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Sony PMW-F3 with 2500 hours on it. Should I buy it?


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Stills from some past F3 projects, all with Leica R's and the 5" Video Assist. Such a remarkable camera: lovely to use, easy to grade, solid in low light, lots of dynamic range...for the money I paid,

A few more for the road. Damn does the F3 grade well.

I think you're a consumerist idiot. Genuinely - if you don't want hyped prices... why cut and paste a YouTube hype piece about it all over Internet forums. And then say "NOOOOOOOO" What

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6 hours ago, BenEricson said:

I mostly shoot with the C300 Mk2 right now. (Or when we were shooting more.) I actually probably like the F3 image about the same, maybe better. The C300 Mk2 is just so easy to use and does really good in mixed light. Great baked in options and 4k without a recorder. 

I never had good experience with the FS700. I could never get the color to look right. I suppose it looks really nice with a speed booster at f2 on a 50mm, but you can't shoot everything like that. 

My F3 is sitting on the shelf. Let me know if you need a back up. :)  Anyway. Your footage looks awesome. Keep it up.

If you think the black magic pocket is bad, try looking for a used digital bolex. Those are like 5-7K.

It is not my footage, unfortunately!:) It was shot by a Dutch DP I read. Gave me the last push towards the F3. Another deciding factor was a F3 - BM4K comparision on youtube. Something really tasty about the image.

I think the BMPCC might not be going for little money again that soon, if at all. Digital Bolex won´t that´s for sure, Iconsokop camera never has nor will.

5 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Don't understand the rise in BMPCC prices, any theories??

Ditto the Sony PMW-F3, last year I noticed that it was common to see them selling for sub $600 with a couple even for sub $500!! Had decided next time I saw a sub $500 F3 camera I'd go for it to get myself a 2nd F3. 

But since then? Average prices seems seem to have come back up again for the F3. 
Currently the cheapest F3 on eBay are priced: $600, $700, $800, $850 (and from there it just getting more and more expensive, someone even has an F3 listed for $12K!!).

Personally I find it hard to justify a barebones Sony F3 for $800 when now a FS700 costs a similar price (and an FS5 are sub $2K! But heck, I'm even more excited to see that FS7 bodies are now going for sub $3K, that tempts me to job back into being a camera op but would be dumb to spend $3K in this current economic environment).

 

The BMPCC is a beautiful simple body to hold and to look at with a beautiful image. It seems like it can become an object of irrational desire, so to say. A design classic.

One advantage of my GAS is tol be able to compare both FS700 and F3 with internal and external recording. Does the F3 with 444 give a 60p 10bit 422 to a Shogun Flame? If not I will borrow my friends Odyssey. 444 and 422 comparison seems interesting.

An akward feeling to have spent that much money these days. I am a bit sad about my greediness to be honest and not having given attention to my FS700. With the F3 it won´t be necessary to record external 4K for a cinema image and I can finally give my Tokina 28 70 some true love after three years. Sorry for my lamento.:)

By the way, your images didn´t help me neither to resisit the F3 :) @Geoff CB

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6 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Yes I remember it dipping down low! Was mildly flirting with the temptation of getting with a 2nd BMPCC if it went any lower. 

Don't understand the rise in BMPCC prices, any theories??

Ditto the Sony PMW-F3, last year I noticed that it was common to see them selling for sub $600 with a couple even for sub $500!! Had decided next time I saw a sub $500 F3 camera I'd go for it to get myself a 2nd F3. 

But since then? Average prices seems seem to have come back up again for the F3. 
Currently the cheapest F3 on eBay are priced: $600, $700, $800, $850 (and from there it just getting more and more expensive, someone even has an F3 listed for $12K!!).

Personally I find it hard to justify a barebones Sony F3 for $800 when now a FS700 costs a similar price (and an FS5 are sub $2K! But heck, I'm even more excited to see that FS7 bodies are now going for sub $3K, that tempts me to job back into being a camera op but would be dumb to spend $3K in this current economic environment).

 

It's people realizing again image quality is more than specs.

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2 hours ago, IronFilm said:

It doesn't just have a TC input, it has a TC output too! (unlike many other cameras which have a toggle switch for in/out, and one BNC connector is shared for all TC)

Has Genlock too!

David, that´s awesome, so that means it´s a legit "Ironfilm Sound beast camera" then! Awesome! I didn´t find any TC jacks on my FS700!

 

1 hour ago, Geoff CB said:

It's people realizing again image quality is more than specs.

So Geoff, what´s your take on the image of the F3? I recognized that pans and tilts simply look beautiful with it and color and palette are beautiful. Now that David gave this camera its sound and Timecode credibility I am very happy about the purchase. My first real cinema camera. 444 with less than 400 hours on it, beautiful, PL and Nikon mounts included. Anyone want a FS700 with 4k out? :)

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8 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

 

David, that´s awesome, so that means it´s a legit "Ironfilm Sound beast camera" then! Awesome! I didn´t find any TC jacks on my FS700!

 

So Geoff, what´s your take on the image of the F3? I recognized that pans and tilts simply look beautiful with it and color and palette are beautiful. Now that David gave this camera its sound and Timecode credibility I am very happy about the purchase. My first real cinema camera. 444 with less than 400 hours on it, beautiful, PL and Nikon mounts included. Anyone want a FS700 with 4k out? :)

Color is perfect, especially if you use a ACES transform in resolve. 90% of the reason I went with the camera was the color. 

Biggest pain in the ass with it is that it is switching from 24p 4:4:4 to 60p 4:2:2, have to dig into the system menu, change the system setting to 60p, then change the SDI out. 

