Update from CineAlta meeting this week at DVinfo.net
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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
HD recording with a Super35 CMOS Sensor.

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Old December 18th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #1
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Update from CineAlta meeting this week

In the attached photo at the bottom you will see all the info on the zoom lenses.

The SR1 solid state recorder was there, as well as the elusive Sony Primes... The primes looked great and felt good, the outer barrels seemed to be made of metal, at least to the touch or should I say tap with nail, they felt like it, but I was told it was a special plastic. The focus pulled quite smooth, I heard somewhere that it felt like grinding... but there was no such case, it wasn't super smooth, but it was good enough.

Now for the insider info:

Ok I must make a disclaimer first. This is UNOFFICIAL information. BUT this comes directly from a Sony source, and I could honestly say, I'd be shocked if this person was wrong but you never know... Price of the Dual Link HD-SDI upgrade estimate around $1,000 USD. Now before you all go crazy let me fill you in on details of how I obtained this information. Who I got this info from was not someone in the marketing team, it was someone on the technical end. I wont say who it was, because this is all unofficial information, and could change and it wasn't this persons place to tell me either way. I asked and this person told me they couldn't tell me how much the upgrade was, so then I switched it up and asked: Ok how about I throw out a number and confirm if it would be above or below?, To which I started with saying: above or below 1,000. And this person replied "most likely above".

This person then went on to explain why, and it all makes sense. Is it a marketing thing? I sadly have to say, seems like it. Lets face it, if you want a 4:4:4 camera you could then reasonably realize why it would be in this range. This puts it in a pro market space, which is good for the product. As well as the fact is, it has 10bit 4:2:2 right out of the box, and for most work, even some film work, thats good enough.

Again this is unofficial word, but it comes from a reliable source within sony. This could very well change/just be wrong info, so don't take it too seriously until we get more leaked info (I hope I'm not causing a wikileaks attack on myself haha)

Moving forward:

More footage was shown from the camera that is not available anywhere online. We watched it projected on a sony 2k projector in a beautiful AMC movie theater. Now some people noticed a little bit of softer looking images/CA. This was NOT from the camera. Turns out the projector was in 3D mode, and was rigged in a 3D mode with another projector, AND they had polarizing filters over the lenses for the REALD 3D setup. So we were watching 2D images through a system that was only meant for 3D viewing. It still looked good, but just in case you may here someone who was there saying (some CA was seen or some stuff was a little soft) that was just not the case of the camera or lenses, it was the projector at that venue. I saw some of the same images at last weeks meeting and I can tell you, they weren't on the footage, it looked beautiful, and these were the same SR tapes so no worry.

Seeing the images blown up to a full movie screen was great, 2 times the size of the other screen I'd already seen it on. It just looked nice. The shocking thing is we were all watching 4:2:0 footage! AND everything slomo we had watched was in 720p blown up to 1080. If you didn't know, you'd think it was 1080p footage. I knew anything slomo was 720p so when I was watching it on that screen, I was blown away. It cut with the 1080p perfectly, and you'd never guess it was a 720p native footage.

We watched some short films shot by NYU students with the camera, as well as the full Stargate Studios film that you only see a little bit of online. The Stargate studios footage was all available light. I was more interested in lit footage than available, since I shoot everything I can with controlled light. But it did look nice.

I did not find out the weight of the SR1 recorder, they did have it there, and it was slightly larger than I thought it was going to be. Its actually a beefy unit. Although thinner, its with and depth are almost equal to the camera itself. I didn't take photos because the mob around the camera was so insane, and I just was too lazy to fight through to take photos of something I already saw 2 mins before.

I shot some video with my iPhone 4 and will post that up so you can see what the event was like.

I'm sure I'm forgetting things, so I'll post again once I remember.
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Update from CineAlta meeting this week-get-attachment-7.jpg  
Giuseppe Pugliese is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2010, 07:10 AM   #2
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thanks ...

I saw the iphone footage ... a bit conflagulated but good info none the less ... bit of humor there!
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Dean Harrington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2010, 12:32 PM   #3
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Found your iphone video :)

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Erik Phairas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for your report Giuseppe.

Good to hear the lenses aren't as roundly bad as the few others out there have reported. One wouldn't expect them to feel as lovely as a Zeiss prime given the price point. But sounds like it is reasonably decent and the lack markings on the rings can easily be fixed with white tape and a Sharpie.

At first I thought the $1000 price tag for the software upgrade was impossible given how Sony has treated "high-end" feature upgrades on their ENG and pro cameras in the past couple of decades but I actually think I can see their business model on this given that they get their pound of flesh out of the recorders they will sell as a result which will be north of $10,000 from what I can gather. They will also be able to sell a fair amount of high margin memory cards to which there will be no easy workaround, at least in the near term.

I made up my mind a few weeks ago to just hang tight until the smoke clears which may not be till the middle of 2011, just to see what the entrants will be as there may be significant downward pressure on pricing once Red gets out of the gate and people really get a tangible sense of the cost/benefit ratio between all the new cameras as they start to get used in a production environment.
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