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philip coccioletti
Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Dec 30, 2010 at 7:30:59 pm

Anyone know why Sony so overpriced the F3 camera? Yes... it looks great but with an overblown price tag of 18K with 3 prime lenses?????
Every review we have read comments on this over blown asking price. Its a 10K camera with lenses at best.
Sony has the guts to say this is their INDY target special? We are in the heart of INDY production and this couldn't be further from the truth.
Panasonic's new AF-100 is 1/3rd the price at 6K.

Any thoughts on this one?


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Michael Palmer
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Dec 30, 2010 at 8:19:17 pm

Neither of these cameras have really hit the streets yet and to explode over the price without knowing the capabilities is jumping the gun. The only thing I know about the F3 is that it is a true 12-14 bit camera that has future abilities for dual link (4:4:4) recordings, this is far and away beyond this Panasonic (8-bit) AVCHD unit.

I will say the Panasonic is a much better idea than any DSLR that needs all those extra gizmos to make video.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Craig Seeman
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Dec 30, 2010 at 10:56:41 pm

My sense of the F3 is that it's a baby F35. It's a B camera for episodic TV or lower budget (not what I'd call "indy" but some might) features. The built in EX codec is really only a proxy in those cases. I guess some higher end doc work as well.

For corporate work, very local cable spots, lower budget docs and what I'd consider "indy" films the AF-100 or probably the upcoming NXCAM super35 camera would be better. Frustrating that they're both AVCHD though.

I see a market opportunity that Sony is missing to make an EX camera for under $10k or, better still, one that can handle 50mbps 4:2:2 (as Canon is using in their XF series).



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philip coccioletti
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Dec 30, 2010 at 11:08:53 pm

I agree but am upset that Sony calls it an INDY camera with a price tag of over 18K!!! We work lots of INDY productions and are lucky to have any camera in the 10K range.
This new PMW F3 is a 10K range camera and no more. Look at the few videos on youtube or vimeo using the F3... they are ok. But look at the Bali shoot with the DSLR 5D Canon and that footage blows away the F3. Again... it always comes down to who is flying the plane. Sony missed the ball on this one and is over charging big time. Every review we read complains about the price point.
here is an example below

http://www.eoshd.com/content/446-Sample-Sony-F3-footage-and-first-impressio...


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Jason Davenport
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Dec 31, 2010 at 11:40:18 pm

Please...a review from a DSLR site. Their info is completely wrong. Noise...that camera has snr of 63
At 18db noise can hardly be seen
It's a 3.5 sensor
Camera is 13,300k, glass is irrelevant
That noise still is BS.
Shoots Slog 444 same as raw.
Can shoot 420,422,444
It is modular, you can add separate recorder.

Now we have another option to RED or Alexa than putting a $50,000 dollar lens on a $2000.00 camera that:
Shuts down when hot
Gives corrupted files
Freaks out at detail
Has bad case of gello cam
Needs $2000 dollars of stuff to put on shoulder
Bad VF output
No ND filtering
Moire
Audio..
Compression artifacts and messy gradient.

Do I need to go on...

They are great for photogs but their life in the video world has ended.


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philip coccioletti
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 1, 2011 at 8:06:24 pm

I am not saying I agree with the DSLR guys. I have seen great images with the Canon 5D and had a chance to use it. I was impressed with the visuals. Yes... its a pain with all the accessories and handling the unit, etc,etc.
My beef is with Sony and their decision to put such a heavy asking price on this new PMW F3 going for a small fortune at $18,900... and then they insist they are catering to the INDY crowd? The Indy crowd ain't gonna shell out 20K for this little F3, especially when Panasonic's AF 100 is under 1/3rd the price.
Why is Sony doing this with such a ridiculous price point?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 1, 2011 at 9:09:54 pm

It may depend on what one considers an Indy. If it's $50k budget they may not consider this camera. If it's $500k maybe. But if you're in that budget range the real issue is why would one use the F3 over RED? I just don't see the F3 having a big market share compared to the competition in the Indy film market.



