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Anybody used the F3?

John Sprung

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Unfortunately, the camera is pretty heavy, so mounting a decent onboard to operate off of makes it pretty unusable except for very short takes. Ergonomically, it's very bad as well. The majority of my shots were handheld (some pretty lengthy) and it would have been very nice to have been able to put the thing on my shoulder. How do the camera manufacturers still not get this?


The NEX FS 100 seems to be more interesting in that regard. It's certainly a more modular design, although the HDMI could be an issue, however, external recorders will be available and it does have time code (it may possibly be 10 bit). To put the camera on your shoulder you'd need an accessory V/F, but the mounting screw holes are there.




I've heard of people removing the back V/F from the Panasonic AF 100, which has a similar layout to the F3

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btw...I bought mine through ZGC Inc. in New Jersey. Flew up there to meet all the parts, assemble and test. The folks at ZGC could not have been more helpful!!!! They were patient, accommodating and really went out of their way to make my purchase as stress free as possible. They even mocked up a Dual Port so I could mount the KiPro Mini behind the Camera and run both off one Dionic. Chris and Thomas could not have been more impressive in their support before, during and after my purchase!!!! I found a home at ZGC! Not to mention (they) are the Cooke reps for the U.S

Edited by David Sellers
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Premium Member

You don't think those problems are easily addressed with accessories? Much like almost every other digital camera?

Maybe. But those accessories weren't available to us at the time, so I can only comment on what I actually worked with.

You can put an Alexa on your shoulder out of the box and shoot all day, but most others have the same problem.

I can shoot all day with quite a lot of cameras on my shoulder. XL, SL, F35, F23, Red, etc....

Then you have the advantage of small size, you won't be hold a RED for long with one hand in a tight space. And Steadicam?

Weight and/or size isn't the issue. The issue is the ergonomics and length. I can hand hold a GII and other very heavy cameras for quite a long time because it's possible to balance the camera on your shoulder. With these super small cameras it's not possible, so you end up with all the weight in front of you being supported only by your arms, which as we all know tires you out quickly. The Red isn't ideal for hand held, but it's certainly not the worst.

Steadicam is a whole different thing since the weight is evenly distributed throughout your body.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wrapped a gig as a 2nd AC on a shoot with this camera. We mostly used the three Sony lenses (35, 50, 85) that the owner/operator bought with it and occasionally used a 25mm Bausch and Lomb Super Baltar 25mm. I will be color grading this footage once it is edited. Looking at some of the footage so far I think its quite good. I'm a big fan of the Sony EX-3 and am quite familiar with the footage. The F3 is cleaner in the shadows than the EX-3, most likely due to the bigger sensor. Highlights can clip harshly, just like on the EX-3, but if you can control the light and make sure not to overexpose, its not a huge deal. We shot everything at -3db gain and used a Marshall HDMI LCD monitor on-board.


I think this is a great middle-ground between DSLRs and the RED. DSLRs have a host of problems, and the RED can be a hassle to use, especially for handheld stuff. And its definitely better than using a Letus or Brevis!


Looking forward to grading this footage in Color.

Edited by Ravi Kiran
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I recently had a chance to shoot with it on a small music video. We used the new Sony primes (35, 50, 85) and nikons. The physical quality of the lens's weren't that great, but I thought they looked great, and for the price, I think there a good option. The camera performed well, but the one issue we had was shooting in slow motion we hd a interesting "banding effect" on the image, like you could see the rolling shutter. Very interesting and was only on some of the slow-mo shots.


I strongly prefer it over. Any hdslr set up.



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