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S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3

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john sharaf
S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:33:55 pm

Well, after waiting months and months and paying $3680 I finally received the upgrade!

First thing I noticed is that it took approximately a millisecond to install, confirming to my uneducated mind that it must already have been in the camera and was merely being "turned on"!

The next thing I noticed was that in the new menu selection indicating the gamma and output of the dual link connectors, there was no selection for 422 S-Log. All the S-Log outputs (at the dual link connectors) were only 444. I have to admit my blood started to boil, as I had hoped to be able to record the S-Log on the 10bit 422 AJA KiProMinis that I already own. It became immediately clear that Sony intended instead that I record only to their SRW (tape and new digital) recorders (or the only other dual-link capable units - Cinedeck or the unavailable as yet CD Gemini).

It took several phone calls to Sony folks before I discovered that the output of the HD-SDI spigot, with the LUT generator "turned off" does route a 422 S-Log signal to that port (when the menu is set to 444 S-Log), but it does eliminate the use of the dual link outputs as a second usable monitoring port, and it also route the S-Log to the SxS card which is not really capable of recording it in a useful way (color correct a 420 8 bit S-log?).

I understood the intention of the upgrade was to send the best signal (10 bit and full color sampling) to the dual link connectors while the monitoring spigot (HD-SDI) and card would carry the applied LUT version.

I was finally able to speak with the product manager from Sony, Mel Melina, who very graciously returned my call after a long day of travel from the East Coast, who fortunately understood (already) my upset and said, even before I asked, that he was in communication with the powers that be and was trying to add the 422 S-Log to the Dual link outputs; essentially by having separate gamma and routing options in the menu.

Others at Sony tried to tell me that they had made it clear that this 422 S-Log function wouldn't exist (or even work), but from my own experience using exactly the same thing on the Arri Alexa I knew different.

The fact is that not everyone can afford SRW recorders and for that matter the Gemini (which with enough SSD storage will cost $8-10K and create a data management bottleneck) so the AJA KiProMini which is already readily available and inexpensive, capable of 10-bit 422 ProRes HQ recording and is therefore appropriate for S-Log, making it an ideal companion to the S-Log equipped F3.

For once it seems that the Sony marketing folks here understand the needs of their US customers and are fighting to get us the features we need and want, it's a shame that it came to market without them and we'll have to wait even longer to see if it comes at all!

JMHO,

JS

JS


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Michael Palmer
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:48:17 pm

John,

So you can't record from just the A spigot for 4:2:2 S-log? Doesn't the B spigot make up the difference to provide 4:4:4?

Also can you tell us what size is the S-log upgrade SxS card and can you use it for native recording?

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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john sharaf
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 4:04:07 pm

No, the A spigot is only two colors as is the B spigot. Only 422 S-Log output at the moment is at the HD-SDI output with LUT "off", so you have no viewing with LUT.

The card is SxS-32G1A's.

JS



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Michael Palmer
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 4:41:45 pm

So is this upgrade something you can move from camera to camera?

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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john sharaf
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 4:45:48 pm

Michael,

Yes, this seems to be a new capability supported by Sony; that you can unload the option back to an SxS card (password protected) and move it to another camera.

JS



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Michael Palmer
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:02:00 pm

I know you said you have 2 F3's, so I'm guessing you have moved it from one to the other.
Any information on creating your own LUT? Is there any Sony software included CVP File Editor?

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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john sharaf
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:09:14 pm

Actually have three F3's and two upgrades, so at this point there's no need to move the options, but if I sent a camera out on rental and the client did not need the option I certainly would remove it.

I'm waiting (patiently) for two CD Geminis and will evaluate the need for a third upgrade and Gemini once they arrive. In the mean time, I could not be more pleased with the F3's performance, even with the internal recording codec.

JS



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Michael Palmer
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:15:44 pm

So potentially the S-log upgrade could be rented?

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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john sharaf
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:47:42 pm

I suppose so!

JS



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Michael Palmer
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 8:22:28 pm

Any information on creating your own LUT? Is there any Sony software included? CVP File Editor?

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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john sharaf
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:00:27 pm

I can see the option to select "User" LUTs in the LUT menu but so far have not seen any editing software or even operation guide for the upgrade. I've been told as you suggest that it's been added to the Sony CVP File Editor Software (which I also found difficult and cludgie).

The menu contains two Hypergamma LUTs which seem to be the most useful.

JS



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Michael Palmer
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:13:53 pm

Thanks John, I really appreciate your help. What kills me is this new S-log upgrade is in short supply when you would think Sony would want to have it readily available at this price.


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john sharaf
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:25:29 pm

I believe it has to do with shortages of the SxS cards on which it's being delivered.

JS



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Andrew Graham-Brown
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Dec 9, 2011 at 1:04:35 pm

Hi John,

As I'm new to the Sony PMW F3 and the 10 bit S Log 422 game - can you tell me in simple terms how one goes about recording the above?. I'll be using a Sound Devices Pix 240 recorder. Also, can one simultaneously use an HD-SDI Cineroid view finder? (I'm presuming I'll have to wait until next year for firmware upgrade to have LUT in the view finder?

Many thanks
Andrew


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john sharaf
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Dec 9, 2011 at 3:59:10 pm

Andrew,

The upcoming 1.3 software upgrade reportedly will fix the routing issues so that you will be able to record the 10bit 422 on the SD and KiPro recorders (neither of which has dual link 444 inputs)./ In the mean time you can turn on the S-Log and record the 10 bit 422 out of the SDI spigot, but as noted in the first posting above, you cannot have a viewing LUT. You should be able to use the the A link output for the viewfinder although it will not be a complete color picture. Let us know if this is the case.

JS



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Andrew Graham-Brown
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Dec 9, 2011 at 4:42:25 pm

Many thanks for this. When I get hold of all the kit I've got on order, I'll let you know.
Any idea when the firmware upgrade is due?


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john sharaf
Re: S-Log Upgrade for PMW-F3
on Dec 9, 2011 at 5:02:11 pm

I was at a Sony F65 event last night and all the US and Japanese management was there, but they wouldn't commit to a date, only "soon"!

JS



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