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On 4/13/2020 at 12:50 PM, David Peterson said:

No, the F3 doesn't output 10bit over HDMI. 

You must get an SDI recorder. 

That's because it is an HMDI recorder. 

Even though I own an F3, and I'm a big fan of my camera, I'm not so keen in strongly recommending the F3 to newbies starting out. 

There are too many "gotchas" or hidden costs / hassles, which even if you know about, you might not still fully appreciate the magnitude of it until you get the F3 into your hands and start working with it.  

They're better off getting a Panasonic G85 or an OG BMPCC

So what if it is 8 bit out if HDMI, they said that they were having trouble getting an image with Ninja Assasin. That combo should work, despite bit depth. 10 bit is great, I shoot it almost exclusively, but it is not necessary all the time. Sometimes you can't tell the difference. 

What gotchas? You have to record 10 bit over HD-SDI, so what? Other than that non issue, what are some of the many hidden costs you mention? What cost are present here that are not inherent in any camera ownership? 

Never heard of a Panasonic G85 so I can not comment, but first gen or 0G blackmagic pocket camera??? In terms of image quality, F3 hands down. No FPN, better low light images, S35 sensor, more lens choices.  Reliability? F3 again by a long shot. Firs gen Blackmagic are notoriously unreliable. Known to fail in the field when you need them most. If you buy one, buy three, you'll need them. Where as with most any Sony camera, they are tanks, will work all day long without fail. Battery life? Again the Sony F3. There are several battery choices, but the native batteries work great and last a long time. Not so with Blackmagic. 

AVOID first generation Blackmagic Cameras, especially the pocket camera. 

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Posted (edited)

Betacam is 14bit color depth to my knowledge. Not to mention CCD chip is superior to CMOS in terms of motion etc as well. Also the ergonomics... I can put the camera on my shoulder and shoot handheld without having to worry about cages and all the other mickey mouse attachments to turn a stills camera into a camcorder. Superb productions have been shot on the system that looks more real and cinematic to my eyes than the plastic images you get from Canon DSLRs. Aliasing etc. it is more like a 720p anyhow. Just my 2 cents. You could still record onto external device via sdi too if you don't want to record on tape. 

 

The model number is 970 not 960. Apologize for the typo.

Edited by Giray Izcan

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18 minutes ago, Giray Izcan said:

Betacam is 14bit color depth to my knowledge. Not to mention CCD chip is superior to CMOS in terms of motion etc as well. Also the ergonomics... I can put the camera on my shoulder and shoot handheld without having to worry about cages and all the other mickey mouse attachments to turn a stills camera into a camcorder. Superb productions have been shot on the system that looks more real and cinematic to my eyes than the plastic images you get from Canon DSLRs. Aliasing etc. it is more like a 720p anyhow. Just my 2 cents. You could still record onto external device via sdi too if you don't want to record on tape. 

Betacam is an analogue format. Digital betacam is a 10-bit format, as is HDCAM-SR. HDCAM is an 8-bit format. Some Betacam-family cameras will be promoted as having 14-bit front ends, but that's the analogue-to-digital converters which digitise the signals from the sensors, not the recording format. All modern cameras will have at least that bit depth at that stage.

CMOS chips with global shutter are available, though we'd all like to see more of it.

I will agree that the ergonomic issues are important; DSLRs are horrible. The combination of ENG camera and ENG lenses is incredibly lovely and that's often overlooked by people who are used to high-end cinema gear that's often much less usable. The work Blackmagic did on the Ursa Mini is underappreciated. What we need are more affordable eng-style lenses for super-35 sensors.

Still, it's very hard to support the idea that old ENG cameras make better pictures.

