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Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras

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Michael Moser
Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 5, 2010 at 9:20:13 pm

I'm looking over the specs of the Sony F3 and the Panasonic 100 and I conclude that it's an interesting world we live in.
I got my hands on the Panasonic and am duly impressed...In our world the DVX and up crowd is pretty large, but I've never been one to always go with the flow...I'm more impressed with the expansion capabilities offered by the Sony F3...with KiPros and Cinedeks as outboard recording possibilities.

In fact, if you compare the two, even though the body of the Panasonic is cheaper, when you add it all up with ad-ons, for stability, lenses, and functionality, they are close to equal (though Pana is probably a little cheaper (and offers 1080p overcrank).

I'm curious if others are making these calculations and what conclusions you are coming to?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 5, 2010 at 9:36:03 pm

Add Sony's NXCAM with Super35 sensor coming next summer.
None of these are run & gun cameras though.

It really depends on what you need as I think the AF100 and F3 are really for different markets. There are LOTS of difference between these two cameras. I don't think it's and either/or choice between these two.

Again the Sony NXCAM will be interesting and more competitive to the AF100.

Right now my personal sentiment is to get something like a Canon EOS 60D and work around the issues and wait until the products shake out a bit at least until Sony's NXCAM. In any case, the lenses you get now should work as you move up the camera purchase change.

What's bothering me is that it seems AVCHD will be the lower end recording standard short of adding an KiProMini or NanoFlash or whatever else comes out. I just don't like the idea that I keep having to nail things to a body. I really wish someone would use XDCAM HD 50mbps 4:2:2 built in.

Personally I think I'm going to like Sony's NXCAM Super35 over Panny's AF100 4/3 sensor and I'd rather wait and see. I don't like that either is AVCHD. The F3 Super35 will have important features for those who need LUT and Dual Link. The XDCAM EX 35mbps really doesn't have much more value than as a proxy file in that league.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 5, 2010 at 10:01:17 pm

I wouldn't like to be in the need to buy a camera right now.
Time to wait, if you can.

[Craig Seeman] "What's bothering me is that it seems AVCHD will be the lower end recording standard short of adding an KiProMini or NanoFlash or whatever else comes out. I just don't like the idea that I keep having to nail things to a body. I really wish someone would use XDCAM HD 50mbps 4:2:2 built in."
Even this last option is short for those cameras.
Another thing to think about is that if those new cameras output 8 or 10b on the SDI/HDMI.
Avoid HDMI would be great too.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Moser
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 5, 2010 at 10:03:10 pm

I agree..There's a lot more to see post NAB next year...I think since Sony's already has the 50mps/4:2:2 in an existing body, that'll be the way she goes. I think Sony is less likely to cannibalize it's line than Pana sonic. I think the AVCHD codec will remain competitive with the NXCAM and the sxs will be the upgrade path beyond the F3.
I'd like to get on the large sensor bandwagon, though I really don't like to be building an erector set around my camera to put it on my shoulder.
-m



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Noah Kadner
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 5, 2010 at 10:36:09 pm

I'd be investing in a high end set of lenses. Something like the Zeiss compact primes. Then you can roll with whatever the body camera du jour happens to be. Glass is pretty much good forever. Well until the day where a 35mm sized sensor is no longer considered the standard. Then we're all basically hosed...

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 5, 2010 at 10:56:42 pm

[Noah Kadner] "I'd be investing in a high end set of lenses. Something like the Zeiss compact primes. Then you can roll with whatever the body camera du jour happens to be. Glass is pretty much good forever"

Well said. That's why one might consider a Canon EOS 60D and spend money on lenses while the first generation of lower end large sensor cameras shakes itself out. Of course one might have an immediate need and an AF100 or whatever Sony does with NXCAM might be a reasonable price for a 1 year ROI.

I have problems with all the announced large sensor cameras so I'd be a bit reluctant to spend that money on the those bodies.



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Keith Pratt
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 8, 2010 at 9:43:10 pm

Noah Kadner: "I'd be investing in a high end set of lenses. Something like the Zeiss compact primes. Then you can roll with whatever the body camera du jour happens to be."

The thing is, at 18mm, the widest Compact Prime isn't wide enough on the AF100. Fast wide-angles are a real problem for m4/3.

Brent Dunn: "Well, we all know they can do firmware upgrades to give us ProRes recording, or other format choices. But, they can't make money off of firmware upgrades."

HDCam-SR is Sony's ProRes, and the upgrade path seems to be their upcoming solid-state SR box. But this box will surely cost way more than the camera...

I actually don't think Sony know where they're going with the F3. They're marketing it as a baby F35, and at the same time claiming it's 4:2:0 because it's part of the EX line. They're bringing out their own set of cinema-style primes, but there's a zoom rocker on the side and the suggestion of an ENG-style zoom. That Sony offer so many different camera models makes this one look like it's having an identity crisis.

