Second hand S-Log or Not S-log. Can you even buy the upgrade anymore? at DVinfo.net

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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old November 29th, 2016, 08:35 AM   #1
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Second hand S-Log or Not S-log. Can you even buy the upgrade anymore?

Sorry to be so late to the F3. I appreciate all the information here. What I don't quite get is whether you can upgrade a second hand F3 that does not already have the S-Log output. I see at some point Sony shipped it standard and I'm not seeing CBK-RGB01 for sale in the usual places (ebay, B&H, ...).

So what's the deal? Is a second hand F3 without the s-log upgrade basically frozen out due to unavailability? TIA
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Old November 29th, 2016, 03:50 PM   #2
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Re: Second hand S-Log or Not S-log. Can you even buy the upgrade anymore?

If you haven't bought your F3 yet, keep looking for one with the upgrade. I have seen some of the upgrade SxS cards on the market...you could also hit some of the main gear boards with a WTB request and see if anyone suddenly remembers that card on the shelf in the back room. ;}
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Old November 29th, 2016, 09:10 PM   #3
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Re: Second hand S-Log or Not S-log. Can you even buy the upgrade anymore?

Bill, as I recall that was a single-install card. So once the option had been added to the camera the card could not install the option elsewhere/again (although the card could be formatted and used as a standard 32GB SxS record card.)
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Old November 30th, 2016, 06:10 AM   #4
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Re: Second hand S-Log or Not S-log. Can you even buy the upgrade anymore?

Thanks Bill. I joined the club ... picked up an S-log F3 and Sony 50mm off ebay. Lots of synergy of accessories with my EX1r rig. After trying out 5DM2 and GH3 over the years for a companion sDOF camera, I expected to settle on a C100 mkII ... never dreamed I'd afford an F3. Looking forward to so much being the same between cameras.

Seems very quiet on this forum. Is the F3 community elsewhere? I appreciate the help. More to follow.
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Old December 1st, 2016, 08:39 AM   #5
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Re: Second hand S-Log or Not S-log. Can you even buy the upgrade anymore?

Dave: that's a good point. Interesting though, that many of the F3 cameras now sold make a point of including the card. I thought I had read that there was an uninstall/reinstall in different camera function, but I could totally be hallucinating it!
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Old December 1st, 2016, 01:06 PM   #6
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Re: Second hand S-Log or Not S-log. Can you even buy the upgrade anymore?

Yes, with that system you can uninstall an installed key from the camera back onto an SxS card, then install from the card onto a different camera. But of course the first camera loses the S-Log 444 functionality when the install goes back onto the card. Basically the unlock key can only exist in one single place - either on a card or in a camera. As I understand, there was nothing different about the SxS card that held the install -- it was just a secure way to deliver it.
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Old December 2nd, 2016, 07:52 AM   #7
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Re: Second hand S-Log or Not S-log. Can you even buy the upgrade anymore?

Yep, I had to go read up on that. Uninstall first is a must. Somehow, I doubt many folks have done that. I wonder if one acquires a non updated F3, whether Sony would now perform the upgrade for the newly acquired camera, given that they were sending them out already equipped at the end of the product cycle.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 06:15 AM   #8
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Re: Second hand S-Log or Not S-log. Can you even buy the upgrade anymore?

Also remember that the S-Log key is important primarily when you want to output 4:4:4 to an external recorder -- either via dual-link (1.5G) outputs or via 3G.

If you aren't doing 4:4:4, the more recent firmware versions for the F3 camera include an S-Log gamma selection in the picture profiles, which allows you to enable/output S-Log via your standard 4:2:2 outputs (though I believe you can't emable LUTs in the camera without the extra S-Log key.)
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 07:29 AM   #9
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Re: Second hand S-Log or Not S-log. Can you even buy the upgrade anymore?

SLOG is one thing not covered in the Vortex training cause it wasn't out yet. If I understand it right, the RGB option on my camera does nothing for me unless I hook up an external recorder because firmware 1.4 implements an SLOG LUT for the SxS recording. But both a 4:2:2 recorder and 4:4:4 recorder will benefit by it. Is that about right?
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 11:41 AM   #10
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Re: Second hand S-Log or Not S-log. Can you even buy the upgrade anymore?

Not exactly...

(I have the S-Log key installed on mine, so I'm not 100% sure about cameras without it, but...)

Thinking about S-Log -- I personally would not consider recording S-Log to the SxS cards at 8-bit 4:2:0. I think that trying to do that much color adjustment from the cards would be counterproductive. (I had originally done some tests between S-Log straight to the cards and S-Log with a 444 recorder, and for my needs there was no comparison.) In any case, I'd recommend an external recorder for s-log.

So the next question is whether you need 444? At the time, I needed to buy the key to get S-Log, and I also went with 444. When I shoot with the camera in S-Log it's still most often to 444, but I haven't done any real comparisons with 422. For you 422 may be fine. You'd have to test...

Because the key unlocked additional options for the A/B dual link connectors, I use them for my output if shooting/external recording S-Log. The key gives me the option to apply a LUT to my SDI out and to my viewfinder.

It's my guess that if you just use the newer firmware S-Log Gamma, then you can't separately apply a LUT for viewing. Of course many of the external monitors these days can apply a LUT at that point, so this may not be an issue.

Also, 444 generates a lot of data.

Would I buy a key at this point for the added 444 functionality and in-camera LUT? -- I'm not sure...

Currently, only about 10% of my F3 days use S-Log. A lot of that has to do with data size / transfer times / and the fact that a lot of what I shoot with it is delivered via FTP upload to distant clients (Who are also perfectly happy with the look of the 35 Mbit 420 from the SxS cards.)

I guess it all depends what you need!
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