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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.

Beach food shoot. Both with Nikon 24-70

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7 hours ago, tweak said:

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.

Thank you! That's actually all real 16mm film shot on Bolex! I suppose this just shows how much of a film look the F3 has. I had to tone the 16mm down a bit to match.

I've done a bunch of projects on 16mm but a traditional skate project like this is not feasible to do all on film. If you're curious, you can poke around my Vimeo. 

https://vimeo.com/benericson

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5 hours ago, BenEricson said:

Thank you! That's actually all real 16mm film shot on Bolex! I suppose this just shows how much of a film look the F3 has. I had to tone the 16mm down a bit to match.

I've done a bunch of projects on 16mm but a traditional skate project like this is not feasible to do all on film. If you're curious, you can poke around my Vimeo. 

https://vimeo.com/benericson

Funny you say that, because I could see some bits were actually shot on 16mm (sharpness and motion), it just looked like that other stuff was fake over lays haha, my apology's. 

You're right though, the two match really really well, I haven't seen digital matched to 16mm as well as that, especially not in a skate video. Maybe you shouldn't have sold that camera (or maybe you just know what you are doing, in which case you'll be fine with another camera).

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8 minutes ago, tweak said:

Maybe you shouldn't have sold that camera (or maybe you just know what you are doing, in which case you'll be fine with another camera).

Yeah, I mean a camera is a camera. The F3 is a lot easier to get to a nice point color wise though. A bmpcc 4k or something can look good in the right hands as well, it just takes a lot more post work / experience in my opinion. Flat film scans are probably the easiest format to grade.

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3 minutes ago, BenEricson said:

Yeah, I mean a camera is a camera. The F3 is a lot easier to get to a nice point color wise though. A bmpcc 4k or something can look good in the right hands as well, it just takes a lot more post work / experience in my opinion. Flat film scans are probably the easiest format to grade.

True that.

Your other work on the BMPCC looks really good as well. I've been shooting super 8 a bit and I have to agree, it's very easy to grade. I'm trying to get my 16mm setup dialled in so I can shoot something more proper, your work is good inspiration for me, there's something there that just makes you want to do it.

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Hello guys, i just wanted to say that i just bought a Sony F3 with 444 RGB + the video assist (for just over 1200€) as my first camera after seeing what y'all said about it.

I was originally going for the A7sii because that's the camera i've always rented but i had a bit of issues while doing heavy grading. 

I tested it out a bit with my set of canon FDs and i really like the look of it, but i'm a little worried with the weight.

Do any of you already used it on a Glidecam ? I tried it on my Ronin M and obviously it did not work but i am wondering if it is possible with a glidecam in order to get steadyshots.

I tested it out with a wheelchair and it seems to work pretty good on plane surface.

Maybe it is better to get a cheap small camera to go with to use for these type of shots .Thinking about the original A7s wich is selling at around 500€ used in my area or maybe a GH4/A6300 with a focal reducer.

What do you think ?

Also i will try to mount it on my car tomorrow with the camtree car mount beacuse i saw a photo of a F3 being rigged on with it :

 

sonyf3-car.PNG.23a19974a207845ad665476b641cd915.PNG

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A bargain for the price. I'd rather choose any of both A6300 or GH4 over the a7s anyway : ) Enjoy them, any of them are proper tools in good hands, though. It is your talent to make them shine : -)

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1 hour ago, Antoin e said:

Do any of you already used it on a Glidecam ? I tried it on my Ronin M and obviously it did not work but i am wondering if it is possible with a glidecam in order to get steadyshots.

Not familiar with Glidecam (as much as Steadicam), but there has to be a Glidecam model with enough capacity for a Sony F3.

 

Be aware that Steadicam-style stabilizers are not something that the typical gimbal-kiddie can just pick up and instantly start shooting -- it takes a bit of practice and training.  The best Steadicam operators have years of experience.

 

On the other hand, I would bet that gimbals exist that could hold an F3 with an FD prime.

 

 

1 hour ago, Antoin e said:

Also i will try to mount it on my car tomorrow with the camtree car mount beacuse i saw a photo of a F3 being rigged on with it :

sonyf3-car.PNG.23a19974a207845ad665476b641cd915.PNG

I see two alarming problems with the rig pictured:

  1. That tag line with the hooks should be replaced with a solid strut (or, even better, two "triangulated" struts).  Every significant bump will cause the camera to bounce up and down (ruining that part of the take).
  2. There is no backup "safety" portion of the rig -- a rig that uses suction cups and a tag line with open hooks.  With each bounce, there is a possibility that one of those open hooks could fall off of its pick point, and if that happens, "that's all she wrote" for the camera (and possibly for a motorcyclist following the car).  If they had to go with the tag line (instead of a strut), those open hooks should have been carabiners.  Regardless, any car rig should have separate, properly-tensioned safety straps, and the pictured rig has nothing in that regard.

 

A typical grip hostess tray with risers and a head would be more secure and would be easier to rig and adjust.

