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


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Old April 20th, 2012, 02:10 AM   #1
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New Sensor for F3

It was away for quite a while, but finally received my F3 back with a completely new type of prism block. This is apparently dust proof. On first inspection it looks the same but the ND filter is different. It moves with more resistance from one filter to another. There is also no obvious gap at the top or bottom of the filter that you can see through the optical port.

Oh, and by the way, the picture is now clear! No artifacts, no dust particles, no blemishes. It's taken almost one year but I've got a new, fully functioning camera at last!
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Old April 20th, 2012, 02:26 AM   #2
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Re: New Sensor for F3

good for you!
Is there a physical difference so that we can see if one has the 'old' or new version sensor?
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Old April 20th, 2012, 03:14 AM   #3
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Re: New Sensor for F3

The sensor doesn't look any different than before, however the service remarks read "imager replaced and new DCP board fitted." So two things were replaced: Prism block (sensor, ND filter etc) and a DCP-52 board (whatever that might be.)

I was told that it is a prototype and will be installed in all future PMW-F3 cameras. The software remains the same: v1.31. The onboard menus don't suggest any new functions, so I don't know why it required a new type of board to be installed. Perhaps it's an integrated self cleaning sensor, which operates every time you turn it on? That would be nice!

I'm slightly euphoric today. I've been driven to near insanity with this stupid dust issue. It wouldn't have bothered me if it were a cheap camera, but I paid over AU$24,000 on the complete kit for the purposes of a serious 'hobby.' My family was quite peeved that I spent that much on a camera. It would've been worse if I'd been trying to make money from it.

So I would recommend to anyone in doubt; get your camera fixed whilst it's still under warranty!
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Old April 20th, 2012, 03:31 AM   #4
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Re: New Sensor for F3

Peter give 'em another call and ask .. that is if you're still talking to them.

Cheers.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 01:53 AM   #5
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Re: New Sensor for F3

I think Sony make great products, and when it was released the F3 was better than anything on the market in that price range. Today it still is! The Canon C500 in comparison is incredibly expensive and that's before you add the lenses.

The problem was that the F3 had a fault which affected a sizable percentage of customers. Mine was a warranty repair, however the cost of replacing the sensor and the board, including labour would've been over half the value of the camera. Now that is serious! But I am satisfied that as a customer I was looked after, so my opinion of Sony has changed.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 02:41 AM   #6
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Re: New Sensor for F3

Peter, would you mind if I ask where you took camera in to repair?

How long does it take to get fix?

It seems to be an issue to every F3 and I am thinking I will have to bring it in one day.

As you said the cost is over half the value of the camera and sony have to fix this to every F3 so this is the big deal for Sony design dep. Sony might have to deal with the other plastic parts that might fall apart any day.

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Old April 21st, 2012, 05:06 PM   #7
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Re: New Sensor for F3

It had to be sent to Sony in Sydney. If it's not necessary, don't do it. I however, had no choice as the pictures were unworkable. It took almost three weeks for the repairs to be carried out.

It was great to use the camera over the weekend. I looked through the view finder and saw a clear picture for the first time ever. That and my accumulated knowledge of the F3 & s-log, the results were brilliant. See below for a color corrected frame. (1920x1080 png)

Even the boffins will find it hard to find fault in this.
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New Sensor for F3-archery.png  
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Old April 21st, 2012, 11:26 PM   #8
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Re: New Sensor for F3

Thank you Peter. The image looks nice and I can feel how happy you are:)
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