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Author Topic: Why I bought an F3  (Read 7073 times)
Morgan_Moore
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« on: November 03, 2013, 03:30:39 AM »
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Ive sort of blogged my vague ramblings of why my new camera is a Sony PMW-F3

http://www.sammorganmoore.com/backstage/choosing-a-new-a-camera-sony-pmw-f3

S
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 04:13:19 AM »
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ROFL at myself - I clicked this thread thinking you bought an old Nikon F3 stills camera and hoped for some analogue insights - made my day ... Cheesy
Should have guessed from the forum ...
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 04:16:10 AM »
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No need for me to buy a Nikon F3 - Ive had one since 1992 still works - my review of the Nikon F3? I prefer the FM2n with 1/250 flash synch or the Nikon F4 due to AF. Smiley

S
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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bcooter
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 07:09:16 AM »
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Ive sort of blogged my vague ramblings of why my new camera is a Sony PMW-F3

http://www.sammorganmoore.com/backstage/choosing-a-new-a-camera-sony-pmw-f3

S

Morgan,

What format will you shoot to 422, 420, or 444 uncompressed?

Just curious if you tested all three, because honestly I don't think bit rate and depth is all it's cracked up to be, or if it is, did you notice a difference?

I now shot about a billion hours of footage on the gh3's and the RED 1's, Scarlets, etc. sometimes in the same session and settings and honestly final out in 2k I can't see any real difference other than the Red footage takes a lot more work to get to a read to edit proress.  Actually I have three RED rocket cards two in mgloic cases one in an 8 core mac and the only one that works today is the one mounted in the mac.

Don't know why the other two stopped but it's maddening to be in the middle of a project and all of a sudden your encoding times quadruple because two $4,500 video cards or software, or something fails to work.

In fact I'd buy an Amira just for proress output, but once again, if i can't see the difference between a 4k raw 444 $25,000 camera vs. a $1,299 420 h264 camera then I kind of wonder if we're not chasing the dream more than the actual result.

I don't disagree with your final choice and understand it's a big purchase, but I am a little curious why you went with a 2k only camera and I'm not a real advocate of 4k except for lack of moire, because the 4k I've seen on a big screen and 2k I can't see any difference.  I can tell more about depth and color and professional on set and post production than I can about the actual camera . . .

Which leads me to believe that in video or digital cinema or whatever it's called, a lot of this talk is just mumbo jumbo, kind of like the stuff we went through with still photography where everyone thought they needed a trillion megapixels and now think 20 mpx is great.

But getting back to my point, I don't for a minute think that the next catch phrase of motion will be 4k.  I've already had clients ask, I've already had client's go wow, even though I intercut those little gh3 files into the REd footage and nobody say a word.

Anyway, nice report and wish you the best with your new camera.

IMO

BC
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 07:49:47 AM »
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Ill do a blog on the specs.

With grey washout log you are wading around with no idea where to go. Simply I tried to replicate an image from my nikon D3.

Actually that was really easy to do in Resolve. And opened my understanding of the codecs.

Seeing the different codecs in Resolve scopes you can see huge holes in the smaller codecs.

Does that matter? Well I was finding the files did not have 'meat' somehow were hitting a grey or sony look as one closes to the top end.

I cannot record 444 as I dont have the right recorder.

35mbs onboard is blatantly a joke - there is jpg style compression all over the image

422Pro Res is a little thin (compared to the nikon D3 shooting stills!)  but will have to be what I go with

422 uncompressed is 10gb per minute and I would suggest the file is close to a tiff from a nikon D3.

==

A side note is shooting 422 prores onto SSD, - you can play back your footage while it is on the card the card plugged into the computer (imac 2011), and also dump it off the card really fast (even USB2 reader I have at the mo - I could pick up a thunderbolt reader and double the dump speed)

This workflow is radically low effort, radically.

==

downside is the thing is not far short of an MX built up (with recorder + batts) - ok maybe 2/3 the mass but still a lump

S

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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 07:53:38 AM »
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Nikon Still D3 vs uncompressed Slog attempted match in Resolve..

(now I have stored that as a look it is easy to paste onto future shots)



« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 07:59:59 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 10:49:29 AM »
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2k vs 4k?

Well my camera was used so cheap.

Also Ive properly tested the Scarlet and F5, and to some extent wonder if 4k for 2k delivery is the right thing. The F3 has a cleaner signal than both of those cameras and no downscaling issues.

The F3 seems a little like one of those 11mp stills cameras that just do the job!

I would like the Sony F55 and raw recorder but that comes in at 10X more money which was not an option. I think Arri cameras are too heavy.

