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C300 vs F3


redimp
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I have found a decent offer for a F3 and a BMVA, and am ready to pull the trigger on it, but prior to that one last question – how realistic is it to put in on a gimbal with LWS attached to it? My anamorphic lens train is only 10-14 cm long but needs rail support at all times. I assume in terms of mounting it to a gimbal C300 is no comparison to f3, but is it possible at all to even do this with F3?

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3 minutes ago, redimp said:

I have found a decent offer for a F3 and a BMVA, and am ready to pull the trigger on it, but prior to that one last question – how realistic is it to put in on a gimbal with LWS attached to it? My anamorphic lens train is only 10-14 cm long but needs rail support at all times. I assume in terms of mounting it to a gimbal C300 is no comparison to f3, but is it possible at all to even do this with F3?

C300 would be so much easier, plus there's auto focus... F3 is kinda long. What is the price on the F3 + VA?

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10 hours ago, redimp said:

I know it's listed in BMVA specs, but I've read that F3 can only output 60p via dual link SDI, while BMVA only has one SDI input. I found this thread at reduser http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?143260-Sony-PMW-F3L-w-RGB-444-Blackmagic-Video-Assist-10-bit-422-60p-amp-Accessories where seller claim there is a "hidden feature" to record 60p footage to BMVA from F3 via single cable. It's also mentioned in comments on this page https://disqus.com/home/discussion/cinetechnica/sony_f3_signal_routing_101/


That is with the slog upgrade.

 

10 hours ago, redimp said:

Did you test it personally? Does it work? Any footage to share?

 

I went with the Atomos Samurai Blade instead (as the BMD VA had barely came out at all when I purchased my F3).

10 hours ago, redimp said:

Answering your other questions – yes I do own PL glass, and yes sensor size does matter

Size doesn't matter for choosing the Alexa Mini over F3/C300, as you're talking about almost the same thing. 

 

10 hours ago, redimp said:

as 1.5x crop (with around 14mm height) is the max my glass can handle without vignetting, but we've already figured that mini can crop into it's sensor for 2k mode and provide exactly 14mm of sensor height, so that is not an issue anymore.


So now you're making a point against the Alexa Mini?! Thought you were using sensor size to argue for it. This is making less and less sense.

Oh, and it looks like you're getting confused with Arri open gate vs 2K/16:9 ratio. (I wouldn't exactly call that "cropping"! Although in a way I guess it technically is)

7 hours ago, redimp said:

I have found a decent offer for a F3 and a BMVA, and am ready to pull the trigger on it, but prior to that one last question – how realistic is it to put in on a gimbal with LWS attached to it? My anamorphic lens train is only 10-14 cm long but needs rail support at all times. I assume in terms of mounting it to a gimbal C300 is no comparison to f3, but is it possible at all to even do this with F3?

 

You're going to need one big ass gimbal!

Such as the Came Prodigy (perhaps?):

https://www.came-tv.com/collections/came-prodigy

7 hours ago, redimp said:

Yeah, the length of it is what scares me. The offer I've got is $1500.

Includes the BMD VA? Any other accessories?

Local seller or free shipping? (international shipping is what kills most of these deals for me... :-/ )

If so, looks like a great deal, go for it. 

 

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10 hours ago, IronFilm said:

So now you're making a point against the Alexa Mini?! Thought you were using sensor size to argue for it. This is making less and less sense.

I think I have not expressed myself right, let me try to explain so maybe it will make a bit more sense.

We're in pre-production for a small project, a music video.

First, we did a test for the glass I own, on FS7 and Ursa mini pro, and we loved the results. I was going to get Ursa mini pro for myself, but after all the talks in all the countless topics I've created, a lot of people (you included) were persuading me to simply rent a higher end cam, and that makes a lot of sense after I thought about it A LOT, since I won't be making any money with the camera and it will be sitting on a shelf quite frequently. People here helped me a lot to filter the wishful thinking and get realistic.

So we have a rental we know people from, and can get an Alexa mini for a reasonable-ish price. 

But, I also need to get a cam for personal use to be able to test the glass, for example I'm rehousing iscoramas, need a camera body to simply check focus at times, etc. Also the glass I own has to be better adapted, and I need to have a body to simply test it on. 

I also wanted to see if what we have in storyboards is realistic to shoot, for example we have this shot in our storyboard https://www.dropbox.com/s/iu4esex4sgpc81z/Screenshot 2017-11-03 16.11.06.png?dl=0 but I have literally no idea whether 35mm glass + iscorama will give us enough FOV to shoot this from inside the car from passenger's seat, or if we'll have to use a car rig to do it from the outside. If it's latter we're probably going to simply replace a shot with a back seat shot or something else.

