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

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Old April 30th, 2012, 12:24 PM   #16
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Re: F3 vs Alexa - non log?

Richard, a lot of things can happen on the road from the set to your TV, especially in transmission. I remember an old time DP named Ken Peach telling me some years back about an episode of the original "Dallas" where he had shot an entire scene in silhouette/moonlight so that you could not see the actor's faces - intentionally for the mood. By the time BOC (broadcast operations center) in NYC had tweeked and pulled up the blacks for broadcast you could actually see faces but of course the entire mood of the shot was altered.

On DH, all I can tell you is that the on-set look of the show is locked with a specific Alexa LUT being viewed in video village, and then replicated in post. The network forced the conversion to film, and the filmmakers found using Alexa to be the easiest way to transition, most importantly because they can still use their familiar Panavision lenses. In fact Lex Dupont / DP on "Private Practice" told me that he now preferred shooting with the Alexa over film - after a lifetime of only shooting film for episodic TV.

What you watched is in all likelihood a very mangled transfer and broadcast. Last week I watched the upcoming week's episode in the ADR room being projected and it had all the rich color and texture that the show has always had. But like the sausage maker, I don't eat the sausage nor watch this or any other network show (unless I'm paid to) because of my loathing of blatantly propagandist commercials, sub-standard network censored dialog and pathetically redundant and simplistic story lines (not holding back now).

Sigh, the things we do for money . . .
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Old April 30th, 2012, 09:48 PM   #17
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Re: F3 vs Alexa - non log?

Just finished using the Alexa for 5 months on teen wolf. I have to say I agree with Bruce. I'm told in season one they had some issues with the rec 709 look out of the camera (we always record log c but no on set coloring so we monitor in 709) but this year we used firmware 5 (I think it was true of 4 as well) Arri has worked out the kinks of their standard lut.

I honestly have never been a huge fan of the default output of many cameras (of course I work as a DIT so there's probably some professional bias there) but I think the Alexa gets 709 spot on. I do think it's interesting how differently s-log and log-c are handled though for two cameras that give you such similar latitude. The log look of them is drastically different.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 01:47 PM   #18
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Re: F3 vs Alexa - non log?

Originally Posted by Richard Boghosian View Post
Since you commented on the film to Alexa transition in LA,
A zillion shows moved to Alexa recently. There was some behind the scenes wrangling of a couple rental houses offering incredible deals targeted at network episodics, and many dropped F35/Genesis/35mm just like that.

Outside of network episodics, I see them everywhere too. Lot of people have made good money on Alexa rentals, if they got in towards the beginning.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 10:02 PM   #19
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Re: F3 vs Alexa - non log?

Better picture quality aside, the Arri system is hard to beat - new optical finder, 120 F.P.S., rugged solid body and connectivity points... And I don't know about you guys but I'm a little tired in justifying my F3 with all its Macgyver like accessories to my crew and clients, and really really pissed off when S Log is now free while early die hard users pay $$$ to support the program. No sympathy for Sony's gradual slide to rock bottom.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 10:14 PM   #20
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Re: F3 vs Alexa - non log?

Originally Posted by Brian Lai View Post
No sympathy for Sony's gradual slide to rock bottom.
I wouldn't count them out yet. The F65 is going to have a good run.

I think that the next few years is going to see cameras from the various manufacturers fall in and out of favor. The Alexa is hot now (and it's a great camera, arguably the first one to justify digital capture over film) but with 4K heating up, it will likely become thought of as an episodic camera within a year or two. Of all of the major manufacturers, right now I'd say Panavision is at the bottom--but even they aren't out of the running, as rumors continue to build about their next offering.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 01:37 AM   #21
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Re: F3 vs Alexa - non log?

I'm loving the F65. It is a bit of a monster in terms of bulk after the F3, but the dynamic range is incredible, it's actually quite hard to over-expose it. The F65RRAW workflow is pretty straight forward and I can even play files at 1/4 resolution without pre processing on my 13" Macbook. The new Lite version of the codec will record about 25 mins on a 256GB Orange SRMASTER, which costs about $1,200 USD. I remember when XDCAM EX was launched and you could record about the same on an 8GB SxS card costing roughly the same.
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