S
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Hywel
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 12:01:59 PM »
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I went through a very similar process before ending up with a Scarlet Smiley

What coot says about the GH3 matching the RED's I guess is true so long as you nail it (lighting especially) on set.

Certainly I've found that if I nail it, my AF100 gives results almost indistinguishable from the RED... as long as I'm not shooting anything with subtle gradations in it, like a plain wall or a halo around a light when there's haze in the air. Then the AF100 bands like a bastard EVERY DAMN TIME.

The moment stuff starts to clip, or you have to compromise between letting a bit more daylight than you'd ideally like in, versus the amount of oomph you actually have with you to light with, or a highlight goes a bit clippy, or the clouds thin a bit and the light level suddenly goes up half a stop... that's when the RED footage is easy, even a pleasure to pull back in post, and the AF100 footage is unusable. A nice fat (but compressed) codec on board is really what sold me on the RED.

As a fellow one-man-band operator most of the time, resilience is the reason I *always* reach for the RED as my default choice, even though the ergonomics are not as good as the AF100 in several other respects. For larger crew shoots, the RED ergonomics really shine, that's what it was designed for after all. But lack of ND, hunger for batteries, weight, hunger for card space, heating and fan issues, etc. make the RED a little tricky sometimes.

The huge saving grace is that these tricky situations are exactly where I'm most likely to fail-to-nail it on set. Can't be everywhere- if I'm concentrating on framing and monitoring sound levels, I might well miss the daylight brightening by half a stop. That's when I'm really glad of REDcode RAW to rescue me.

Oh, and when I do nail it with the RED, it looks like a five million dollar movie, not a five hundred dollar photoshoot, which is nice.

Look forward to hearing how you get on with the new "beast", Sam! Smiley

  Cheers, Hywel

« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 12:03:34 PM by Hywel » Logged
Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2013, 12:41:08 PM »
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I agree - the smaller your shoot the more you need a robust codec.

The Sony sales people really (selling the F5 that I didn't buy) really thought I was odd having any interest in raw.

To me the Scarlet was too light insensitive and too heavy and the lack of a easy codec meant I moved along.

The F3 is equally heavy or close but I see that as a 'cost' of getting the far cheaper camera (than the f5) - the Scarlet is heavy and costly!

As for GH2 - Ive just never really been interested as they lack audio and ND - Id have one as a runaround.

S

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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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bcooter
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2013, 01:38:19 PM »
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Uh sometime small shoots work great with the red, though I've found the RED only comes into it's own with a lot of light and crew.  For run and gun, even stripped down I don't see it giving me anything more than the gh3's.

Maybe a little more post work with the gh3's but I've also learned to underexpose the gh3 file a little about 1/2 stop as the shadows pull up well and it holds the highlights well.

I'm actually pretty amazed by those little cameras and I've learned a few other tricks like I keep a small lightpanel turned down low mounted on the gh3's even in studio. It's small doesn't really show up as a light, but evens out the face, the shadows and helps with any problems of banding.

One trick for white walls, that don't key out to white and to stop banding is I key the wall down and lay a clip underneath it with a defocus blur, just slightly changing the opacity.  It makes for a richer file and that's the key with motion to have as deep and rich a file as possible.

But don't get me wrong I dig my REDs and even like the Scarlet now that I've changed the mounts to Canon added fast zooms and a EVF, because I can't work that glossy screen.  The only dig I have against RED right now is the problems with the rocket.  I was cranking along like crazy and all of a sudden two of the rockets just stop working and I'm ready to throw them in the creek.

IMO

BC

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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2013, 01:48:04 PM »
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Some colours?

http://www.sammorganmoore.com/backlot/d3ing-the-f3

DR..

« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 02:00:19 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Hywel
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2013, 04:37:03 AM »
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Yup, the light sensitivity of the RED isn't the greatest. It's fine at ISO 800, bit grainy, but works fine downsampling to HD which is what I always do.

Coot, thanks for the white wall tip! Next time I need multi cam to pair with the RED I'll give that a go. A not-quite-perfectly-lit infinity cove was the absolute worst case for the AF100.

If anyone's interested, I've just put a few shorts on Vimeo shot with the RED:

https://vimeo.com/user22192826

They're ultra-compressed of course, but would be very interested to know what you think.

  Cheers, Hywel.

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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2013, 05:33:57 AM »
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Looks good. Im not sure my eye was entirely drawn to the technical elements of the work.
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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bcooter
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2013, 08:20:36 AM »
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Yea the RED 1's are grainy at 800, heck sometimes at 600, but they kind of look like kodak vision which had a lot of ants crawling up the wall look also, so it's not a leap.