 

Also, I am not an audio person, but why is that mic mounted like that on the camera with a car rig?

 

I strongly urge you to go review several different tutorials on how to properly and safely rig car mounts, before trying to do so yourself.

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31 minutes ago, tupp said:

 

 

A typical grip hostess tray with risers and a head would be more secure and would be easier to rig and adjust.

 

Also, I am not an audio person, but why is that mic mounted like that on the camera with a car rig?

 

I strongly urge you to go review several different tutorials on how to properly and safely rig car mounts, before trying to do so yourself.

Well ive already done it with small cameras but not with the F3, but yes i guess it is not the best for car rigging however it still is a solution for low budget ( around 300e).

Yes the image woobles a bit when there are bumps in the road but at low speed (no more than 25mph) in a controlled environnement you can get pretty good results, at least with small camera.

You can see it at around 29sec on this music video i did :

 

 

Of course it is amateur but at least i can still get some cool shots

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Antoin e said:

Of course it is amateur but at least i can still get some cool shots

"Amateur" or "PRO" labels are mere lousy concepts not exactly proportionally connected with the outcome we get. It worked, that's what counts in the end. Once safety is not compromised by your setup... ; ) I've seen you've shot using film too. Had good experience with Gauge Film? Why not a local provider? (located in France, correct?)

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44 minutes ago, Antoin e said:

Of course it is amateur but at least i can still get some cool shots

I am primarily concerned about the risk of losing your camera and more so about the hazard that the rig poses for motorists behind the hero vehicle.

 

At minimum, replace the open hooks with strong carabiners or with removable chain links.  The top carabiner needs to completely encompass that runner on the luggage rack, so that it cannot fall off during a bounce.

 

In addition, to prevent the bounce/wobble, solidity could be added with two extra ratchet straps (or motorcycle straps) -- one strap tensioned between the camera platform and to the top of the car and the other strap tensioned between the camera platform and the bottom of the car.  These extra straps would also increase safety.

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9 minutes ago, Emanuel said:

"Amateur" or "PRO" labels are mere lousy concepts not exactly proportionally connected with the outcome we get. It worked, that's what counts in the end. I've seen you've shot using film too. Had good experience with Gauge Film? Why not a local provider? (located in France, correct?)

Well i didn't find a local provider in france but maybe i've not searched enough, i know that there is also andecfilms in Germany that provides this type of service but their website is very bad. Gauge films is pretty good, very responsive team and good results.

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12 hours ago, tupp said:

Not familiar with Glidecam (as much as Steadicam), but there has to be a Glidecam model with enough capacity for a Sony F3.

You'd 100% want a vest too. 
Not unless you're doing the shortest of shots, and only on an infrequent basis. 
I've had my F3 on a steadicam before (not me though, had a steadicam op), and yeah, it's not something to be handled lightly. (ha!)

12 hours ago, tupp said:

Also, I am not an audio person, but why is that mic mounted like that on the camera with a car rig?

It is weird. 
Put a timecode box and a wireless RX on it for scratch.

1 hour ago, Antoin e said:

An other question :  the F3 doesn't seem to have a built in mic, what would you recommend to at least get something you can sync with and with a compact size ?

Pick any two (although all three is ideal, or in a pinch, just one) of:
1) wireless camera hop
2) timecode box
3) any SDC, or a very short shotgun (such as Sanken CS1e /  CS-1M, Rode NTG5, Deity S-Mic 2S)
 

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2 hours ago, Antoin e said:

An other question :  the F3 doesn't seem to have a built in mic, what would you recommend to at least get something you can sync with and with a compact size ?

If it's just for sync you can go for any cheap On camera XLR mic

https://www.amazon.com/Bestshoot-Condenser-Microphone-Photography-Camcorders/dp/B076J4TTQP/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=on+camera+XLR&qid=1593429930&sr=8-8#aw-udpv3-customer-reviews_feature_div

Then add a really short XLR with it. 

https://www.amazon.com/LyxPro-Microphone-Professional-Microphones-Connecting/dp/B00KWIM0K8/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=5"%2BXLR&qid=1593430075&sr=8-5&th=1&psc=1

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27 minutes ago, Geoff CB said:

Thanks, that's what i was looking for. 

1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

You'd 100% want a vest too. 
Not unless you're doing the shortest of shots, and only on an infrequent basis. 
I've had my F3 on a steadicam before (not me though, had a steadicam op), and yeah, it's not something to be handled lightly. (ha!)

 

Yes i think id be better getting a small camera to go with the F3 for gimbal work than going for the whole steadicam + vest as i am working on small productions (mostly music videos) and i am not interested in being a steadicam operator.

Seeing what you guys did with this camera is very exciting i will definitely learn everything i can about it.

 

I don't know if you have already seen this but this guy has made a bunch of videos to show what the F3 can do, looks like he is very experimented, he was talking about something called "motion cadence"  being really good with the f3

 

 

 

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