Here's where the whole sensor size comes in play. 35mm on a 1.5x sensor is as far as I can go. With one 35mm lens we tested it vignetted quite some, with the other it almost did not. If all of a sudden the sensor gets bigger, even a tad bigger, the vignetting will be more prominent. So that's why I'm mentioning it here at all. 

Also I wanted to shoot test shots as we rehearse with the actors, again, to test what camera will see in the interiors we chose, etc. We have a couple shots planned on a gimbal, so I wanted to try and get a gimbal and throw whatever cam I get on it and test those shots as well. Then throw it all in davinci and do a test grade/test cut of the whole thing to the music, and see how that works out, so when we shoot with a rented cam we don't waste time if something does now work out.

Sorry for the confusion, I hope this all makes more sense now.

Answering your question about the price, yes, the 5'' BMVA and F3 are $1500, no accessories, just a battery. It's in US, while i'm in Ukraine, so I'll have to add 35% as import tax to that, but considering local camera market has NO f3s or NO c300s – international shipping is my only option. 

I have almost paid for it this morning, but somebody on facebook (yes, I spam in a couple groups there too) mentioned that I won't be able to de-squeeze anamorphic footage (for preview) with the 5'' BMVA, only with the 7'' 4k version, and again, it's more expensive, and I'm again on a fence. I have a cheap HDMI field monitor that does de-squeeze, but rigging F3 with a monitor AND a recorder would be stupid I guess. So again, I'm thinking if maybe I should get a c300 and just take the native monitor off and use the one I have for de-squeezing.

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12 hours ago, redimp said:

I think I have not expressed myself right, let me try to explain so maybe it will make a bit more sense.

Ah yes, that extra context does help make a lot more sense of this!

12 hours ago, redimp said:

First, we did a test for the glass I own,

Which glass exactly do you own? Who is going to be the DoP on this music video, you?

12 hours ago, redimp said:

I was going to get Ursa mini pro for myself, but after all the talks in all the countless topics I've created, a lot of people (you included) were persuading me to simply rent a higher end cam, and that makes a lot of sense after I thought about it A LOT, since I won't be making any money with the camera and it will be sitting on a shelf quite frequently. People here helped me a lot to filter the wishful thinking and get realistic.

Very sensible!

If you're not making any money at all on it, it makes sense to keep spending tightly under control. 

But heh, even buying the likes of a GH5 for personal usage is a pretty crazy extravagant luxury! Let alone the likes of an URSA Mini etc

 

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Given your needs (S35 & PL on a budget) then I'd say the top suggestions would be: 
F3
FS700 (probably the current "sweet spot" for bang for buck in my eyes, US$2K ish secondhand + grab a secondhand Atomos Samurai for 4K output)
C300 PL (if you're fine with being stuck with PL 100% of the time, can't swap that mount!! On the upside, the PL versions do tend to sell for a little less than the EF versions secondhand)
URSA 4K / URSA Mini 4K / BMPC4K (these can be found crazy cheap secondhand, but you'd need to be 100% sure you can always feed it the light it needs and never ever go over 400 ISO)
a6300/a6500 (biggest downside... overheating, and no built in NDs. Perhaps do the DIY fan mod)
a7Smk1 (FHD in S35 mode, so don't bother with the a7Smk2 as you wouldn't benefit from the internal 4K in S35. Unless you got the a7R mk2 which can do S35 4K)
a5100/a6000 (1080 XAVC-S S35 for dirt cheap)
Samsung NX1
KineMini 4K (pity they're not selling the battle tested models any more: http://www.kinefinity.com/shop/kinemini-battle-tested/?lang=en And Kinefinity cameras only rarely come up for sale secondhand)
Kinefinity Terra 4K (kind blowing your budget wide open now.... but was tempted to include this anyway for completeness as is the most appealing one on the list. Not that much more than a C300 / URSA Mini? But it is a slippery slope.... now we're entering EVA1/FS5 territory! ha, probably best to ignore this one....)

I'd rule out the C300 PL & BMPC4K PL right away (and URSA 4K PL/ URSA Mini 4K PL to a lesser extent, which have some degree of flexibility around mount options... but mostly you're looking at just PL), unless you own a tonne of PL glass you can always use on everything, as being limited to **ONLY** PL is just too limiting in my eyes.  All the other cameras listed here have a heap of options when it comes to lens mounts, the world is your oyster! 

 

Realistically only the mirrorless cameras (or the Kinefinity) are an option on a gimbal, or maybe the BMPC4K/C300 on a larger sized gimbal (well, all of them could technically be used on a gimbal, but the size of one needed for some of them would be so big I'd say it is seriously blowing the budget of a no budget shoot). Heck, even a teeny tiny a5100 will likely need a decent mid sized gimbal once you've rigged it up with rails and using an anamorphic PL lens with it. 