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970 is pretty much hd with 1000 lines. Technicality aside, strictly as an artist, stuff I have seen shot on that latest digibeta camera - productions like cinematic documentaries  from Discovery Channel etc look way more filmic than Canon images with ultra shallow depth of field and more or less static images due to motion problems. Not to mention the aliasing and working with stills lenses... No thanks. F3 I wouldn't be opposed to but Canons etc even with RAW capabilities never look real to me. This is of course my opinion. I'm the type of person who cares more about the feel of images etc rather than counting pixels etc. The new age cinematography is different though. People are a lot more concerned with being able to shoot under available lights so forget the art of cinematography where the exposure and lighting and shaping images should matter. In return, what do we have? Ample of stuff online with log looking images or extreme cu on wide angle lens with everything else out of focus... How boring... Sorry but with the current fad, everything more or less looks uninteresting and redundant. I would still prefer the latest Beta camera with lovely colors and pleasing skin tones than 5d mk10 with RAW haha. I don't mean to offend anyone but just speaking my mind. The new age cinematography is more about bragging about what camera one might have and its technical abilities... Watch a movie like Jacob's Ladder which is grainier and softer than most stuff you see on Vimeo that was shot on 25k cameras with a single candle light but it is indistinguishably cinema...

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The 970 was a great camera. I did a short on the PAL version in 25p and we screened at the BFI in London via a snell and willcox up-converter - it looked pretty close to HD.  Ergonomically great as well... But compared to the current generation of HD/4k cameras it struggles.

I do like the global shutter small sensor look as an alternative to the ubiquitous S35 CMOS look on everything.

I directed a short on the Ikonoskop digital 16mm camera. I wouldn't want to repeat the experience due to the cameras reliability and difficulty dealing with the uncompressed RAW. The images were great, had a real filmic 16mm vibe that looked stunning projected. 

The low prices of F23's and DigiZooms/Prime's at the moment is a little bit tempting - as a format that could offer a different look/feel to Alexa etc.. but still be technically "good" enough for modern tastes. 

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Posted (edited)

Again, i strictly look at pictures I paint in terms of general feel and the quality not necessarily how much detail i can see on someone's face. I may be a bit eccentric I suppose. I wouldn't compare tye beta camera to a real HD or 4k camcorders but not the low end  cameras and their short comings. I bet you if you revisited that project and handled the post with modern transfer techniques etc, you would find the image much more pleasing and cinematic - whatever that means - than the Canon dslr footage. At least, you can move the camera haha which is an important aspect of cinematography as well. Even the well shot ones to me looks like a collection of stills frames and moving subjects in those static frames. Not to mention, I can go to the end of the world and come back with proven Beta cameras whereas most digital cameras are delicate pieces of computers that need babying- excluding the real cine cameras like Alexas or f35s etc. of course.

Edited by Giray Izcan

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Just to be clear, I don't dismiss the importance of having a higher resolution image capture. In my opinion, for the average drama, comedy etc for the web or TV especially, i would worry more about the feel of the piece rather than how many pimples we can count on someone's face. 

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Posted (edited)

Are ya'll still arguing about NTSC cameras vs HD cameras? lol 😛

I think the OP has moved on since this thread was started last year! HAHAHA 😛

Edited by Tyler Purcell

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Posted (edited)

Yes. I'm bored I suppose haha. Or maybe i miss the old ways.

Edited by Giray Izcan

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Posted (edited)

Here is an example. Granted it is from years ago but imagine handling the material as you could with the available current technology... The picture look lovely to me in terms of colors and the general feel especially.

 

Edited by Giray Izcan

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16 minutes ago, Giray Izcan said:

Yes. I'm bored I suppose haha. Or maybe i miss the old ways.

Heck, the old ways would be film! 😛

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Just now, Tyler Purcell said:

Heck, the old ways would be film! 😛

That's all i shoot myself. Shoot 35, get a low con print and digitize that as opposed to doing di. It is a preference really. I'm saying in terms of video. Watch those cinematic documentaries from Discovery Channel about sea legends, about the pyramids back when Discovery Channel was known for high quality cinematic documentaries and tell me they don't look filmic. I'm talking about the ones that were shot on digi Beta or sp not the 16mm ones.

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14 hours ago, Chris Burke said:

So what if it is 8 bit out if HDMI, they said that they were having trouble getting an image with Ninja Assasin. 


It might "work", but it largely defeats the main purpose of using an external recorder. 

And my point was to highlight that HDMI and SDI out do not work the same on the F3.
 

14 hours ago, Chris Burke said:

What gotchas? You have to record 10 bit over HD-SDI, so what? Other than that non issue, what are some of the many hidden costs you mention? What cost are present here that are not inherent in any camera ownership? 


