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Author Topic: Sony PMW-F3: a "less insanely expensive" Super35mm CineAlta camera  (Read 5452 times)
BJL
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« on: November 12, 2010, 01:36:14 PM »
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Sony has announced some more details of the more affordable Super 35mm CineAlta video camera that it previewed early this year ... but mostly in the UK for some reason: http://www.sony.co.uk/biz/product/xdcamcamcorders/pmw-f3k/
More affordable than its Super35MM CineAlta big brothers the SRW-9000PL (over US$100,000) or the F35 (over US$200,000) and billed as a possible B-camera option for those, but still no price announced.

One new feature: it uses a new "F3" lens mount, and the kit above includes three primes that I guess are in that new mount, but of course it comes with an adaptor for standard PL mount lenses. A new mount make sense with the OVF gone, since the PL mount is very deep relative to format size, deeper than 35mm still camera lens mounts, I think in order to accommodate movie camera "spinning mirror" OVF mechanisms that are irrelevant to this camera. The new mount is presumably shallow enough to allow adaptors for all kinds of still camera lenses, which PL mount is not.


P. S. One other news item: it does not use the CCD of Sony's two other Super 35mm format cine-cameras, but an Exmor CMOS sensor -- a new one I take it, since Super 35mm format is a bit different from that of Sony's "APS-C" sensors (wider, less high.)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 10:55:20 PM by BJL » Logged
Rhossydd
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2010, 12:24:58 AM »
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but still no price announced.
Sources in the UK are quoting around 16,000.
Interesting product spoilt by a poor body design and high internal recording compression (4:2:0), so to get broadcast quality results you need and external recorder.
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BJL
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2010, 01:19:28 PM »
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I found the USA press release with prices at http://pro.sony.com/bbsccms/assets/files/micro/xdcam/pressreleases/Sony_PMW-F3_camcorder-11-8-10.pdf

The PMW-F3 camcorder will be available in February 2011, for a suggested list price of $16,000 (PMW-F3L, without lens) and $23,000 (PMW-F3K (with PL Lens kit).

So adding three PL-mount primes, 35/50/85, each T2.0, costs an extra $7,000.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2010, 05:12:42 PM »
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For the price I'd prefer a camera that doesn't use a long-GOP codec.
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 10:01:38 AM »
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Given the advent of good MFT video - Panasonic AG-AF100 - looks to me like the PMW-F3 Super35mm CineAlta camera is only slightly  "less insanely expensive"

Sony seems determined to protect its high margins on Pro equipment. They risk being out-maneuvered, under-cut and sideswiped by Panny.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 10:03:39 AM by Chris Sanderson » Logged

Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2010, 10:11:57 AM »
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I too am very disappointed in their choice of compression in both the Sony and Panasonic cameras. I have been a fan of the Red from the beginning and was thinking that these new cameras from Sony and Panasonic would the capability to capture discreet raw frames like the RED. I don't expect 4K but I did expect at least 4:2:2. I guess there is a large enough market that just doesn't understand or care.
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2010, 10:59:37 AM »
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I too am very disappointed in their choice of compression in both the Sony and Panasonic cameras. I have been a fan of the Red from the beginning and was thinking that these new cameras from Sony and Panasonic would the capability to capture discreet raw frames like the RED. I don't expect 4K but I did expect at least 4:2:2. I guess there is a large enough market that just doesn't understand or care.
RUMOR?
There is a report that the GH2 will output uncompressed RAW video via HDMI - not the AVCHD recorded internally. Obviously this would need be to an external recorder that would be able to handle the bandwidth but if correct, this makes this Panasonic camera very exciting. Has anyone else heard any more on this?
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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2010, 11:28:41 AM »
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Add an HD recorder to any camera with SDI or HDMI out such as this and you have XDCAM HD 422 for a very reasonable price and size.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 11:33:06 AM by Chris Sanderson » Logged

Christopher Sanderson
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2010, 12:22:32 PM »
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This is getting silly.  Now we have near Panaflex-quality imagery for under ten grand.  With no moving parts.
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georgl
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2010, 12:57:39 PM »
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Let's be clear that these are not professional cine-cameras (yes, I know Lars von Trier shot a feature film with mini-DV...) and cannot be compared to them just by sensor-size, either.
A professional camera has to be extremely robust and has to output an uncompressed signal.
Even the ARRI Alexa (50k) with it's current focus to ProRes 4x4 (330Mbit/s - more than RED) and without an optical viewfinder is still not an ideal replacement for an D-21 (130k).
And with a properly done 4k DI, 35mm film (>80% of all feature films) is still THE choice, quality wise (if 35mm was meant by the Panaflex-argument).
It's great that there are so many possibilities to immitate film-look to a certain degree with consumer and prosumer-hardware, but let's not hope for a generation of filmmakers who don't know about the quality-standards established by ARRI and Panavision. The Alexa is selling great and offering the possibility to implement these quality standards into a nice HD-workflow - despite the cost.

What's the point of a 16k$-priced camcorder with plastic housing? AF? Electric zoom? On a cine-style camera? Sounds like the people who tried to replace "overpriced" cine-lenses with still-lenses... What fun they had...
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2010, 01:19:40 PM »
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Hot-type looked great too  Grin
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Christopher Sanderson
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2010, 01:42:06 PM »
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let's not hope for a generation of filmmakers who don't know about the quality-standards
This is the main issue with the current HD mania. Far too many people expressing an opinion on "quality" frankly don't have a clue what they're talking about.
There are precious few people who have actually seen just how good high standard video or 35mm film can be. They've only seen second rate prints shown in mediocre cinemas or compressed video passed through transmission chains more concerned with quantity than quality.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2010, 01:55:57 PM »
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For a great comparison of cameras and codecs, check out The Great Camera Shootout on the Zacuto web site. It was very informative for me.
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2010, 01:58:10 PM »
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This is the main issue with the current HD mania. Far too many people expressing an opinion on "quality" frankly don't have a clue what they're talking about.
There are precious few people who have actually seen just how good high standard video or 35mm film can be. They've only seen second rate prints shown in mediocre cinemas or compressed video passed through transmission chains more concerned with quantity than quality.
Yep, too true. I finally threw out my double-system 35mm show reel about five years ago. It was getting hard to get an audience in front of the 35mm projector.
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Christopher Sanderson
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