Monday, November 08, 2010

Sony Announces the PMW-F3 35mm Full-HD Compact Camcorder


Sony has announced the PMW-F3, a 24p video camera with a 35mm sensor, which will be available in January 2011. As had been earlier suggested, this camera appears to be aimed more at the RED camera market than at the Panasonic AG-AF100 market with it’s approximate price of $20,000 US (they have announced the European price only.)

The sensor size is Super 35mm, the standard size for motion picture films and the same size as the Sony F-35. There are two models; the PMW-F3K with three lenses (35, 50, 85mm F2.0) - Euros 20,700 (~$29,000 US), and PMW-F3L body only model - Euros 14500 (~$20,000 US). The PMW-F3 has a PL mount, and Sony will be producing specific zoom lenses for this camcorder, which they intend to show in prototype at NAB 2011. The camera records to SxS cards.

Worldwide press release is today 8th November, and on the 17th they will show the product at Interbee in Japan. They are “closely working” with some DoP's and their ICE team (Independant Certified Experts) to produce some demo footage which will be posted online at

In response to a question about the price and who the camera is intended for, Sony, in a Facebook discussion with Bill Drummond and Sebastian Leske said: "The F3K will be ideal for the cost-conscious filmaker looking for the best price/performance from a 35mm digital camcorder on the market. This would be ideal for budget movie-making, pop promos etc. "

Curiously, is response to a question about whether the camera supports autofocus like the AF-AG100, they said "this is currently under study."

Recording Modes
1920 x 1080 / 1440 x 1080 (HQ) 23.98/25/29.97p, 50/59.94i
1440 x 1080 (SP) 23.98p, 50/59.94i
1280 x 720 (HQ) 23.98/ 25/ 29.97/ 50/ 59.94p
DVCAM 25/ 29.97p, 50/ 59.94i

Will rolling shutter be an issue?
The camcorder use CMOS, so there is no global shutter, the rolling shutter is vastly reduced due to the fast refresh time of the CMOS sensor.

What are the specifics on overcrank functionality?
We will offer from 1 to 30 fps at 1920x1080 (17 to 30 fps in dual-link mode) and 1 to 60 fps at 1280x720 (17 to 60 fps in dual-link mode).

What is the dry weight (without lens or battery)?
Weight is an incredibly light 2.4Kg.

Power requirements?
The camcorder takes 12V DC input on a 4 pin XLR plus uses standard BP-U60 batteries

What does HD-SDI output support?
4:2:2 10-bit output via HD-SDI for a range of external recorders
4:4:4 10-bit output via Dual Link HD-SDI for top-end film workflows is coming in April 2011. The Dual-Link Mode is an option available around April 2011.

Are there different codec output modes?
Camcorder records all current XDCAM EX formats at 4:2:0 8-bit, plus has 10-bit 422 output as standard.

What is the equivalent ISO of the camera in a standard state?
ISO equivalent in standard mode is ISO 800

How good is the latitude? How many stops?
Latitude is 460% in standard mode or 800% in S-Log, which is equivalent to about 12 Stops of Dynamic Range.

What is the mount like on the bottom of the camera?
Mount at the bottom of camcorder is the standard screw-thread type seen on EX1R

Are there ENG styled viewfinder options?
There are no optional viewfinders available


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