But anyway, the more important point is that in 2011, professional cameras should not be recording 4:2:0. Somebody needs to let Sony and Panasonic know.

Beom Koh: "I know that RED makes some nice cameras"

Until I see living proof, Red makes a nice camera.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 8, 2010 at 10:07:10 pm

[Keith Pratt] "The thing is, at 18mm, the widest Compact Prime isn't wide enough on the AF100. Fast wide-angles are a real problem for m4/3."

Another good reason why I'm not sold on the AF100.

[Keith Pratt] "HDCam-SR is Sony's ProRes, and the upgrade path seems to be their upcoming solid-state SR box. But this box will surely cost way more than the camera..."

. . . and why I'm not sure the cost/convenience compared to RED is all that great.


[Keith Pratt] "I actually don't think Sony know where they're going with the F3. They're marketing it as a baby F35, and at the same time claiming it's 4:2:0 because it's part of the EX line."

. . . and why I think the camera doesn't quite serve a market niche beyond F35 users who need a less expensive B camera. The EX codec is nothing more than a proxy file.

If it had 50Mbps 4:2:2 it might be of value to certain indy film and high end corporate markets.


[Keith Pratt] "That Sony offer so many different camera models makes this one look like it's having an identity crisis."

It's seems to be the worst possible combination of features rather than the best. Bad eyepiece, bad codec for the price, not shoulder mount if that's a market. It's just smack in the middle of nowhere.


[Keith Pratt] "in 2011, professional cameras should not be recording 4:2:0. Somebody needs to let Sony and Panasonic know."

But at least Panasonic is only charging $5K for the AF100 so one expects compromises.

If Canon can put 50mbps 4:2:2 in a $4K XF100 You'd think Sony could make a large sensor interchangeable lens camera with the same codec for about the price of an EX3 $8K.



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Don Greening
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 9, 2010 at 4:21:48 am

[Craig Seeman] "You'd think Sony could make a large sensor interchangeable lens camera with the same codec for about the price of an EX3 $8K."

Maybe Sony doesn't plan on actually selling the F3 since it's really just a hodge podge collection of high and low end parts flying in formation. Maybe they just showed it off to see if we're all awake enough to say "WHA.....?"

- Don

Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 5, 2010 at 10:52:59 pm

[Michael Moser] "I agree..There's a lot more to see post NAB next year...I think since Sony's already has the 50mps/4:2:2 in an existing body, that'll be the way she goes."

Sony is using 35mbps 4:2:0 in the F3 so that'd definitely not the case. The announced NXCAM Super35 is AVCHD 24mbps, I believe.

[Michael Moser] "I'd like to get on the large sensor bandwagon, though I really don't like to be building an erector set around my camera to put it on my shoulder."

I agree.

[Michael Moser] "I think Sony is less likely to cannibalize it's line than Panasonic."

Please explain where the cannibalization might happen. Certainly people who need shallow depth of field are going to chose NXCAM when the time comes, over EX1r and EX3. Those who need shoulder mount run and gun will be looking at PMW-320 and 350 on up for ENG work. I see no reason why Sony could have an EX 35mbps in the same suspected price range as their announced NXCAM. Personally I feel it's a mistake to use that codec in the F3 rather than 50mbps 4:2:2 for people who need fast turnaround, small files, color for compositing.



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Noah Kadner
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 5, 2010 at 11:19:17 pm

Yeah personally I think cannibalization of differing product lines, or at least corporate perception of it, is really one of the key issues of this current crop of cameras. It used to be 5 or 10 years ago, the DV/HDV cameras you got at the prosumer end were really the state of the art at that price point. These days however it's hard not to see how putting a specific codec into a specific camera at a specific price point isn't a more artificial way to separate out certain market segments than it is a reality of costs/capabilities. I mean is it really that unrealistic to expect say ProRes native capture to CF cards on a sub $10,000 camera without outboard gear?

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Brent Dunn
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 6, 2010 at 6:46:58 pm

Well, we all know they can do firmware upgrades to give us ProRes recording, or other format choices. But, they can't make money off of firmware upgrades.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1, V1U
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Michael Moser
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 6, 2010 at 2:47:21 am

[Craig Seeman]Sony is using 35mbps 4:2:0 in the F3 so that'd definitely not the case. The announced NXCAM Super35 is AVCHD 24mbps, I believe.

I was just speculating that Sony might offer that in an upgraded model since they've shown it could be done in the 500...
I think Noah is saying that this is the way they define each line, that is by codec, and that's an artificial differentiator.
In any case, I agree that like a good set of lights, lenses are valuable as a long term investment.
BTW as far as lights go, I wouldn't put a whole lot of money into HMI's at this point...
Anyway, a good camera is one that makes you money and allows you to do your job in an efficient, flexible, and artful manner...
My Sony Z-1 is still working along with my betacam thanks to the KiPro.