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Leon Unger
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Feb 14, 2012 at 2:04:32 pm

PHILIP, Bear in mind that this DOES NOT compete with panasonic AF100. PMW F3 is one or two steps ahead. AF100 competes with DSLR, in a atempt to make cimematograhers undestands tha DSLR is a equipment to make STILLs images. This filming capabilities is for the operator make a urgent film in a street for example, or a father who is shooting the labor of her wife in hospital , and resolves to filming the birth process. Like craig Seeman said , is a baby F35, for shooting the things that the people is using DSLR and beyond.For the last instance is a SONY equipment. Period !


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Jay Gladwell
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 5, 2011 at 2:00:37 pm

Philip, in this business, you get what you pay for. You're attempting to compare apples and oranges.

Buy the AF-100, if that's what you want, and stop beefing. Life's too short.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 5, 2011 at 3:11:15 pm

[Jay Gladwell] "in this business, you get what you pay for."
But that's not the basis for a business to make a purchasing decision.

The Canon XF100 is about $3300 and uses 50mbps MPEG2 4:2:2
The Sony F3 is about $18,000 sans lens and uses 35mbps MPEG2 4:2;0
That's certainly not a complete picture but one wonders why Sony uses a codec which, given the F3 camera's intent (which is certainly apples to oranges compared to the XF100) is only a proxy codec.
On the other hand, the RED Epic-S will probably be about $12,000 for the body.

Many people are questioning the price of the F3 vs the features and price of other shallow depth of field cameras.

Personally I see the F3 as a baby F35 for those locked into that workflow. Indy filmmakers have a lot of choices from much lower to comparable to higher price range and one can certainly wonder what the F3 is offering compared to other shallow depth of field capable cameras. There's been lots of questions about the ergonomics of the F3. If the intent was to make a mid priced "ease of use" large sensor camera it may fail in that regard. The problem is in many categories of large sensor cameras there's seems to be a comparable or better choice.

We'll only know for sure when all the production models of these large sensor cameras hit the streets and undergo heavy use but, on paper, the F3 does not stand out in price/feature set IMHO.



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Jay Gladwell
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 5, 2011 at 5:37:36 pm

Craig, you too are attempting to compare two cameras that aren't anywhere near the same class; they're worlds apart--apples to oranges.

The XF100 has a 1/3" sensor. The F3 has a Super 35mm sensor, not to mention the capabilities to record with much higher quality codecs.

I dare say if the truth were known, most folks complaining really love the camera, they simply can't afford it. Hence, their complaining, but that's just my opinion.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 5, 2011 at 6:14:21 pm

[Jay Gladwell] "you too are attempting to compare two cameras that aren't anywhere near the same class;"

I'm comparing things piecemeal and doing it deliberately. That's why I mention the Epic-S. For the price which do you think will have the better codec? The choice of 35mbps 4:2:0 over 50mbps 4:2:2 can't be cost of implementation because Canon has it in a $3000 camera. 4:2:2 codec should be baseline in an $18,000 camera body IMHO.

My point is that Sony should have, as a baseline, used 50mbps 4:2:2 so an "indy" filmmaker could have an easy to use solution if they did not want to nail on recording devices. Basically one thing the F3 does not seem to be is a more portable solution since it is not shoulder mount, it needs an external recording device. Personally I think anyone who is in the price range of an F3 will also be considering RED's offerings. The F3 has to have an ADVANTAGE to win over Indy filmmakers. Such advantages could have been ease of portability or price and it seems to fail on both.

The ONE advantage the F3 has is if you're shooting episodic TV or other programing with an F35 you'd have a very affordable B camera that will fit in with the workflow once Sony comes out with Dual Link.

The F3 would have been killer if it had a better codec, was shoulder mount so an Indy filmmaker/doc maker had a portable mid priced large sensor camera. As it is I don't see why an indy filmmaker would chose it over RED on features relative to price, ease of use, portability, workflow.

Please do convince me (and others of course) otherwise. philip brought up the "indy" market specifically.