I'm still a little freaked by the numbers on these cameras because other than the sony fs100 which produces a file that just doesn't work for me, I still think the gh3's produce an image that is so close to anything I've used, I don't know if I should be happy that I bought them, or pissed I spend so much money on the REDS, but regardless of money, the specs should push the RED's 1000 times beyond the gh3's and they don't.

They don't get close to being that much better and they're not.  i've don't green screen testing of full blown full lit, full rez red footage next to the same set with the gh3's and in the terms of matting and keying there is no difference.

If the Gh3's have any liability it's the sound going into one channel and even from a mixer is a little rough, where with the R1's if our sound tech (tech is a crappy word, sound artist should be the term) anyway, the sound from his mixer to the r1's and scarlet is zero difference than the files he hands me out of his system, where the gh3 makes a little mess of some of it.

Still, it's a 1200 buck camera.

Another post trick that's easy and adds depth is to buy a plug in called beauty box.  It's a great smoother and grain/artifact killer and used properly is more than good on faces it's good on everything if you work it right.  It allows you to really push a file, the only downside is with fcp 7 it slows down the rendering big time.

It will also clean up skin and once again you have to learn it's settings and use it usually with a clip over and a key, but when done right, you get cinema quality.

I'm pretty stoked on Panasonic and I really like a dslr form factor for shooting, because I guess I'm use to it and it's an easier format to shoot than a long brick of a camera that requires a shoulder mount.

IMO

BC
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Chris L
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2013, 09:51:45 AM »
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I am gonna rent the GH3 to see what I have been missing. The idea of useable auto focus for certain situations sounds great. My only issue is dynamic range. I use a BMCC and love the look. The file it produces is exactly what I like; great DR with beautiful highlight roll off. There are many backlit situations that look just fine with no fill light. How does the GH3 compare in DR?
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2013, 10:09:05 AM »
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Great thread, guys.  We're all living on the cutting  edge with you, but without all the blood and bandages.
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Hywel
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2013, 12:47:58 PM »
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> Im not sure my eye was entirely drawn to the technical elements of the work.

If it had been, I would have regarded it as a failure on my part  Roll Eyes

My earliest revelation of how to approach shooting was to realise that with super-glam models the technical side of my job boils down to not screwing up. So long as the light isn't too horrid, the exposure's about right, the shot's in focus and I'm far enough away to give a flattering perspective, my film making can be unobtrusive; everyone is watching the girls anyway!

  Cheers, Hywel.

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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2013, 01:30:58 PM »
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Actually I would suggest that is almost the same with all work, or certainly my style in the last decade for the camera/lighting to become 'invisible'.

The only trouble is that if you achieve it no one notices.. and often thinks that light location or whatever were 'lucky'

S
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2013, 03:01:11 PM »
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Working the onboard codec.

http://www.sammorganmoore.com/backlot/pmw-f3-onboard-slog

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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2013, 10:08:55 PM »
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I am gonna rent the GH3 to see what I have been missing. The idea of useable auto focus for certain situations sounds great. My only issue is dynamic range. I use a BMCC and love the look. The file it produces is exactly what I like; great DR with beautiful highlight roll off. There are many backlit situations that look just fine with no fill light. How does the GH3 compare in DR?

To autofocus you're going to have to learn a few settings and try them.  For tracking different options work, I could explain them, but try them all.  for manual focus, just use the touch screen on what you want and the face detection is tremendous for tracking, especially if you put a person's face in the menu.

You can also manually focus the pana and oly lenses as they are smooth.

Keep ALL other settings on manual, mess with the viewfinder brightness to match your computer.

800 iso is good 1000 you can get by with, but over that you'll need some denoise software, though I've shot at 1600 without break up.

Shoot on the highest bit rate.

If you rent it try the pana leica 25mm 1.4 the oly 45, and 75.  The oly 45 feels cheap but is nice, the 75 feels like a billion bucks.

If time permits use the fast leica and oly primes.

Shoot a little under exposed and a less saturated setting with less red in custom seting

The IOS on the pana lenses is ok, but it is not steadicam smooth.

Watch your shutter speed.  On my RED's I can go at 30 fps to 125th of a second without that strobing look, but the gh3 really is a intra file and reacts like film frames.  

Keep the camera small.  You'll need ND's so either go to the 5 series lee system or screw in tiffin (use tiffin as they are very good) .

Good luck.

BC
« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 08:29:50 AM by bcooter » Logged

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