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Film & Photography
Digital Cinema Cameras
Sony PMW-F3 Super 35mm Camcorder + S-Log RGB 4:4:4 Firmware upgrade + PL lenses. Announced back in 2010, the Sony F3 was the first “affordable” Super 35mm camera. At the time, $16,000 USD was cheap for a digital Super 35mm camera (£13,000 in the UK, for body only). The S-Log upgrade cost USD 3,600, so the total cost for the upgrade, body and 3 Sony PL mount lenses was almost USD 30,000 - and more expensive in the UK. The camera uses a 2.5K...
sensor but can "only" record HD (do you need to shoot in 4K?). It is "only" capable of recording 35 Mbit/sec 4:2:0 internally to SxS cards. However, through the use of HD-SDI dual-link outputs you can externally record 4:2:2 1080 up to 50/59.94P, or RGB 4:4:4 1080 at up to 29.97P. With the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q (see my separate listing), you can record 4444 ProRes or 4:4:4 DPX files from the F3. Some modern cameras have better internal recording options. The beauty of some of older cameras is that you can pair them with a relatively inexpensive external recorder and record in very good codecs. If you take the F3 for example, you can record 1080p 444RGB externally to a very good codec. Very few modern cameras can record 444 unless you spend a significant amount of money. The F3 uses a versatile Sony FZ mount and comes with a PL mount adapter. A wide variety of lens mount adapters are also available so you can run just about any lens you can think of on the F3 (see my separate listings). The F3 is lightweight, has long run times on small batteries, built-in ND filters and proper audio. Pros: Good image quality, 444 RGB output, Log recording, long battery runtimes, built-in NDs, proper XLR inputs, small, compact size. Cons: Needs an external recorder to record a broadcast codec. Included: - Sony PMW-F3 with S-Log upgrade - 3 Sony PL lenses: 35, 50, 85mm - Sony charger BC-U1 - Battery BP-U60 - Rode SM5 suspension mic mount - Sony remote RM-F300 - Shoulder strap NOT included: SxS cards/reader (see my separate listing) Dubbed “The poor man’s Alexa”: The F3 has a Super-35mm sized image sensor (resolution 1920 x 1080) which delivers cinematic shallow depth of field, excellent low light sensitivity and soft, filmic colours . The files recorded to SxS are MP4 at 35 Mb/s, 4:2:0 MPEG-2. Through its HD-SDI dual-link output, the F3 also can capture 10-bit, 4:2:2 S-Log (kind of like Sony’s version of a RAW file) to external recorders (e.g. BM Video Assist - see my separate listing) It's light and small; the body weighs 2.4 kg. Power consumption is very low; battery like BPU-60 runs for about 3 hours. Using an external recorder you can get footage that comes close to the RED. The camera has a paid firmware, placing it in an entirely new league. It enables S-Log gamma mode, Dual Link 444RGB video output, 3G-SDI output, 4 pre-loaded LUTs (look up tables) and 5 custom user LUTs. This firmware allows the F3 to output full RGB video in S-Log – opening up the true potential of this camera. S-Log raises the dynamic range of the camera to 800%, and effectively increases the base ISO at 0db from ISO800 to ISO 1600. Dual-Link SDI or 3G-SDI (dual-link on one cable) gives you full RGB444, and the LUTs allow you to monitor video normally while shooting in S-Log. The 5 custom LUT options mean that users can create their own looks. Thanks to outputting 444 RGB you can record to ProRes 444 and get perfect green screen shots. If you use 444RGB you will be storing all three channels (Red,Green, Blue) at full resolution. With 422, you are cutting the resolution of the R and B channels in half. Colour space and lack of compression are far more important than resolution. And speaking of resolution, I'm coming back to my question: do you really need to shoot 4K or is HD (=almost 2K) enough? Resolution is the single most overrated factor when it comes to deciding on what camera to use. Lots of films have been originated on 1080p, and theatrically released (e.g. Hugo). Some films (like Borat) were shot on 720p and theatrically released. Many films were even shot on standard-def video (like 28 Days Later, among many others) and theatrically released.
22 Sep 22
A real pleasure to do business with.
13 Aug 22
14 Jul 22
Lovely guy with great equipment. Will be back again!
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Czeslaw in London
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