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Jay Gladwell
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 6, 2011 at 3:47:50 pm

Craig, I'm not here to convince anyone of anything. The point is you're trying to compare two different classes of cameras. That's an exercise in futility.

You speak of "ifs" and that could be applied to anything and everything. We aren't dealing with "ifs," we're dealing with reality--what the situation is. You were the one that pointed out, rightly so (and I paraphrase), that just as there are classes of cameras, there are classes of "indy" film production.

So back to the bottom line: If you can't afford the F3 get the AF-100, stop whining, and get on with your production.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 6, 2011 at 4:21:54 pm

[Jay Gladwell] "The point is you're trying to compare two different classes of cameras. That's an exercise in futility."

No, I'm comparing codecs and the cost of implementation.

[Jay Gladwell] "just as there are classes of cameras, there are classes of "indy" film production."

But I can't think of a class the F3 will compete in successfully. Will there be a motive to buy or rent it over the RED Epic-S for example? Sorry but I just can't think of any beyond the "baby F35" situation. I'd love to see a different assessment and why. I've made my assessment and listed very concrete reasons. Price, codec, mobility/ease of use/ergonomics. It doesn't win in any category I can think of.

[Jay Gladwell] "If you can't afford the F3 get the AF-100, stop whining, and get on with your production."

You're making an unfounded assumption. Price is ONE factor. I listed the others in my previous post and again above. If someone has the money for a rental or $20k+ for a kit I can't see choosing an F3 over any number of RED cameras, the lowest priced large sensor RED being the Epic-S.

I can't think of one feature where the F3 LEADS. S-log, Dual Link . . . I would choose this over RED's codec and recording capabilities why? I would only if that specifically is my workflow (such as already using F35 as an "A" camera).

For example:
EX1 leads in lowest price 1/2" sensor, image resolved resolution, ease of use quality codec over AVCHD
EX3 leads in 1/2' sensor, interchangeable lenses.
EX 320 leads in low price 1/2" sensor, shoulder mount ergonomics.
EX 350 leads in low price 2/3" CMOS sensor
EX 500 leads in low price 2/3" CCD sensor, records 50mbps 4:2:2 to SxS card for ease of use quality codec

F3 leads in what category? Codec nope, ergonomics nope, price per feature set nope, sensor let's see what Epic-S does. F3 leads in integration with F35 production pending S-log and Dual Link implementation.



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James Houk
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 6, 2011 at 7:16:47 pm

Reasons why I am on the PMW-F3 preorder list and will have one in February:

-SxS & Batteries match workflow and accessories I already own for use with my EX1.
-HD-SDI out will permit 10bit external recording for clients who desire it, with SxS for backup and offline editing purposes.
-Super35 sensor means PL glass can be used with no cropping. Full frame glass can be used with about a 20% crop. AF-100 sensor is 20% smaller than the PMW-F3, which means significant cropping when using PL or fullframe glass.
-MTF is making an adapter that will permit me to use my Zeiss ZF Nikon mount lenses on the PMW-F3.
-In the videos I've seen the PMW-F3 out performs the AF100 in terms of picture quality. Resolution, detail, clarity, everything. The fact that the chip was built from the ground up for this camera is probably part of that.
-Low light capabilities look phenomenal.
-Rolling shutter appears to be very minimal. On par with the EX1.
-Moire and aliasing are not a problem. Performs admirably.
-Deep focus shots don't fall apart.

-Fact is, my client base doesn't want to deal with the RED post workflow. When they do, I can rent.

-I'll be putting rails on this, yes - but overall, it's going to be much easier to use and much lighter than my EX1 was with the Letus adapter.

-Intrigued by Sony's powered zooms for this camera

Do I wish it was cheaper? Sure. But I don't see a competitor providing what I want for a better price. The AF100 looked nice until I saw the specs and footage for the PMW-F3.

RED requires heavy post work. I don't need that on a daily basis. A lot of indie stuff I work, they don't want that much post work. Some clients will be happy with the internal 4:2:0. For others I'll use an Aja Ki Pro Mini or such.

