3—especially with S-Log engaged—is inherently more light sensitive than those two reference cams, it seems to serve as a mitigating factor. And since I no longer own either (did have an EX3) I am unable to make a direct comparison. That said, I think we can assume that in typical "low light" conditions this lens would not be my first choice, but at this point I'm only guessing. More than 90% of what I record is outdoors and would not benefit from shallow DOF, making this lens a good choice for my all around carry. But if the situation demands a faster lens it's easy enough to remove it and hang one of my Nikons or Zeiss primes.

Last edited by Ron Wilk; February 4th, 2012 at 09:29 PM.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 08:55 PM   #39
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

Thanks Ron. I look forward to your footage and comments on the new lens,

Last edited by Steve Kimmel; February 4th, 2012 at 08:55 PM. Reason: Forgot text
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Old February 5th, 2012, 04:32 AM   #40
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

Thanks Ron. Really helpful feedback.
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Old February 5th, 2012, 05:28 AM   #41
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

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Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
You "might" get close to 3K in ideal circumstances, pointing it at a res chart that doesn't move. More likely 2.5K in general use. Plonking that into a 4K bucket just increases your data processing and storage overhead for no gain.
I think those figures are very pessimistic.

As evidence, look at the F3. It's known that the effective sensor count is somewhere close to 2456x1372 (the actual count including the masked pixels is 2468x1398), yet it delivers performance very good in terms of 1080 recording. Extrapolating what you say about a 4k sensor only giving "more likely 2.5k in general use", that would imply F3 performance equivalent to about 1500x875. In practice it's much better.

I'd heard somewhere around 80% as a ballpark figure, and the F3 results back that up. So horizontally the C300 sensor would be predicted to have around "3.2k" when fully deBayered. Maybe not "true 4K", but surely wrong to describe it as "no gain"?

Likewise remember that in the C300 the sensor does not use a considerable number of photosites round the edges - it windows 3840x2160 of a somewhat bigger sensor. Those could be used to give a somewhat bigger inprovement than the above suggests.
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Old February 5th, 2012, 05:42 AM   #42
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

Good points Ron. I've had my 14x lens for just a week now and I'm really beginning to like it. Although the speed of the lens isn't constant, I was surprised to see that most of the ramping actually happens between 100 to 252mm. This makes the 18-100 range much more usable than I was expecting. It is quite slow at the longer lengths but the sensitive F3 chip goes a long way to compensate. And of course, you get the impression of a shallower DOF at the longer lengths anyway... (before I get flamed - I know it isn't !!!).

I've never been a fan of auto-focus on any camera but I must say the MF assist is really quite good. Never having had an EX3 or 1, I didn't know what to expect, but as long as your subject isn't moving around too much, it's a good aid for 'run and gun' type shooting. I find the full AF a bit slow for my use but it is very smooth. The steadishot works well hand held... but don't forget to turn it off with tripod use as it does seem to float around a bit on static tight shots.

What's really surprised me is how sharp this lens is. Really zingy at anything up to around 100mm even wide open. It's also proved a good colour match for the Sony T2 Kit primes.

There's a couple of things I don't like about this lens mainly involving the servo zoom. It's noisy - admittedly only at full speed, but you would hear it in a two camera interview situation. The take-up speed of the zoom rocker (I think this is also called ramping) it also too sharp for my tastes... and I can't see how to adjust it? You notice this when you want to start a very slow zoom or creep in... ie. you can't! The rocker's also in the wrong place but I knew that before I bought the lens.

In short - I'm very happy with this lens. It's super sharp and really useful up to 100mm or so. When you do need to crash in for a very tight shot it also helps not to have to change lens with tight budgets, no time and a director breathing down your neck. It doesn't replace fast primes but it does transform the overall usability of the F3 for all sorts of work I wouldn't have considered for this camera before.
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Old February 5th, 2012, 09:45 AM   #43
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

Attached is a document I received from Sony explaining all of the rebates.

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File Type: pdf Promotion Qualifier-Final-2.pdf (20.1 KB, 178 views)
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Old February 5th, 2012, 11:21 AM   #44
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

Hi Paul,

I agree that the steady shot works, but after giving it a more intense trial this a.m. I've noticed that its benefit is more subtle than I had originally thought. And in some A/B tests with the lens set on its tele end (with and without) its effect is hardly noticeable. Has that been your experience, or do I have a mechanical issue with the lens?
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Old February 5th, 2012, 11:35 AM   #45
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Re: Big announcement coming for PMWF3???

Hi all: Do you think it's worth starting a new thread on the zoom lens, given the new rebate and the discussion going on here? Can we move some of this thread to a new one?
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