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


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Old November 29th, 2012, 08:18 PM   #31
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

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A thought which has just occurred to me, is that with the F5 we could for the first time see a large format camera which could take substantial market share from 2/3" broadcast cameras. I'd expect a bundle with viewfnder to end up around 12,000 ex VAT - which is substantially below the current price of such as a PMW500, the latter without viewfinder.

The 18-252 Sony servo zoom is about 6,500, and that's equivalent to about 6.5mm-85mm in 2/3" terms, a pretty useful range. Yes, that lens has a maximum aperture of f3.8, but the larger sensor should give far higher sensitivity than a 3 chip 2/3" with comparable technology - I'd expect about two stops more. Hence f3.8 on such a lens should give performance roughly equivalent to around f1.8 on a 2/3" camera.

So for less than 20,000 you could have a complete body/vf/lens package with comparable performance, ergonomics etc to a pro 2/3" camera, and with the 50Mbs full broadcast codec. But additionally, prime lenses could be rented when justified to take advantage of the large sensor. To say nothing of the future possibilities of recording 4k with the extra recorder.
...and you could easily throw on a B4 lens mount adapter and use your 2/3" ENG lenses to cover full frame with the 2x extender engaged.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 08:43 PM   #32
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

Based on Pcam app for iPhone the equivelant is 7,3-102,3, although the S35 sensors are not standardized as the 2/3. Actually the f3.5 has comparable DOF with f1,8 on 2/3, which is essential for ENG.

David I had thought the same about the F3, when they released the zoom, but the need for cage and lack of proper VF didn't help much. Still I'd suspect even the F5 won't be as versalite as a dedicated EnG camcorder and will only be used occasionally.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:35 AM   #33
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

I just can't think of all that many situations where a S35mm camera would make a suitable alternative to a traditionally 2/3" type of shooting scenario.

Some jobs, especially run around/news-gathering type shoots - need the deep focus and the versatility you get from a smaller image format, they're different tools for different types of jobs.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 04:43 AM   #34
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

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Originally Posted by Mark Kenfield View Post
Some jobs, especially run around/news-gathering type shoots - need the deep focus and the versatility you get from a smaller image format, they're different tools for different types of jobs.
Ah, that's the point! Assuming the same angle of view, what's the difference in depth of field terms between a 2/3" camera at f4 and an s35 camera at f11? Answer is nothing at all.

You can get dof equivalence on s35 simply by shooting at a smaller aperture - 3 stops down. The normal reasons for not going to f11 and below are diffraction softening, but that is a function of actual aperture diameter - not f stop. Bigger sensor=bigger opening=you can use smaller f stop numbers.

Other difference of smaller apertures is obviously less light - but if the camera is more sensitive, again it's almost back to square one. (Not quite - the undeniable loss will be about a stop owing to one chip versus three chip factors. Compared to a three chip 2/3" camera at f4, I'd expect to need to set the s35 to f11 for depth of field parity, but f8 for exposure parity, all else equal.)

The real reason why large format cameras haven't really been a competitor to 2/3" for news etc type shoots has really been down to ergonomics etc. With the F5/55, that has changed dramatically. It may not give any advantages if you solely do that sort of work - but does mean you can own a camera that may be used for news one day, drama the next. A basic body/vf/servo zoom package would be fine for news etc work, hire extra lenses, 4k recorder as required.

That could make it a very appealing choice to a freelancer who does a variety of different types of work.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 07:16 AM   #35
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

I'll have a new B4 adapter for the F5/F55 ready before launch that takes advantage of the 4K sensor. Converts a B4 lens to fill a 2.5K pixels centre portion of the 4K sensor. Shoot 4K on the F55 (or 4k raw on the f5) and just crop out the smaller HD image with much deeper DoF than if you used the full sensor frame.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #36
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
I'll have a new B4 adapter for the F5/F55 ready before launch that takes advantage of the 4K sensor. Converts a B4 lens to fill a 2.5K pixels centre portion of the 4K sensor. Shoot 4K on the F55 (or 4k raw on the f5) and just crop out the smaller HD image with much deeper DoF than if you used the full sensor frame.
In a way its too bad F doesn't offer a cropped (windowed) mode in camera. But obviously if you could only chose one feature in-camera it would be scaled and not windowed. Learning that the RED was shooting 2k in windowed (crop) mode was another one of the reasons I sold my package right after ordering it.