So I'd look at how much of this shoot (and future shoots?) would be on a gimbal? If only a teeny amount, I'd go for for a  combo of Sony F3 / FS700 with an a5100/a6000 just for the gimbal shots. 

But if a larger amount will be gimbal shots, then get an a7S mk1 / NX1 / a6300 / a6500 instead as your main and only camera. 

 

 

 

On 11/4/2017 at 3:30 AM, redimp said:

Answering your question about the price, yes, the 5'' BMVA and F3 are $1500, no accessories, just a battery. It's in US, while i'm in Ukraine, so I'll have to add 35% as import tax to that, but considering local camera market has NO f3s or NO c300s – international shipping is my only option. 


I managed to find a few F3 for sale, and I live in a much smaller and more isolated country. 
Although Ukraine isn't part of the EU yet, you're still pretty handily located next to the rest of Europe, which massively opens up your options when sourcing gear. 
Am sure with persistence and luck you can find something relevant.

On 11/4/2017 at 3:30 AM, redimp said:

I have almost paid for it this morning, but somebody on facebook (yes, I spam in a couple groups there too) mentioned that I won't be able to de-squeeze anamorphic footage (for preview) with the 5'' BMVA, only with the 7'' 4k version, and again, it's more expensive, and I'm again on a fence. I have a cheap HDMI field monitor that does de-squeeze, but rigging F3 with a monitor AND a recorder would be stupid I guess. So again, I'm thinking if maybe I should get a c300 and just take the native monitor off and use the one I have for de-squeezing.


Is it unrealistic to have two monitors at once?! Not at all!

I'll often have two monitors on my F3, one for myself to operate with, and another on the opposite side (or handing from the rear) for the 1st AC to use or the director to view. 

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16 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Given your needs (S35 & PL on a budget) then I'd say the top suggestions would be: 

I really appreciate your time throwing this list together. I went though it and just got re-assured that the two options that I have are F3 and C300. I really like the image out of both cams, and don't like image of sony alpha series cams or the fs700. 

The set of PL glass I've got is the lomo OKS, 35, 50 and 75., I plan to use them with iscorama 36. Shot some tests of fs7, here's a sample vid 

 

And here's what the setup looks like: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c4rx3vlz1grrwga/Photo Oct 24%2C 16 57 05.jpg?dl=0

Also on Ursa Mini: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9jhfdwqhvg1px4g/Photo Oct 24%2C 13 15 31.jpg?dl=0

You can sort of see how it all adds up and the length of the lens is getting sort of huge. With the lomo 35 it's much shorter tho, as the lens itself is recessed into the mount and only a hood sticks out of the PL mount itself, so I guess that when it goes to gimbal use this would be the only reasonable lens to shoot with (it's also suitable focal distance as well).

If the C300 had anamorphic preview desqueeze I would probably go with it, just for the sake of keeping it all small and portable, but I will have to use external monitor for it anyways, and it seems like F3 with 7'' BMVA is the option for me. I've tried shooting without the de-squeeze and it's a nightmare.

Thanks for helping me to figure it out, messaged the seller of F3 for payment details.

Just so I know what to expect in terms of data – how much of 24p Prores422 can you record on your 64 gig card with your F3 and BMVA?

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ProRes 442 or ProRes HQ?

There are (if I recall correctly) 4 settings in the Video Assist (from highest to lowest):
ProRes HQ
ProRes 422
ProRes LT
ProRes Proxy

And you can easily look up that info online:

For example:
https://www.digitalrebellion.com/webapps/videocalc

ProRes HQ 1080 24p = 77.42GB/hr

6 hours ago, redimp said:

Oh that doesn't look that bad, but get yourself shorter rails! :-o

6 hours ago, redimp said:

The set of PL glass I've got is the lomo OKS, 35, 50 and 75., I plan to use them with iscorama 36. Shot some tests of fs7, here's a sample vid 


If you're happy with the slog2 from a FS7 then you'll probably be ok with the same from the FS700 4K raw as well.

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8 hours ago, redimp said:

The set of PL glass I've got is the lomo OKS, 35, 50 and 75., I plan to use them with iscorama 36.

Keep in mind that shooting HD with a 1.5x anamorphic adapter will require you to shave a little off the edges to get to appropriate resolution, which then means you'd have to upscale a little to get to proper HD 2.39:1 resolution. A 1.33x anamorphic lens wouldn't require an upscale. 

8 hours ago, redimp said:

You can sort of see how it all adds up and the length of the lens is getting sort of huge

Seems pretty average to me. Still a good 1/3rd - 1/2 smaller than an Alexa or Amira with medium sized zoom. 

Dont know what you plan to shoot, but the F3 will be easier to balance on the shoulder.

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