The fact is, this camera will pay for itself in work, and when I want to trade up I'll get the rest back out of selling the camera.

If it doesn't work for you, don't buy it.

But be accurate about the price comparisons please! It's not $18,000 without lenses! It's $13,300 without lenses. Sure, Red said Epic-S will be around $12,000. By the time they actually release it (after all the more expensive Epic cameras) that could easily be $13,000 or $14,000. And that's just for the brain! Doesn't even come with internal recording. So add all the accessories! I'm guessing to deck out the Epic-S you're still close to $20k without lenses. And it may well not be out until Fall. If then.

For me, the PMW-F3 in February is the best answer. If it's not the answer for you, that's fine. Move on.

Everyone acts like this is all a giant conspiracy to overprice the camera. Supply and demand. A commodity is worth what people are willing to pay for it. And I assure you, there are people willing to pay Sony's asking price for this camera.

*Sony PMW-EX1
*Letus Ultimate
*Final Cut Studio 2


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Craig Seeman
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 6, 2011 at 7:48:01 pm

I've never seen a Sony camera that far below MSRP. From what I read it was Sony that was stating $18k for the body so one might assume $16.5, not $13.3K "street"
http://www.abelcine.com/store/Sony-PMW-F3L-Super-35mm-XDCAM-EX-Camera-body-...



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James Houk
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 6, 2011 at 8:02:39 pm

It was a $16k street price for body only. The dealers all signed paperwork agreeing to not sell it for less than $13,300. So that's the going rate. $18950 for kit with glass.

Obviously, $13,300 is a very different price than $18,000 for just the body!

I think at $18,000 I would have gone with the AF100 for the time being.

*Sony PMW-EX1
*Letus Ultimate
*Final Cut Studio 2


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Craig Seeman
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 6, 2011 at 10:11:59 pm

When you consider the PMW-320 and 350 without lens is $10.3K and $17.5K respectively than $13.3K really does fall in line with other EX pricing.



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Michael Palmer
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Jan 6, 2011 at 9:16:53 pm

I remember the EX3 MSRP was $11000.00 when it was introduced and it still sells for $8300.00

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Leon Unger
Re: Sony PMW F3 Camera
on Feb 14, 2012 at 2:51:55 pm

Phillip, here in Brazil i was able to import an Sony PMW-F3. To resolves the problems of coded,or make a better video, more than 35Mbits we add a external recorder, the Gemini from Covergent design.(444 around 120Mbits is more than sufficient for us). The complete pack, (camera, lens, 3 batteries, follow focus,Match Box & Viewfinder from Zcutto, Nikkon lens adapter, etc),costs R$52,669.00 BRL (Brazilian Real) = 30,211,00 USD (US Dollar) in the day I bougth .
I run a small studio, production firm.
Is really very expensive, but I really needed this camera to work. So I made a choice: I sold my car, I gathered together the money i had saved and bought the camera. I'm walking on foot, or by taxi, but the camera is already producing. 1000 dolars a daily schedule when I have window in our agenda to rent, and in the rest of the time, it works for me and my little team.
The choices we make are they going to make or not, the conditions for getting what we want or need.
We Never shoot with 5D. 5D is to take pictures. Boy blowing birthday candle, grandma knitting ... Our children playing. Film, video clips, documentaries, TV, etc., is to be done with video cameras. So I made my choice. I gave up something, to have another.


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Mick Barton
Re: Sony PMW EX3 Camera
on Jan 8, 2011 at 12:56:15 am

I'm about to shoot a film using the Sony PMW-EX3 camera with an attached 35mm lens does anyone have any tips especially on what frame rate to use for that cinema look and any other helpful tips would be much appreciated.


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Don Greening
Re: Sony PMW EX3 Camera
on Jan 8, 2011 at 7:12:23 am

Most who shoot for a full length feature film will generally use 1080 24p with a starting shutter speed of 1/48th.sec. Of course, there's so much more to achieving the 'film look' than just frame rate and shutter speed.

- Don

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


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