Even that "non-issue" is still an issue, I wasn't aware of that when I bought my F3.  Seems like the other poster in this thread wasn't aware either. There are many more little issues, such as they might spend more than they realize on buying SxS cards, or discover they can't use their favorite EF lenses on the F3 (not without spending even more than it cost to buy their F3 body in the first place). They'll have to upgrade the tripod they had before. Etc etc etc

There is the same problem but on steroids if a person goes and purchases a "cheap" ARRI Alexa Classic, but has never had experience before with anything but DSLRs.

 

15 hours ago, Chris Burke said:

Never heard of a Panasonic G85 so I can not comment, but first gen or 0G blackmagic pocket camera???

The Panasonic G85 has a lot of general good features of the GH5 but without a few key ones such as its 10bit, 4K 60fps (tops out at 4K 30fps in the G85) or slow motion. 

But the G85 is much much cheaper than a GH5, the best bang for buck mirrorless which is priced cheaper than a G9/GH5

(btw, I wrote "OG" not "0G", as in "original")
 

15 hours ago, Chris Burke said:

 In terms of image quality, F3 hands down. No FPN, better low light images, S35 sensor, more lens choices.  Reliability? F3 again by a long shot. Firs gen Blackmagic are notoriously unreliable. Known to fail in the field when you need them most. If you buy one, buy three, you'll need them. Where as with most any Sony camera, they are tanks, will work all day long without fail. Battery life? Again the Sony F3. There are several battery choices, but the native batteries work great and last a long time. Not so with Blackmagic. 


I'll disagree with some of your points. The BMPCC for instance will last longer on a single BP-U60 than a Sony PMW-F3 will.  And the BMPCC has a greater range of lenses it can use.  As for reliability? Never had an issue with my BMPCC! I think just the vast vast numbers of users of the BMPCC can significantly distort perceptions of its reliability, as only a very small percentage of users can have an issue to still make that quite a sizable number of people complaining online. Nobody is going to argue a Honda Civic is less reliable than a Lamborghini Aventador, just because they read about more issues from owners of a Honda Civic. 

But it is all missing my core point:

A Panasonic G85 / G9 / GH5 / Fuji X-T30 / X-T3 / BMPCC / BMPCC4K is going to be a better experience / easier learning curve / enable them to "just go shoot" for a newbie filmmaker as their first camera than buying a Sony PMW-F3 would. 


 

7 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Are ya'll still arguing about NTSC cameras vs HD cameras? lol 😛


That is indeed quite amusing! 😂
Is weirdly tough to justify using a camera that can't even do HD as your primary/only camera in 2020!!
 

7 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I think the OP has moved on since this thread was started last year! HAHAHA 😛


He might have, but we haven't 😉

 

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I completely agree with David in terms of "gotchas". As an example, one especially difficult issue to deal with is the data format in which the F3 sends its 24fps stream. Atomos recorders think it is receiving 59fps interlaced because the F3 distributes the frames alternating. Odyssey recorders can handle it though. Nobody tells you that this is something to watch out for. One of the reasons I went for the F3 is that I actually want to train on a camera that is similar in size, weight and complexity to "serious" cameras like F65 or Venice. But it is true that my camera support was hopelessly outmatched. I had to sell my Manfroto plastic crap and invest in Ronford & Baker support etc.

Another caveat is that run and gun seems difficult with this kind of gear. Before you know it you need a van. As a counter argument I would consider what MacGregor did to be relatively mobile when shooting his Mauritania Railway doc on a F35! 

These are all professional, high quality cameras, which a couple of years ago would have been priced completely out of reach for a beginner/indy shooter and can now be picked up on eBay for around $3,000.

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On 4/20/2020 at 4:31 AM, Hannes Famira said:

I completely agree with David in terms of "gotchas". As an example, one especially difficult issue to deal with is the data format in which the F3 sends its 24fps stream. Atomos recorders think it is receiving 59fps interlaced because the F3 distributes the frames alternating. Odyssey recorders can handle it though. Nobody tells you that this is something to watch out for. One of the reasons I went for the F3 is that I actually want to train on a camera that is similar in size, weight and complexity to "serious" cameras like F65 or Venice. But it is true that my camera support was hopelessly outmatched. I had to sell my Manfroto plastic crap and invest in Ronford & Baker support etc.