Alister, is there are reason you could not use the MTF B4 to PL adapter? Does that one contain any magnifier?

I know the MTF B4 to F3 adapter used a 1.5x magnifier which combined with the 2x extender on an ENG lens would give you full frame coverage - but Im looking for a solution that will NOT cover the full frame because I would just shoot 2k or 4k on the F camera and then crop it myself in post.

My idea was to use a ENG lens without extender and possibly 1.5x magnifier in the adapter to cover 2k of a 4k frame. What about a straight metal adapter without magnifier and using the 2x extender? Would a pure non-magnifying adapter work?
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Old November 30th, 2012, 11:19 AM   #37
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

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Originally Posted by Dennis Hingsberg View Post
In a way its too bad F doesn't offer a cropped (windowed) mode in camera. But obviously if you could only chose one feature in-camera it would be scaled and not windowed. Learning that the RED was shooting 2k in windowed (crop) mode was another one of the reasons I sold my package right after ordering it.
Window 2K in Red sounds good until you do it. You'd think that since it's 2K, you couldn't see the difference between 4K scaled down and 2K windowed. The bummer is that you can, and if you have a discerning eye, it's not subtle.

If you ever have to push exposure, it gets much worse. The noise changes size drastically. I've had shots that were borderline unusable because of it.

The only time it seems to work is if you're watching 720p derived from 2K on the web. Then you can't tell near as much.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 12:18 PM   #38
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

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Window 2K in Red sounds good until you do it. You'd think that since it's 2K, you couldn't see the difference between 4K scaled down and 2K windowed. The bummer is that you can, and if you have a discerning eye, it's not subtle.

If you ever have to push exposure, it gets much worse. The noise changes size drastically. I've had shots that were borderline unusable because of it.

The only time it seems to work is if you're watching 720p derived from 2K on the web. Then you can't tell near as much.
Too bad RED's windowed mode isn't great, I sure hope Sony's re-sampled/scaled 2k mode is good, but I trust them and their abundance of engineers. That's why I think Sony is worth any investment, with Sony you're in good hands (even though they aren't pioneers at marketing)

I seriously can't wait to throw a 2/3" lens on an F5 or F55!
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Old November 30th, 2012, 06:46 PM   #39
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

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- but Im looking for a solution that will NOT cover the full frame because I would just shoot 2k or 4k on the F camera and then crop it myself in post.
Windowing wouldn't be any good for what I was thinking of - dual use as a 2/3" camera for news etc use on occasion.

In such case you need to simply record to the card in normal XDCAM format, end of story. So you need the image covering the whole sensor, derive 1080 and XDCAM422 directly, record to SxS for direct use.

The other point is that if you go the windowing route, you must record 4k - so have to have the 4k recorder. I was thinking of a basic body/vf/lens package for much work, then hire a 4k recorder and primes as needed.

Hence for such as that, you do need an optical B4 adaptor to spread the image to cover the entire s35 frame.

One other thought is does the F5/55 support the 35Mbs mode? Whilst 50Mbs seems to be the requirement for much broadcast work, such as news seems to be settling down to mainly use the 35Mbs codec - SD card support and smaller file sizes (hence more quickly downloaded) seem to take precedence over absolute codec quality for many organisations.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 03:27 PM   #40
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

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Originally Posted by Dennis Hingsberg View Post
I know the MTF B4 to F3 adapter used a 1.5x magnifier which combined with the 2x extender on an ENG lens would give you full frame coverage - but Im looking for a solution that will NOT cover the full frame because I would just shoot 2k or 4k on the F camera and then crop it myself in post.
That's what I'm developing with MTF.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 04:07 PM   #41
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

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That's what I'm developing with MTF.
I believe the MTF B4 to F3 mount you developed with MTF will already do this, but not using the 2x extender built into the lens? What am I missing?

Also do you know if it is possible to use a pure mechanical B4 to F3 or PL mount adapter with no magnification in the adapter, and only use the 2x magnifier.

So I am posing two scenarios.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 05:48 PM   #42
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Re: Sony F5/F55 Pricing

Just using the 2x extender fills an area around 3k pixels wide, using the 1.4x in the adapter only fills about 2k pixels wide (not enough pixels for full HD resolution). So we are looking to build an adapter with approx 1.6x magnification so we have as little magnification as possible to get the deepest DoF and less than 1 stop of light loss. You could use a purely mechanical mount adapter and just the lenses extender, but DoF will be shallower than will be possible with a less strong magnifier.
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