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@Geoff CB Are you using one of the idts from Ampas, which one? So thats for the material stored in SLOG curve, right or linear uncompressed? Do you like the color equal stored in 422 and 444? Is it possible to output 444 and record 422? Guess I will see myself soon enough and come up with more questions.:) Would be awesome if you and Dave would post some footage if you get chance some time.

 

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On 5/9/2020 at 8:35 AM, PannySVHS said:

@Geoff CB Are you using one of the idts from Ampas, which one? So thats for the material stored in SLOG curve, right or linear uncompressed? Do you like the color equal stored in 422 and 444? Is it possible to output 444 and record 422? Guess I will see myself soon enough and come up with more questions.:) Would be awesome if you and Dave would post some footage if you get chance some time.

 

I'm using the ACES SLOG 1 transform built into resolve.

aces_1.7.1.jpg

ACES looking up_1.9.1.jpg

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Darn, looking good. Top one looks especially good, very three dimensional. Rich tones. Awesome. Cannot wait to test and film myself. Picked mine up today after a long trip through Berlin with public transport. With topplate and baseplate, plus PL and Nikon mounts. Pretty camera to look at and to hold. EVF swifel seems weak and ND mechanics very placticy. Reminds me of an AF100. I really liked that one. I called my F3 my Sony AF100 today. Now I need to rent some PL glass. Hopefully soon. cheers and thanks to you and David to make me buy this camera! Got a shogun flame to hook it up with. So with the 444 update 60p might work too.

What lens did you use?

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1 hour ago, PannySVHS said:

Darn, looking good. Top one looks especially good, very three dimensional. Rich tones. Awesome. Cannot wait to test and film myself. Picked mine up today after a long trip through Berlin with public transport. With topplate and baseplate, plus PL and Nikon mounts. Pretty camera to look at and to hold. EVF swifel seems weak and ND mechanics very placticy. Reminds me of an AF100. I really liked that one. I called my F3 my Sony AF100 today. Now I need to rent some PL glass. Hopefully soon. cheers and thanks to you and David to make me buy this camera! Got a shogun flame to hook it up with. So with the 444 update 60p might work too.

What lens did you use?

Thanks, yeah absolutely love the results from it. Nikon 24-70 f2.8G in 4:4:4. First shot is at 6400 with some noise reduction (forgot to go back to native after doing some tests indoors). 

"Is it possible to output 444 and record 422"
Depends on the recorder.

Also I forgot to mention, make sure to run Auto Black Balance on your camera before using it. I had what I thought was a dead pixel until I ran it. 

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  • 1 month later...

Some more awesome footage from our friend Ben Ericson. Too bad he sold it a few days ago. Great for the buyer though, I can say on the other side. Happy that I bought that camera. With the 1080p 5inch version of the Blackmagic video assist it is a beautiful looking and practical setup with even 60p. Took that inspiration from Bens setup.

Now I will wait for a video assist for little money, so I dont have to lugg around my big Atomos Shogun.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

Some more awesome footage from our friend Ben Ericson. Too bad he sold it a few days ago. Great for the buyer though, I can say on the other side. Happy that I bought that camera. With the 1080p 5inch version of the Blackmagic video assist it is a beautiful looking and practical setup with even 60p. Took that inspiration from Bens setup.

Now I will wait for a video assist for little money, so I dont have to lugg around my big Atomos Shogun.

 

 

 

Make sure to consider the PiX-E5 to get 12-bit 4:4:4

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I really enjoyed using this setup. I work for a studio that has a pair of the C300 Mk2s and I really got used to having something that was really compact and easy to use. I should have shot more projects with this camera. 

I could run the camera and monitor for around 2 hours from one Swit battery. I would love to see this camera with some Leica Rs or high quality PL glass.

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On 6/16/2020 at 8:08 AM, Geoff CB said:

Make sure to consider the PiX-E5 to get 12-bit 4:4:4

I've been putting in my "best offers" to the PIX-E5 on eBay but the seller keeps on rejecting my low balling 😞 ha, well, it is to be expected I suppose! Was just hoping to get lucky. 

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4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

I've been putting in my "best offers" to the PIX-E5 on eBay but the seller keeps on rejecting my low balling 😞 ha, well, it is to be expected I suppose! Was just hoping to get lucky. 

Keep checking, I got really damn lucky on a PIX-E7 and PIX-LR, which I absolutely cannot live without now (The giant meters are now invaluable for me for monitoring audio while shooting) and if I spot another one for cheap I will probably buy it as a backup.

On 5/9/2020 at 8:35 AM, PannySVHS said:

@Geoff CB Are you using one of the idts from Ampas, which one? So thats for the material stored in SLOG curve, right or linear uncompressed? Do you like the color equal stored in 422 and 444? Is it possible to output 444 and record 422? Guess I will see myself soon enough and come up with more questions.:) Would be awesome if you and Dave would post some footage if you get chance some time.

 

Sorry I never responded to the 4:4:4 question, yes you can output 4:4:4 and record 4:2:2 (At least, I know it works on my PIX-E7) and I really do recommend doing this. 

Stills from some recent interviews.

Interview_1.1.3.jpg

photographer_1.4.1.jpg

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On 6/18/2020 at 3:27 AM, BenEricson said:

I really enjoyed using this setup. I work for a studio that has a pair of the C300 Mk2s and I really got used to having something that was really compact and easy to use. I should have shot more projects with this camera. 

I could run the camera and monitor for around 2 hours from one Swit battery. I would love to see this camera with some Leica Rs or high quality PL glass.

That video was really good. Skating, edit, colours, wow! My only gripe was the fake light leaks and film overlays (I'm just not a fan of those things), but other than that it had such a good flow and nice filmic look, very impressive.

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