I'm excited by the new possibilities offered by whatever large sensor cameras emerge. Maybe the F-3 is too in-the-middle...The Panasonic offers mainly the same thing at a lower price-point...
other than that the Sony will offer dual link and the ability to match cameras for 3D..You'll still need a 4:4:4 on board recorder...I'd rather have a camera that records sound and has the other video functionalities...



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Craig Seeman
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 6, 2010 at 5:24:26 am

[Michael Moser] "I was just speculating that Sony might offer that in an upgraded model since they've shown it could be done in the 500..."

I'm surprised they didn't got the 50mbps 4:2:2 route but they've made their announcement and I doubt they'll change that.

[Michael Moser] " Maybe the F-3 is too in-the-middle"

That's my feeling. It seems very specifically a B camera to an F35 and the like.

[Michael Moser] "Sony will offer dual link and the ability to match cameras for 3D..You'll still need a 4:4:4 on board recorder"

Once you add Dual Link it ain't all that mobile so primarily its price compared to an F35 rental makes it viable in that narrow niche. Going with 35mbps 4:2:0 significantly decrease a big advantage it could have had over the AF100. Granted XDCAM EX is easier to handle than AVCHD but not at that price difference between those two cameras. With 50mbps 4:2:2 it would at least be a small portable, broadcast codec spec camera.

[Michael Moser] "a good camera is one that makes you money and allows you to do your job in an efficient, flexible, and artful manner...
My Sony Z-1 is still working along with my betacam thanks to the KiPro. "


This is why the AF100 or Sony's NXCAM will make more sense than the F3 for most people. It's just a gut feeling but the F3 at 3 times the price will not sell 1/3 as many cameras. Just my humble opinion. The F3 is really "in the middle" with appeal to a very narrow niche.

BTW I should state that I'm not quite happy with any of the cameras yet. AF100 is 4/3 and AVCHD. I'd prefer APS-C or Super35 and a better codec I can work with more easily. The NXCAM will Super35 which is great but AVCHD. Both can be "fixed" with a KiProMini or equivalent though. The F3 just doesn't make sense at price and feature list. LUT and Dual Link can be critical for broadcast or Film but then you're also looking at RED at that point.

I can't help that the next generation following this will be 50mbps 4:2:2 built in whether Sony or Canon or Panasonic comes out with AF100a (ghosts of DVX100 history) with some improvements. Heck I'd even settle for APS-C and 35mbps 4:2:0 if it were competitive with the AF100 but Sony apparently isn't going to go there. BIG MISTAKE IMHO.



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Rafael Amador
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 6, 2010 at 9:38:23 am

A camera able to output 444 and that internally records EX (35mbps) , can only be the offspring of a sick mind.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 6, 2010 at 2:24:47 pm

If a camera like that is wrong, I don't want to be right!

Cf


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Jay Gladwell
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 6, 2010 at 2:39:37 pm

"Sony Japan say their Super 35mm Exmor CMOS in the upcoming F3 is completely new and has pixels which are 4x the size of typical DSLR CMOS ones. Approximately 12 microns sized versus as little as 3 microns on APS-C DSLRs (according to Sony).

"The Canon 5D Mark II has a much larger sensor but 22MP. That one works out at 6.4 microns, so even against that beast the F3 comes out with twice the light capturing capabilities per pixel.

"This, Sony say, results in 'dramatically increased sensitivity and dynamic range'."

and

"... the camera has dual-link HD-SDI outputs for 4:4:4 10-bit offboard recording; S-Log gamma curves; loadable LUTs; a “3D link” terminal for stereoscopic applications; and a reported 12- to 13-stop dynamic range—think of it as a baby F35 or a RED ONE / Alexa competitor more than a challenge to the AF100."



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Craig Seeman
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 6, 2010 at 3:16:40 pm

Jay my point is that the market for it is the F35 market and not much beyond that. That's a small market. I'm not even sure it competes against the RED ONE and now RED EPIC given that's a 4K camera (if needed) and can record at a higher frame rate for solo motion (if needed) and a codec that doesn't depend on tape (that may change for the F3 though).

There's also been much discussion that the NXCAM would get the same sensor but it's not clear.



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Jay Gladwell
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 6, 2010 at 6:41:35 pm

Craig, sorry--that wasn't directed at you, necessarily. I just through that out as food for thought.

The F3 is not a run-n-gun camera for sure, not as it's currently configured.



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Brent Dunn
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 6, 2010 at 6:55:08 pm

ha ha, funny. Now that song is stuck in my head.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1, V1U
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Beom Koh
Re: Thoughts on upcoming 4/3 inch cameras
on Dec 7, 2010 at 11:02:05 am

I too think that F3 is little overpriced knowing its capability.

I just found this article

http://cinescopophilia.com/?p=3311

What do you guys think about this?

I might need a new camera in Early 2012, and do you guys think there will be new one at that time? (Just like Sony introduced EX3 next to EX1?)

I know that RED makes some nice cameras but from what I know, RED is more hard to operate and they are complicated.....


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