Wait, are you saying Atomos recorders are a bad idea with the Sony F3?

 

On 4/20/2020 at 4:31 AM, Hannes Famira said:

Another caveat is that run and gun seems difficult with this kind of gear. Before you know it you need a van.

I definitely need to sort my life out and acquire a van myself!

Yes, an F3 kit can easily grow to quite a sizeable amount. Unlike a little GH5 kit which can be thrown into a backpack. 
 

On 4/20/2020 at 4:31 AM, Hannes Famira said:

As a counter argument I would consider what MacGregor did to be relatively mobile when shooting his Mauritania Railway doc on a F35! 


There are always exceptions! But I'm certain he had assistants to help him shoot that, he wasn't a solo shooter. 

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6 hours ago, David Peterson said:

Wait, are you saying Atomos recorders are a bad idea with the Sony F3?

Yes definitely, it is really disappointing and it took me a while to figure out that I wasn't too dense to figure out the right settings. The bitter truth is that no Atomos recorder can properly interpret the signal coming from the F3. To quote Atomos customer support:

"[…] I believe that this specific camera model does not output a proper signal. This is a know issue with Sony and Canon cameras. No matter what you set internally, you will be outputting FHD 59.98."

The only work around is setting a 3:2 pulldown for 24fps, a limitation that all by itself knocks Atomos products off my wish list. If that isn't enough it turns out that (quoting Atomos customer service again) "no current Atomos product can do a de-squeeze and display waveforms at the same time". What gives? So let's just forget Atomos until they get serious. I consider my purchase with sun hood, cage, terabyte SSD and SSD reader a huge misinvestment.

Convergent Design to the rescue. Fortunately even the old Odyssey7Q, accepts up to 1080p30 over HDMI and records full bit depth etc. over HD-SDI 3G, in single Link, dual Link, and quad link, in 1.5G or 3G. Last week I saw the outdated 7Q with the RGB RAW license for around $800 on eBay.

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Sorry, I may be missing something here, but are we discussing an F3 with the dual link mod or what?

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Phil Rhodes said:

Sorry, I may be missing something here, but are we discussing an F3 with the dual link mod or what?

Yes, single or dual link. I wasn't aware that Dual-Link is a mod. I thought the F3 did that out of the box.

Edited by Hannes Famira

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Posted (edited)
Quote

2. Live Dual Link Output in 444 & 422 is enabled. This means the A & B HD-SDI connectors are now both activated, so you can use them when working in Dual Link (with the RGB upgrade) or in regular 422. This means you have two additional clean outputs all the time – for connecting an external recorder. When shooting in 23.98 these outputs will give you 23.98 PsF even if you have pull-down enabled on the other HD-SDI output. (Note: When Dual Link output is enabled, the HDMI output is turned off.)

https://www.newsshooter.com/2011/06/05/new-sony-f3-firmware-released/

A firmware update enabled it. 

Edited by David Peterson

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Well, hang on - from that, sounds to me as if it needs the RGB upgrade and the firmware update to get dual link. Otherwise you just get two outputs, one of which is seg frame but both of which are 4:2:2.

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3 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

but both of which are 4:2:2.

Yes you need the paid firmware update if you want to get 444

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, David Peterson said:

Yes you need the paid firmware update if you want to get 444

I think this confirms it:

https://cinescopophilia.com/sony-pmw-f3-camera-v1-10-optional-slog-rgb-firmware-updates/

And here Alister Chapman details it in the comment section of his own blog in April 2012: (http://www.alisterchapman.com/2012/04/15/pmw-f3-firmware-v1-4-to-include-s-log-in-picture-profiles/😞

"You will NOT get LUT’s or 444 or RGB unless you have a new F3 with S-Log pre-installed or you have the paid CBK-RGB option.

You WILL be able to output 10 bit 422."

Edited by Hannes Famira
I added more detailed information I found in the comments on Alister Chapman's blog
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On 4/25/2020 at 2:46 AM, Hannes Famira said:

You will NOT get LUT’s or 444 or RGB unless you have a new F3 with S-Log pre-installed or you have the paid CBK-RGB option.

Interesting. I hadn't realised LUTs for on-set video monitoring was another thing which was exclusive to the paid software update 

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